Meet Your Company’s New Virtual Assistant – Big Data

May 11, 2012
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virtual assistant1 150x150 photo (data analytics business intelligence big data advanced analytics )While it’s true that big data can help your business gain insight into your customers, be more competitive and build new products, did you know it can also

virtual assistant1 150x150 photo (data analytics business intelligence big data advanced analytics )While it’s true that big data can help your business gain insight into your customers, be more competitive and build new products, did you know it can also revolutionize the way your company looks at itself?

Well, that’s the idea behind AutoPilot, a sort of virtual assistant from Frankfurt-based IT automation and managed services company Arago. AutoPilot combines data and artificial intelligence to take over the most boring and repetitive tasks of managing a large IT infrastructure – effectively becoming a new “hire” on your sysadmin team.

AutoPilot is given access to the data streams logged by your servers and it’s also taught about the common problems your administrators encounter. Then it uses this information to ensure your services run smoothly. AutoPilot acts more like a colleague than a tool, says Chris Boos (@boosc), the company’s CEO, in the article.

GigaOm offers this example of how it works: A monitoring system reports that an error is being thrown out by one of the company’s Oracle database nodes, which seems to have a nearly full tablespace. Autopilot immediately picks up the ticket, connects to the server, examines the database connections, retrieves data about the tablespace, and then adjusts it or reorganizes the database storage to fix the issue.

Your “virtual assistant” takes immediate action and gets the job done in seconds – and it even gives you a complete record of what it’s done.

So what makes this system so different?

Well, it’s based on algorithms that learn how a problem gets resolved. It doesn’t just perform workflows that somebody else has input into it, which means it really makes decisions for itself. And it does that by querying the previous data so it can understand and learn what’s happening in the present and then figure out what it can do to help, notes GigaOm.

And it appears the results are pretty impressive.

One commercial installation of the software – which runs across a string of virtual machines at Amazon or VMware and sends data back to Arago’s cloud-based cluster – has automated 93% of its IT administration, according to the article.

“That means something previously done with seventy people is now done with eight,” Boos tells GigaOm. “And that allows those people to go and tackle more interesting problems, rather than deal with boring and repetitive tasks.”

Now that AutoPilot is collecting data on how IT systems run, Arago is starting to think about how best to use that data, which could include helping CIOs avoid expensive mistakes. The data is essentially a tool that helps people make better, more informed decisions and it’s a means to an end that can change not only the way you operate but also the products you offer, according to Boos.

Next Steps: See how Spotfire version 4.5 empowers users to discover actionable insights hidden in big data and unstructured information in our upcoming webcast, ”What’s New with Spotfire 4.5″ taking place Thursday, May 31 at 1 p.m. Eastern.

Linda Rosencrance
Spotfire Blogging Team