I’ll admit, I am not very technical. I mean, I am in the field of Accounting, after all. I can get around Excel spreadsheets pretty well and I can read some coding to get a pattern out of what it’s trying to do, and I’m good at breaking things when I think I’ve figured it out. That’s the gist of it for me though, and I imagine there are many others out there like me in the Accounting world.
As we all know, data mining is time-consuming and can be a little overwhelming. There is SO much data that it’s hard to figure out what data to use and what to lose that will help our leadership team(s) make data-driven decisions.
Insert Splunk… it’s something I knew nothing of when I first came to Kinney Group. Working with our engineers, I see the vast pool of Splunk use cases for every department in our company. There is so much more that we can do to help our leaders make the data-driven decisions with accuracy and in real-time.
You may be asking… “What could a Finance and Accounting team possibly use with Splunk?”
Well, in not-so-technical terms, it’s simple– if you have data in excel or a CSV file- it can be Splunk’d. Anything. No joke.
In most Accounting systems, some of the financial set up on the system leaves… a lot to be desired. As accountants, we want to push our systems beyond what they can do. You can pull hundreds of reports, dump massive amounts of data into Excel, then sift through all the data, knowing most of this data won’t get you the information or graphs you need.
With Splunk, we get visuals of all that data, summarized on colorful dashboards that allow us to see trends and help us make decisions. If you’re looking for automating some of your recurring reports, you don’t have to create a complicated macro in excel… Splunk it!
Now you’re asking, “What else can I do with Splunk?” Glad you asked. In my day to day as an accountant, here’s how I utilize Splunk to make my life easier.
4 Ways Splunk Makes My Life Easier
We’re a professional services organization, in our world tracking against billable utilization, project hours, burn rates, and bonus plan targets are essential.
Tracking engineer utilization within Splunk allows us to watch our burn rates on projects… and the burn out the potential of our engineers – although we have a team of go-getter engineers, it’s important to keep an eye of the hours (and extra hours) they’re working!
As any accountant knows, timesheet tracking is a constant battle. Splunk helps hold managers and colleagues accountable to submitting their time ON time. In fact, we just installed a Splunk alert that notifies colleagues if they have a timesheet missing before the deadline!
We even have Splunk set up to monitor our colleague’s progress and trends in submitting time. It’s great information for managers, and also great for us to send a little extra motivation to colleagues who notoriously submit their time late.
In our organization, it’s crucial to see the availability of engineers and when they’re available for a project. Balancing existing projects, training, education, internal efforts, and of course their personal time off can be a lot. As a resource-driven organization, we set a high standard for planning our colleague’s time and capacity.
And with time segmented correctly, our forecast becomes stronger. We can now forecast accurate revenue numbers and bookings months out.
I’m not a project manager but working in our systems and with projects being so closely tied to finances – project tracking is crucial. Splunk goes hand in hand with our availability matrix, giving us visibility to track if a project is on schedule, behind, or ahead of schedule.
And then there’s the immediate, real-time visibility into the hours/billings on any given project. Cut the manual spreadsheets and let your data speak to you through Splunk.
Splunk Made Easy
If you can dream it-and communicate it- then it can be achieved through Splunk’s amazing dashboards. The sky truly is the limit with the right data and engineers in Splunk. If you know your company is using Splunk… but you’re unsure how to get it adopted in your department – reach out! Our Expertise on Demand service is designed to do just that – spread adoption of the Splunk platform across your organization.