- Why data is essential for COVID?
- Machine-generated data
- Covid-19 dashboards
- A project use case
- How to take action
Why is data so essential for COVID?
The current COVID-19 global pandemic has made data an essential weapon in controlling the spread of the disease. Data is helping world leaders to understand the virus, forecast the impact, and put measures in place to flatten the curve and protect the most vulnerable.
At an enterprise level, organisations must leverage the data they are currently collecting to accurately assess their current state to make informed decisions on how best to respond and make contingency plans. Most organisations (corporate and government agencies) collect vast amounts of data as part of everyday operations; however, they find it challenging to make use of this asset to gain insights. Now more than ever, it is critical that organisations analyse and monitor real-time data to understand the impact of COVID-19. This will enable them to form appropriate strategies that protect their health and that of their customers. Organisations across all industries must leverage their data to manage their way forward in a challenging economy.
Most IT teams are currently collecting infrastructure, applications, and security data to support their day-to-day operations. This machine-generated data can be reused to answer countless Business Intelligence questions, including how the business is coping with COVID-19. Avocado is working with IT teams to support clients during these uncertain times by providing customised business dashboards using industry-leading solutions and platforms.
One of the ways that Avocado is supporting our clients during these uncertain times is in providing business value from their existing data through our industry-leading solutions.
Avocado’s industry-leading solutions utilise Gartner quadrant leader Splunk to answer business intelligence questions. Splunk is a real-time, multi-tenant monitoring platform that increases visibility, and unlocks data across all areas of a business to support decision making. Avocado is configuring new dashboards, building reports, and creating alerts to highlight business insights for our clients. The COVID-related dashboards are used to monitor how systems and applications load to ensure they are coping with unprecedented workloads. Capacity and performance management metrics generated by Splunk fuel management teams to identify trends. Splunk clients can leverage existing licensing and indexed data, while clients new to Splunk can leverage Avocado’s range of intellectual property in this space.
Example dashboard displaying the impact of COVID on VPN servers.
Example dashboard displaying the impact of COVID on sales.
A COVID-dashboard use case
Avocado recently built a solution using Splunk dashboards to assist a client in measuring the impacts of COVID on their online services. The dashboards aligned to key business defined measures and indicators. Below is an overview of the project.
The client needed a visual representation of the changes in the usage of their online services during COVID-19. Technical data from various sources was required to be displayed readily for Senior Management to make informed business decisions that focused on operational cost savings and resource utilisation.
Avocado used a pragmatic approach to working with the client. Through open communication and a highly collaborative approach, we gathered and refined the requirements to deliver a robust solution that met their business objectives.
Our client was an active Splunk user across their organisation, gathering and indexing critical infrastructure data from sources such as VPNs, firewalls, application servers, database servers, and common tools such as Office 365. This made Splunk the logical starting point for analysis, and Avocado used Splunk’s advanced data analytics to create an array of dashboards and reports. Armed with these tools, the client was able to perform predictive analysis on the metrics such as the load generated by employees working from home.
Avocado aggregated data from various sources so the organisation could measure the impacts of COVID on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Due to the fast-paced nature of the client’s industry, there was a focus on the ingestion of near real-time data. Avocado established a blended project team of Avocado and client employees to facilitate knowledge transfer and intelligent analysis of machine-generated metrics and events. A key challenge was normalising and standardising the data from the various sources.
The dashboards built by Avocado enabled the client to reduce the time it took to determine COVID impacts on online services from hours to seconds and support predictions on future impacts. The newly configured dashboards and reports allowed the internal teams to respond quickly to Senior Management’s needs and provide vital input to effective decision making. Overall, it resulted in operational cost savings and reduced resource utilisation that proved invaluable in a rapidly changing environment.
Why you should engage now
Organisations can leverage existing data collected in their Splunk instances, or if new to Splunk, Avocado can quickly establish a Splunk environment to begin collecting data. This ability is critical for communicating complex data to senior management and other stakeholders. By configuring new visualisations, it is possible to reveal business insights in a clear visual format for effective evidence-based decision making at speed. As the COVID challenge is changing daily, organisations need to be able to respond quickly to stay ahead of the curve.
Avocado is a longstanding Splunk partner and offers services under both a Project and Managed Service basis. Our team of highly skilled Splunk consultants work with you to configure reports and dashboards to give you valuable the COVID-relevant business insights in real-time. Reach out to the team to find out more information via the contact us page, or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.