Completed 225 posts! + It’s my Birthday today!

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I have enjoyed blogging! And – The best part is the interaction that I get to have with you – dear readers! I hope to stay as active as I am in the coming year! oh btw, Completed 225 posts with no wish to stop anytime soon ­čÖé

And yes, It was my Birthday today!

Thanks a lot for being an active part of the community!
Paras

 

In case you are interested, here are few more statistics (9/30/2012):

Dashboard of paras doshi blog

New Journal Article Published – Title: “Building an Ideal Tabular Model for Power View reports”

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Part 2/2 of the series on building Ideal Models for Power View reports is live!

Summary: “In this article, we will first compare the PowerPivot and Tabular models, which will help you choose between these two models for your scenarios, and then we will study the reporting properties in a Tabular Model that you can configure to build an Ideal model for Power View reports.”

Read here: SolidQ Journal: Building an Ideal Tabular Model for Power View reports by Paras Doshi

Blog-Post about Part 1 is here: SolidQ Journal: Building Ideal PowerPivot Model for Power View reports

 

If you have any feedback or comments, please drop a comment or contact me.

Productivity Tip: Convert “Emails” TO “Tasks” or “Prioritized To-DO List” in Outlook 2010

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Though I have used Outlook as an email client for about couple of years now – I recently figured a nice way to convert “Emails” to “Tasks” in a Prioritized way. One way to think about emails is that it’s a mechanism via which others assign work to you. Some work may be more important than the other. Wouldn’t it nice to just take an email (that has some “to-do” work for you) and put in a Prioritized To-DO format? Yes? Turns out Outlook can do that for you! In this blog-post, I am going to show you how.

Here are the steps for Outlook 2010 (Desktop Version):

1. Select an Email. Drag it to the TASKS (in the bottom left corner of the navigation pane)

2. Now it will add the content of the email as the description of the Task and it will let you select:

  • Subject
  • Start Date
  • Due Date
  • Status
  • Priority
  • Reminder

outlook emails to tasks to do

3. And you’re done! you can do so for more than one emails – After you COMPLETE a task you can mark it complete.

4.When I get in the “work mode”, the first thing I see is my Task- List. If you want to see your Tasks:

Navigation Pane > Tasks section > Just select “Tasks” (and not To-DO list) to see the Tasks (you can sort it by subject, due date, categories)

5. Note this is similar to “flagging” an email and then assigning the follow up data to it. But I find Dragging the Email to Tasks and then setting the priority simpler.

 

So that’s about it. Do you use this feature? No? Would you use it? Also, Do share outlook tips with me – I am always looking for things that can make me more productive!

Azure PASS VC session on 24th Sep 2012 Monday: Getting Started with Windows Azure

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Join the Azure PASS VC’s session on “Getting Started with Windows Azure” on:

Date: 24th Sep (Monday)

Time: 11 AM Eastern Time; 8 AM Pacific; 8:30 PM India Time; You can download the event calendar from here

Speaker: Brian Prince, Principal Cloud Evangelist Microsoft

Session Abstract: Windows Azure is Microsoft’s cloud platform for quickly building and running scalable applications. We will cover just what the cloud is, as an industry, and what Microsoft is offering. We will see into the data-centers, how they work, and the a high level view of all the components of the platform.

More Details: http://azure.sqlpass.org/

components of windows azure

About My First Professional Experience that Introduced me to the amazing world of Databases!

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I remember Taking a course “Database Management systems” while pursuing Bachelor’s in computer Engineering. I liked it, I liked it a lot and so I thought that It would be a great experience to get some hands on professional experience about Databases and so I went on an Internship search and soon, I found one!

The task was about designing and developing a database for their “materials management project”. They had decided to build an Internal Application that automates their processes and replace their existing “manual” work. I remember once I was given a stack of about 1000 papers to study their existing processes! Also, I also got the chance to talk with the users and “Interview” them for the Task of designing databases. I was guided by Developers in their IT Department who had designed and developed database for some of their existing applications. And It was a nice experience of designing the database for the real-world! After that, I did some database development work and wrote some SQL that I had learned at my “Database Management systems” class at my University. Fun times!

interview and papers helped create database design

Certificate:

Paras Doshi Internship Database Design Certificate

How to Create Calendar Files (.ics) that can be Shared/Emailed/Downloaded?

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For all those who rely on their electronic calendar as much as I do – You know, that receiving a calendar file (.ics)┬á for events/parties/online-meetings is very convenient! So as an organizer – next time, when you want to invite a bunch of people to an event – How about adding a calendar file (.ics) file in your email? People who got invited could just open and save “meeting details” stored in .ics file attached with your email. And once saved, their calendar would “remind” them about your event. Do you think it is useful? Yes? Great!

For this blog-post, I am going to show how you can do this via my favorite email client: Microsoft Outlook. Here are the steps for Outlook 2010:

1. Press “ctrl + 2″ to switch to calendar.

OR outlook > Bottom Left Corner > Calendar.

2. Select the calendar and click on NEW Appointment.

3. Enter Meeting Details. Select Date & Time.

Regarding Timezone: I just set it based on my timezone. If your recipients are in different timezone, Don’t worry – when they receive the file, it would show their timezone.

enter outlook calendar meeting details timezone

4. Save and close the appointment.

5. switch to calendar and select the appointment.

6. Go to file > Save As > save it as “.ics” file

how to create an ics file

Done!

You have the file now and This calendar file (.ics) is ready to be emailed/shared/downloaded!

Conclusion:

If you are organizing online meetings, events, parties, talks, etc and need to invite people to it – next time, consider including an electronic calendar to it. And in this blog-post, you learned how to do it via Outlook. If you’re not using Outlook as your email client, sorry that the steps were not helpful but here’s the idea: Include electronic calendar files for the convenience of the prospective attendees!

One Insight from Analyzing my Past Year’s Blog Traffic Data:

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I analyzed my Past Year’s Web Traffic Data: Here’s the Insight: Traffic on Weekdays > Traffic in Weekends. In most cases, Traffic on Weekends drops by 40%!

In other Words: Not as many people read BLOGS on weekend as much as they do on Weekdays.

What Can you do with this insight?

> First, Verify that it’s true for your domain/field-of-expertise. I blog about Technology and so this insight is applicable to blogs like mine.

> If you plan to blog say Twice in a week. Schedule those Posts on Weekdays (instead of weekends)

What Data did I analyzed:

– WordPress.com site stats

– Google Webmaster Tools search queries report. This gives you the number of searches that include your “blog post” as one of the result. Here’s what it looks like:

web analytics analyzing google webmaster's search data

Seems people are not searching for Technical content during Weekends. And less folks searching for “content” on Search Engines means Less Traffic (& less EyeBalls).

Conclusion:

For my Blog, The Traffic Drops by 40% on Weekends. And that just means that lesser number of people are “listening” on weekends. Since I do not have a “schedule” for this blog yet – I would try to post things on weekdays instead of weekends. That’s what I would do – What would you do with this insight? Do you see the same Traffic pattern for your Blog?