Etsy publishes a great tech blog titled Code As Craft.
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I was recently sifting through some of their newer posts & stumbled upon their Q2 2015 Site Performance Report. It’s really in-depth, though not impossibly technical. Here’s what I liked.
1. Transparency to business & public
Show real performance to customers
The first thing I thought while reading, is the strong show of transparency. The blog is public, so it’s not just an internally facing document that shares with the company, but sharing with the wider world. True, presented as a technical post it may only appeal to a segment of readers, but it’s great none the less.
Show real performance to non-technical business units
I think this kind of analysis & summary also provides transparency to the business itself. Product teams, business operations & sales teams can all view what’s happening. Where are there problems? What is being done to address them?
2. Highlighting change
Added pagination to the cart
One thing that popped out, was the discussion of pagination changes, that impacted page load times in the shopping cart. Page load times in the shopping cart are particularly crucial, because that’s where customers can “abandon” an order out of frustration.
Illustrating performance impact to product decisions
When product is evaluating that new feature, and they can see how changes affect performance, it better *sells* what all those engineering resources are being used for.
3. Where we don’t have data
We can’t analyze what data we haven’t captured
The report highlights that data around the shopping cart is new. That’s great because it highlights what the value collecting data offers, by providing new insights that were not available previously. This also pushes for more metrics collection & analysis as the business begins to see the value of all of this gymnastics.
4. Product tradeoffs
The discussion around the shopping cart performance also illustrates how the business makes product decisions. The engineering team can only build & write so much code. Deciding to spend time on pagination, means time not spent on some other new feature. Which is more valuable? Selling new feature A in one corner of the product, that customers may spend real money on? Or speeding up page load times on page B?
5. Cleaner data
At a Look & Tell event, I heard Lincoln Ritter talk about Data as a product to the business.
When you expose a performance report like this to the business, an iterative process begins to happen. The company gains insight from the report, makes better decisions, and thus can spend more energy time & resources on clean data. Cleaner data in term means better reports, which produce better decisions & so on.