Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of visiting BVE in London, UK. Broadcast Video Expo, to give it its full name, is a regional trade show that takes place annually, aimed at individuals and business in the video industry. As an exhibitor, it’s not long after the show doors open that somebody from the organizer’s sales team will visit and try to secure our participation for the following year. To do this, they present a pack full of statistics and analysis that demonstrate how many new visitors they’ve managed to attract, where they come from, and how likely they are to make purchasing decisions at, or as a result of, the show. Although this will be coupled with more qualitative data and anecdotal commentary, these analytics are a critical part of the business decision of whether or not to continue exhibiting.
Coincidentally, BVE was also the first outing for the very latest Dalet AmberFin release – including the brand new analytics engine. Not to be confused with the standard task/workflow monitoring dashboard (although AmberFin now has an awesome one of those too), the analytics engine tracks almost every metric you could conceive in a media processing workflow.
Want to work out the true cost of suppliers sending you toxic files? Now you can quickly produce a dashboard that shows you the frequency, time and nature of failures for specific workflows or profiles. With user tasks also now available in the workflow engine, you can even see the effect of a long lunch break on your manual/eyeball QC throughput.
Many organizations already employ an analytics aggregation and visualization tool such as Tableau – and for that reason, rather than provide our own proprietary dashboards and visualizations, we have instead provided a comprehensive RESTful API to access and search the real-time data. If you don’t have such a tool, there are plenty of powerful tools that can be used to build custom reports as Grafana and Kibana (see illustrations).
Looking to the future – as we move increasingly toward provisioning our media processing either as Infrastructure or Software as a Service – performance metrics and analytics are playing an ever more important role in informing business decisions. Where it was once sufficient to calculate basic peak or average throughput (perhaps with a small margin of overhead) and use this for our purchasing decisions, when planning for dynamic provisioning of processing resource we need accurate real-time data to understand the dynamics of our usage to calculate the potential costs and benefits of any SaaS or IaaS solution.
Much like planning the Dalet presence at industry trade shows – analytics may not be the only input to a spending decision, but they certainly combine with other factors to give you the power to make the right decision.