Master Data Services: Analogy to remember what are Models, Entities and Attributes

Let’s understand master data services terminologies using an analogy. We’ll use the world of RDBMS for our analogy:

Terminology in MDS Analogy w/ RDBMS
 Models  SQL server Schema which is used to group logical entities together.
 Entities  Table
Attributes Columns

And here’s a picture that captures the thought: Models contains entities; entities contains Attributes:

master data services models entities attributes

And Here’s the official reference: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee633763.aspx

Conclusion:

Thinking about the master data services terminologies by drawing an analogy helps me remember them – I hope it helps someone out there too.

Two ideas to make your social network activities “Searchable”:

Some time back, I wanted to search one of my own social network post. It was a resource I had shared and somehow I was not able to “google” it (again). I eventually found it – but it took me 15 odd minutes to scroll down to my twitter feed. It was NOT fun! And I thought to myself – there’s got to be a better way! And I thought – It’ll be great if I solve it for not just Twitter but all my social network activities that includes LinkedIn, Facebook Pages, Google+. So here’s couple of things thats working for me, I hope it helps someone out there too:

Now, before we begin when I say “Searchable” – I mean searchable by YOU (or a human being) and not necessarily search engines. But it turns out, both my ideas increase your chances of getting your social media activities Indexed! With that, Here are the ideas:

1) Syndicate your Social Network Activities (Posts/Images/Updates) to Tumblr/Blogger

I use IFTTT to syndicate my Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn activities to Blogger

2) Create a post about your social network activities on your blog:

Here’s an Example: Things I shared on Social Media Networks during Oct 19 – Nov 11

Though Idea #2′s main goal is to keep my blog readers updated about my social network activities – But it also acts as a good way to make my social media posts “searchable”.

And remember I said earlier that the chances of your social network posts getting indexed by search engines increases? That’s because WordPress, Tumblr & Blogger’s posts are accessible by Google (unless you choose to block it). So that’s about it for this post. If you like the idea(s), please let me know! And if you have other ideas – also let me know, I am always looking for ways to make my social media activities easily searchable to me as well as for anyone else.

Let’s connect and converse on any of these people networks!

paras doshi blog on facebookparas doshi twitter paras doshi google plus paras doshi linkedin

Data Mining Demo for Marketing vertical: How to create a Targeted mailing list?

Tools I’ll be using for the Demo:

Excel 2010

SQL Server 2012 (specifically SQL Server Analysis Services)

Excel Add-in for Excel.

Sample data-set that comes with the excel add-in

Scenario:

Marketing Department needs to create Targeted Mailing list.

What data do we need?

To create a Targeted mailing list – we’ll need a historical data-set of customer purchase history

What will we do with the data?

Based on the historical data-set, we’ll be able to find “patterns” in the past consumer behavior. E.g. A single male going to college living in Europe is likely to buy a bike. And the using these patterns – we would then classify NEW customers.

Technically, we’ll be using the classification method using the Microsoft’s decision Tree algorithm

(Read the difference between classification and clustering)

Let’s get in action!

STEP 1: Build a Model

Data Mining Tab > click on classify:

data mining in excel example customer classification for maketing maling list 0

Follow the steps:

data mining in excel example customer classification for maketing maling list 1

Select the data:

data mining in excel example customer classification for maketing maling list 2

In this case, since we want to predict the likelihood of buying a bike – our column to analyze is BikeBuyer

 

data mining in excel example customer classification for maketing maling list 0 3

For the Demo, I am going to just leave it default. There are “optimization” steps that you can do but for the demo I am going to keep it super simple

data mining in excel example customer classification for maketing maling list 4

Name the model:

data mining in excel example customer classification for maketing maling list 5

The Model has been created!

data mining in excel example customer classification for maketing maling list 6

STEP 2: Query the MODEL to predict the likelihood of bike purchase of a new customer

data mining in excel example customer classification for maketing maling list 7

Select the model:

data mining in excel example customer classification for maketing maling list 8

Select the data:

data mining in excel example customer classification for maketing maling list 9

Specify the columns that would be used in predicting the likelihood:

data mining in excel example customer classification for maketing maling list 10

Add the column that will have the “predicted value”

 

data mining in excel example customer classification for maketing maling list 11

And example of Data Mining Expressions (DMX):

data mining in excel example customer classification for maketing maling list 12

For the demo, I am just going to add the column to the existing table:

data mining in excel example customer classification for maketing maling list 13

Yay! Here’s our Targeted Mailing list – see the last column:

Screenshot 1

data mining in excel example customer classification for maketing maling list 14

Screenshot 2:

data mining in excel example customer classification for maketing maling list 15

Now what?

Marketers can now send “coupons” to ONLY those people who are most likely to buy a bike! And so that’s how you create a targeted mailing list using the Excel Data Mining add-in.

Crunch more than 1 million rows in Excel 2010 with free addin called Power Pivot!

Lately, I have been talking to few business folks who do their own data analysis in excel (2010) and sometimes they run into the excel 2010 limit of 1 million rows. And so when I hear that, I talk about Power Pivot and I talk about what It can do and what it cannot and they are just amazed that there’s a FREE add-in that will help them crunch more than 1 million rows!

happy suprised business user excel power pivot

Image courtesy

You can explore more about this amazing add-in here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/bi/powerpivot.aspx

And Read more about pros/benefits of PowerPivot:

Top 5 Ways PowerPivot Helps Excel Pros

PowerPivot? But I use pivot tables in Excel

Things I shared on Social Media Networks during Oct 11 – Oct 18

The Goal of this series is to recap the conversations that I’m having on social networks and I do not want my Blog readers to miss that. So Here is this week’s post:

1)

WOW! Global Internet Traffic (in Peta Bytes Per Month):
27483 PB/Month!
via http://www.evolutionoftheweb.com/

 growth of the internet big data

(Thanks Hardki pandya for sharing. Here’s his tweet: https://twitter.com/HPsay/status/258207371162181632 )

Also for the a related link:

https://www.facebook.com/suvendu.shekhar.giri said “This is really awesome and very informational ”

evolution of the web and surge in Data

2)

Patent wars: http://flowingdata.com/2012/10/08/patent-war/

patent wars google apple motorola htc samsung

3)

Quote: One reason Wikipedia is still a popular source for information is because most people don’t know they can edit it themselves.

Via https://www.facebook.com/thedolt and Gaurang Patel (https://www.facebook.com/Gaurang.patel7 ) commented that: “Yes, Absolutely true,most people don;t know they can edit post them selves,and i think they don’t have other alternative to get quick information.”

4)

https://www.facebook.com/janakiramm quote:

“Without Stackoverflow, 50% of the developers cannot continue to be developers and without Google, 80% of the developers cannot even claim to be developers!”

5)

Status update: “I just worked on a SQL Server 2012 Master Data Services Tutorial where I learned how to 1) create a new Model 2) Use MDS Excel Add – In to load entities to the model 3) use Master data manager web app 4) add a new member via MDM web app 5) And create a subscription view to retrieve entity members. if you want to do learn that: search for “SQL Server 2012 Developer Training kit“. Awesome resource!”

MDS SQL Server 2012 master data services tutorial

6)

Shared a Resource: Introducing SQL Server 2012 Master Data Services Improvements http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/SQL11UPD05-REC-03

7)

SolidQ mentioned me a post about the Sep 2011 SolidQ Journal edition: https://plus.google.com/u/0/105279914944150120482/posts/cKh6hurWndj

8)

SolidQ India (https://twitter.com/SolidQIndia) Re-Tweeted my post about “Blog: Why am I not seeing “Month Names” in correct logical order?” http://parasdoshi.com/2012/07/22/powerpivot-model-why-am-i-not-seeing-month-names-in-correct-logical-order/

9) Milena Petrovic said “Lovely Graph” for this graphic: https://plus.google.com/u/0/105010538932095629627/posts/2uvE5B2HSk5

From the webinar "How to Walk The Path from BI to Data Science: An interview with Michael Driscoll, data scientist and CEO of Metamarkets" - A global surge in Data // A nice slide about Big Data

Image Courtesy: From the webinar “How to Walk The Path from BI to Data Science: An interview with Michael Driscoll, data scientist and CEO of Metamarkets” – A global surge in Data

That’s about it. You can read last week’s post here: Things I shared on Social Media Networks during Oct 3 – Oct 10

Let’s connect and converse on any of these people networks!

paras doshi blog on facebookparas doshi twitter paras doshi google plus paras doshi linkedin

Productivity Tip: Convert “Emails” TO “Tasks” or “Prioritized To-DO List” in Outlook 2010

Though I have used Outlook as an email client for about couple of years now – I recently figured a nice way to convert “Emails” to “Tasks” in a Prioritized way. One way to think about emails is that it’s a mechanism via which others assign work to you. Some work may be more important than the other. Wouldn’t it nice to just take an email (that has some “to-do” work for you) and put in a Prioritized To-DO format? Yes? Turns out Outlook can do that for you! In this blog-post, I am going to show you how.

Here are the steps for Outlook 2010 (Desktop Version):

1. Select an Email. Drag it to the TASKS (in the bottom left corner of the navigation pane)

2. Now it will add the content of the email as the description of the Task and it will let you select:

  • Subject
  • Start Date
  • Due Date
  • Status
  • Priority
  • Reminder

outlook emails to tasks to do

3. And you’re done! you can do so for more than one emails – After you COMPLETE a task you can mark it complete.

4.When I get in the “work mode”, the first thing I see is my Task- List. If you want to see your Tasks:

Navigation Pane > Tasks section > Just select “Tasks” (and not To-DO list) to see the Tasks (you can sort it by subject, due date, categories)

5. Note this is similar to “flagging” an email and then assigning the follow up data to it. But I find Dragging the Email to Tasks and then setting the priority simpler.

 

So that’s about it. Do you use this feature? No? Would you use it? Also, Do share outlook tips with me – I am always looking for things that can make me more productive!

How to Create Calendar Files (.ics) that can be Shared/Emailed/Downloaded?

For all those who rely on their electronic calendar as much as I do – You know, that receiving a calendar file (.ics)  for events/parties/online-meetings is very convenient! So as an organizer – next time, when you want to invite a bunch of people to an event – How about adding a calendar file (.ics) file in your email? People who got invited could just open and save “meeting details” stored in .ics file attached with your email. And once saved, their calendar would “remind” them about your event. Do you think it is useful? Yes? Great!

For this blog-post, I am going to show how you can do this via my favorite email client: Microsoft Outlook. Here are the steps for Outlook 2010:

1. Press “ctrl + 2″ to switch to calendar.

OR outlook > Bottom Left Corner > Calendar.

2. Select the calendar and click on NEW Appointment.

3. Enter Meeting Details. Select Date & Time.

Regarding Timezone: I just set it based on my timezone. If your recipients are in different timezone, Don’t worry – when they receive the file, it would show their timezone.

enter outlook calendar meeting details timezone

4. Save and close the appointment.

5. switch to calendar and select the appointment.

6. Go to file > Save As > save it as “.ics” file

how to create an ics file

Done!

You have the file now and This calendar file (.ics) is ready to be emailed/shared/downloaded!

Conclusion:

If you are organizing online meetings, events, parties, talks, etc and need to invite people to it – next time, consider including an electronic calendar to it. And in this blog-post, you learned how to do it via Outlook. If you’re not using Outlook as your email client, sorry that the steps were not helpful but here’s the idea: Include electronic calendar files for the convenience of the prospective attendees!

[video] Data Science is not NEW – it’s just that we live in a VERY special time!

  • Data Analysis is NOT new
  • Data Mining is NOT new
  • Predictive Analytic is NOT new
  • Machine Learning is NOT new
  • Statistics is NOT new
  • And Data Science is NOT new

So what’s new?

  • The rate at which data is produced.
  • The variety in Data that’s being produced.
  • The “amount” of data that’s being produced.

And we did not have Tools and Techniques before – But now we do! Indeed, We live in a VERY special time!

Here’s a nice 5 minute video titled “Data Science: Beyond Intuition”.

Link to video: http://vimeo.com/48456421  AND Thanks Ryan Swanstrom for sharing!

A nice Data Visualization on User’s Twitter “Text Data”:

You know I like beautiful Data Visualizations! Here’s one about my Twitter Data via Vizify:

Data a Twitter User's tweet visualized

Are there any other service out there that let us create beautiful (and meaningful) data visualizations on our twitter data? Do leave a comment!

Related Posts:

1. Visualizing search engine terms (words) via Word cloud a.k.a word frequency visualization tool

2. TED Video: Visualizing the medical data explosion by Anders Ynnerman

3. Ted Video: The beauty of data visualization by David McCandles

4. Hans Rosling’s Ted videos

And Let’s connect! I Look forward to Interacting with you on any of these people networks:

paras doshi blog on facebookparas doshi twitterparas doshi google plusparas doshi linkedin

Top Five reasons to contribute on MSDN or StackOverflow forums

Technical forums are places where you can sense that there’s a hope for humanity! No kidding. If you think about it, it’s a place where humans help each other out without expecting anything in return (in almost all cases), what I just said is a fact. So now if you agree that forums are a great place, How about contributing? So if you’re not contributing already, here are the five reasons that may prompt you to start contributing:

1. Help someone out.

2. Solve a real-world problem

[Thanks Florin Dumitrescu for pointing this out!]

3. Discover great resources on Inter-webs. This is so because, while answering questions – people drop awesome links in their answers and invariably they are great free resources:

[Thanks Hardik Pandya for pointing this out!]

4. Learn from other super-smart people and Network with them

5. Test (or “Validate”) your technical know-how

And One more:

Earn reputation (Build your Brand, they say)

What do you think? If you are already contributing on technical forums – what motivates you? And if you’re not contributing already – what’s stopping you? And I believe that everyone knows about tons of things which others are interested in. You just need to find a place to share that!