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Utilizing Software Analytics to Guide Software Development

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Title: Utilizing Software Analytics to Guide Software Development
Author(s): Koskinen, Marko
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science
Degree program: Master's Programme in Computer Science
Specialisation: Software systems
Language: English
Acceptance year: 2021
Modern software systems often produce vast amounts of software usage data. Previous work, however, has indicated that such data is often left unutilized. This leaves a gap for methods and practices that put the data to use. The objective of this thesis is to determine and test concrete methods for utilizing software usage data and to learn what use cases and benefits can be achieved via such methods. The study consists of two interconnected parts. Firstly, a semi-structured literature review is conducted to identify methods and use cases for software usage data. Secondly, a subset of the identified methods is experimented with by conducting a case study to determine how developers and managers experience the methods. We found that there exists a wide range of methods for utilizing software usage data. Via these methods, a wide range of software development-related use cases can be fulfilled. However, in practice, apart from debugging purposes, software usage data is largely left unutilized. Furthermore, developers and managers share a positive attitude towards employing methods of utilizing software usage data. In conclusion, software usage data has a lot of potential. Besides, developers and managers are interested in putting software usage data utilization methods to use. Furthermore, the information available via these methods is difficult to replace. In other words, methods for utilizing software usage data can provide irreplaceable information that is relevant and useful for both managers and developers. Therefore, practitioners should consider introducing methods for utilizing software usage data in their development practices.
Keyword(s): software analytics post-deployment data software usage data

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