How does Internet of Things (#IoT) impact data professionals?

Internet enabled computers to be connected with each other.

Internet enabled Mobile Devices to be connected with each other.

Now, Internet will be used to enable physical things to be connected with each other. This is what is called “Internet of things” (IoT).

So what happens?

since more devices are connected with internet – we will able to generate more data! This is usually good if there’s a business vision around how to make sense of data to increase efficiency of all these things.

Here’s a nice case study from Microsoft (focus on the business case – the things in this case is “elevator” to drive reliability)

 

This is all good news for data professionals! There will be increased demand for professionals who can help businesses make sense of data generated via IoT.

Also beware of the “hype” around this technology. It’s important to take incremental steps to achieve the vision – Instead of trying to analyze data from ALL devices in your organization, start with one physical thing that matter the most for your organization or start with data that you have and take incremental steps to spread data culture in your organization!

Now that Big Data has become a mainstream word in IT and business, we have a new buzzword to learn/talk about IoT – but remember it’s all about making sense of data and your skills would be more valuable than ever!

Business Intelligene Dashboard for Quality Managers

Business Intelligene Dashboard for Quality Managers

Business Goal:

Need to understand the patterns in Quality test results data across all plants.

Summary:

- The solution involved creating a Business Intelligence system that gathered data from multiple plants. I was involved in mentoring IT team, development and end-user training of a Business Intelligence Dashboard that used SQL server analysis services as it’s data source.

- Dashboard development involved multiple checkpoint meetings with business leaders since this was the first time they had a chance to visualize quality test results data consolidated from multiple plants. Since they were new to data visualization, I used to prepare in advance and create 3-4 relevant visualization templates to kick off meetings.

Mockup:

(it is intended to look generic since I can’t discuss details. Also, drill down capabilities had been added to the dashboard to go down to the lowest granularity if needed)

Quality Test Results Dashboard

Achievement Unlocked: Tableau Desktop 8 Qualified Associate!

To test my Tableau knowledge, I attempted the Tableau product certification and got the “Tableau Desktop 8 Qualified Associate” certificate.

Tableau 8 Qualified associate Certificate paras doshi

 

Back to basics: continuous Vs. Discrete variables and their importance in Data Visualization.

Take a look at the following chart, do you see any issues with it?

month trend chart line chart string to date

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:

Statistics Discrete Continuos Variable Data Visualization

Conclusion:

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.

PASS Business Analytics VC: 7 Ideas on Encouraging Advanced Analytics by Mark Tabladillo #sqlpass

Thu, Jul 17, 2014 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT


Abstract:
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.

Bio:
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.

REGISTER HERE: bit.ly/PASSBAVC071714

hope to see you there!

Paras Doshi
Business Analytics Virtual Chapter’s Co-Leader

SQL Server reporting services: How to Add Trademark special symbol in Text?

Problem Statement:

The goal of this blog post is to share a quick tip on SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS): How to add Trademark TM special symbol in Text?

Solution:

In SSRS, you can put following code in the Expressions:


="Text"& ChrW(8482) &" Dashboard"

Output:
SQL Server Reporting Services SSRS Trademark special symbol

PASS Business Analytics Conference – Day #2 Keynote

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

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.

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/
Information is beautiful

PASS Business Analytics Conference – Live Blogging: Day #1

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:

They also shared  user adoption data about Power BI:

They use Power BI to track user adoption of Power BI.

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

Mobile BI:

Microsoft is committed to having Power BI native apps on different platforms and enable BI on any device

SSRS with Power BI:

BI for the masses

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!

Amir’s Demo:

Analysis of Tourism in Hawaii. It was really entertaining :)

New features in Power BI:

create dashboards using natural language (KPI editor)

Forecasting in Power View:

Tree maps in Power View

And I just saw a Tree maps in Power View!

Drag items from one chart to another!

you should now be able to drag items from one chart to another chart!

Combine two charts into one!

Nice interactivity feature

 

The journey to DATA CULTURE begins today…

How to train your users to create their own Business Intelligence reports? #4 of 5: Sample Training Content

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:

GOAL:

Excel analysis services business intelligence dashboardBASIC-I

  1. Open the Template
  2. Explore the Field List
  3. Explain the concept of “dimensions” & “measures”
  4. Create a Simple Pivot Table – Row Labels & Measures
  5. Add column labels & report filters

Excel Pivot Table SSAS Step 1

Basic-II

  1. Sorting
  2. Turning off grant totals
  3. Creating a hierarchy
  4. Changing the Pivot Table Design

Excel analysis services business intelligence dashboard step 2

 

Advanced-I

  1. Remove fields from Pivot Table
  2. Add more than one pivot table
  3. Add slicer
  4. Connect slicer with every pivot table

Excel analysis services business intelligence dashboard step 3

Advanced-II:

  1. Add Pivot Chart
  2. Add one more slicer
  3. Add hierarchy structure to pivot tables
  4. Add conditional formatting
  5. Format chart

Excel analysis services business intelligence dashboard step 4

Conclusion:

In this post, I shared a sample training content that uses Excel 2010.

Presented at #SQLSat 305 Dallas BA edition!

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:

Paras Doshi Speaking SQL Sat 305 feedback Train Business Intelligence UsersParas Doshi Speaking SQL Sat 305 feedback