[video] Data Science is not NEW – it’s just that we live in a VERY special time!

  • Data Analysis is NOT new
  • Data Mining is NOT new
  • Predictive Analytic is NOT new
  • Machine Learning is NOT new
  • Statistics is NOT new
  • And Data Science is NOT new

So what’s new?

  • The rate at which data is produced.
  • The variety in Data that’s being produced.
  • The “amount” of data that’s being produced.

And we did not have Tools and Techniques before – But now we do! Indeed, We live in a VERY special time!

Here’s a nice 5 minute video titled “Data Science: Beyond Intuition”.

Link to video: http://vimeo.com/48456421  AND Thanks Ryan Swanstrom for sharing!

How to add External Links to Facebook Page Tabs?


I figured a way to add External Links to my Facebook Page – In this blog-post I’ll share how I did that. It’s not a native feature and I have resorted to a third-party app to get this functionality. Here’s the Blog-Post:

This is how my Facebook page Tabs looks after I completed the process.

paras doshi faecbook page google plus twitter

You can see it is linked to my Blog, Twitter and Google+ from my Facebook page tab.

Before we start. you should have the proper admin permissions to install app to a Facebook page as we are going to use a third-party app for this blog-post. Here are the steps involved:

1)  https://www.facebook.com/iframehost > click on Go to App that’s right besides like button > click on “install page tab”

2) select the Facebook Page and click on add page tab

3) Authorize Tab application (review the permission requests before agreeing)

4) Can you see the Tab Settings Page?

add external link facebook pages tab settings

*NGO XYZ is just a page that I created to show this. Ignore the phrase when you see that.

5) I want to redirect it to say twitter.com/paras_doshi.

So following are the settings that I chose:

Tab Name: Twitter

Page Source: redirect

And I entered the URL that It will get redirected to:

twitter paras doshi social media

6) I am going to leave other choice as default for now. You could explore it for advanced options like “this tab will only be visible to your fans and invisible to your non-fans” among other things.

click on Save Settings.

7) Can you see the new tab?

new tab twitter external link via facebook page

8) Test it!

9) Come back on your page. Now – Don’t you want to change the Image? Yes? Go to Edit settings for this Tab:

how to edit settings of facebook page tab

10) click on “change” for custom tab image. And Now, upload the custom image.

When done – come back to your page. Can you see it? yes? Great!

external link to twitter on facebook page

11) To add more Tabs. click on this tab as “page administrator”

when prompted about “Do you want to be redirected?”. click on cancel

click on settings from the admin tab options.

and another tab:

add multiple external links on facebook page tabs

Limit seems to 10 tabs.

And once you click on “HTML Page Tab #n”, then you’ll have to repeat the steps about configuring the settings for this tab.

That’s about it!


If you want your Facebook page to point to your (or your organizations) presence on other social media networks – then now you know how you can add external links and point your Facebook page fans to Google+, Twitter, Website, Blog among other things.


Are there any other cool facebook page techniques that you now of, I’ll be glad to learn about it – Please do post it in the comment section (along with your facebook page url! )


Related Articles:
1. Social Media Analytics. Facebook Page Smackdown: Status updates vs Images?
2. Five things I learned about “Art of report designing” from Facebook insights.

Excel: How to split the content of one excel cell into separate columns?


I wanted to explore a data-set in excel. I thought I would do that using Excel. The problem was that when I opened the data-set, data was in one column. It was “supposed” to be in different columns but no – I found that it was in one excel cell. This was not Excels fault – it was just the way the data-set was defined. Here’s what I mean:

open a data set in excel text to columns

Can you see that the TWO values are in ONE column?

Problem? Yes. How do we solve it? Turns out there’s a nice feature called “Text to Columns” that should be of help here. Let’s try that:

1) Excel Toolbar > Data > Data Tools > Text to columns

excel text to columns data tools

2) This should open the “convert text to columns wizard”

Step 1: I chose Delimited

Step 2: I chose Comma as the delimiter.

Here are other delimiters that you could choose:

split an excel columns tab semicolon comma space user defined

Step 3: I left the default choices. But you could change the data format if you want. You could also choose the destination cells.

Clicked on FINISH

3) Nice! Here’s what I wanted – And I added a header row.

excel an excel value cell splitted into seperate columns by comma

And my data exploration:

step one for building a predictive model that is data exploration


In this blog-post, we saw how one can split excel cell into separate columns at each comma, tab, space, semicolon or user-defined-character.

How to enable Data Mining in EXCEL powered by SQL Server Analysis Services?


In this blog post, we’ll see a step by step guide to install Data Mining Excel add-in in excel that would help you carry out data mining in Excel.For the purpose of this blog-post, I am going to install add-in for Excel 2010 and SQL Server Analysis services server 2012.

It’s important to note that this add-in acts as an interface between Excel and “SQL Server Analysis services (SSAS)”. So SSAS is the place where data mining wizardry takes place and EXCEL acts as a client.

Here are the steps:

1) Search for “Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Data Mining add-ins for Microsoft office 2010”. AND Download the add-in.


2) Run the Setup > To go forward you have to accept license agreement.


3) Select “Data Mining for Excel” as a feature that’s supposed to be installed:

feature selection tab of excel data mining add-in


4) Next > Install. 

After it is successfully installed, open Excel.


5) Now in EXCEL 2010, can you see the Data Mining Tab?

data mining in excel tool


6) There’s more. You’re not done yet.

Did you see a “Getting started” dialog box too. If not, click on “getting started” from the Start Menu:

Getting started data mining


7) Now, if you have SSAS – then select “Use an Existing Instance of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 or later analysis server that I administer ”

But if you do NOT have SSAS, then you could consider installing the Evaluation copy.

For this blog-post, we’ll go with the first option:


8) Now, can you see the instructions? They read like this:

You have chosen to download the Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Evaluation Edition.

The Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Evaluation Edition is fully-functional 180-day trial software.

Microsoft SQL Server 2012 is a data management and analysis solution that enables companies of all sizes to gain greater insight from their business information, apply that insight to enhance their decision-making process, and achieve faster business results for a competitive advantage.

You now have 2 more steps to complete to start using the Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Data Mining Add-ins for Office.

Step 1. Download the Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Evaluation Edition
The typical evaluation installation of SQL Server 2012 does not include the Analysis Services part of the product by default. When installing Microsoft SQL Server 2012, you must install Analysis Services.

Download and install the Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Evaluation Edition.

Step 2. Configure SQL Server 2008 (or later) Analysis Services so that the Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Data Mining Add-ins for Office will work correctly
You can now run the SQL Server 2012 Data Mining Add-ins for Office Configuration Utility that is part of the installation. This tool will do everything for you in order to get your SQL Server 2008 (or later) Analysis Services instance configured correctly for use with the Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Data Mining Add-ins for Office.

Click the link below to run the application that will allow you to configure SQL Server 2012:
C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft SQL Server 2012 DM Add-InsMicrosoft.SqlServer.DataMining.Office.ServerConfiguration.exe

Once you have completed Steps 1 and 2, click the Finish button below.

Let’s follow the above steps:


9) Download SQL Server Enterprise Evaluation copy for yourselves.


10) After Downloading the copy – run the SQL Server Setup. These are the steps to install a SSAS:

step a – e

a. Installation > New SQL Server Stand-alone installation or add features to existing installation

1 step by step install sql server analysis services 2012

b. Run Setup support rules > Ok.

c. In the “Specify a free edition”, select “Evaluation” > Next

2 step by step install sql server analysis services 2012

d. To go forward, you’ll have to accept the terms.

e. Now, you’ll see the SQL Server setup. These are my screenshots while I installed the evaluation copy on my machine – refer to them while you are installing:

Note: I am installing it on my Demo Machine, This is NOT how it’s done in Enterprises. The goal of our demo machine is to get acquainted with the Data Mining features in Microsoft SQL Server.

Here are the screenshots

3 step by step install sql server analysis services 2012

4 step by step install sql server analysis services 2012

Click on Select All features. And I unchecked “Distributed replay controller” and “Display replay client”.

5 step by step install sql server analysis services 2012

Installation Rules: Leave default choices > Click Next.

Instance Configuration. Leave default choices > Click Next.

Server Configuration. Leave default choices > Click Next.

Database Engine Configuration. Click on “Add Current User” and click Next.

Analysis Services configuration:

6 step by step install sql server analysis services 2012

Reporting Services configuration. Select Install Only.

Click NEXT till you reach Ready to Install. Click on Install.

Wait for it to install.

Now After SQL Server is successfully installed:


11) Do you remember the Dialog Box from Step 8?

click on: C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft SQL Server 2012 DM Add-InsMicrosoft.SqlServer.DataMining.Office.ServerConfiguration.exe

for Step 1-4. Leave Default choices(s). And After successful completion of these steps:


12) In the Dialog box: Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Data Mining Add-ins for office 2010, click on Finish


13) you’ll get the message:

“you have successfully downloaded and installed the Microsoft SQL server 2012 Data Mining Add-ins for office”


14) Now along with installing the add-in, we also installed sample data.

you can access it by START > All programs > Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Data Mining > Sample Excel Data.

Open this file.


15) One last piece of configuration.

In Excel > Data Mining Tab > click on ‘No connections’

Click on NEW and enter credentials of the SSAS server:

connect to ssas via data mining excel addin


16) Now – you have all components installed and you are ready to perform data Mining in Excel!

data mining excel add in sample data

That’s about it for this post.

World has changed: from “what’s NEW” to “what does it all Mean”


I am reading a book titled “Data Journalism”. And I read a very Interesting insight that was primarily meant for “Journalism” industry – But I realized it’s true in general and I thought I’ll share that with you. The insight is that the world has changed from “what’s new” to “what does it all mean”. By that it means that few years ago – we had to subscribe to newspaper/journals/other-paper-based-stuff to know about “what’s NEW”. And notice that the pace at which the NEWS reached us was very slow. But now Thanks to Internet – we know “what’s new” and in fact it is TMI (too much information) and so now what we ask ourselves and others (including online services): “What does it all mean?”.

data journalism what is new to what does it all mean

That’s about it for this post.

How do you deal with “information overload” – Tips/Techniques? do comment!

Productivity Tip: Assign Keyboard Shortcut to open a program (in windows 7)


Keyboard shortcuts are a great way to save few precious seconds. In this blog-post – I’ll show you how to assign a keyboard shortcut to open a program.

Keyboard Shortcut to open a program is efficient way when you compare it to:

1) Searching for icons on the desktop:

not organized and messy desktop xp

Image Source: http://www.redplanner.co.uk/2011/10/23/how-content-digitisation-is-changing-consumer-self-expression/

2) Or opening the program via start menu:

finding a prgoram via start menu

Am I Right, here?

Alternatively, you can also consider “pinning” program shortcuts to taskbar. you can see that I have pinned few program shortcuts.

Now, let’s assign a keyboard shortcut to a program. And what program(s) to choose and not to choose is entirely up-to your need. for me, 4-5 shortcuts works best.


Here’s a step by step:

For the purpose of step by step, I am going to assign shortcut key to “snipping tool”


1) Choose the program

2) Go to program properties (you can do this by right clicking on program icon and selecting properties)

3) Switch to Shortcut Tab

4) Assign Keyboard shortcut in the Shortcut key

I chose ctrl + alt + s for snipping tool because “snipping tool” starts with S and that way it’s easier for me to remember the shortcut.

Note: you cannot assign something like ctrl + alt +del because those are default keyboard shortcuts for windows. For a complete list search “keyboard shortcut for windows”

snipping tool program shortcut key properties

5) click OK

And Test your shortcut.


And that’s about it!

Everyone time you save a second or two – you know who to Thank, don’t you 😉


Video: 5 things learned in 30 months of blogging by Paras Doshi @ Dallas WordPress user group.







Data Visualization: Think India had a poor 2012 olympics? Think again..


If Total number of medals (Gold + Silver + Bronze) won at Olympics is a parameter for measuring the success, then 2012 was India’s Best Olympics Ever! See:

india's performance at Olympics 1896 2012 paras doshi

Data Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India_at_the_Olympics

Note: I filtered the Games that India did not Participate in. Those years are: 1896, 1904, 1908, 1912.

What do you think?

Visualizing dataset of 2 million+ passwords:


I found a data-set of password(s) on DataScienceCentral: Password and hijacked email dataset for you to test your data science skills – And for fun, I played with the data-set for an hour or so:

1) Password Length vs Frequency

1 how to choose password password length

2) Percentage of passwords having at least one special character vs passwords having no special character:

2 passwords that have special character vs the one's that dont

3) Percentage of passwords that have: at-least one number, one alphabet & one special character AND length = 8 or more.

Answer: 1.4856%

Let’s see a comparison of Passwords of length 8 or more (69.302%) vs Passwords of length 8 or more having combination of alphabets & numbers & special characters (1.485%)

4 passwords having combination of alphabets plus numbers and special characters

That’s about it for now – it was fun!


And for those interested, here are the few behind the scene technical details:

Tools I used:

1. Excel & 2. SQL Server

Note: I first tried using Google refine to augment data – but it crashed on me. So thought of using SQL Server and TSQL. And if excel 2010 supported 2+ million then I would not have needed SQL server. Anyhow – the tool used is not important here.

Initial state:

2 million passwords in a .txt file.

Information I appended to the data-set using TSQL:

1. Length of password

2. Has Alphabets?


3. Has Numbers?


4. Has special Characters?


Plus few others derived from #2, #3 & #4 like ” has alphabets+ characters + special characters?”

That’s about it for the technical details. Ping me if interested!


Mapping Business Intelligence Developer’s Tools: Microsoft SQL server & SAP Netweaver BW


This Post is NOT about Microsoft BI VS Sap BI. Then What is it?

well, I have been playing with SAP’s Netweaver BW Tools for past three months now as a part of a Business Intelligence class that’s about to conclude – Also, I have been involved with work on Microsoft’s SQL server Business Intelligence Tools. So I thought – it would be FUN to map  SAP Netweaver BW Tools (that I got to play with in an academic capacity) and Microsoft’s Business Intelligence Tools (which is currently what I am working on) – so, here you go:

Tool in Microsoft BITool in SAP Netweaver BW
ETL (Extract, Transform, Load)SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS)SAP Netweaver BW: Data Warehousing Workbench
CubeSQL Server Analysis Services – Multidimensional Mode (SSAS)SAP Netweaver BW: Data Warehousing Workbench: Modeling
Report Design Tool and Reporting Layer(It’s not an exhaustive list and does not include third part tools)
  • SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)
  • Report Builder
  • Excel (Excel Services/Pivot Tables)
  • PerformancePoint
Business Explorer (BEx):

  1. BEx Query  Designer
  2. BEx  Analyzer (Excel Add-in)
  3. BEx web Analyzer


Data MiningData Mining Projects in SQL Server Analysis ServicesSAP Netweaver BW: Data mining – Analysis Process Designer

Note about SAP BusinessObjects: I mapped the Tools in Microsoft BI with the tools that I got to study in my SAP class. Then I was searching what’s the current scenario in SAP world (I know about Microsoft’s!)– I learned that SAP BI world is comprised of TOOLS in SAP Netweaver BW + SAP BusinessObjects (BO). And in the course I studied the following components of Business Objects:

  1. Web Intelligence for ad-hoc query and reporting
  2. Crystal Reports for enterprise reporting
  3. Xcelsius (BO Dashboard) for Dashboard designing

For those interested I am also mapping few terms used while cube development in Microsoft BI and SAP Netweaver BW

Microsoft: SSAS Multidimensional mode
SAP Netweaver BW
MeasuresKey Figures
Data Source Views (DSV’s)Data Source


1) I have not mapped the Tools in Self Service BI space.

2) This comparison is not for deciding between Microsoft BI vs. SAP Netweaver BI/SAP BusinessObjects – this post is just meant for mapping tools available in Microsoft BI and SAP Netweaver BW and so if you are an expert in say Microsoft BI – this post will help you see what corresponding tool are available in SAP Netweaver BW world. Consider it as a starting guide for your research.

3) Note the date the post was written – the name of the products may have changed in future. refer to official sites for latest & greatest!

Thanks for reading.