Saiku Toolbar Tutorial Part 1

I recently posted on Saiku-Server, the new tool for the VBP Analysis Lab. In that post, I walked you though some of the many cool features, including a number of charting options. Now I want to shift the focus to the Saiku toolbar, which affords us many more options. I’ll cover this in two tutorials, given the many available options on the toolbar.

We’ll walk through a series of screenshots of the toolbar, highlighting each button as we go, with a brief explanation of the functionality.

First up is the new query button:

This option allows users to open a new query window (tab) without having to close any existing query windows, similar to web browsers or Excel. Any actions taken in the new window will be completely independent of existing queries; you can set new filters, rows,columns, sorts, etc.

Next comes the open query option, which lets you open a previously created query that is now stored in the Saiku repository.

Here’s what you’ll see when you select this option:

Our third button is the save query function. Simply put, this will save an existing query to the repository for future use.

You’ll see a similar looking dialog window that allows you to save your query for future use.

Next up is is the run query function. This will run the existing query, useful if you don’t have the automatic execution option set.

The automatic execution button is a toggle that lets you run queries automatically – or not. If you elect not to use it, then the run query button will become your best friend.

The next three buttons are used to manipulate your display options. In order from left to right they are the Toggle fields,Toggle sidebar, and Hide parentsbuttons.

Toggle fields will hide the rows, columns, and filters from view, providing more vertical workspace for your queries. Here are before and after looks.

Toggle sidebar will hide the folders in the left sidebar, giving you more horizontal space. Again, here’s a look after we chose to toggle the sidebar:

Finally, the hide parents option lets you choose how to view your layout in the case where you have multiple levels within a hierarchy. Here are before and after views:

The Non-empty button is used to hide missing results; in other words, rows and columns within a hierarchy that would return empty cells are removed from the results, leading to a cleaner crosstab. Once again, let’s examine what happens when we decide to show the empty rows in the dataset, and see why we probably want to use the non-empty function most of the time.

That’s it for the first tutorial. In the second part, I’ll cover a range of buttons that are oriented toward exporting the data as well as viewing the MDX (Multidimensional Expressions) language behind the query. See you then!

FacebooktwitterlinkedinrssFacebooktwitterlinkedinrssby feather
FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Gephi Book Now Available!

I’m pleased to announce that my first book has been published (thanks to all at Packt Publishing!) and is now available online.

Network Graph Analysis and Visualization with Gephi provides a gentle introduction to the world of network graph visualization using Gephi, a powerful open source tool. In this post, I’ll walk you through a few examples from the book to illustrate how you can begin creating your own network graphs with Gephi.

Before diving into any specific examples, I want to give you an idea of what the book covers, so here’s the Table of Contents:

  • Preface
  • Chapter 1: Installing Gephi
  • Chapter 2: Creating Simple Network Graphs
  • Chapter 3: Exploring Additional Layout Options
  • Chapter 4: Creating a Gephi Dataset
  • Chapter 5: Exploring Plugins
  • Chapter 6: Advanced Features
  • Chapter 7: Deploying Gephi Visualizations
  • Appendix: Network Visualization Resources

While this book makes no claim to covering everything you can do with Gephi (not even close!), it does provide the reader with a broad and accessible overview, while also addressing some of the basic concepts and terminology of network graph analysis.

Here are a few excerpts from a companion article for the book; you can also download a sample chapter from the book page at Packt.

“Gephi is a versatile and powerful tool that will help you create simple network visualizations quickly, while also providing the capabilities to build complex graphs based on large datasets. In this article, you will learn some of the fundamentals of Gephi and network visualization, which will rapidly empower you to create your own graphs…”

“Network graphs are essentially based on the construct of nodes and edges. Nodes represent points or entities within the data, while edges refer to the connections or lines between nodes. Individual nodes might be students in a school, or schools within an educational system, or perhaps agencies within a government structure…”

“Network graphs are drawn through positioning nodes and their respective connections relative to one another. In the case of a graph with 8 or 10 nodes, this is a rather simple exercise, and could probably be drawn rather accurately without the help of complex methodologies. However, in the typical case where we have hundreds of nodes with thousands of edges, the task becomes far more complex…”

“Gephi is an ideal tool for users new to network graph analysis and visualization, as it provides a rich set of tools to create and customize network graphs. The user interface makes it easy to understand basic concepts such as nodes and edges, as well as descriptive terminology like neighbors, degrees, repulsion, and attraction. New users can move as slowly or as rapidly as they wish, given Gephi’s gentle learning curve…”

So if you or anyone you know is interested, navigate to the book’s page, where you’ll find more information, including a sample chapter, as well as links to a number of book sellers. Thanks, and happy visualizing!

FacebooktwitterlinkedinrssFacebooktwitterlinkedinrssby feather
FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

It's Upgrade Week!

Why stop with one major software upgrade when you can do three the same week? Right on the heels of moving from SpagoBI 3.6 to 4.0 for my Analysis Lab, I just upgraded the Collections portion of the Visual-Baseball site with the latest version of Omeka. As luck would have it, my old, heavily customized theme no longer works with the new version. Not to worry! Thanks to the power of CSS, I was able to tweak a new theme in an hour or two to get approximately the same look and feel. In fact, the new look may be slightly improved. Check it out at VBP Collections.

Here’s a screenshot of the updated Collections site:

The third and final upgrade for the week is the latest version of Orange, one of my favorite stats and visualization tools. Version 2.7 has a completely new look and feel in addition to some nw capabilities. Of course, with Orange residing on my desktop and not the web, this was the easiest and least risky of the three upgrades, but one that I’ve been looking forward to for several months.

I’ll soon report back on the new version of Orange with a walk through on the feature set and the all new GUI. And just maybe I’ll go a few weeks without any further upgrades, but don’t bet your life savings on it!

FacebooktwitterlinkedinrssFacebooktwitterlinkedinrssby feather
FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

SpagoBI 4.0 Redux – Working!

It’s working! All right, so it isn’t exactly ready for prime time yet, but my Analysis Lab reports and analysis views have made a successful (and remarkably easy) leap to the new version of SpagoBI. I still need to re-apply some cosmetic tweaks, but I’m quite pleased with the new look and feel the Spago folks have brought to the tool.

I especially like the sleek vertical menu down the left side of the screen, as well as the icon choices. The general impression is that there’s more room for the actual reports and analysis views, which is where the emphasis should be. The report parameters are also smartly placed on the right edge of the screen, and other icon-based functions take up very little real estate. So far, so good.

I’ll report more as I tweak the CSS settings, get the content optimized, and have it ready to roll. Next up is an exploration of the new SpagoBI Studio, which should help me to upgrade the content that winds up in the lab. I’m eager to explore the new features in v4.0, which I’ll post about if I get really fired up!

FacebooktwitterlinkedinrssFacebooktwitterlinkedinrssby feather
FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Testing SpagoBI 4.0

The latest version of SpagoBI is now available; this is the open source business intelligence tool I use for the Analysis Lab on the Visual-Baseball Project site. This is a major release, meaning I just have to be on the bleeding edge to see all the enhancements and improvements versus the 3.5.1 version I’ve been running the last two years.

Of course, with SpagoBI being a Java app, nothing comes too easy, but at least I’ve been down this path a few times, and am willing to take the risks associated with a new version. The upside is getting a faster, more advanced version with an improved user interface.

The most challenging part is porting all the existing reports and analysis views over to the new version, but been there done that too. If all goes well, I hope to announce the new version sometime over the next two weeks, in between revisions to my upcoming book on Gephi, and prior to pulling together my self-published book on baseball’s pennant races. Did I say it’s a busy summer?

Wish me luck!

FacebooktwitterlinkedinrssFacebooktwitterlinkedinrssby feather
FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather