General / Tech Talk

Turning Failure Into Opportunity: The Value of Error Reporting

by Michael Foucher, Director of Product
12 May, 2017

Bill Gates once said, “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” Many successful people will tell you the same. Success, and especially continued success, is built on lessons learned from overcoming failures and setbacks.

When it comes to application development, everyone likes to see big numbers in the “installs” and “purchases” columns. That’s a given. It’s just as important, though, to keep an eye on the numbers you don’t like to see, like uninstalls, crashes and errors. If you want to succeed, knowing what’s not working is just as important as knowing what is.

Crash and error reporting can provide your organization with valuable, actionable insights into where your application is falling short. Below are just a few examples of how real-time crash and error reports can help you to achieve success and learn from failures.


Most Users Don’t Report Errors

The hard truth is that most users don’t report errors. They uninstall apps.

The vast majority of the people who install your app aren’t going to tell you when they have a problem. They might try briefly to fix the problem on their own, but if they can’t get it working, they’re just going to uninstall the application and move on.

Without crash reports it would just appear as if someone installed the app, didn’t like it for whatever reason, and decided to uninstall. You’d never know what happened. Worst of all, you wouldn’t know how to keep it from happening again.


It Might Not Be Your Fault

Many developers rely on third party code and modules for various types of functionality. Why reinvent the wheel, right?

The more code that goes into creating an application, the higher the chance of bugs and errors. Especially when you’re using code provided by third parties, it can be difficult to keep track of it all and ensure that everything runs smoothly under different circumstances.

A good crash report system will not only let you know that a crash occurred, but it will give you enough information to know what caused the crash and why. You might still have a bit of searching to do in order to pinpoint the mistake, but you’ll have a solid starting point and an idea of how to recreate the problem for analysis.

Real-Time Reporting For Real-Time Fixes

A major benefit of real-time crash reports is the ability to find and fix problems quickly. In most cases, you’ll be made aware of problems and able to fix them while 99% of your users will never know a problem existed.

This ability to take action so quickly allows your brand to project an image of reliability and trust. You become more agile and proactive. You can push out a fix even before users begin sending in reports of a bug.

When a customer calls or contacts you with a problem, nothing sounds better than, “We’re already working on it.”, except maybe, “We’ve already fixed it. An update is on the way.”


Get Your Priorities Straight

When you’ve got a live app out there, development priorities are constantly changing based on many different variables. When things are going smoothly, you might be looking at adding new features, or optimizing performance. When a new release has caused a problem for users, though, bug fixes and patches are going to become a high priority.

When you have access to detailed, real-time crash and error reports, you always have a clear, up to the minute view of what needs your most urgent attention. You’ll be able to set and update priorities based on real life data.


Raise The Bottom Line

In the end, when we combine all of these advantages we can see that the biggest benefit of a good error reporting system is the ability to maximize profits and minimize losses.


Users Are Happy

With your quick reaction time and proactive attitude, current users count on your reliability. They’re more likely to talk about your product and recommend it to others. Potential users are presented with good reviews from satisfied customers.


Resources Are Allocated Efficiently

When you know what’s happening as soon as it happens, there is no time wasted. You’ll never be surprised by a bug report that could have been solved last week while your development team was working on minor, superficial updates.


Negative Impact Is Minimized

Because you are made aware of problems the instant they are discovered, their negative impact is minimized. You’ll be able to make corrections and release updates a quickly as possible, instead of being notified by users when things are already out of control.


Are you taking advantage of in-depth app analytics? Real-time crash reports are just one of the many features that come standard with Deskmetrics. We’d be happy to show you more. You can see for yourself with a free trial, or contact us for a live demo.

Michael Foucher • Director of Product

Director of Product at Redbrick

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