Why you’re probably reading your performance measurement results wrong (but at least you’re in good company)

In the pre-holiday rush, I forgot to mention the guest post I wrote for Stoyan Stefanov’s always-excellent annual Performance Advent Calendar. I got the idea for this post from these predictions for 2012, specifically my prediction that real user monitoring will become accessible and affordable for mortal companies. Because of this, it’s our responsibility to make sure that:

  • these tools collect use data accurately,
  • these tools analyze data accurately, and
  • these tools depict data accurately.

Why? Because, no matter how great we think we might be as statisticians, most of us are not.

How do I know this? Because I showed ten performance leaders the same simple data points and asked them for their interpretations… and eight of them got it wrong.

Should they be embarrassed about this? Not really. Here’s why…

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