We've all been there. You're asked to start tracking some metrics for your application. Maybe it's e-commerce conversions by source. Perhaps tracking every time a user loads your iPhone or Android app. Or maybe it's the number of times they download your WordPress plug-in, cross-referenced by referring source. Maybe it's the number of new activations, active users, or widgets remaining in inventory. You name the metric, someone has likely requested you measure it.
Do these scenarios sound familiar?
How about this one -- your manager wants you to start tracking some metric in your business.
You: "Great idea," and you sit down to start writing the code. First, you have to create a table. Quite annoying to add another table to the production database, but it now needs to be done. On second thought, maybe you already have a log table you can shoehorn it into. Or possibly just use a plain log file for now since you've only got limited time to devote to this.
Three weeks later...
Manager: "Say, what are the results from that tracking? I need those metrics for a report."
You: "Oh yeah, let's take a look. Oh, wait. I don't have a way to display that on our intranet. I'll have to create some queries and get back to you."
30 minutes later...
You: "Here's a screen shot of my MySQL console."
Manager: "Okay... Can I see that broken down by day, week, month? In a chart? Cross-referenced against the other metrics we started tracking last quarter?"
Next time, just say "Yes!"