How to load data to Hadoop with Alteryx and visualize with Tableau via Impala?

This YouTube tutorial shows you a handy way to load your Excel data to Cloudera Hadoop with Alteryx, and how to see and understand your data even faster with Tableau connected to Impala.

The same tool chain to load and access data can be used with Hive (eg. on Hortonworks) or Spark SQL (eg. on MapR). A overview on common data process technologies can be found in the Big Data jungle guide.

How to use a custom Mapbox map as your background map in Tableau

Mapbox map in Tableau
Mapbox map in Tableau

Tableau now comes with more geographical data built in, including updated US congressional districts (CD), local name synonyms for world capitals, Japanese postal, and Mapbox integration. I’ve to admit I really love Mapbox!

What is Mapbox? Mapbox is an online repository of custom-built maps for your needs and enables you to create the perfect map to integrate into your Tableau visualization. Mapbox maps are highly customizable – you can design your own map, build applications, extend applications, use satellite imagery and create static maps. You can even have Pirate Maps!

Mapbox tutorial:

  1. So first off you’ll have to register with mapbox.com
  2. Once you are logged in go to Account > API access tokens > copy and paste your token. You’ll need this for Tableau.
  3. Open up Tableau > connect to your data source that has geographical locations. For this case, we will use the sample sales data set that is preloaded in Tableau.
  4. Map > Background Maps > Map Service to open a popup box.
  5. Add > Mapbox Services > Classic
  6. Fill in a style name for this map > Paste in the access token you previously copied
  7. Drop the selection box down and it will provide a list of classic maps already for your use. For this case, we are going to use Emerald.
  8. Take your city dimension from the data set > double click or drag and drop to populate a map. See below the before and after without Mapbox and with.

If you create multiple Mapbox maps and want to populate different styles on different worksheets, you can:

  1. Maps > Background Maps > Emerald. Here you have a list of maps that you have created.

So here you have a basic understanding of using Mapbox in Tableau.

Happy mapping, literally go explore! And join me on Twitter:

How to speed up Tableau by using Performance Recordings

Tableau Performance Recording Timeline
Tableau Performance Recording Timeline

Getting your dashboards up to speed can be quite difficult if you don’t know where the latency is situated. The first and most important rule about making workbooks more efficient is to understand that if it loads slowly in Desktop on your computer, then it will be slow on the server too once it is published. Tableau Desktop and Tableau Server each have their own way to enable, record, and analyze performance.

A must have for performance tuning your workbooks. All you have to do is start the Tableau Performance Recording, make your workbook action and stop the Performance Recording. A few seconds later, Tableau opens a new workbook with the Performance Summary dashboard in it.

Create a performance recording in Tableau Desktop

  1. To start recording performance, follow this step: Help > Settings and Performance > Start Performance Recording
  2. Make some dashboard operations and/or refresh your data source(s).
  3. To stop recording, and then view a temporary workbook containing results from the recording session, follow this step: Help > Settings and Performance > Stop Performance Recording
  4. You can now view the Performance Summary dashboard and begin your analysis.

Create a performance recording on Tableau Server

  1. Administrators must enable the feature. This is located under settings, for each site.
  2. Check the box and save for Workbook Performance Metrics.
  3. Navigate to a view on the server.
  4. Remove the iid=xx from the URL.
  5. Enter in its place record_performance=yes. Your full URL should now look something like this: https://data.alexloth.com/#/site/AA/views/Superstore/Summary?:record_performance=yes
  6. After the page reloads, you’ll notice the ID is added automatically back to the URL and that a performance button appears within the View’s toolbar. Don’t click on the performance button yet.
  7. Do some filtering and some clicking within the workbook such as applying filters, selecting marks/rows, and clicks that cause actions to other elements of the visualization.
  8. Then click the performance button.
  9. Now you’re ready to click on the Performance button which will launch a new window with the Performance Summary dashboard.
  10. Don’t forget to disable the performance recording in the admin settings when you are finished.

Understand the Performance Summery dashboard

The Performance Summery dashboard contains three views:

  • Timeline: a Gantt chart displaying event start time and duration.
  • Events sorted by time: a bar chart showing event duration by type.
  • Query text: It optionally appears when clicking-on an executing query event in the bar chart.

Time line Gantt chart

The uppermost view in a performance recording dashboard shows the events that occurred during the recording, arranged chronologically from left to right. The bottom axis shows elapsed time since Tableau started, in seconds.

In the Timeline view, the WorkbookDashboard, and Worksheet columns identify the context for the events. The Event column identifies the nature of the event, and the final column show each event’s duration and how it compares chronologically to other recorded events.

The events sorted by time

This section of the workbook shows the duration of recorded events in descending order. This is useful for observing the execution time of each event that occurs during the performance recording. This will help you identify any lengthy events that may be the cause of performance problems.
Events with longer durations can help you identify where to look first if you want to speed up your workbook.

Different colors indicate different types of events. The range of events that can be recorded is:

  • Computing layouts: If layouts are taking too long, consider simplifying your workbook.
  • Connecting to a data source: Slow connections could be due to network issues or issues with the database server.
  • Executing query: If queries are taking too long, consult your database server’s documentation.
  • Generating extract: To speed up extract generation, consider only importing some data from the original data source. For example, you can filter on specific data fields, or create a sample based on a specified number of rows or percentage of the data.
  • Geocoding: To speed up geocoding performance, try using less data or filtering out data.
  • Blending data: To speed up data blending, try using less data or filtering out data.
  • Server rendering: You can speed up server, rendering by running additional VizQL Server processes on additional machines.

Query text

Alternatively, the workbook also displays the query text for any specific event that you want to examine in detail. You can access the detail by clicking on any of the green executing query events in the bar chart. This is a handy feature which allows you to review any query text that may be of interest without having to leave the tableau performance summary dashboard.

If you click on an Executing Query event in either the Timeline or Events section of a performance recording dashboard, the text for that query is displayed in the Query section.

Joining Tableau: My First Impressions and Journey with a Seattle-Based Analytics Startup Company

Joining Tableau: my Tableau bootcamp buddies, ready to conquer the world of analytics together
Joining Tableau: my Tableau bootcamp buddies, ready to conquer the world of analytics together

Joining Tableau has been an exhilarating step in my career. As a data enthusiast and very early adopter of Tableau, I was excited to join Tableau, a Seattle-based startup company that is coming up with the next level of self-service data analytics software – compared to classic BI software.

A New Chapter: Tableau’s Frankfurt Office

After my transition from academia to Capgemini, I joined Tableau’s newly opened Frankfurt Office. My first weeks have been nothing short of amazing, with an incredible opportunity to contribute to company building and be one of the first employees in Tableau’s new Frankfurt Office that was just recently opened to ramp up Tableau’s Europe business.

Being part of a startup company is an incredible experience, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work on such an innovative and disruptive product. It is a privilege to be involved in building a company from the ground up, especially in such an exciting industry as data analytics.

Tableau’s new Frankfurt Office has brought exciting opportunities, especially for me, who just earned my MBA degree. I have been able to apply my newfound knowledge to contribute to the growth of the company. I am honored to be part of the team that is bringing this new product to market and to be able to learn from some of the best minds in the business.

Bootcamp Experience: Learning the Culture

Tableau’s bootcamp in Seattle is nothing short of awesome. The three-week program is intense, but the wealth of knowledge and experience that I have gained from it has been invaluable. I have learned a lot about the company’s culture, the product, and the industry as a whole. The bootcamp has given me a great foundation for my work at Tableau and has helped me hit the ground running in my role as one of the first employees in Frankfurt, Europe’s hub for finance and technology.

Tableau is known for its unique company culture that encourages creativity, innovation, and collaboration. From weekly hackathons to Tableau’s famous Data Night Out events, there’s always something exciting happening at the company. As someone who is passionate about data and thrives in a collaborative environment, I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of this culture.

Career Opportunities: Why You Should Consider Joining Tableau

Being involved in company building is a great thing when you’re in a startup, and I am honored to be part of this exciting journey. I look forward to continuing to contribute to the growth of the company and to be part of a team that is making such a huge impact in the world of data analytics. If you’re looking for a challenging and rewarding career in data analytics, Tableau is definitely the place to be.

Interested in a career in data analytics like mine? Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay connected.

And yes, we all get these awesome DATA hoodies:

Joining Tableau: Awesome DATA Hoodies

Quantitative Finance Applications in R

Do you want to do some quick, in depth technical analysis of stock prices?

After I left CERN to work as consultant and to earn an MBA, I was engaged in many exciting projects in the finance sector, analyzing financial data, such as stock prices, exchange rates and so on. Obviously there are a lot of available models to fit, analyze and predict these types of data. For instance, basic time series model arima(p,d,q), Garch model, and multivariate time series model such as VARX model, state space models.

Although it is a little hard to propose a new and effective model in a short time, I believe that it is also meaningful to apply the existing models and methods to play the financial data. Probably some valuable conclusions will be found. For those of you who wish to have data to experiment with financial models, I put together a web application written in R:

TSLA
Quantitative Finance Analysis in R (click image to open application)