Blog

July 18, 2017

Getting a count of distinct values

There is often a need to compute the distinct number of values in a column.  To explore the data, a Filtergram is a quick and easy way to find out the distinct number of values in a column. When there is a need to have that value in the dataset, there is a simple approach to do so.  The approach... Read More
July 17, 2017

7 Financial Services Initiatives Where Self-Service Data Prep is Vital

By: Farnaz Erfan The ability to effectively and efficiently manage the vast and disparate range of corporate, customer and business information is rapidly emerging as a critical objective for financial services companies —regardless of their respective market and geographic focuses. While data management has always been a critical component of financial services companies’ initiatives to better understand their customers, manage risks,... Read More
July 17, 2017

Using DATEVALUE() when there is a T separating the date and the time

Today\'s Tip of the Day focuses on a very particular case of using the DateValue() function.  Specifically, we will discuss excluding \"filler\" values in a string while converting the non-filler values to a date and time. A common example of a date string with a filler value might be: 2017-01-12-T12:04:18.031Z An uncommon example might be a string which looks like this: dep. 12/16/2017@15:22... Read More
July 12, 2017

Delete Filter & Mute Filter buttons in the Steps List

Sometimes, a step will have unwanted filters.  There are 3 handy buttons to help clean out unwanted filters.           If you are not sure what filter(s) are applied, click on the Filters link (A).  This will show you what filters are applied. If you are not sure what impact the filter has on your data,... Read More
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June 28, 2017

Computing % of Total

Running totals and windowed aggregates are best handled in a Business Intelligence (BI) tool which allows for sophisticated aggregation capabilities.  However, there are times when you need an aggregate of a column at the data prep layer because other formulas rely on this aggregate value or the data isn\'t going to be used in a BI tool. This tip... Read More
June 19, 2017

The First Two Steps of a New Project

By Dan Howell  June 19, 2017 When starting a new project, it is helpful to follow two tips to make it easier to: See only what you need to see, eliminating a lot of horizontal scrolling Isolate particular rows by row number to spot check rows in a large dataset Return to the original sort order When starting a new project... Read More
June 16, 2017

Interactive Column Search

By Mike White   June 16, 2017 Value: Working with wide data can be a challenge when you\'re trying to find that one column in the midst of hundreds or even thousands. It\'s even more frustrating when the headers consist of cryptic codes resulting from legacy systems, character-limited headers, or an abbreviation in a foreign language. Fortunately, Paxata provides a clever way... Read More
June 14, 2017

Using the Fill Down feature

Using the Fill Down Feature By Dan Howell   June 14, 2017 Use fill down to populate blank cells with data from the cell above. The fill down continues for blank cells until the next populated cell is encountered in the column. This feature is commonly used with data that has header rows in the data (as shown in the example below),... Read More
June 8, 2017

Apply Project Steps to a Different Dataset

By Mike White  June 8, 2017 Value:  Although Paxata makes it very easy to build out a set of transformations, computations, lookups, and aggregations from scratch, you may want to leverage an existing data prep project on another dataset. For you this could be a new set of transactions, events from a different period, a different customer or product file, or... Read More
April 20, 2017

How Paxata’s Values-Based Beliefs Lead to a “Best-Places To Work” Company

By Prakash Nanduri As our world experiences massive transformation, it’s easy to get caught up in the buzz about AI, autonomous vehicles, robots and drones. But amid all the noise, it’s worth remembering that one of the core aspects of company success is its people and thriving values-driven culture. We don\'t hesitate to say:  It’s our values that have led Paxata... Read More
April 19, 2017

Data-Driven or Information Inspired

By Prakash Nanduri, Co-Founder and CEO, Paxata From its inception, Paxata has always been focused on transforming the lives of you the business consumer:  the business analyst, the marketing analyst, the financial planning and analysis guru, and you the intelligence analyst. The hardest part of your jobs is turning raw data into information that is ready for analytics and insight. You... Read More
April 19, 2017

Seeing is Believing: MicroStrategy fans get ready for warp speed

By Rik Tamm-Daniels   April 19, 2017 I recently celebrated 2 years with Paxata, and in that time, I’ve spoken with many partners and customers about core data challenges that have made enterprise data prep a strategic and transformative initiative for so many companies. And I’ve shown them how fast and easy Paxata makes everything from data profiling to data integration... Read More
March 28, 2017

How Easy is Extremely Easy – Paxata + Amazon Connect

Paxata Makes Customer 360 and Customer Insight Analytics with Amazon Connect Easy Contributing author: Rik Tamm-Daniels, VP of Technology and Partnerships We at Paxata are proud to be a long-standing member of the Amazon AWS partner family and excited to be part of the Amazon Connect launch!  In true Amazon fashion, Amazon is disrupting another long-standing industry with both a mature... Read More
March 15, 2017

Bringing the Power of the Data Lake to the Business

By Jen Benito, Data Intelligence Principal Consultant, Trace3 I come from the world of traditional RDBMS Data Warehouses and Business Intelligence, where I spent the first 20 years of my career.  Today, as a member of Trace3’s Data Intelligence team, I hear the phrases ‘business insights’ and ‘business outcomes’ as key objectives from my customers all the time, but don’t... Read More
March 14, 2017

Opinion Tips for making your data lake thrive

Originally published on Information Management Manan Goel is a senior director at Paxata Big data offers tremendous opportunities to outsmart your competition and obtain insights on your business. By transforming big data into actionable information, you can open your organization up to new opportunities by identifying additional markets and customer segments, and by capitalizing on product innovation. One of the... Read More
December 9, 2016

Reinventing the Information Pipeline

Contributing author: Rik Tamm-Daniels, VP of Technology and Partnerships An attendee from Pinterest sat next to me at MapR\'s Big Data Everywhere event in Redwood City, CA. He sketched out his problem on a notepad: his financial team is trying to find ways to cut costs, comparing billing statements with actual usage of something they rely on. The problem? The finance team is evaluating bills... Read More
November 7, 2016

Power to the people – the end of data discrimination

The following post is written by Paul Urban from Eccella Consulting, a Paxata Transform Partner. Come see Paul and more great people from the Eccella Consulting team at Booth #401 at the Tableau Customer Conference 2016.  Over 13,000 people will be pouring into downtown Austin early November for TC16, schlepping their laptop bags in between different buildings and conference rooms... Read More
September 26, 2016

Journey to Apache Spark

In a previous blog post, I mentioned that Shachar Harussi and I discussed the lessons we learned building the Apache Spark-based architecture for the Paxata platform at DataVersity in Chicago this week. I can’t wait to talk about this week at Strata NYC. Come by booth #301 and find me to... Read More
June 27, 2016

Successfully leveraging a data lake across multiple Hadoop distros

Comparing Hadoop distribution vendors is a popular topic among Big Data writers. In many organizations, however, the comparison is happening inside of their own walls, with test clusters running multiple distributions side-by-side, serving multiple internal needs. Every organization has multiple databases, and with the growing popularity of Hadoop and technologies, more than one Hadoop distribution as well. Analysts access data stored... Read More
May 31, 2016

Meetup: Paxata Prep and Tableau Viz

Meetups @ Paxata: Data Prepsters Bay Area with Tableau and TAM Group Tableau partners, experts, and novices gathered at the Paxata offices to eat sushi, drink beer, and talk about data visualization and data preparation. We met sales analysts, economists, data scientists, marketing analysts, and developers over a lively conversation in our Redwood City HQ. Interested in Tableau and Paxata but... Read More
May 23, 2016

Survey Says: Retail Customer 360

Part 2 of 2: Retail business teams are constantly struggling to connect data - internal data to external data. In a previous post (part 1), we discussed and solved a huge data integration challenge for a team of retail data curators and business analysts. Now the analyst team has a focused, detailed, contextual, and accurate dataset of loyal customers,... Read More
May 16, 2016

Top 5 best takeaways from TDWI

At TDWI in Chicago this week, I had the honor to be part of Mark Madsen’s Data Integration Innovation class. He is an incredible speaker and creates presentations with great slides. Each slide is interesting, poignant, and funny. I thought I would share my top five favorite slides and some of my thoughts: Number 5: I completely fell... Read More
May 10, 2016

Shopping for high quality data with retail data stewards

Understanding the customer journey in today’s omnichannel retailing world is anything but simple: people surf websites on their computers, then casually shop on their phone, check social media, walk into brick and mortar stores to shop in person. Omnichannel rinse and repeat! How can a retailer track a customer’s journey across all of these experiences? How can... Read More
April 24, 2016

Connecting with the Spark Community

On Tuesday night, the Paxata Lab was packed with people who came from all over the Bay Area to participate in the Spark Workshop on the Peninsula Meetup of the SF Big Analytics group, the first in a four-part series. As long-time advocates of Spark (we built the Paxata platform on Spark and released to our customers with release 1.0.0 back... Read More
April 13, 2016

Philosophies and algorithms to untangle retail data

We work with a global retailer who has thousands of different datasets they need to analyze - from simple spreadsheets to impossible-to-parse data in complex JSON and XML files, and everything in between. Where does it come from? Campaigns (marketing campaign, coupons / sales) Inventory (assets, product codes, merchandise lists, prices) Online activity (click traffic, social media mentions) Customer service (service... Read More
April 1, 2016

Who has the Glengarry Leads??

I am definitely dating myself with the reference to \"Glengarry leads\" but any good marketing person is sadly very familiar with that movie and has probably even heard these words from their field team: \"where are the leads from the show?\" The Strata + Hadoop World conference just ended yesterday and as I watched our booth get dismantled, this... Read More
March 23, 2016

Is it that time again?

A year has flown by, and Strata San Jose is upon us. As usual, Paxata is looking forward to connecting with some of the brightest people who are coming together to share and learn about Hadoop, Spark, Impala and other big data innovations. Paxata has a few fun things planned so, if you happen to be in the Bay Area,... Read More
March 14, 2016

Awakening from Data’s Dark Ages

Welcome to the Era of the Information Renaissance Netscape Navigator was launched in late 1994 and in less than 8,000 days since it came on the scene we’ve witnessed an unbelievable explosion of access to and consumption of information at speeds unheard of in the entire evolution of humankind. I was reflecting on this just recently after my seven year old,... Read More
March 9, 2016

Winning with accurate and actionable information in Banking

The Situation In todays information-driven economy nowhere is clean, connected and trustworthy information more vital than in banking where information is the lifeblood of the business. In banking accurate, timely and actionable information is the difference between market leaders and also-ran. The banking business model is based on the concept of leverage. Banks raise capital through deposits, borrowings and sale of... Read More
March 3, 2016

Our Winter ’15…our the little black dress

In November 2015, we rolled out our Winter \'15 release. As our customers have gotten their hands on it, their feedback has inspired me to write my own perspective. Personally, I think we may have named the release wrong. Instead of \"Winter \'15,\" we should have called it: Enterprise-Grade Platform, the Little Black Dress (also known as... Read More
December 10, 2015

Paxata helps CPG companies optimize supply chains and plug revenue leaks

Ever made a supermarket run only to find out that the brand of beer you were looking for is out of stock. If you are like most consumers you’ll sulk, pick another brand and happily go home. After all, according to Deloitte’s 2015 American Pantry study, for the consumer packaged goods (CPG) category, brand loyalty continues a steady... Read More
October 20, 2015

Painted, Party People of #Data15

Here I stand at the Tableau Customer Conference (TC15, #data15)...watching all walks of data come together. I’ve met data scientists, pricing experts, business analysts, research analysts, Tableau administrators, and someone whose title is just “chief.” It\'s fun to see next to a face painting booth, three piece suits, high heels and converse sneakers. While many have used Tableau, some... Read More
October 19, 2015

No rotten tomatoes here!

Paxata’s Adaptive Data Preparation Platform has become so entrenched in our customers’ data analysis processes that we’ve been asked to supercharge it: more data preparation, more often, no scripting necessary. So we responded by creating Paxata\'s new self-service automation experience with an interactive and visual interface baked right into the application. Self-service automation puts the power of end-to-end data... Read More
October 19, 2015

I ♥ ClicktoPrep

Where data prep used to take you a hundred steps backward from your analysis, with ClicktoPrep, the answer in Tableau is just one click away. Anyone tasked with a data-driven business decision knows that analysis is never a one-way path and you never have all the data you need when you start your analytic process. It\'s iterative, letting analysts move... Read More
October 17, 2015

Happy Spreadsheet Day?!

Who knew? October 17th is \"spreadsheet day.\" Not sure if it\'s a coincidence that yesterday was \"Bosses Day\" but I am sure thousands of business analysts around the world wish they could take a day off from spreadsheet work. This article talks about the joy of navigating, charting and graphing with spreadsheets ... stuff Excel is great for. What it doesn\'t... Read More
October 12, 2015

Coming Clean on Sessions Data for TC15

The other day, I was looking at the TC15 website getting ready for the big event and came across the TC15 sessions data that Tableau has provided for creating visualizations and dashboards. This is a cool way of getting people ramped up for the show; so I figured I’d take a look at the data... Read More
September 29, 2015

Cisco Data Preparation Solution, Powered by Paxata

The blogosphere lit up this morning with news about Cisco Data Prep, and the team at Paxata could not be prouder of the fact that we are the underlying platform fueling Cisco’s entry into the self-service data preparation market. Wondering why Cisco? Let’s start with a great blog written by Kevin Ott, formerly the Senior Vice President, Product... Read More
June 24, 2015

Adaptive…what’s in a word?

Around our offices, we use the word “adaptive” to mean two distinct and important things, both being at the heart of everything we do. From a business perspective, your ability to adapt is directly tied to your ability to answer questions that you may not have even realized you needed to ask two hours ago. In that context, Adaptive Data... Read More
June 22, 2015

Connecting the dots of human trafficking

Could better data sharing help identify human trafficking victims? A few years back, I had an opportunity to work at the Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center on a data analysis project that resulted in a report for the White House Domestic Policy Council called the National Assessment on Human Trafficking. As a part of this project, my team and I... Read More
June 15, 2015

From a tiny spark, comes a flame

This week, Paxata is demonstrating our customer success with Apache Spark at the Spark Summit in San Francisco. I was not around when the Industrial Revolution was taking place (and please hold all jokes about my age, thanks) but it sure seems like the Hadoop Revolution is underway. In fact, I will be bold and say that I have not... Read More
May 21, 2015

You Down With IoT?

If we thought we had big data issues before, things are about to get really crazy. While companies like Cisco and Intel are figuring out how to make \"things\" connected, smart and even more useful than they are today, thosethings are also going to produce a lot of data exhaust. Just because a toothbrush can collect data... Read More
May 21, 2015

Elastic cloud: no such thing as too much

In a recent blog post by one of our fine engineers, Rishi Tirumala, he referenced a phrase that marketing uses to describe the elastic cloud. Since I am the culprit of that message, I thought I would explain a little more about how I see it all. Yes, I get that it\'s a simplified statement to say \"add... Read More
May 21, 2015

The Queen Bee Of Marketing (And Data)

It\'s time for another #PaxChat and the topic is near and dear to my heart: The data driven marketing organization! Well, the prediction Prakash made was that, in 2015 the Chief Marketing Officer will hold the power (and biggest budget) for the big data strategy. I could not agree more, and here\'s why: conservatively, a marketing team runs on 15-20 tools.... Read More
May 20, 2015

Data Quality? That’s not my department….

While the image I selected might imply that I think big data is part of the problem, the truth is data quality has been a challenge for business people like me forever. I am not exaggerating when I say that we had duplicates, misspellings, blanks, inconsistent data even when we were given tiny but highly-structured data sets that would occasionally... Read More
May 20, 2015

Elastic is a great paradigm when “all you can eat” is the goal

People are not reducing their data consumption these days. If anything, they want more - more data, from more sources, with more diversity than we ever imagined. As we pioneer a world where data can be digested easily, we have to engineer every part of our solution to expand as customers demand it. It’s a great time to be... Read More
May 5, 2015

Death to VLOOKUPS

If you missed the last #PaxChat, it was a fun one. The topic was about Excel, and here\'s my perspective: Excel is a fine tool for reporting, creating graphs and charts, especially if the single data set you are working on is already in Excel. However, like many analysts, I have tried to make Excel do unholy acts of... Read More
April 20, 2015

To Hadoop or Not to Hadoop

We have had a lot of fun picking apart our CEO\'s 2015 predictions on our live #PaxChat tweet chat...and the next topic is going to be a fun one. Unless you have been trapped under an elephant\'s butt, you know that everyone in the data management world has contemplated a Hadoop data strategy. Whether they are three years into it or... Read More
April 10, 2015

Diva love at first sight

You know how you meet someone and INSTANTLY feel like you are going to be friends forever? That is how I felt when I first met Kasey Dixon. We call her the DC Diva since she heads up the pre-sales group for our Federal team. She joined Paxata about a month ago and I knew we needed to get... Read More
March 30, 2015

Top ten reasons I love Paxata

Our head of Talent sent out a note yesterday asking everyone to share one reason why they love Paxata. I started to think about THE ONE thing and realized I couldn\'t choose. So...here are my top ten reasons why Paxata rocks! The key to my heart is good grub. I literally roll out of the office door and find myself in... Read More
March 29, 2015

The old dog with new tricks

Yes, I am the old dog. I am on Google Chat and Hangouts, Snapchat, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Flipboard. So why did I need to participate in Tweet chats???? Do I really have more words to offer than places to put them? Three weeks ago, the Divas did our first #PaxChat and it turned out to be a blast. We have... Read More
March 20, 2015

Are you making a real difference?

The software job market is HOT and software professionals have more opportunities than ever. But that doesn’t make things easier. For people on either side of the hiring game, having too many choices actually makes the selection process harder. Good software engineers have many options, so how do they choose the opportunity that best fits their needs? For hiring managers,... Read More
March 19, 2015

Under Construction goes live!

Quite frequently, someone on Paxata’s engineering team will have a bee in their bonnet, a soapbox worth standing on or a contrary opinion worth talking about. As new members of the team come on board, they might even share an insider\'s look at their first 90 days or the types of projects they are getting to take on. \"Under Construction\"... Read More
February 24, 2015

“V” for Victory?

No - this time the \"V\" is for \"Validation!\" Sweet validation of the category we have worked really hard to create. After several years of what Jerry Maguire called “up-at-dawn, pride-swallowing siege,” the team at Paxata is thrilled to read the recent Forrester Research report entitled “Data Preparation Tools Accelerate Analytics.” Frankly, Forrester could have just published... Read More
February 24, 2015

Think ahead or get left behind

I love Gartner\'s point about this in a recent research piece. Okay, they didn\'t use those exact words but you get the point. So often, we focus on collecting and storing all this data without really thinking through how we are going to make it useful. I know everyone talks about \"big data\" but Gartner makes the... Read More
January 13, 2015

We Are Not “Yes” Divas…We are Data Divas

If you enjoyed what our Diva In Charge, Cari Jaquet, said about Prakash\'s BI predictions that were published in Forbes, you won\'t want to miss this new video series. Our newest Data Diva Julie Mayhew and I invited Joseph di Paolantonio, a big thinker on big data, to give OUR perspective on Prakash’s predictions. Cari\'s opinions are MILD compared to... Read More
January 9, 2015

Unpredictable Data Diva Takes On CEO Predictions

A Diva With a Mind of Her Own... No one has a crystal ball but you would think I had a pair of them for giving my honest opinion about Prakash Nanduri\'s BI predictions published in Forbes. In these quick segments, I decompose each of his six predictions and offer my take on whether I think Prakash is on... Read More
November 25, 2014

2014 predictions – How did we do?

As 2015 comes speeding around the corner, you can expect a slew of predictions to start surfacing…and the Paxata fortune tellers are busy on a few! I thought it would be fun to take a look-see at Paxata 2014 predictions Prakash published in Forbes and grade him on his ability to see into the future.... Read More
August 22, 2014

Paxata Data Reshaping FTW

I came across an excellent data reshaping use case with a prospect\'s sample data set today and wanted to share my findings (and boost morale on a Monday). Some business analysts are aware of macro code or Excel add-ins (Tableau provides a data reshaping add-in as a free download) which... Read More
July 10, 2014

Props to the King of Grok

\"Grok\" was today\'s \"word of the day,\" and I immediately started humming \"the King of Grok, that is my name...\" (think: the Beastie Boys tune \"Paul Revere\"). It took me back to a year ago, when I was first introduced to Joseph di Paolantonio and his partner, Clarise Z. Doval Santos. We were meeting with a lot of industry analysts and... Read More
June 24, 2014

How to Choose a Self-Service Data Preparation Platform

No matter the lipstick shade...it\'s still a pig. That\'s right. I wanted to write a piece about the next generation data preparation solution - and why it was critical for Paxata to innovate the Adaptive Data Preparation platform from the ground-up. Then, I realized the more interesting story is about the vendors who are doing just the opposite. I am... Read More
June 24, 2014

Data science or rocket science?

No question in my mind: people who use data to get smarter about their business may as well be astronauts because it\'s not a trivial undertaking. More and more, people who thrive on data are getting the support of the organization around them. The Data Divas thought it would be fun to talk about what data-driven organizations (DDOs)... Read More
June 20, 2014

What do Data and Dating have in common?

Of course, the knee-jerk answer to that question would be \"it\'s a numbers game.\" But really, I have slightly better material than that... The last time I was single, dinosaurs were still roaming the earth so, needless to say, entering today\'s strange world of dating has been overwhelming - the variety, velocity and volume and ugh - veracity - of... Read More
June 16, 2014

Data Validation Without Conditional Formulas or VLOOKUPs

Here\'s another little data validation nugget for you... Sometimes, you are working with five or six or ten different spreadsheets and you need to harmonize a set of values across all of them. For example, let’s take states in North America. One spreadsheet might have states as two letter abbreviates, while another has them spelled out. In Excel, you need... Read More
June 16, 2014

Merging Multiple Data Sets or Excel Spreadsheets

Okay - here\'s one that we just wish was not painful in Excel...but it is. Sometimes, you need to combine two spreadsheets – and everyone has a different term for this painful step in the data preparation process: combine, join, merge, mash up, wrangle, overlay, blend...you get the picture. And you have to do this either because you want... Read More
June 4, 2014

Quick & Easy Data Enrichment with 3rd Party Data

I’ve covered the enrichment topic in one of my Data Diva blogs – the requirement business analytic teams have to supplement their core system data with data that we buy or rent from third parties. Sometimes it\'s the Census data, sometimes it\'s Dun & Bradstreet, sometimes it is Nielsen information...and it\'s all sitting in spreadsheets. I had to vent... Read More
May 27, 2014

New Data Exploration Tools … Goodbye Excel

Sometimes I work with data that I am not familiar with - either it is unstructured or came from a source that does not follow our naming conventions or data standards. In Excel, I would spend hours staring into the abyss, looking at data sets, columns and values just trying to locate things that were going to screw up... Read More
May 24, 2014

Hadoop … that is one big yellow elephant

The Divas recently interviewed our colleague and good friend, Rebecca Wong and talked about Hadoop. For those of you that don\'t know the big yellow elephant that has taken over the data room, meet Hadoop. It has completely disrupted the data management world. Hadoop makes it possible to collect and store more raw data than we ever imagined, at... Read More
April 21, 2014

The Trouble with Big Data: Data Veracity, Data Preparation

The Divas recently \"interviewed\" Joseph di Paolantonio, Principal Analyst of Data Archon and overall cool guy. The topic was around decisions being made with big data, and the serious pitfalls that happen when data is either not clean or complete. The webcast started with how we have spent the last twenty years coming up with better ways to... Read More
April 12, 2014

Awakening the Data Divas

A few months ago, I was having a lively conversation with Lilia Gutnik, our Director of Product Marketing. It was around the idea that we both came to Paxata with unique experiences - specifically around data. I am the classic marketing person who has to constantly rely on data to justify my budget (and sometimes, my very existence) while Lilia had... Read More
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