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Schools, universities and other organizations within higher education have been shifting to modernize their learning experiences. With the intake of new students each year, some of these being based remotely, these organizations are seeking to manage large-scale and highly distributed infrastructure.

Higher education organizations gather a range of data, including recruitment data when prospective students visit their website, as well as enrollment data, and data from the school’s financial systems. This presents the challenge of effectively utilizing this data to make informed decisions regarding offering a better student and campus experience.

Yet, within higher education, many organizations do not take advantage of the great extent of data that they collect. Therefore, there’s a significant array of untapped opportunities for these organizations to gain from. An example of this is utilizing user experience data to provide a unique digital experience and further engage students.

Additionally, this IT infrastructure must adhere to multiple regulations and standards, such as PCI, Sarbanes-Oxley and FERPA. Therefore incorporating compliance reporting into your monitoring activities is essential.

Within this article, we will outline what an observability solution is, the wide range of use cases of an observability solution in the higher education industry, and some advantages to organizations in this sector.


What is an Observability Solution?

An observability solution is a group of tools and practices that allow organizations to attain insights into the internal workings of their software systems. The main objective of observability is to supply an extensive understanding of how a system operates and performs in real-time, enabling effective monitoring, troubleshooting, and optimization.

Observability solution's are built upon three main components, monitoring, logging, and tracing:

Monitoring: This entails gathering and examining data from multiple system components. Common types of monitoring data include metrics, traces, and logs. Metrics supply quantitative information about a system's behavior. Traces aid in visualizing the flow of requests through a system. Logs capture thorough information regarding events and activities.

Logging: This is the generation, collection, and analysis of log data. Logs are records of events, produced by applications, services, and infrastructure components. They are valuable for comprehending what occurred at a certain point in time and for highlighting issues or anomalies.

Tracing: Tracing enables the users to follow the flow of a request or transaction as it travels via different components of a system. This is particularly useful in distributed architectures where a single request may traverse numerous services.

Harnessing The Potential of Observability for Higher Education

Schools and institutions within the higher education industry often collect a significant amount of data. Yet, many of these organizations need to be more effective when utilizing their data to improve their performance. With an observability platform, such as’s, you can gather an extensive range of data and use this data to enhance your performance as well as provide a better user experience.

To highlight the array of uses for an observability solution in the higher education industry, we have listed some of the best use cases below.

Performance Monitoring: Student Information Systems

The majority of organizations within the higher education industry will utilize a student information system to manage things such as student records, registrations, and other academic information. With an observability solution, your organization can monitor the performance of the student information system to guarantee it manages peak loads during registration periods, track response times, and find and rectify issues impacting user experience.

Website and Portal Monitoring

Schools and institutions use public-facing websites for their marketing necessities and portals used by students, staff, and faculty to provide increased personalization to their organizations' offerings. Adopting an observability platform will enable your organization to monitor website performance, follow user interactions, and guarantee the availability of online services. Also, highlight and rectify issues that may impact the user experience on these platforms.

Performance Monitoring: Learning Management System

A learning management system platform is used for course management, online learning, and collaboration. By incorporating an observability solution into your higher education institution you can measure and examine user engagement, monitor server performance, and highlight any issues affecting the availability or performance of the learning management system.

Network Infrastructure Monitoring

Universities and schools can have extensive and complex networks that support numerous services, including internet access, research facilities, and administrative systems. Observability platforms can assist with the monitoring of these networks as they enable organizations to monitor network health, bandwidth usage, and highlight potential bottlenecks. This aids in ensuring a reliable and efficient network for both academic and administrative purposes.

Why Higher Education Institutions Should Utilize Observability

For schools and institutions in the higher education industry, there are significant advantages to be gained from utilizing observability.

Compliance and Auditing

It's vital that schools and institutions keep track of system logs and activities for compliance purposes. Some of the typical regulatory requirements and standards that these organizations must meet are PCI, Sarbanes-Oxley, FERPA, and HIPPA. By utilizing an observability solution, you’re able to simply collect, audit, store, and view data that can demonstrate adherence to regulatory requirements and auditing standards, guaranteeing accountability and transparency.

Enhanced IT Support Services

With the increase of higher education institutions opting for a hybrid approach to teaching, the availability of IT support services is more crucial than ever before. Using observability will enable your organization to monitor IT service desk performance and response times. By conducting this you can improve the efficiency of this service which can lead to a positive user experience. Helping students and faculty rectify issues quickly and enabling a smoother learning and administrative process.

Improved System Reliability

Due to the comprehensive networks and systems that higher education institutions utilize, it's important that your organization can ensure the reliability and availability of these systems. With an observability solution, you can identify and resolve issues promptly via real-time monitoring and analysis. This means that you can guarantee that vital systems, such as learning management systems, student information systems, and research tools, stay reliable and available for students, faculty, and staff.

If you’ve enjoyed this article why not read APM vs Tracing vs Observability or our Beginners Guide to Observability next?

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