To test my Tableau knowledge, I attempted the Tableau product certification and got the “Tableau Desktop 8 Qualified Associate” certificate.
Take a look at the following chart, do you see any issues with it?
Notice that the month values are shown as “distinct” values instead of shown as a “continuous” values and it misleads the person looking at the chart. Agree? Great! You already know based on your instincts what continuous and discrete values are, it’s just that we will need to label what you already know.
In the example used above, the “Date & Time” shown as a “Sales Date” is a continuous value since you can’t never say the “Exact” time that the event occurred…1/1/2008 22 hours, 15 minutes, 7 seconds, 5 milliseconds…and it goes on…it’s continuous.
But let’s say you wanted to see Number of Units Sold Vs Product Name. now that’s countable, isn’t it? You can say that we sold 150 units of Product X and 250 units of product Y. In this case, Units sold becomes discrete value.
The chart shown above was treating Sales Date as discrete values and hence causing confusion…let’s fix it since now you the difference between continuous and discrete variables:
To develop effective data visualizations, it’s important to understand the data types of your data. In this post, you saw the difference between continuous and discrete variables and their importance in data visualization.
Thu, Jul 17, 2014 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT
Many companies are starting or expanding their use of data mining and machine learning. This presentation covers seven practical ideas for encouraging advanced analytics in your organization.
Mark Tabladillo is a Microsoft MVP and SAS expert based in Atlanta, GA. His Industrial Engineering doctorate (including applied statistics) is from Georgia Tech. Today, he helps teams become more confident in making actionable business decisions through the use of data mining and analytics. Mark provides training and consulting for companies in the US and around the world. He has spoken at major conferences including Microsoft TechEd, PASS Summit, PASS Business Analytics Conference, Predictive Analytics World, and SAS Global Forum. He tweets @marktabnet and blogs at http://marktab.net.
hope to see you there!
Business Analytics Virtual Chapter’s Co-Leader
what an inspiring keynote by David McCandless! Here are some the things that I noted:
1. Play with your data, get your hands dirty
“Data is the new Soil” – David McCandless
— PASS BA Conference (@passbac) May 9, 2014
2. set the context while communicating what data is trying to tell.
Example: China has the largest army but compared it to their population they are 120ish! So measuring just the army size does not give you necessary context & sometimes it can meaningless
3. Data visualizations help you combine the language of the mind (numbers) with language of the eye (visuals)! Humans are better at processing visuals.
If human brains process pictures more efficiently, then demos should be presented more than PowerPoint text #passbac
— Mark Tabladillo (@MarkTabNet) May 9, 2014
4. Make sure your data is true & keep your personal bias out of analysis.
5. Other than making sure that the data integrity is achieved in visuals, they should be interesting and functional.
6. Design is about removing unwanted things & distilling the visual to it’s functional essence.
You can check out David’s work at http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/
I’m at the Business Analytics conference and I thought of sharing the news that I get to listen here!
On day #1, Kamal Hathi & Amri Netz are keynote speakers today.
They started with progress made during past few months (Power Query, Power BI, Power Map, SQL server 2014, Azure HDInsight….)
Then they shared some user adoption data…
Power Pivot & Power Query:
— Christopher Webb (@Technitrain) May 8, 2014
They also shared user adoption data about Power BI:
They use Power BI to track user adoption of Power BI.
Kamal: Over 1 million questions asked in Q&A in April 2014. Wow. Way cool. #passbac
— Mark Vaillancourt (@markvsql) May 8, 2014
— Rafael Salas (@RafSalas) May 8, 2014
Power BI demo contest: if you’ve not seen some of the amazing demo’s that were submitted during the Power BI demo’s then you can read them here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/powerbi/archive/2014/02/15/give-a-high-five-to-the-top-five-finalists-in-the-power-bi-demo-contest.aspx
Microsoft is committed to having Power BI native apps on different platforms and enable BI on any device
— Paras Doshi (@paras_doshi) May 8, 2014
— Angel Abundez (@AngelStreamline) May 8, 2014
It’s great to see Microsoft committed to create easy to use tools!
The Age of Classic BI -> The Age of Self Service BI -> The Age of Data.
In the new age, everyone in the organization who is curious will have tools that they can use to get to the answers!
Analysis of Tourism in Hawaii. It was really entertaining :)
create dashboards using natural language (KPI editor)
— Niko Neugebauer (@NikoNeugebauer) May 8, 2014
Forecasting in Power View:
— Jason Thomas (@SQLJason) May 8, 2014
— Jen Stirrup (@jenstirrup) May 8, 2014
And I just saw a Tree maps in Power View!
you should now be able to drag items from one chart to another chart!
Nice interactivity feature
The journey to DATA CULTURE begins today…
In part #1, I wrote about why is it important to enable business users to create their own BI reports.
In part #2, I wrote about three pre-training preparations – 1. Data 2. Tool 3. Understanding Culture.
In part #3, I wrote about 1. User Experience 2. Trainer 3. Training Content.
In this post, I am going share sample training content that uses Excel 2010. Before I share sample content, here are some tips
1. use YOUR data!
2. Show them the end goal & then walk through the steps to get there
Here’s a sample training content for a 4 hour-long excel training session (divided into basics & advanced) including hands on lab time.
Here you go:
In this post, I shared a sample training content that uses Excel 2010.
I got an opportunity to speak at SQL Saturday 305 Dallas BA Edition on 5/3/14! It was a great opportunity to network, share & learn!
if you are interested in “How to Train your business users to create their own BI reports” slides then they are posted here: http://bit.ly/TrainBusinessUsers
Here’s couple of generous session evaluations I got:
Business Intelligence (BI) helps an organization make faster & smarter decisions – There’s no doubt or debate over that! But every organization needs to go through the process of driving Business Intelligence adoption before they start seeing the Return on Investment for a BI solution. One of the form of BI which has been really successful at being adopted by business community is called “self-service BI” and the idea is to enable business users to create their own reports – in other words, “self-serve” their data needs. In this blog series, I would share the best practices that I’ve picked up while leading up an effort to train 200+ business users with the goal of enabling them to create their own BI reports.
The demand for “data” by business users is a great thing! But IT would need to dedicate resources to make it happen. usually, IT teams can be constrained due to budgetary reasons or due to other higher priority items on their radar. So what happens? Business community do not receive the data that they asked for in a timely fashion. And if you cannot offer data when they need it then it might not be as useful. So what’s the solution? One solution is to have “BI platforms” where data assets are readily available for business users to consume. So once they are build, IT would no longer have to dedicate development resources on them. And since IT is no longer a bottleneck, business users can get the data when they want it and however way they want to see it.
#2: World changes. Business Changes.
World Changes and so does Business. If Business doesn’t adapt to change then they will die! And if Business changes, the data needs would change too. How many times does IT get “change requests” to their production reports? All of these requests would require IT’s intervention to accommodate change requests and what is the average turn around time in your organization for that? How about publishing data assets that businesses can readily access that let’s them see same data from varying perspectives? Of course, they might ask for data that’s not available yet but then IT can spend some time on bringing those data assets into the BI platforms rather than spending resources on “change requests”.
With the flexibility of Self Service BI solution, the control is in the hands of the users (again!). Without having to wait on IT, they can get to the data instantaneously and so faster and there’s a greater chance that they would use “data” in the decision making process. Isn’t it great?
Also, business users who would have created their own reports would share it with others, won’t they? And that would spark collaboration among business users. This is great because the recipients of the reports would start wanting to analyze the data too. And with time, the trust for the data assets would grow among the business community. This is really important for BI adoption.
In this post, we saw why is it important to train your business users to create their own BI reports using a Self Service BI Platform. In next posts, we’ll get into strategies & tactics to enable users to create their own reports.
Sorting is one of the common requirements in a SSRS report that business users ask for, even if they don’t ask – it’s great to have interactive sorting enabled at places where it makes sense. If you’ve a Table with no groups, here’s how you can enable interactive sorting on the table:
1. Right Click on the Column Header:
2. Click on “Text Properties” and navigate to “Interactive sorting”.
3. Check the box “Enable interactive sorting on this text box“. Also since there are no groups, we want to sort “detail rows“. Also, you’ll need to specify the sort by column. For demo, I picked Sales_Amount but you could also have an expression here if you wanted: