The Bots You Don't See

The Bots You Don't See

You may have heard that at Frakture, we have a lot of bots. Good bots. And you’d be right – we add a new system bot about once a month, and we are continuously teaching old bots new tricks (like merging duplicates, uploading groups, etc). The spotlights shine on our system bots, those daring collections of code that brave the vast internet to pull together your disparate data — from systems such as Salesforce, Raiser’s Edge, Luminate, Engaging Networks, ROI and more.

But there are a whole collection of bots that we don’t talk about nearly as often – they toil in the shadows, their efforts often overlooked. They stare up at the stars, yearning to be recognized among the ranks of the system bots…

Note: Our bots don’t actually live in garbage. We have very nice AWS servers for them to work in. We also give them 2 seconds off for every 8 seconds they work.

And so, today, we’re honoring a few of our silent data servants – those hard working bots who stay within the walls of Frakture, putting together the building blocks brought back by the system bots.

First Up – our Database Bots. Frakture’s data warehouses are managed by a stalwart squad of sibling bots who have been trained to speak to different databases (for some reason, all databases speak a slightly tweaked version of SQL). They know how to apply the same concepts to their different charges – and this is not always an easy ask. For instance, MsSqlBot got rather mad the other day when MySQLBot made light of how easy it was to create a last modified column that updated whenever the row was updated. “Just one line of code!” it said with glee. Meanwhile, MsSqlBot has to execute several commands to get the same functionality. And sometimes it is jealous that we use MySQL in the Frakture Warehouse, and it’s only used when connecting to an external client – then it remembers that it doesn’t have to work nearly as hard — since most of our clients use MySQL —  and goes back to relaxing in its Windows Box.

Next up – our Match Bots. These bots are all about forming relationships, bringing together long lost records that didn’t know how much better life could be. They work around the clock to find duplicates within your data – they know it’s hard enough to maintain a conversation with someone without there being two of them. They also know that different clients have different criteria for who’s a match. Sometimes it’s just based on equivalent email. Other times it’s based on first name, last name, and email. Our match bots are flexible. They also know that some clients want to review matches before they’re set in stone. Which brings us to…

Spreadsheets Bot. One of my personal favorites, but don’t tell the other bots. Spreadsheets Bot plays an important role in interacting with our clients. Spreadsheets Bot knows how to read and write to a spreadsheet just like a human would – only faster. Several of our data bots work with google Spreadsheets Bot to communicate with our clients – for instance, our Match Bots will often use the Spreadsheets Bot to get confirmation on matches. Babel Bot (the last bot that we’ll talk about today) works with Spreadsheet Bot to get instructions from clients, and to provide feedback. We’ve also recently taught Spreadsheets Bot how to configure the validations on a spreadsheet so that our clients are informed when something they’ve configured is invalid, greatly reducing the feedback loop to get a client install up and running.

And finally – Babel Bot. We built Babel Bot because we know that your data doesn’t always tell the full story. Source codes are a great example of this – they contain a maximum amount of information in as little space as possible. Babel Bot is configured by clients using google docs to append information to records based on their criteria. Frakture can then use this information in reporting, grouping, or, well, anything really. Babel Bot also knows how to use lookup tables as well to append information. Want to group several email campaigns in a way that your source system doesn’t allow? Babel Bot can help you do that with a lookup table.

Alongside these bots are several others (for instance, CleanBot cleans your data so you don’t have to) and we’ll put them in the spotlight some other day. Just imagine what these good bots can do for you!