Data Observability - Overview and its mean for DevOps

As organizations increasingly rely on data to make business choices, it is becoming increasingly vital to guarantee that the data is accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Managing and monitoring data quality, on the other hand, may be a complex and difficult undertaking, especially when data sources become more numerous and diversified.

Data observability is a hot new technology market that has recently emerged. Essentially, data observability is concerned with determining the health and state of data in a particular system, as well as whether or not data sets and data pipelines are performing as expected. Observability technologies enable data engineers to determine whether analytics, dashboards, or machine learning models, for example, are functioning properly. And, if they aren't, how can the failure be traced back to its source?

In order to improve application performance, data management, and network security, observability systems can provide a high-level view of IT infrastructure and drill down to granular metrics. The observability industry includes a wide range of areas, including application performance monitoring, which Gartner predicts would be a $6.8 billion market by 2024.

What is Data Observability?

Data observability is the ability to measure, comprehend, and trust the quality of data in a particular system. It entails monitoring data pipelines, discovering abnormalities and errors, and taking corrective action. Data Observability is closely similar to standard software development monitoring and observability approaches, however it focuses on data quality rather than system performance.

Data observability is critical for firms that rely on data to make business choices. Inaccurate insights, wrong conclusions, and, ultimately, poor decision-making can result from poor data quality. Organizations may ensure that their data is accurate, reliable, and trustworthy by implementing Data Observability standards, leading to better decision making and greater business outcomes.

What is the Significance of Data Observability in DevOps?

DevOps is a collection of methods that combines software development with IT operations to increase software delivery speed and quality. Data observability is an important DevOps issue since it helps to ensure that the data utilized by software applications is accurate, dependable, and trustworthy.

Data Observability in a DevOps framework entails monitoring data pipelines and ensuring that data quality concerns are detected and remedied fast. This can include establishing explicit processes for researching and addressing concerns, as well as putting up alerts and notifications for abnormalities.

Observability is the use of external data outputs to understand the present internal condition of an IT system, whereas monitoring is just the process of gathering data from an IT system. Both involve the collection of varied data sets, and both assist DevOps teams in identifying faults in their software stacks and delivering improved UXs. Yet, there are two significant differences −

  • Observability interprets data rather than simply collecting it. Monitoring is simply the collecting of data, whereas observability is concerned with analyzing data and putting those insights to use. Observability is the ability to connect data from multiple sources and identify patterns or abnormalities in the data that are useful for study.

  • Observability explains why something is wrong rather than simply stating that something is wrong. Monitoring notifies a DevOps team when anything in the system fails, but data observability goes a step further by assisting in determining why it failed and how best to fix it. A monitoring tool, for example, may disclose that an app is responding to queries slower than usual, whereas an observability tool can identify which specific microservices inside an app are causing the issue. To improve reliability, this information can be used to create a reaction plan using an incident management tool.

The Fundamentals of Data Observability

When establishing Data Observability strategies, businesses should keep the following fundamental considerations in mind −

  • Monitoring  Data observability necessitates continuous monitoring of data pipelines in order to detect anomalies and concerns. This may entail configuring alerts and notifications for certain events or conditions.

  • Data Observability necessitates the ability to measure the quality of data in a particular system. Establishing measurements and benchmarks for data quality, such as data completeness, correctness, and consistency, can be part of this.

  • Automation  Wherever practical, data observability necessitates the automation of monitoring and management tasks. This includes the use of tools and technologies to automate data quality checks and alarms.

  • Collaboration  Data observability necessitates strong collaboration among data engineers, software developers, and operations teams. Organizations may ensure that their software applications use correct and trustworthy data by collaborating to monitor and manage data quality.

Types of Data Observability Tools

Data observability tools are classified into numerous categories, including −

  • Data Pipeline Tools  These are tools used by data engineers to create and manage analytical data pipelines.

  • Application Data Tools  These tools collect data from apps in order to improve site stability, identify performance issues, and create debugging and troubleshooting plans.

  • Machine Learning Observability Tools  These tools help data scientists enhance the performance and drift of machine learning models in production.

  • Logs and Event Tools  for connecting the sources of observable data with the intended destination, as well as improving data in motion.

Data Observability May Help DevOps Improve Their Performance

DevOps teams have always valued data monitoring, but many have been limited to simple continuous monitoring using pre-defined metrics. There is hope that new observability platforms will help them up their game by detecting abnormalities that suggest an approaching IT problem before it grows into a problem.

Equipped with this knowledge, DevOps teams can assess the main causes and severity of problems and take necessary action, which is a long cry from the old way of depending solely on the process of elimination to identify core issues. DevOps teams gain increased insight into their IT and app environments using data observability solutions, and can uncover better and more actionable intelligence, particularly for external-facing apps that drive business transformation.


Data observability is an important concern for firms that rely on data to make business choices. Organizations may ensure that their data is accurate, reliable, and trustworthy by implementing Data Observability standards, leading to better decision-making and greater business outcomes.

Updated on: 27-Apr-2023


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