Build resilient systems at scale
October 12–14, 2015 • New York, NY

Metrics, metrics everywhere (but where the heck do you start?)

Tammy Everts (SpeedCurve), Cliff Crocker (Akamai)
1:30pm–3:00pm Monday, 10/12/2015
Location: Gramercy West
Average rating: ***..
(3.83, 29 ratings)
Slides:   external link

Prerequisite Knowledge

Some understanding of web performance is ideal. Understanding of RUM and synthetic tools is an asset but not necessary.


What is performance? Depending on whom you ask, you’ll get a completely different definition.

  • If you’re a designer, performance is when your pages become usable
  • If you’re in DevOps, performance is a set of numbers — from back-end time to DOM interactive to the load event
  • If you’re a CEO or CRO, performance is revenue

Not surprisingly, there’s no one-size-fits-all performance metric (though life would be simpler if there were). Different metrics will give you different critical insights into whether or not your pages are delivering the results you want — both from your end user’s perspective and ultimately from your organization’s perspective.

But regardless of your role, performance boils down to three simple questions:

  • How fast am I?
  • How fast should I be?
  • How do I get there?

In this session, we’ll walk through various metrics that answer performance questions from multiple perspectives. You’ll walk away with a better understanding of your options, as well as a clear understanding of how to choose the right metric for the right audience.

We’ll cover:

  • Types of events (browser standard, custom)
  • Timings (user, navigation, resource)
  • Behavioral events (time to scroll, time to click, time to convert)
  • How to capture metrics for SPAs
  • Third-party measurement
  • Business key performance indicators (bounce rate, conversions, orders, order value, page views)
  • Should you get your metrics from synthetic tests or RUM — or both?
  • Should you care about the metrics for some pages more than others?
  • What percentile should you care about? 50th? 95th?

We’ll also share a case study that demonstrates how to target specific metrics along specific parameters and tie it back to business outcomes — and ultimately business success.

Photo of Tammy Everts

Tammy Everts


Tammy Everts is chief experience officer at SpeedCurve, where she helps companies understand how visitors use their websites, and a cochair of O’Reilly Fluent. Tammy has spent the past two decades studying how people use the web. Since 2009, she’s focused on the intersection between web performance, user experience, and business metrics. Her book, Time Is Money: The Business Value of Web Performance, from O’Reilly, is a distillation of much of this research. She also cocurates (with Tim Kadlec) WPO Stats, a collection of performance case studies.

Photo of Cliff Crocker

Cliff Crocker


Cliff Crocker is a product line director at Akamai Technologies, where he spends his time building product strategy for performance analytics. Previously, he was vice president of product at SOASTA and engineering leader for the performance, reliability, and site analytics initiatives at @WalmartLabs. Cliff is an active contributor in the web performance community, evangelizing the importance of speed as it relates to user behavior and ultimately business ROI. In his spare time, he enjoys skiing in the mountains of Colorado, where he resides with his wife and two boys.

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