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Improving End-User Experience through Analytics: Quality of Experience (QoE) and Quality of Service (QoS) for RTC featured

Improving End-User Experience through Analytics: Quality of Experience (QoE) and Quality of Service (QoS) for RTC

By Author: Patricia Finlayson In Business, Developer

In today’s world, customer satisfaction is more important than ever. With the rise of online services and the increasing demand for high-quality digital experiences, businesses are under immense pressure to deliver superior experiences to their customers. Two metrics that are essential to understand when evaluating user experience are Quality of Service (QoS) and Quality of Experience (QoE). These metrics are particularly important in real-time communication (RTC) and streaming scenarios and analytics can help ensure your digital experience is meeting customer demands.

What is Quality of Service (QoS) and Quality of Experience (QoE)?

QoS refers to the technical aspects of service delivery, such as network capacity and latency, while QoE focuses on how users perceive their experience. QoS and QoE are crucial in customer satisfaction and retention, as they can significantly impact the overall user experience and business results. This blog will explore the relationship between QoS, QoE, and customer satisfaction, exploring how businesses can optimize their real-time experiences and services to improve customer retention and loyalty through technical metrics.

What is the difference between QoS and QoE?

QoS (Quality of Service) and QoE (Quality of Experience) are related but distinct concepts.

  • QoS refers to the technical performance of a network or service, which includes parameters such as bandwidth, latency, packet loss, and jitter—all of which are crucial for real-time video and voice. QoS is measured objectively based on technical metrics and standards and is typically managed and controlled by network administrators and service providers.
  • Conversely, QoE refers to the subjective quality of the user’s experience with a particular application, service, or network. It considers technical parameters and the user’s perception of the service quality, including usability, responsiveness, reliability, and satisfaction. QoE is typically measured through user feedback, surveys, and other subjective methods and can be tied to user metrics that are closely tracked by the business, such as retention rate, user session length and adoption rate of features. 

While QoS is an essential component of QoE, it is not the only factor that affects the user’s experience. Other factors, such as application design, user behavior, and contextual factors, can also significantly impact QoE. As such, QoE is a more holistic and user-centric concept than QoS. It is becoming increasingly important in e-commerce, live streaming, education and gaming industries, where user experience is critical for success.

How do you measure QoS?

Measuring Quality of Service (QoS) characteristics is essential to understand the level of service being provided to customers. Here are some important QoS metrics to consider:

Speed: The speed of service can be measured using metrics such as latency, throughput, and response time. Latency measures the time it takes for a service request to travel from the user to the server and back, while throughput measures the amount of data that can be transferred over the network in a given period. Response time measures the time the service takes to respond to a user request. Latency is a particularly important metric in RTC scenarios.

Availability: Availability measures the percentage of time a service is available for use. It can be measured using metrics such as uptime, downtime, and Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF). Uptime is key for RTC applications, so a stable infrastructure for real-time communications is key to ensure high availability, enabling users to connect and engage without any interruptions.”

Reliability: Reliability measures the level of consistency and predictability of service. Metrics such as Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) and Mean Time to Repair (MTTR) can be used to measure reliability. To guarantee uninterrupted and dependable performance, businesses need to establish a robust connection for real-time communication and streaming, prioritizing QoS reliability.

Security: Security measures the level of protection provided to the service and its data against unauthorized access or attack. Metrics such as security incidents, vulnerabilities, and security breaches can be used to measure security. For RTC, data security is integrated in a way that maintains optimal performance.

Overall, measuring QoS characteristics involves a combination of technical and user experience metrics. By carefully measuring and monitoring these characteristics, you can identify areas for improvement and ensure that your real-time voice and video services meet the needs and expectations of their customers.

How do you measure QoE?

Quality of Experience (QoE) is a subjective measure of a user’s overall experience with a product or service. So what is QoE measured by? Unlike Quality of Service (QoS), which focuses on technical aspects, QoE considers user perception, expectations, and emotional response. However, these perceptions are heavily influenced by technical aspects of the user’s real time communication (RTC) experience. 

Here are some common characteristics of real-time voice and video QoE:

User-centric: QoE focuses on the user’s perspective and experience, considering factors such as ease of use, responsiveness, and overall satisfaction.

Subjective: QoE is a subjective measure that varies from user to user. Personal preferences, past experiences, and expectations can influence a user’s perception of a product or service.

Multi-dimensional: QoE is a multi-dimensional measure that considers different aspects of the user experience, including technical performance, usability, aesthetics, and emotional response.

Context-dependent: QoE is context-dependent and can vary depending on the user’s environment, device, and network conditions. For example, a video streaming service may have a different QoE on a slow and unstable network than a fast and reliable one.

Time-dependent: QoE can change over time as a user interacts with a product or service. User fatigue, boredom, and frustration can impact QoE over time.

Influenced by expectations: QoE can affect a user’s expectations of the product or service. If a user has high expectations, their QoE may be lower if the product or service fails to meet those expectations.

Influenced by emotions: QoE can be influenced by a user’s emotional response to a product or service. Positive emotions such as joy and excitement can improve QoE, while negative emotions such as frustration and anger can lower QoE.

Overall, QoE is a complex and subjective measure considering many factors related to the user experience. By understanding the characteristics of QoE, businesses can better understand their users and design products and services that better meet their needs and expectations.

The importance of analytics for ensuring consistent QoE and QoS

The quality of your analytics plays a critical role in ensuring consistent Quality of Experience (QoE) and Quality of Service (QoS). The ability to measure specific technical aspects of real-time voice or video streaming quality is essential to gain insights on how to improve your service and user experience.

Agora Analytics is an extension for Agora’s voice, video, and live streaming SDKs that tracks the quality, performance, and usage for real-time voice and video streaming—allowing you to better track QoS and QoE metrics.

Agora Analytics tracks the following metrics to help you ensure QoS and QoE:

Performance monitoring: Analytics can be used to monitor the performance of a service in real time, allowing you to identify and address issues that may impact QoE and QoS. This includes monitoring network capacity, latency, and throughput, as well as measuring the accuracy and reliability of service. Performance monitoring can help you measure the current health of all active sessions around the globe with data on concurrent users and channels, video quality monitoring, audio fluency, freeze ratio, network latency, and more—all in the same dashboard.

User behavior analysis: Analyzing user behavior and preferences can providing valuable insights into how your products and services are used. This includes analyzing user engagement, session length,  and identifying patterns and trends in user behavior. Data Insights shows trends in usage and streaming quality, assesses chat distribution in various dimensions, and a daily breakdown of the data.

Root cause analysis: Root cause analysis allows you to identify the underlying causes of issues that impact QoE and QoS. By analyzing data on user behavior, network performance, and service logs, companies can pinpoint the root cause of problems and take steps to address them.

Example: Agora’s latency capture app (Genius score) can measure latency for public internet vs Agora’s network (SD-RTN™), to tell if a drop in quality is due to User1’s uplink or User2’s downlink in real time and inform the user to take steps to get closer to the router and/or ask other people sharing their internet connection to stop streaming temporarily.

Predictive analytics: Analytics can predict future issues impacting QoE and QoS. By analyzing historical data, you can predict future issues impacting QoE and QoS. This allows you to identify patterns and trends that may indicate potential problems and take steps to prevent them before they occur.

Service optimization: Analytics can be used to optimize service to improve QoE and QoS. This includes analyzing data on user behavior, network performance, and service logs to identify areas for improvement and implementing changes to optimize the service. Real-Time Monitoring shows the current health of all active sessions around the globe in a single dashboard including valuable metrics like concurrent users and channels, video and audio fluency, freeze ratio, network latency, and video quality in real time. Alerts can be set to send immediate notification of potential problems via preferred channels when key performance metrics reach specific thresholds chosen by the organization or when Agora’s AI engine detects an anomaly.

Tracking metrics in your workflow

Agora Analytics can be embedded directly in your application or used online. QoE metrics can be used in other applications or DataOps workflows via Agora’s platform-independent RESTful API. Agora Analytics can be integrated directly with Datadog to pull in Analytics data like usage, quality, and performance. This allows Agora data to be used within Datadog for visualization, custom alerts, and more— in the same place as other data.

Delivering a superior real-time experience

In conclusion, Quality of Experience (QoE) and Quality of Service (QoS) metrics are critical in ensuring users have a positive experience with a product or service. Analytics are crucial in monitoring and optimizing these technical metrics to ensure consistent QoE and QoS. By leveraging analytics to monitor performance, analyze user behavior, perform root cause analysis, and optimize services, businesses can ensure that their customers have a positive experience while boosting loyalty and retention.

To deliver a superior real-time experience, businesses must prioritize technical metrics and invest in technologies that optimize them. By doing so, they can ensure that their applications meet user expectations and remain competitive in today’s market.

Talk to us to learn more about how Agora Analytics can help you deliver the best QoS and QoE for your users.