Real User Monitoring (RUM) is a way of monitoring performance through the capture and analysis of each transaction by the user of a website or application. By measuring your website or app performance in this way, you can see how your site is accessed from different browsers, devices, and connection speeds. This provides you with quantifiable metrics to benchmark and improve upon, such as load time and transaction path.
Real User Monitoring is also known as real user measurement, real user metrics, end-user experience monitoring, or just RUM. It is an essential component of application performance management (APM).
How Does RUM Work?
Real use monitoring is a passive kind of web monitoring as it takes place entirely in the background, constantly observing the system by tracking availability, functionality and responsiveness, and collecting data from each user across every request using every browser. This is in contrast to synthetic monitoring, which is an active form of web measurement.
The metrics gathered can be easily organized into data visualizations to help assess the data collected. As RUM gathers data points from every single user, visualizations such as area graphs and bar charts, can help make the large volume of information easier to assess, and act upon.
The Benefits of RUM
RUM is useful for determining the pattern of use for visitors to a site or app. By drawing out page metrics (e.g. load time, cache hits, etc.), each visit can be analyzed at a granular level. User sessions can be replayed and problems diagnosed. Problems at the network level can also be detected. Actions can then be prioritized to address specific issues.
One key metric is Page Load Time (PLT), which captures the user’s perception of whether the page is ready or not. While this is a subjective metric as it depends on the end user’s perception and the kind of content on the page, it is a very useful one for understanding how latency can be reduced. Granular metrics can be used to further break down the PLT, and visualize where there might be bottlenecks, and determine how to take action to optimize content.
As site speed continues to play a more important role in SEO, user experience and conversion rate, RUM is an instrumental tool for identifying exactly where delays are happening so you can implement effective improvements.
How RUM Works in the Section Platform
The Section platform continually collects RUM data, which allows you to keep a pulse on how your audience is experiencing the performance of your site or app under real-world conditions. Data gathered includes back end, front end, and full page load time; throughput; traffic by user agent (browser and device type), the number of pages as viewed by speed of each page and the bounce rate by page speed.
Section’s RUM includes business metrics, which demonstrate how page speed impacts bounce rate and the number of pages that each visitor views before leaving the site. In the longer-term, these kinds of metrics help improve the ROI of performance enhancements. They also allow you to determine areas to improve upon or optimize; for instance, you can determine whether or not your cache is effective or how frequently you are using HTTPS, allowing you to then use the Section platform to make improvements.
There is no need for a lengthy installation or a change in DNS. Section’s use logs and integrated alerting system mean that you will be notified whenever unusual activity takes place.