Metric lifecycle

The following guidelines explain the steps to follow at each stage of a metric’s lifecycle.

Add a new metric

Follow the metrics instrumentation guide.

Change an existing metric

We want to PREVENT changes to the calculation logic or important attributes on any metric as this invalidates comparisons of the same metric across different versions of GitLab.

If you change a metric, you have to consider that not all instances of GitLab are running on the newest version. Old instances will still report the old version of the metric. Additionally, a metric’s reported numbers are primarily interesting compared to previously reported numbers. As a result, if you need to change one of the following parts of a metric, you need to add a new metric instead. It’s your choice whether to keep the old metric alongside the new one or remove it.

  • calculation logic: This means any changes that can produce a different value than the previous implementation
  • YAML attributes: The following attributes are directly used for analysis or calculation: key_path, time_frame, value_type, data_source.

If you change the performance_indicator_type attribute of a metric or think your case needs an exception from the outlined rules then please notify the Customer Success Ops team (@csops-team), Analytics Engineers (@gitlab-data/analytics-engineers), and Product Analysts (@gitlab-data/product-analysts) teams by @ mentioning those groups in a comment on the merge request or issue.

You can change any other attributes without impact to the calculation or analysis. See this video tutorial for help updating metric attributes.

Currently, the Metrics Dictionary is built automatically once a day. You can see the change in the dictionary within 24 hours when you change the metric’s YAML file.

Remove a metric

If a metric is not used in Sisense or any other system after 6 months, the Analytics Instrumentation team marks it as inactive and assigns it to the group owner for review.

We are working on automating this process. See this epic for details.

Analytics Instrumentation removes metrics from Service Ping if they are not used in any Sisense dashboard.

For an example of the metric removal process, see this example issue.

To remove a metric:

  1. Create an issue for removing the metric if none exists yet. The issue needs to outline why the metric should be deleted. You can use this issue to document the removal process.

  2. Verify the metric is not used to calculate the conversational index. The conversational index is a measure that reports back to self-managed instances to inform administrators of the progress of DevOps adoption for the instance.

    You can check CalculateConvIndexService to view the metrics that are used. The metrics are represented as the keys that are passed as a field argument into the get_value method.

  3. Verify that removing the metric from the Service Ping payload does not cause errors in Version App when the updated payload is collected and processed. Version App collects and persists all Service Ping reports. To verify Service Ping processing in your local development environment, follow this guide. Alternatively, you can modify fixtures used to test the UsageDataController#create endpoint, and assure that test suite does not fail when metric that you wish to remove is not included into test payload.

  4. Remove data from Redis

    For deprecated Redis counters remove data stored in Redis.

    • Add a migration to remove the data from Redis for the related Redis keys. For more details, see this MR example.
  5. Create an issue in the GitLab Data Team project. Ask for confirmation that the metric is not referred to in any SiSense dashboards and can be safely removed from Service Ping. Use this example issue for guidance.

  6. Notify the Customer Success Ops team (@csops-team), Analytics Engineers (@gitlab-data/analytics-engineers), and Product Analysts (@gitlab-data/product-analysts) by @ mentioning those groups in a comment in the issue from step 1 regarding the deletion of the metric. Many Service Ping metrics are relied upon for health score and XMAU reporting and unexpected changes to those metrics could break reporting.

  7. After you verify the metric can be safely removed, update the attributes of the metric’s YAML definition:

    • Set the status: to removed.
    • Set removed_by_url: to the URL of the MR removing the metric
    • Set milestone_removed: to the number of the milestone in which the metric was removed.

    Do not remove the metric’s YAML definition altogether. Some self-managed instances might not immediately update to the latest version of GitLab, and therefore continue to report the removed metric. The Analytics Instrumentation team requires a record of all removed metrics to identify and filter them.

    For example please take a look at this merge request.

  8. After you verify the metric can be safely removed, remove the metric’s instrumentation from lib/gitlab/usage_data.rb or ee/lib/ee/gitlab/usage_data.rb.

    For example please take a look at this merge request.

  9. Remove any other records related to the metric: