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Synthetic and RUM – The Best of Both Worlds

Cliff Crocker (Akamai), Mark Zeman (SpeedCurve)
Location: 212 Level: Intermediate
Average rating: ****.
(4.44, 9 ratings)
Slides:   external link

Synthetic and real user monitoring are two necessary toolsets for anyone responsible for web performance. However, we often struggle with the best way to present the datasets together in a clear and meaningful way.

This talk will focus on the relationship between synthetic and RUM metrics and the best presentation techniques for different audiences. Through various proof of concepts, the attendees will be left with examples of how they can leverage the best parts of each dataset and tell a story that has the most impact for the intended audience.

Topics will include:

  • Synthetic and RUM, the good parts
  • Best practices around communicating performance data
  • How to correctly position competitive benchmarking data
  • Examples of metrics that translate between RUM and synthetic
  • Visualization techniques for the combined datasets
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.

Photo of Mark Zeman

Mark Zeman


Mark Zeman is the founder of SpeedCurve a front-end performance monitoring service that gives you continuous feedback on how your front-end code is affecting the performance of your website.

Mark has spent 20 years designing for the web in a variety of roles from Creative Director to University Lecturer, Creative Technologist and Lead developer.

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Picture of Sérgio Laranjeira
Sérgio Laranjeira
17-11-2014 23:44 CET

This was an amazing talk. Great work and investigation done by the speakers. I just hope next year we have a perf analyst talking about this.