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Predicting the future is about as accurate as asking a Magic-8 ball for life advice; shake it hard enough and you might happen upon the “yes” right when you need it. Or, you could just employ a data and analytics platform like Splunk.
Known as Signal FX until it was acquired by data behemoth Splunk, this monitoring and analytics platform – or, Data-to-Everything Platform for those in the know – is a brilliant BI tool to monitor real-time data at scale. It also happens to be fully supported by ScreenCloud Dashboards for secure viewing and sharing across multiple screens (bet your Magic-8 ball didn’t see that coming).
(For a detailed Dashboards set up guide, click here).
Splunk is a business intelligence software that allows for real-time observability of cloud-native technologies. On just this one platform you can monitor the whole enterprise application lifecycle, removing data silos so your team works smarter, not harder. For ITOps, it’s brilliant.
Born from the exponential growth in machine data, Splunk visualizes valuable information to drive efficiency and productivity. You only need to look at a snippet of machine data to realise how time-consuming and difficult it is to see patterns or issues within your system’s hardware. Plus, a screen full of numbers isn’t exactly user friendly. As Splunk doesn’t need a database to store its data – making use of its indexes to store it instead – this makes it ideal for searching, monitoring and examining complex machine-generated data and presenting it in a non-headachy way.
The beauty of Splunk is that it takes the unstructured format of Big Data and processes it, pulling it from multiple systems in real time and generating graphs, alerts and business intelligence dashboards.
Overall, it’s a relatively simple process:
The Forwarder collects the data and then forwards it to the Indexer in real-time.
When the parsing stage is complete, the Indexer then processes this data, stores it and indexes the data on the disk.
The user then interacts with Splunk via the Search Head.
This is what allows you to investigate, visualize, automate and alert on important business metrics, and to a degree, predict problems before they happen. Less Magic-8 ball, more crystal. Splunk also allows you to incorporate Artificial Intelligence into your data strategy, accepting any data type like json and .csv.
Splunk can get as complicated as you want to make it, depending on how detailed you want your business intelligence dashboard to be. But ultimately it runs off the following features:
Splunk collects, processes and delivers data in real-time which allows you to perform searches, aggregate, filter and mask. It also allows you to stream at scale with support for multicloud environments.
Using this AI you can analyze massive datasets across multiple data sources with simple query language, visualize it and then schedule alerts. It makes complex data easy for everyone in the business to understand.
For those moments that you aren’t glued to your desk, Splunk has a mobile-friendly dashboard interface that allows you to act on alerts wherever you are.
By implementing Artificial Intelligence you can uncover new insights from your data, which helps with forecasting, predictive analytics, event clustering and detecting outliers.
The Splunk Web Framework app is where you want to be when creating custom dashboards. It’s a stack of features built on top of the core Splunk server where you can build apps to run in Splunk Web. You can also build custom apps that interact with Splunk but run on your own web server.
The Splunk Web UI is split in two:
This drag and drop interface is great for those with no programming knowledge. You can build custom dashboards with panels to show tables and charts, or build form controls like dropdown lists and checkboxes.
This is Splunk’s markup language, the underlying source code for dashboards created in the Dashboard Editor. This allows for greater dashboard customization in a familiar web developer environment and includes Simple XML extensions and SplunkJS Stack libraries (which enables use of the entire Splunk Web Framework). Depending on what you want to do will determine whether you use the Dashboard Editor or more advanced not-so-Simple XML.
As this kind of complex data sits pretty much at the heart of the business, it’s not something you’d want to get into the wrong hands. Which is why ScreenCloud spent two years developing and building Dashboards (read more about it here). ScreenCloud Dashboards is now one of the most affordable, flexible and secure dashboard digital signage solutions on the market, and it works perfectly with Splunk. Here’s a few best practices for using Splunk with Dashboards.
When it comes to sharing Business Information within any organization, there is a tension between the value of transparency and the need for security. A better informed workforce is a more productive workforce, and a more productive workforce directly impacts the bottom line. But opening the door to your company's most critical data will always be a compromise too far if it means that there is a danger that it could be open to abuse. When we looked at what others in the industry were doing and realized that it wasn't anywhere near what we would describe as 'secure', we knew we had to completely rethink the way data was handled for displaying on screens. ScreenCloud's Dashboard feature is the most secure solution available because anything less is simply not good enough for our customers who need to share their data and sleep at night.
ScreenCloud Secure Dashboards is one of the most secure, scalable and affordable options in the industry when it comes to putting your data up on screens. But don't just take our word for it. Request a demo today.
Alice Gardner, Content Manager
Alice is ScreenCloud's resident wordsmith, based in the London hub. When she's not writing about digital signage you'll either find her in Greenwich Park, one of Greenwich's many pubs or talking about how great Greenwich is.