Sunday, January 7, 2018

Auto BI and AI for your department performance

So I wanted to do this from a very long time but since my skills always lag behind how fast i think or how many things.
I always saw friends who manage people or those who have to do deal with excels. What is excel anyway? tables and columns and making sense out of data against each other. I think our department is the best example for this. We have a lot of engineers who are mainly segregated into 3 different domains based on their primary area of interest and expertise.
storage [deal with 16+ EMC storage components and now redhat too]
virtualization/vmware [VMware, Dell idrax, cisco c series servers, vRealize, EHC, virtualization]
compute/network [network, compute..mainly from cisco and dell].
If you take the storage team there are few who are really good at some of those many storage products and few at others. Let us say avamar or data domain. Some are considered point of contact for certain products because they have chosen that product and taken ownership of that. Hence whenever such products come into the design that we are building and delivering they are involved.
Let us say we delivered a vblock, vxblock or vxRack with one of such storage product then their name is counted against that product. In year if we are delivering roughly 1000+ datacenters with so many products baked in then it is a tedious task to maintain excel for the management team and be accurate and happy about it.
So... you can have a VM running in your IT department. A manager or whoever is owning the data management here just has to send a mail to the VM with the following.
subject line of the mail will define the task

  1. new table <table name>
  2. all table
  3. set table <table name>
  4. get table <table name>
  5. import table <csv,html,xls,xlsx>
I guess the name itself is sufficient and self explanatory. Any mail sent to the AI VM with that subject defines the task that it has to do.
1. you want to create a new table

Once you create the table and want to update it, then just ask for it with the subject line
get table <table name> and it will send a template that you fill it up and reply back. It will in the background parse it and update it to db.
A lot of cool things can be implemented with this methodology. Let us say you want to know the stats of
engineer1 vs engineer2 <table name>
it will reply with a pie bar chart. You can implement a lot of BI features and all a lead has to do is ask the AI via email. If you implement a bit of NLP here then it will even great. I am sure scikit can help here. I got no time for this and always wanted to do this but may be someone else with a less busy mind can pick it up. If implemented properly you can add amazon alexa and do it all by just talking to alexa.