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Sunny days spell more computing power for Cognia

o Margi Murphy
10.06.2014 kl 07:07 | Computerworld UK

UK call recording and analysis company Cognia has said it is able to cut energy and costs by using weather data to predict when to scale up to support demand.


UK call recording and analysis company Cognia has said it is able to cut energy and costs by using weather data to predict when to scale up to support demand.

The company, which counts Vodafone among its customers, said that it has transformed its data processing internally and that it is using big data software from Splunk in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud to help it plan ahead for turning on computing power, saving energy and cutting costs.

"We are now looking at public datasets like weather and market prices to understand how that affects fluctuation in our platform and changes demand on the number of calls we are processing," Cognia chief systems architect Nick Hills told ComputerworldUK.

"We tend to find that on sunny days in the city of London we get more calls at lunchtime than on a rainy day. The suspicion we have got is that toward the end of lunchtime people might stay out for a second glass of wine and as a result they are using their phone more and more."

Cloud-based Cognia records and analyses communications for financial institutions, government and Fortune 1000 listed enterprises. It stores calls, texts and emails in its encrypted AWS cloud. The company offers services ranging from enabling financial institutions' security-compliant storage for regulatory purposes, to securing over-the-phone transactions.

Users log into Cognia's web application for their organisation's data analysis and to listen to their recorded calls. Behind the scenes, the company operates on a bespoke multi-tier architecture with a production environment run entirely on AWS.

Before Splunk, Cognia manually searched its data using UNIX command Grep and loaded it into Microsoft Excel for processing, a process Hills described as, "really, really challenging when you're dealing with turning on 5,500 handsets in two weeks". The company deployed Splunk in 2011 for operation management, delivering and improving their compliance posture and as a reporting tool for auditors and assessors.

Other big data uses

The next step is passing this knowledge on to its customers, an addition to the product that will not have a release date, Hills said, but, will be "quietly integrated as another spinning cog".

Using Splunk, Cognia provides its customers, such as telcos, with valuable information that may previously have been considered incidental. For example, it can show telcos exactly when handsets are plugged in, charging and being used, and produce battery reports to show when it is nearing the end of its life, which means problems on specific handsets can be identified quickly.

Big data analysis is set to become more influential not only for driving the business, but to regain lost customer trust within the finance sector, a panel of industry experts warned at Salesforce's vendor conference this month.

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