In conjunction with Connecticut’s Splunk User Group, OPIM Innovate’s own Tyler Lauretti was able to create a functioning Fitbit add on for Splunk. Working on this side project he was able to add data from Fitbits and import it into the Splunk platform to get more detailed information on a user’s health. Splunk is a big data platform that specializes in taking machine data from different types of computing systems. Once it retrieves that data it can process it, parse it out, and then people can run queries. Splunk has recently become more important due to the rise of big data. Because the Internet of Things is increasing in popularity, many devices are pulling data in a variety of different ways. Splunk is a tool that will help sort through the data and make sense of it to assist in educated business decision making. Because of Lauretti’s intensive background in IT through his experiences as an Advanced Technician at HuskyTech and at Travelers as both an IT intern and Technology Service Center employee, he was invited to speak in front of the Connecticut Splunk User Group on February 15th to elaborate on the Fitbit add on and its successes.
The idea behind a Fitbit add on began about a year ago. “Fitbit was uncharted territory. There had been one before us but it had a lot of bugs and was losing support, so we decided to create a better one,” Lauretti recounted. “Over break I started to write the scripts to pull the data from Fitbit in plain text format, then adjunct professor Ryan O’Connor helped get it into splunk, and from there we pair programmed what kind of queries we wanted to run and dashboards we wanted filled.” O’Connor’s role in the Fitbit project was to take all of the data Lauretti scripted and put it in to Splunk, and it was he who suggested Lauretti should be the Connecticut Splunk User Group’s guest speaker for this quarter. There was a lot of pressure for Lauretti to perform but his exposure to the Connecticut Splunk User Group in the fall of 2017 helped him become “very comfortable” and after immersing himself in the culture, he felt the audience was a “tight knit, good support group.”
During the presentation Lauretti elaborated on what the Fitbit add on actually does. “Basically the add on takes the Fitbit data and adds it to the splunk big data platform to analyze how many steps we’re taking, what our heart rates look like, how our sleep is, and other forms of heart data.” This add on helps to analyze health as a bigger picture, giving better visualizations on trends and the ability to see emerging patterns. Lauretti then explained why people choose Fitbit over competing products, how it can be used in Splunk, and privacy control concerns all while relating the discussion to the business and IT worlds. Once their data was transmitted into Splunk they were able to watch the graphs change everyday, get alerts on the most active participants, and analyze who is exercising.
This presentation has helped Tyler Lauretti develop his skills on managing a server, how to write certain scripts, and how to work with APIs. “Giving this presentation was extremely helpful for my future. It’s really tough to be able to give complex talks on technology like this because there’s a lot of technical stuff that you have to break down.” Luckily, these skills will be transferrable to his new role in the leadership development program at Travelers.