While it has been already established that data has intrinsic value and can be monetized, there are certain types of data that can provide greater value to those using it. Observable data is one such kind of data.
What is observable data?
Observable data refers to any variable that can be observed and directly measured. This variable is dependent on the size of the company and the industry it belongs to. For instance, in an enterprise, the variable often comes from one or more existing IT systems.
The underlying principle behind observability and observable data is clarity that is based on confirmed actions rather than the intentions of the stakeholder. Even if we don’t know what the decision was, or if it was implemented differently than what we planned, these are still outcomes that are reflected in the data, which can be analyzed and interpreted to be able to come up with documented and verifiable findings from which sound recommendations can be made if needed.
As such, identifying and utilizing observable data makes use of a variety of business functions and layers of the organization, as well as a variety of tools to help enrich this data. The most common places where results are made available to users are decision intelligence and analytics solutions.
But deriving value from data goes beyond just observability. The observable data should be utilized as well in a proper manner in order for its value to be realized. This is where applied observability comes in.
Applied observability is the applied use of observable data in a highly orchestrated and integrated approach across business functions, applications, and teams. It shortens the time between stakeholder actions and organizational reactions, thereby allowing proactive planning of business decisions.
Applied observability has three key elements:
Democratized opportunity. Every organization has massive amounts of observable data in the form of digitized artifacts, providing both a challenge and opportunity to convert that data into a strong set of capabilities, especially across the organization.
Multiple concurrent data layers exist in different parts of the organization, wherein bringing them together is seen to provide greater value.
Implementation can be a difficult, complex, and long journey due to the locations of these data and the rules in place in these locations, thus requiring a strong overall strategic plan to effectively utilize the data across the organization.
By applying observability, organizations can increase their speed of response and optimize business operations in real-time.
Benefiting from applied observable data
Already, some companies have successfully derived value from their data to create products and services that benefit both them and their customers. Tesla, for instance, offers insurance based solely on their “observable” real-time driving behavior. Tesla vehicles “observe” and measure driving behavior using sensors to produce a monthly safety score. The higher their safety scores, the higher discounts they get on their auto insurance premiums, which could go as high as 40% to 60%.
Gartner expects that by 2026, 70% of organizations successfully applying observability will achieve shorter latency for decision-making, enabling competitive advantage for target business or IT processes as observability capabilities are rapidly being built across a number of functions of the organization's Infrastructure and operations.