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From Data to Dashboard: Visibility Leads to Better Insights


As IT pros manage increasing amounts of information, analytics tools break down silos to support proactive strategy.


A recent survey from the operational intelligence software manufacturer Splunk questioned 600 IT decision makers in the public sector, including 234 from higher education, and found that IT teams perceive considerable challenges arising from increasing digitization.


As expected, some of respondents’ biggest challenges are shared by enterprises everywhere, such as budget constraints and difficulty in finding qualified employees. But higher ed institutions foresee an additional challenge in coming years: three-quarters of respondents think they’ll need to increase their investment in regulatory and compliance management systems, and nearly that many expect to invest in real-time monitoring and dashboards.


In the education sector, nearly two-thirds of IT pros say that data-driven insights are important to carrying out their organizational mission. Yet many also perceive weaknesses in their ability to fully capture, analyze and act on these types of insights. When it comes to risk management, these vulnerabilities have potentially serious implications.


For example, 59 percent of education respondents say their colleges lack visibility across IT systems, 48 percent say that having data in different formats makes it difficult to diagnose problems, and 32 percent say they have trouble pinpointing problems because systems are siloed. In addition, 69 percent say that if IT service was interrupted, they would gather information manually to identify the issue, and 59 percent describe their institution’s troubleshooting as manual and ad hoc.



To address these challenges, many institutions find value in data analytics software that not only captures information across multiple systems, but also presents it in dashboards that yield actionable, timely insights. Indiana University’s IT team began using Splunk Enterprise to drive policy and compliance alignment, but expanded it to security applications after seeing big gains in visibility, says Allen Tucker, who manages the university’s HELPnet Technology Services team.