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Spring Cleaning

The April theme is spring cleaning. Spring cleaning is a time that we all should stop and smell the roses as they say. This does not mean we don’t do any work but what we do is take this time to break our routine. I read somewhere that if you want to break your route, then you should move, as a new location makes you change things up. Unless you are looking for a new job we are not moving but we can still break our routine by STOP, BREATH, THINK, then DO. Each spring I like STOP, BREATH, THINK, then DO in the following areas.  


Rack Cleanup

Spring cleaning is a great time to get back into our lecterns and IDFs to do some cable management. I am sure we all have been in a situation where we had to get a class or event up and running. We quickly do an equipment swap, wire change, etc..  This type of work required the undoing of our neatly wired racks to get the job done. Now it is time to get back into these racks and clean up those wires. Having a well wired rack will allow us to better serve our end users. 


Beside making sure the wire management is done well, we also have other steps we can do to clean up our racks. Another step is to check and verify all the wiring labeling.  Are the correct labels on the wires? Do they match at both ends? Do they make sense to our techs? Do they match the as-builts?  These are all questions we should be asking ourselves when we clean up our racks.


After doing the cleaning up of wires and labels then I repeat my STOP, BREATH, THINK, and DO by reviewing the equipment inside the rack. Each year I like to revisit our racks and make sure the equipment we installed still needs to be there. Taking the time to think about our rack’s equipment not only benefits us in cleaning up the racks but also helps us design our future racks. 


When we STOP, BREATH, THINK and then DO, we can have our racks in a state that benefits our team and even ourselves. When it comes to racks I always tell myself the following: “wire up the rack as if the person who is coming in behind you is an insane serial killer who, if you make them mad, will hunt you down and kill you..most likely it will be you who is going in behind yourself.  Don’t make yourself mad.” 


The Data

The next area I am going to talk about in spring cleaning is around data. We know and understand that data is important and helpful to determine how to move forward. Is your data in the proper format for you to understand it? Is this a job where AI can help? Even more important is, are you collecting the correct data nevertheless? 


We should STOP, BREATH, THINK and then review the data we collect. Is the data we collect beneficial to us? We should not be collecting data, just to collect data as that does us no good. Some important data that I like to review is, uptime, number of calls to a given location and age of the equipment. Those are not the only data I look at but are some of the key ones.  


Yes the more data we collect, the better off we are but only if we understand the data. This means the data needs to come in a format that we can read and understand. We process data better when it is structured data, for example structured data would be data that is put in rows and columns. About 80% of the world’s data is un-structure. Processing un-structure data is too difficult for us so this is where AI can really help us. Many are looking at AI to move cameras, write system code, clean up audio, etc  but we should be looking at AI to process our un-structure data and output it into a format that we can better understand, this is where AI is most beneficial at this moment. 


In Conclusion

There are many ways we can clean up our spaces. The most important part is to STOP, BREATH, THINK and then DO. Break the routine that we got ourselves into during the hustle and bustle of the semester.