Moesif and Datadog are both platforms that provide monitoring and the ability to view metrics. At their core, though, both platforms do very different things for your organization and the teams that use them. Both can complement each other very well and contain features that can aid in making better products that scale seamlessly.
Datadog is great for ensuring that infrastructure is working as expected, alerting you of errors, and monitoring downtime and performance degradation. This is all part of a good application performance monitoring solution. Essentially, if you have infrastructure and resources that are crucial to your operation, Datadog is a great way to see a full view of your operations landscape. The platform can help to make sure that all parts of your technical operation are running smoothly and alert you when they are not.
Moesif, on the other hand, is more concerned with monitoring and analytics from a user and company perspective. Moesif can ensure that users are returning to use your product, give valuable insights into how they are using it, empower teams who use it to drive adoption, and much more. Moesif allows you to see the end-to-end user journey including how the user interacts with your app or API product and also how they are using it. You can also view how a set of users from a particular company are interacting with your product as well by enabling company tracking.
Both have different purposes and goals, but together they can create an end-to-end picture of your business including your users and operations. Building a great business consists of having a great product experience and solid infrastructure monitoring to ensure peak performance.
High-cardinality, high-dimension analytics
Tools like Datadog excel at single dimension analytics, which means there is a metric name and a value that is changing over time. There may be a small number of tags or dimensions, but usually a handful. It’s important for product-driven teams to not only understand the volume of transactions but also the different flavors of payloads and queries customers send over the API. This can be defined across thousands of different query parameters, HTTP headers, and body keys. In addition, each one of those fields can have a very large number of distinct values (high-cardinality) including the customer identifier itself.
This is where Moesif excels, enabling product owners to slice and dice their API usage data by an infinite number of different possibilities. For example, in the below chart, we can track the daily number of unique users who are experiencing OUT OF STOCK vs AVAILABLE in the response payload “label”. While a DevOps engineer is less interested in unique users and whether they saw out of stock, these insights are critical for making good business decisions.
With both platforms using different metrics and data for different objectives, it makes sense to use them together. Using the two in unison comes with many advantages and helps to generate a holistic view of the entire business. Covering everything from how customers are using your product all the way down to how the infrastructure it is running on is performing.
Now, let’s take a look at what features each platform contains.
Breaking Down the Features
Both platforms are filled with features to aid multiple aspects of your business. Below is a breakdown outlining what each platform offers, why it matters, and how it can complement the other platform.
Connectors, plugins, and integrations
Both platforms support many of the most common platforms on the market with a variety of integrations. Since both platforms serve different functions within an organization, their connectors, plugins, and integrations reflect that.
Datadog supports infrastructure more heavily so there are many connectors such as those to help monitor security, containers, orchestration, cost-management, and issue tracking (to name a few). Many of the most popular tools and platforms on AWS, Google Cloud Platform, and Azure are supported, just to name a few.
Moesif supports most API frameworks. These include server integrations for Node.js, Python, Java, and many more. Moesif also has plugins for popular API gateway and API management tools including Kong, NGINX, Tyk, Envoy, and more.
Moesif’s connectors are more focused on product use cases. Some with include Slack, Segment, Pendo, HubSpot, Salesforce, Marketo, and others.
TL;DR - Both platforms have many integrations available. Datadog covers most platforms where infrastructure monitoring would be beneficial. Moesif has integrations for the most popular ways to build and manage APIs including server integration SDKs to plug directly into code or plugins to integrate with API gateways.
Dashboards are a great way to pull together data for a quick overview. Displaying key insights in a single area is something both platforms do well.
Datadog allows you to build custom dashboards that show essential metrics. Operations teams can very easily view how each system is running, including performance, usage, and other key values that indicate a smooth operation.
Moesif dashboards can be used to distill key customer insights for all of the departments that may care. For instance, a marketing dashboard may show the sources of traffic, website engagement, and customer retention. A product dashboard may show customer activation funnels, average TTFHW (Time to First Hello World), and other metrics which show how customers use the API or platform.
TL;DR - Dashboards in Datadog offer great insights into your operation and ensure that crucial pieces of your business are up and running. These are customizable and are easy to set up and optimize. Moesif also offers easy-to-use and setup dashboards, including some that are added out-of-the-box. Moesif dashboards can show many teams, including marketing and sales, granular metrics to help with performance and adoption.
The ability for alerts to be sent to specific channels when critical events happen is essential in a monitoring tool. Alerts allow users to be notified on their platform of choice when specific criteria are met. This means that users don’t have to manually watch for events but instead can “set and forget”, knowing that they will be alerted automatically and in real-time.
Datadog alerts can be centered around conditions within your infrastructure. Datadog is able to create monitors that actively check metrics, integration availability, network endpoints, and more. When an alert is activated, Datadog can send the alert via email, Jira, PagerDuty, Slack, or WebHooks.
Moesif can create alerts when users are experiencing certain conditions. These may be something like a new user sign-up, making a sequence of API calls, an abnormal increase or decrease in API traffic, or if users are experiencing a high number of errors or are having issues integrating. Many of these alerts can help your team to be proactive and ensure a great user experience and to narrow down issues within your product quickly.
TL;DR - Datadog is great for alerting you about infrastructure issues and general tech operations, making sure systems are up and running. Moesif is great at alerting on specific user behaviors and proactively making developers, product managers, and support teams aware of users who are stuck or receiving errors.
User and Company tracking
A critical feature of user behavior analytics is the ability to analyze the sequences of events made by different users, and not just look at events in isolation. To enable analyzing complex user behaviors, API calls and actions in Moesif can be tied to a user id or company id. From there, you can create reports across multiple API calls. For example, with Moesif you can find users who made at least 10 API calls to GET /widgets/category/:id but made 0 API calls to /purchases.
These types of analysis can be a huge benefit to product-led organizations where user experience is a top concern.
Funnels allow you to see conversion rates between different steps in your products funnel such as the percentage of users who sign up that end up making their first API call. From there, you can slice and dice by user demographics like marketing campaigns to understand where to invest more resources. Retention analysis allows you to see if users are loyal and continue to derive value from the platform. Segmentation allows you to dive into who your users and companies are and which segments they belong to.
Because Moesif can pull in customer data via API or through connectors like Segment, you can slice and dice your API usage and API metrics by customer demographics. For example to better understand usage by company size or employment title. This makes it easier to also track usage by plan or other customer information.
By analyzing API payloads and UI events (through Moesif’s BrowserJS package or Segment), strategic business insights can be readily gleaned and operated on. An example would be optimizing e-commerce transactions within your application. By tracking checkout non-completions you can identify the exact route of the unsuccessful checkout, troubleshoot the problem with the seller, and proactively notify the purchaser of the problem. This information could also be used within the product team to improve the checkout flow so future transactions avoid the same issues of previously dropped or incomplete checkouts.
Moesif’s ability to track each individual user and their company empowers the use of “behavioral metrics”. These types of metrics allow us to look at more than a single event, instead of allowing us to link multiple events to determine a specific behavioral pattern. This is exactly what enables Moesif to do everything mentioned above.
With Datadog you are able to also somewhat see actions a user is taking but not with as much granularity as Moesif. However, Datadog does support some very basic user tracking which can help with debugging infrastructure and security issues that are appearing on the platform. Datadog does not support per Company tracking though. There is no support for “behavioral metrics” because of the model that Datadog applies to their analytics model.
TL;DR - Datadog does support tracking user actions and calls, but is more suited for showing overall traffic, API calls, and performance. Datadog’s functionality of user tracking is more in line with Web Analytics. Moesif allows for tracking of users and company usage. This feature empowers Moesif users to look at conversion funnels, retention analysis, and explore user segmentation. Moesif’s functionality is aimed at empowering users and improving your product from a user’s first visit to your application through to their latest conversion.
Often, certain behaviors a user is exhibiting or actions they take within our products can be tracked. Being able to automatically send a customized and templated email can be a great way to inform users of the next steps or about some condition they may be infringing on, such as a rate limit.
With Moesif’s ability to track individual users, we can monitor for specific conditions or behaviors and send emails based on them. Moesif can detect and send emails when a user is having a tough time with onboarding or getting started, is getting close to an API rate limit, or any other criteria where a user might benefit from an email to steer them back onto the correct path.
Because Datadog is more concerned with infrastructure and overall performance monitoring, it does not support this functionality. This is another case where Moesif can augment the monitoring you already have in place and help with improving your product and user experience.
TL;DR - Behavioral emails can be used to alert and aid users throughout their onboarding and user journey based on behaviors they display or actions they take. Datadog does not natively support behavioral emails, as it is not as user-centric in terms of metrics. Moesif allows for customized emails to be sent based on when a user fits a specific criterion.
Governance rules are another factor that makes Moesif more focused on user-based analytics. These are requirements such as blocking unauthorized access or blocking access from users with overdue invoices, which are a few examples.
This functionality goes beyond just monitoring and alerting and, like behavioral emails, allows you to drive real actions out of the metrics automatically. In Moesif you can create blocking and non-blocking rules. A blocking rule can block access to an API while informing the user why the service interruption is taking place. A non-blocking rule will still let the request continue to your upstream service. Moesif will only override any HTTP response headers but will leave the body and status code alone.
Moesif provides this functionality as an easy way to create and enforce governance rules. Since all of the metrics required to determine and enforce such rules are already in the platform, this makes it a great place to create them.
Datadog does not support governance in this way. Datadog can be used as a way to explore data that may be of importance to an organization’s governance needs, but it is unable to enforce rules and inform users as Moesif can.
TL;DR - Governance rules, such as blocking unauthorized or possibly malicious access, can be created and enforced by Moesif. These rules could be blocking (stop the request) or non-blocking (still allow the request to pass through). Datadog can’t be used for such functionality but could still be used as part of high-level investigations by governance teams.
Services and products, no matter how great, can only succeed if the infrastructure they rely on is up and performant. Infrastructure monitoring is a key way that organizations ensure that their operations are functioning as they should. Network slowdowns, abnormal increases in traffic, servers experiencing issues, and other events that affect system stability and user experience are things you can monitor.
Datadog’s original functionality was heavily focused on this type of monitoring. Arguably, Datadog is one of the best and most popular tools for these needs. A wide array of infrastructure and services can be easily connected to Datadog and monitored. With this being a core use case of Datadog’s platform, it’s no wonder that many of the largest companies in the world leverage Datadog to overlook their operations (including here at Moesif!).
Datadog offers some great dashboards which allow you to oversee your entire operation. Each piece of infrastructure in your architecture can be monitored, queried, and optimized using the platform.
Moesif does not offer infrastructure monitoring, but many metrics within Moesif - including those signaling API performance issues - can be quickly debugged by also using Datadog. A great example would be when a large influx of issues and alerts start coming into Moesif. We can detect that users are experiencing issues and then flip over to Datadog to narrow it down to an infrastructure issue or if it may be something such as a release issue with some bad code.
TL;DR - Datadog is one of the best platforms available for infrastructure monitoring. Almost every system out there is able to connect to Datadog since they offer a massive amount of integrations. Seeing end-to-end operations and infrastructure states is where Datadog truly excels. Moesif does not offer any type of infrastructure monitoring but, when used with Datadog, can easily help to diagnose and resolve issues affecting users.
The metrics in Moesif can help to shape better user experiences and help to uncover difficulties within your application. This could cover everything from the frontend experience (using Moesif’s BrowserJS or Segment) to backend events such as a successful integration with your APIs. Moesif can also help to enable product-led organizations by tying metrics to workflows that generate automatic emails, notifications, and even governance rules.
The metrics in Datadog are great for tracking operational and system health, overall traffic, monitoring infrastructure costs, and many more facets to ensure your application is working at the highest levels.
As you can see, both platforms offer many valuable insights to different audiences and roles. Moesif is focused on helping you build better products while Datadog is focused on making sure that your infrastructure and other operational variables are allowing those products to perform as they should. Feature overlap between the platforms is minimal since they have two very distinct roles in how they can enable your business to scale. Using Datadog and Moesif together is one of the best ways to build a complete and comprehensive analytics and monitoring stack.