Bryan's BI Blog pushing what's possible

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Getting Started with the Tableau Javascript API

Tableau offers an API that lets you embed visualizations on the web and then control them via javascript functions.  This handy utility can be used to do all kinds of cool things which I will share in the future.  First though, here’s how you can get started.

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Triggering Cubes & Extracts

One of the functions that never seems to be included in BI tools is an easy way to kick off an application cache job once your ETL is finished.  MicroStrategy’s Cubes and Tableau’s Extracts both rely on manual or time based refresh schedules, but this leaves you in a position where your data will land in the database and you’ll either have a large gap before...

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Facebook Jeopardy: Hack Edition

The presentation that Andy Kriebel and I did at the 2014 Tableau Conference is now available on YouTube.  Unfortunately, there isn’t video of us so you won’t be able to see our stage antics, but the presentation was packed with demos so all of the action was on the screen anyway.  Everything we demoed will be blogged in detail here and on Andy’s blog as we...

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MicroStrategy vs Tableau

**DISCLAIMER** This post was written in May 2014, and so as it should be obvious, some parts of it are outdated.  I actually don’t use MicroStrategy or Tableau any more on a daily basis, so I’m not going to be able to update it.  I’m somewhat aware of both companies making some recent improvements that have addressed some of the weaknesses I talk about, but...

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How to Write a Resume

I’ve interviewed over 100 candidates over the last 2 years, and so I see a lot of different kinds of resumes.  A resume is supposed to be a written pitch for why you are the perfect fit for a role, but I think that most people fall into some archaic customs or try to hit keyword searches and end up doing themselves more harm than good.  I feel strongly on the...

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Presenting at Tableau’s Customer Conference 2014!

Update: The video is now available As previously mentioned when rebranding this blog about more general BI topics, I’m excited to announce that I’ll be presenting at Tableau’s Customer Conference this September with my colleague, and fellow blogger, Andy Kriebel.  I humbly say that Andy is to Tableau as I am to MicroStrategy, and having the chance to work with him for the last two years...

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Creating Metrics in Bulk

Here’s a quick Command Manager script I wrote this morning when I had to create 60 metrics off of 60 Facts.  They were all simple Sum(Fact) Metrics.   //list all metrics in the project     String sProjectName = “PROJECT NAME”;   String sFactFolder = “\Schema Objects\Facts\Folder”;   String sMetricFolder = “\Public Objects\Metrics\Folder”;    ResultSet oFacts = executeCapture(“LIST ALL FACTS IN FOLDER ‘” + sFactFolder + “‘ FOR...

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Moving Cubes

This is a hack, so proceed at your own risk!  I haven’t tested this or used it in a production environment, so things may break/crash/catch on fire. Say that you have built a really nice dashboard, deployed it to production, and everyone loves it.  This dashboard is based on a cube that takes an hour to load.  Now you’ve made modifications to the dashboard and...

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Adding Interactive User Help with Intro.js

The other day I stumbled across this cool little JavaScript file called Intro.js that makes it really easy to provide user help in an interactive tutorial way.  I thought it would be a really cool thing to implement into some of my more complicated dashboards as opposed to the current technique of using tooltips or hoping that a user clicks on a wiki link to...

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Embedding Instructions into Prompts

Sometimes, prompts can be complicated either in usage or in business implications.  While we can leave some notes for the user in the prompt description, sometimes it would be nice to be able to do a little more than that space provides.  Thanks to a tip from reader Arnold Slabbekoorn, here’s a method for embedding a popup with additional information directly into the prompt itself. Step 0...