Wednesday, September 20, 2017

#Data17 Guide

Just a few weeks to go before data nerds converge in Las Vegas for the 10th Tableau conference. This will be my 7th and I still get excited about it.

  1. Have fun - There will be parties, mingle time, relax time, keynotes (even those are fun). Welcome Reception on Monday and Empire of the Sun and Robert DeLong will be playing at Data Night Out on Wednesday. 
  2. Meet people - in the elevator, in sessions, at the parties, in the hall. Go to meetups and meet people from the same industry or in similar roles. 
  3. Comfy shoes - you are going to walk. 
  4. Travel light - I hated carrying a bag with my laptop and all the trimmings. It kept getting in the way during sessions and I had to keep track of it. I tried slimming down to an iPad, but now I just go with sunglasses, a phone, and a power pack. Everything fits in my pocket so I can. I feel bad for those folks with computer bags at Data Night Out. 
  5. Be flexible - You might go to a session, but it isn't your cup of tea. Don't be afraid to bail and check out our second choice, or go do something else. 
  6. Tweet - The main hashtag is #data17, but there are others, like #rundata17, #fitdata17, #DataNightOut, #data17wish and more. 
  7. Eat and drink - We will be in the desert, so keep hydrated during the day so you can party in at night. Pro tips:
    1.  here is the Bar Chart often starts serving beer and wine around 3
    2. Often people line up funny at the food tables. It isn't a buffet and the same food ready to grab is all over the table, but people form a line at one end and just take food from one side. Mob the table people!
    3. Drinks lines can be crazy, so go to the back of the party where they are shorter. 
  8. Pick the right sessions - I usually star everything I am interested in and then remove anything I think will be as good or better in the video replay (you do know they record the sessions?). Hopefully, I have two or three for each timeslot to give me a backup if something is full or boring. Some people like the hands-on sessions, but I am not one of them. They are longer and in my experience, I don't get as much out of them.
  9. Dress how you want - Anything from a suit to jeans and t-shirt is acceptable. Average Highs are between 82-84 and lows around 60. Record temps are high 90's and mid-30's. Check the weather before you go to pack right. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

My Ski Data

Last year I inadvertently tracked my skiing for a week at ABasin using the Moves App. It wasn't super accurate and lacked elevation (a big deal when skiing). This past season I used an app called Ski Tracks that is designed for skiing. It is also smart enough to split runs and chairlift rides. It started snowing out west this weekend so I figured I should get this finished up.

Here are the results of my 21 ski days for the 2016-2017 season.

The app I used will export as KML or GPX, but I found the .SKIZ files it uses are actually .ZIP files. They contain an XML with day stats and CSV files with run segments, nodes, battery life, and any photos I tagged along the way.

I created a pentaho job that would expand the SKIZ files, and then process them into 3 files.

  1. Day Level Stats - one record per file/day that has max speed, total decent, number of runs, min and max altitude, etc. 
  2. Ski Paths - a combination of the runs and nodes data. Along the way I also add some calculations for delta altitude and distance so I don't have to do table calcs in Tableau. 
  3. Battery life - it tracks battery life during use and will stop tracking if the battery gets low, but I am never reached that point or have done anything with this data yes. 
Once the data is processed I take it away with Tableau! For my detailed speeds, I ended up using a moving average. I have found that with GPS data at small distances can be...less than accurate. Some line segments had me over 150mph. I am good, but not that good. A moving average helps smooth the speed line out.