What is “Ops Observability” and How Does it Help Your Operations Team Become Proactive?

Ops observability is an important part of any organization. It helps you understand how your business is performing and how to make it better. Locale helps your team go from reactive to proactive. Read on to find out how!

November 24, 2022

Graphic of a clueless robot looking at multiple dashboards

We all know something breaks in ops every single day and ops teams are firefighting. Every time your operations team doesn't act in time, your product's promise fails. For instance,

  • Shipping delays in logistics
  • Transaction not processed within SLA in fintech
  • Refunds not processed for an e-commerce company
Graphic detailing various reasons why things break in operations regularly

Given the volatility and complexity of businesses, these ops teams are in a perennial catch-up state, firefighting to achieve their OKRs. What’s worse is that today, the tools that ops teams do not suffice for their needs and use cases.

Here’s what the tech stack of modern ops teams looks like:

  • Email excel report at the end of the day or the next day on the day’s important KPIs.
  • Pre-built dashboards on Tableau (tabular and basic charts) (or Redash, Metabase, Looker).
  • Some ops teams also have alerts in the form of cron jobs or BI tools.
  • Slack channels or Google docs with management to communicate errors and issues.
  • Whatsapp groups with ground teams to instruct them using screenshots.

Put reactive operations with constant firefighting to a full stop!

If you’re constantly firefighting, looking at reports and dashboards is the last thing you would want to do. As a result, ops teams can’t act in time to identify & solve issues.

These tools suck at getting the information that “something is broken” to the people who will fix it at the right time.

The impact?

Graphic showing tweets of frustrated customers fo brands like CRED, Nyka, Paxel and Justeat UK

There is a lack of proactive tooling and observability in the operational world. Ops teams today resolve to hacky, unscalable solutions which do not help with either context, longevity, or collaboration to achieve all these OKRs.

You want a system to constantly monitor metrics and tell you the most important issue that needs your attention, the right person to act on the issue, and a standard operating procedure for how to solve that issue.  However, this tooling doesn’t exist today for ops teams.

What is operations observability?

Observability means that you are able to understand the internal state of your company's operations from data at any given time, by monitoring metrics (KPIs) or events (issues or opportunities) and logging them.

Observability as a concept was taken to fame by DevOps tools like Datadog, Grafana or Sentry. These tools act as a monitoring and alert system anytime there is an outage in infrastructure teams and as a result, DevOps teams need not sit in front of their screens 24X7 to monitor any issues.

Why is this the right time for ops observability?

  1. The covid-19 pandemic propelled the world into a “logistics crisis” and proved how fragile our supply chain is. Operations teams direly need to leapfrog and adopt faster, smarter, and more dynamic planning capabilities for managing their supply and demand. Demand-supply volatility has just been growing and the pandemic has aggravated the challenges companies are facing to meet their customer and financial goals. These trends have accelerated the need for transforming our planning and execution capabilities in operations.
  2. The emergence of a “modern data stack” has resulted in companies adopting a central data warehouse to house all of their data. However, in the “activation” layer of the modern data stack, there is no tool that caters to the ops teams. A cloud-based data storage is more scalable and more flexible and data is more accessible to make it available for monitoring. This will catapult a need for observability to be acceptable in the real operations-based world as well.

What makes a good operations observability tool?

At Locale, we believe the right operations observability tool must have the following parameters:

1. Business Event Monitoring

Locale's Business Event Monitoring service detects "something is broken" running directly on your database, so we know when something needs fixing through an alert.

Illustration showing trigger statistics from a dashboard from Locale

We send you a notification when an event happens that's important to your business, like a particular order got delayed, or if an employee has been absent for more than two days. You can even specify the threshold breach you want to monitor (for example, if it takes longer than 3 minutes to process a transaction).

That means no over-alerting and no missing out on important events. We only send one alert per event, so you can be sure that the alerts you receive are meaningful and actionable.

2. Proactively alert the right person

That means no more waiting around wondering if there's an issue—you are automatically alerted before anyone else notices there was ever something wrong in the first place!

And if you're like most of our customers, you probably don't want to be opening up another tab just to run a quick report or check on how things are going. We get that. So we go where our users are—WhatsApp, Slack, Email, Freshdesk and Zendesk.

We've built out some pretty awesome integrations with your favourite communications channels like WhatsApp, Slack, Microsoft Teams and more so that when something happens, the right people get notified with alerts on the most accessible communication channel possible

3. Playbooks for every occasion

Operations is a multi-stakeholder process(drivers, ground team, suppliers, warehouse managers, customer support and more)—, and that means you're responsible for making sure all of your stakeholders have the resources they need to succeed.

That's why we have created playbooks inspired by "runbooks" from the DevOps world, which outline the steps each of those stakeholders need to undertake. This creates a standard SOP.

And most importantly, we know that not every person has the time or skill set necessary to solve every issue, so we've created playbooks where anyone on your team can jump right into solving these problems—and standardize them as they go!

4. Building a system of accountability.

Building a system of accountability is an important part of building a strong team.

  • It helps you keep track of the issues and problems that are happening, and it helps your team members resolve them.
  • If the right person isn't available to solve an issue for you, they can re-assign it to someone else who has the time or expertise to do so.
  • If this doesn't work out, then the issue gets escalated to your manager, who will be able to step in and help resolve it.

5. Team Performance

We'll track how long it takes for a problem to be resolved, as well as the number of tasks that were completed in the time it took for someone to resolve it. This will allow you to increase your operations team efficiency and TAT, which can help you gain more customers and revenue!

Sign up today!

We have built Locale to encompass all the aspects of Ops observability, and we believe that it will allow you to do your best work.

Excited to get started?  So are we!!! Alerts, workflows and incident management are all just a few clicks away with Locale. Here's how:

  • Integration takes 15 mins: Connect your data sources to configure your tables blazing fast.
  • Instrument alert rules in SQL: Start monitoring your business events so that you can act on time.
  • You're ready to roll: Manage your incidents. Resolve, escalate and take action.

Illustation depicting how quickly users can connect their data source to quickly setup alerts on Locale's platform

If you are eager to know more about how Locale helps you set up Alerts, Book a call with one of our specialists to have all your questions answered today! Too good to be true? There is magic in the world, you just haven't seen it yet😌

Go check out our product for yourself and sign up now: https://go.locale.ai/signup

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