Effective monitoring for today’s agile environments is both science and art. (Analytics can provide the “science” while experts and business context can provide the “art.”) There is no perfect solution, but a framework for integrating these varied information sources as collaborators can drive continuous improvement. Elizabeth (Betsy) Nichols highlights examples from real environments and demonstrates how to leverage analytics as part of a larger framework of collaborators to continuously improve health and performance monitoring.
Betsy begins with a survey of analytics techniques that have applicability in environments that range from very small to huge, including deterministic and statistical analytics, machine learning, univariate models, and multivariate models—for each, providing examples from (anonymized) cases that illustrate where a given technique can succeed (and where it can fail) and why. Betsy then describes a framework—which provides key services such as integration of collaborators, orchestration of tasks, feedback/control loops, scenario replay, and sensitivity analysis, packaging, and incremental improvement—in which analytics plays a role as one of many collaborators, as well as a use case that shows how a framework can drive continuing improvement as business conditions evolve and the collaborators mature.
Elizabeth (Betsy) Nichols is chief data scientist at Netuitive, Inc., where she is responsible for leading the company’s vision and technologies for data science, analytics, modeling, and algorithms. Over her career, Betsy has applied mathematics and computer technologies to create systems for war gaming, space craft mission optimization, industrial process control, supply chain logistics, digital advertising, IT security/risk models, application performance management, and DevOps in academia, the federal government, private enterprise, and several startups. She has cofounded three companies, all of which delivered analytics to commercial and government enterprises.
The first company that Betsy cofounded was Digital Analysis Corporation (acquired by Legent in 1994). A year later, Legent was acquired by Computer Associates (CA). As a result, Betsy became one of two principal architects for Unicenter TNG reporting to CA’s CTO. The second company that Betsy cofounded was Clear Point Metrics (acquired by nCircle in 2011), which offered the first platform for IT security metrics. PlexLogic, Betsy’s most recent venture, offered analytics consulting services.
As one of the founding members of the Java JMX Expert Group, Betsy contributed to the several early releases of the Java Management Extension (JMX). She has also been active in numerous industry efforts to define and standardize analytics for measuring IT security, risk, and compliance, contributed to three books on security metrics, coauthored five books on topics in computer hardware, software, and digital communications, and is lead inventor on patents that define algorithms and methods for heterogeneous, scalable data integration for analytics. Betsy has served on technical advisory boards for several companies including BladeLogic (acquired by BMC). Betsy holds an AB from Vassar College and a PhD in mathematics from Duke University.
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