September 20, 2022 By IBM Instana Team 3 min read

Are you a business owner trying to monitor and alert on your business metrics? Are you trying to reduce the time it takes to detect revenue-impacting issues?

IBM Instana™ website monitoring, also known as end-user or real-user monitoring, tracks metrics and events on your websites. Real-time information about HTTP calls, errors and other events are collected as they’re happening within your browsers.

IBM Instana Custom Events identify activities that are happening more or less frequently than they should be.

This feature analyzes uncaught errors in your application and tracks additional business performance metrics. Previously, you could trigger Custom Events and view these events on the dashboard but could not alert them.

As promised, IBM is continuously analyzing our clients’ growing needs and working to meet your observability goals. We love to go the extra mile, and with that goal in mind, IBM has added a new feature to your Custom Events dashboard that brings the best automated alerting to your fingertip. We now provide you with the ability to set and receive alerts on custom events based on daily or weekly seasonality.

Benefits of using Smart Alerts on Custom Events

  • Flexible definition of scope: Flexible definition of alert scope with IBM Instana has an unlimited combination of dimensions when scoping alerts.
  • Detecting seasonality: Business KPIs require context as they’re human-dependent. In most cases, they’re heavily influenced by human behavior, which is seasonal. A great example is when you want to alert on spikes in logins. Defining these spikes can be hard, as it may differ depending on the country, hours of the day, holidays, your operating system and events. Since driving business growth is the whole purpose of websites and applications, detecting any sudden variations in the occurrence of key business events is crucial, especially when these business events don’t result in calls to the backend— observed by the IBM Instana platform.
  • Out-of-the-box blueprints for alerting on custom events: We recognized that there’s a growing need within the teams to implement a more simplified approach that could cater to both advanced and junior-level members of your team. Smart Alert has a feature called simple mode with sensible defaults that business owners without deep technical know-how can use to set up alerts on Custom Events on their own blueprints.
  • Monitor 100% of the data in real-time: Significant anomalies can occur in various metrics and business depths. You don’t just monitor top-line revenue. Revenues should be monitored per product, country and technology. It’s also important to monitor technology plus country, product plus technology, and product plus technology plus country combined and in real-time across multiple layers of business data to achieve a watertight solution. IBM Instant alerting on KPIs relevant to you allows you to correlate between disparate anomalies and alerts you on incidents in real-time and with context. This method provides complete data coverage.

Let’s explore how to set an alert on Custom Events for a specific KPI

Pick a KPI that’s relevant to your business. For this example, we want to be notified of a sudden increase in or drop in payment declined on an e-commerce website:

Choose the KPI: Payment Declined:

Choose a scope: This step is optional but, for this example, we only want alerts from the US stores:

Pick an alert channel:

So, now that you have a better understanding of one of the capabilities of Smart Alerts being added to the Custom Events, you can see how easy it is to use this new feature to monitor business metrics. Watch out for our next blog where we discuss how to detect complex issues with Smart Alerts.

Try Smart Alerts on your Custom Events today

Smart Alerts are now generally available for our clients using end-user monitoring (EUM) with their client-side applications. If you’re monitoring a website, you can get started by clicking on the Add Alert button on your IBM Instana performance dashboard, as illustrated in the previous screenshot.

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