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Splunk Data Analysis: How to Configure Your Deployment for Faster Insight

Have you ever been tasked with providing a status or view into a process or entity as it relates to a business operation or function? Depending on the properties of the data in question, finding the information needed to generate this type of update can be an easy task or difficult chore. Characteristics such as source, format, access, and completeness will influence the content and overall value of the view that will be provided. There are a number of tools that you can use to generate this type of view of your data, including Splunk. The Splunk platform is designed to allow for “Day 1 insight” by all enterprise users. But Day 1 insight isn’t always easy to achieve, and it can take some preparation to make it happen. In this post, we’ll discuss some areas where you can focus if you want to make the vision of Day 1 insight a reality for your business.

The Purpose of Splunk Data Analysis

Within Splunk, reports and dashboards are some of the mechanisms that provide status or a view of your data. The information that contributes to the report or view is defined by a functional step called, analysis. The definition of analysis is:

• “a method of studying the nature of something or of determining its essential features and their relations” [noun]
• “a philosophical method of exhibiting complex concepts or propositions as compounds or functions of more basic ones” [noun]

A status or view contains data analysis results published via a report or dashboard. If you’re interested in more details of how to perform research and data analysis, read “Develop a Research Proposal.” According to this article, data analysis can be summarized as follows:

The purpose of analyzing data is to obtain usable and useful information. The analysis, regardless of whether the data is qualitative or quantitative, may:

• describe and summarize the data.
• identify relationships between variables.
• compare variables.
• identify the difference between variables.
• forecast outcomes.

It’s important to consider each of these areas of data analysis if you’d like to achieve insight quickly.

How is data analysis achieved with Splunk?

Splunk provides an excellent solution for data analysis in one integrated system. But are you ready to perform that analysis? As you’re preparing for deployment, be sure you have these data-related prerequisites covered:

• Familiarity – Do you have enough data to provide the complete picture and do you know where this data needs to come from?
• Access – What do you need to do prior to deployment to ensure that the data you need is available? Do you have the rights to work with this data? Is there an IT request process internally for data sharing?

Splunk also provides a number of SPL (Search Processing Language) operations to analyze data and provide the insight you’re seeking. If you’re not familiar with SPL, focus on these four basic commands that will help you find patterns quickly:

• Inspect
• Filter
• Tag
• Assess

Meeting the prerequisites and using the included Splunk tools and features to perform the listed operations facilitates truthful data analysis with repeatable results for all data. The general features most often utilized are listed below:

• Splunk Processing Language (SPL)
• Data Models (available for Pivots or SPL commands)
• Summarization (adding value to data)
• Reporting (deliverables)
• Toolkits (for example, Machine Learning)

Wrap-up

Status and views are key components for all projects, systems, and subjects. Splunk easily and reliably provides statuses and/or views as reports and dashboards. The full umbrella of features and tools within Splunk provide a common interface, communication language, and architecture, making analysis simple and achievable. In a future installment, we will take a closer look at staging and loading your data for Splunk indexing.

Support for Successful Splunk Data Analysis and More

Aditum’s Splunk Professional Services consultants can assist your team with best practices to optimize your Splunk deployment and get more from Splunk. Our certified Splunk Architects and Splunk Consultants manage successful Splunk deployments, environment upgrades and scaling, dashboard, search, and report creation, and Splunk Health Checks. Aditum also has a team of accomplished Splunk Developers that focus on building Splunk apps and technical add-ons.

Contact us directly to learn more.

Cedric Milan
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