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GCN : August and September 2016
case study BIG DATA BY AMANDA ZIADEH The state-owned broadband carrier can now better monitor and respond to key performance indicators Iowa turns to a dashboard to track broadband metrics In Iowa, monitoring the perfor- mance of the state’s broadband communications network is as easy as checking a dashboard. That was the vision Ric Lumbard, executive director of the Iowa Com- munications Network, had for tracking the health of the state-owned carrier. ICN provides high-capacity broadband services to the state government and for the education, public safety and health care sectors in Iowa. ICN dates back to the early 1990s and is now the essential broadband carrier for the state. “We have about 9,000 miles of owned and leased fiber in Iowa, and we’re connected in every county,” Lumbard said. He wanted to improve monitor- ing and situational awareness with a business intelligence solution capable of tracking network performance and pulling that data into real-time visual- izations of key performance indicators (KPIs). “I needed to know what was going on in the broadband side of our car- rier operations,” Lumbard said. That meant tracking how much broadband is being tapped at a given time, how much each sector is using and how many cyber events are taking place. The source data was spread across a variety of databases, spreadsheets, servers and applications from ICN and ICN users, which include almost all of Iowa’s government agencies. Getting insight into performance of- ten required manually generating re- ports, and the desire to have access to real-time insight at a glance “was the basis for our looking for a KPI manage- 42 GCN AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016 • GCN.COM FLICKR.COM/W4ND3RL0ST 0916gcn_042-043.indd 42 8/31/16 9:04 AM
June and July 2016
October and November 2016