This Week In Data – Episode 5 (Data Visualization Best Practices)

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Welcome back to another episode of This Week In Data! If you missed our previous episodes, you can watch them here. In this week’s episode, we’re discussing some data visualization best practices

Data visualization is a hot topic right now, particularly because of the capabilities of Power BI and the release of SSRS 2016 Mobile Reports. Your data is an important asset that is often haphazardly thrown on a report. Using data visualization practices is a bit of an art form that when done correctly can more effectively communicate your most important asset to your business. In this episode, Adam and Devin discuss how to get started in your design, how much information to include in your reports, and things you should avoid when building your reports. We’ll give you a hint on what to avoid – say goodbye to pie charts.

Adam and Devin also discuss Thursday Night Football on Twitter, how Microsoft is currently beating Facebook and how the new game Bad Piggies is all about science. Learn more about these topics in our latest episode:

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Power BI Custom Visuals Class (Module 17 – Sunburst)

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In this module you will learn how to use the Sunburst chart Power BI Custom Visual.  The Sunburst chart is similar to the standard donut chart but allows you to show multiple level at once, which is great when presenting hierarchical data.

Module 17 – Sunburst

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Key Takeaways

  • Works like a Multilevel donut chart.
  • Used for showing hierarchical data.

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This shows a Sunburst chart with a hierarchy of Group, Country and Region displayed by quantity sold.

  • Under the Format paintbrush there isn’t much available to customize the appearance of the Sunburst chart.
  • The one section specific to the Sunburst that you have available is found under the Group section.
    • By changing the Show Selected property you are able to turn on or off the label that appears in the middle of the chart when you select a slice of the Sunburst chart. This property is turned on by default.

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This shows a Sunburst chart with the Show Selected property turned on. The text United States in the middle of the chart is an example of how this property displays.

  • In addition to these properties you have a set of settings that appears on every visual to adjust the background color, add a border around the visual and lock the aspect ratio.

Find Out More

You will always be able to find this video module and advanced viewing of future modules on the Pragmatic Works On Demand Training platform.  Click here to learn more about this training platform that includes 25+ courses.

Catch up on all the Power BI Custom Visuals blog posts here.

Power BI Custom Visuals Class (Module 16 – Bubble)

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In this module you will learn how to use the Bubble chart Power BI Custom Visual.  The Bubble chart allows you to show the value of categories proportionally represented by the size of the bubble.

Module 16 – Bubble

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Key Takeaways

  • Each category is defined as a bubble on the visual.
  • The size of the bubble is defined by a measure.
  • The Bubble chart does allow for cross filtering.  Meaning you can click on a bubble in the chart and it will filter other report items

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This shows a Bubble chart with Genre as the category and the size of the bubbles representing the revenue they have earned.

  • Under the Format paintbrush there isn’t much available to customize the appearance of the Bubble chart.
  • The one section specific to the Bubble that you have available is found under the Label section.
    • By changing the Fill property you are able change the color of of the text shown inside of each bubble

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  • In addition to these properties you have a set of settings that appears on every visual to adjust the background color, add a border around the visual and lock the aspect ratio.

Find Out More

You will always be able to find this video module and advanced viewing of future modules on the Pragmatic Works On Demand Training platform.  Click here to learn more about this training platform that includes 20+ courses.

Catch up on all the Power BI Custom Visuals blog posts here.

This Week In Data – Episode 4 (What is Slack?)

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Welcome back to another episode of This Week In Data! If you missed our previous episodes, you can watch them here. In this week’s episode, we’re discussing how Slack can improve your company’s internal communication.

Over the past year, the Pragmatic Works team has been successfully using Slack for internal communications. As we all know, our email inboxes have become increasing cluttered and it can be difficult to take notice of important news and updates from your company. Slack’s goal is to end email and allow you to easily communicate with your coworkers. Adam and Devin talk about Slack’s enhanced capabilities, how Pragmatic Works uses it to gain feedback and much more!

Adam and Devin also discuss increased confidence in the cloud, how analytics are being used in politics and the dreaded removal of the headphone jack from the new iPhone. Learn more about these topics in our latest episode:

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This Week in Data – Episode 3 (What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?)

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Welcome back to another episode of This Week In Data! If you missed our previous episodes, you can watch them here. In this week’s episode, we’re answering the question, “What is the Internet of Things?”

Most of you have probably been hearing about Internet of Things (IoT) and are curious as to what it is. In short, Internet of Things is the thought that anything with power can be put on the internet. Fitbit is a great example of IoT but you probably want to know how IoT relates to your business. Adam and Devin discuss the importance of IoT, how it’s evolving and how you can use it in your business environment.

Before we talk about IoT, Adam and Devin also discuss several updates from Microsoft such as updated security in Azure, the first cumulative update for SQL Server 2016 and where Gartner ranks Azure in the world of cloud. Learn more about these topics in our latest episode:

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Power BI Custom Visuals Class (Module 15 – Table Heatmap)

Table Heatmap

In this module you will learn how to use the Table Heatmap Power BI Custom Visual.  The Table Heatmap has the look and feel of a pivot table or matrix report.  However, instead of seeing traditional values in the table you actually see colors that represent your values instead.

Module 15 – Table Heatmap

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Key Takeaways

  • In the Table Heatmap the color of the boxes is determined by the value in your measure.
  • Only 1 category field can be used, which will dynamically generate the number of columns based on the number of distinct values your field has.
  • The number and types of colors can be changed using some of the settings we’ll discuss below.

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This shows a Table Heatmap with Month as the category column and individual fields 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 in the Y axis.

  • Under the Format paintbrush there isn’t much available to customize the appearance of the Table Heatmap.
  • The one section specific to the Table Heatmap that you have available is found under the General section.
    • By changing the Colorbrewer property you are able to swap out the color palette being used
    • You can also use the Buckets setting to increase/decrease the number of colors that are used in the color palette you’ve selected.

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  • There are many color palettes that you can use in the Colorbrewer property but unfortunately they’re not well documented. Here’s a list of values that you could use in this property:
    • YlGn,
    • YlGnBu,
    • GnBu,
    • BuGn,
    • PuBuGn,
    • PuBu,
    • BuPu,
    • RdPu,
    • PuRd,
    • OrRd,
    • YlOrRd,
    • YlOrBr,
    • Purples, Blues, Greens, Oranges, Reds, Greys,
    • PuOr,
    • BrBG,
    • PRGn,
    • PiYG,
    • RdBu,
    • RdGy,
    • RdYlBu,
    • Spectral, RdYlGn,
    • Paired, Pastel1, Set1, Set2, Set
  • Experiment with these and see which makes most sense for your solution
  • In addition to these properties you have a set of settings that appears on every visual to adjust the background color, add a border around the visual and lock the aspect ratio.

Find Out More

You will always be able to find this video module and advanced viewing of future modules on the Pragmatic Works On Demand Training platform.  Click here to learn more about this training platform that includes 20+ courses.

Catch up on all the Power BI Custom Visuals blog posts here.

This Week in Data – Episode 2 (How to Ask for Help)

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Welcome back to another episode of This Week In Data! In our first episode, Adam and Devin debated the value of certifications. In this week’s episode, we’re discussing the right way to ask for help.

For some, knowing when and how to ask for help can be a major challenge. It’s a humbling moment but the consequences of not asking for help can in some cases cost you your job. There are many great resources available in the tech community to get help such as forums, user groups and social media. These resources are often full of insight into a variety of topics and scenarios. Most likely, you’ll have some great people working right next to you that have encountered the same or similar issues in the past and have helpful tips to overcome them. For more complex problems, it may be beneficial for you to bring in outside consulting help. 

In addition to tackling this topic, Adam and Devin also discuss several recent tech news headlines including Apple’s patent to block your phone camera, NFL coaches debating the impact of technology on the sideline and General Motors releases new safety equipment. Keep up-to-date with all the happenings in the tech world with This Week in Data:

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