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HP Software's community for IT leaders // July 2013

3 ways smart analytics can lead to better, faster development

Let rich analytics help your apps team fix problems faster—or prevent them from happening.
We’ve talked about the importance of working with ops. We’ve talked about the benefits of tight integration between developers and testers. But with today’s rapid pace of development, open communication and integrated processes aren’t always enough. To optimize the app delivery chain and focus time where it matters most, everyone—developers, testers, managers, and operations—needs rich data to make smart decisions.
When everyone has the same visibility into progress, application change, and areas of risk, it becomes much easier to collaborate, prioritize work, and make the right choices for the day-to-day decisions that drive software development. Today, that kind of data does exist, but it’s usually buried in repositories, logs, and various tools, rather than surfaced, analyzed, and shared with the people who actually need it.
Shared, intelligent analytics have the power to help development teams and the rest of the delivery ecosystem build and deliver functionality much faster, and with the quality that the business expects. Here are three scenarios where analytics can transform the way applications teams work.

Visibility across developers and testers

Previously, when a developer made a change, only that developer knew the details of the change and the amount of complexity it introduced. Testers were often in the dark or had to manually pry this information from their developer colleagues. When they received a new build, testers wouldn’t know exactly what it included, what testing had already been performed, and which areas were riskier than others.

But by aggregating data streams from source code repositories, build-management servers, and other development tools, a precise picture can be formulated that reveals all this information. Testers can know who made a change, what user story it is associated with, the results of unit testing, and the level of risk associated. Using all of that information, they can better prioritize their work—which is critical in a business environment that bombards testers with change every day.
Similarly, developers need ready insight into data that results from testing, so they can prioritize any additional work on their user stories and tasks to reach “done” in time to ensure a successful sprint.

Visibility for decision makers

With intelligent analytics, management stakeholders can see the development progress and health of an application with much greater objectivity and accuracy. Managing by real insight rather than “gut-feel” gives them the ability to make better decisions much faster, without having to interrupt the team or manually track down and interpret complex information. As a result, they can plan better, deliver more predictably, and avoid being blindsided by surprises.

Visibility across apps and ops

When ops is asked to take a release into production, one big question looms: Is this app ready? If ops has a better view of application health—test coverage, pass rates, risk level, and its ability to scale from performance testing—they can proceed with a lot more confidence. Or, if they aren’t happy with the data they see, they can request more vetting before deeming an application production-ready.
When incidents do occur, analytics can help the ops team collaborate with development teams to resolve them much faster. Predictive analytics can point to potential sources of a problem, the build it’s associated with, what the code looked like before it occurred, and what it looked like after the problem was introduced. That data can help ops identify the developers who are most familiar with this area of code and most likely to know how to fix it.

Get smart about data

The right tools can cut through the fog of data and surface meaningful insights to every developer, tester, ops team member, and decision maker who needs it. That’s the kind of visibility that can help everyone deliver better applications faster.
To see one example of how analytics and shared insight can help unify apps and ops teams, watch this two-minute video, "Accelerating DevOps with HP SaaS," for more on the integration of HP Agile Manager and HP Performance Anywhere.


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