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Day: February 10, 2023

Automated Data Visualization in Python

Brendan Tierney saves some time:

Creating data visualizations in Python can be a challenge. For some it an be easy, but for most (and particularly new people to the language) they always have to search for the commands in the documentation or using some search engine. Over the past few years we have seem more and more libraries coming available to assist with many of the routine and tedious steps in most data science and machine learning projects. I’ve written previously about some data profiling libraries in Python. These are good up to a point, but additional work/code is needed to explore the data to suit your needs. One of these Python libraries, designed to make your initial work on a new data set easier is called AutoViz. It’s good to see there is continued development work on this library, which can be really help for creating initial sets of charts for all the variables in your data set, plus it has some additional features which help to make it very useful and cuts down on some of the additional code you might need to write.

This looks like it’s worth a try and could serve well as a first-glance approach to exploratory data analysis.

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A Primer on Stan

Jack Kennedy explains the concepts of Stan and JAGS:

You may have used a probabilistic programming language (PPL) in the past, such as BUGS, to perform Bayesian inference. You’ve heard about Stan and want to learn a little more. Or maybe you’re about to step into the Bayesian paradigm and don’t know where to start. You want to know whether you should make the switch from JAGS to Stan, or you’ve used neither of JAGS or Stan and want to know which will suit you best. This post will focus solely on the differences between JAGS and Stan as I have experience with both of them, but there are many more PPLs out there. For example, I have never used Bean Machine, but of all the PPLs, it certainly takes the crown for best name.

Stan has been on my to-learn list for a while and I did successfully get one of my employees (a rassa-frassin’ frequentist) to use and enjoy the power of Bayesian analysis. One of these days, I’ll have to get back to it.

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So You Have a Programming Question

Louis Davidson takes us through the process of asking a good question:

Over the past 25 years, I have answered a lot of programming questions in online forums, from co-workers, and from friends. It has been a while since I had been around forums, but I recently decided it was time to get back to what started me in the SQL community: answering questions. Not only is it complementary to my current job as Simple-Talk editor, it is really a great joy to be able to help other people with their problems. It is also educational to see the kinds of things other people are going through before you also go through them.

Sometimes you know the answer right away, but sometimes the question is a challenge (these are actually my favorite.) At times I have spent hours on a question, trying to figure out a solution that works, and then writing up the answer to post back. Along the way I am learning something new and (assuming I figured out a correct answer,) the question poster usually learns something too. I mean, I have been wrong a few times, at least.

It’s been a decade since I’ve haunted Q&A forums but yeah, answering questions is a good way to learn more. Still, it can be really frustrating for everybody when you get (or ask) a vague question: there’s a lot of opportunity for confusion, non-viable answers, or even people ignoring the question completely because they can’t make sense of it.

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Disabling Public Network Access in Synapse

Ryan Adams builds a private endpoint:

If you disable public access to your Azure Synapse Workspace you will get the following error message when attempting to open Synapse Studio. 

“Failed to load one or more resources due to forbidden issue, error code 403.” 

Click through for more information about routing for Synapse resources and what you’d need to do in order to disable public network access entirely.

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Power BI Incremental Refresh with Non-Standard Dates in Parquet Files

Shabnam Watson hits on a specific but interesting use case:

The most common scenario for setting up the out of the box incremental refresh in Power BI is to base it off of a datetime column; however, there are cases when you may want to set up incremental refresh based off of a column with a data type other than datetime. Examples are when you are working with a smart date ID (01012023 for Jan 1,2023) column or when you are working with a source system that has partitioned data using a column such as Year that has a numeric data type.

A use case for the latter scenario is when you are working with Parquet/Delta files via Azure Synapse Analytics Serverless SQL Pool. When working with larger datasets, it is typical to see the Parquet/Delta files partitioned by date ranges. Depending on how much data there is, the partitioning may be at the Year level instead of Day.

With that scenario in mind, read on to learn how you can minimize your Power BI processing time and costs when doing incremental refresh.

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Data Protection in Azure

Deepthi Goguri enumerates the ways:

Data needs to be protected no matter where it lives, On-prem or in Azure. Data can be protected by using the encryption that Azure provides. What are the types of encryption we have in Azure?

In addition to specific encryption options, Deepthi also provides an overview of Dynamic Data masking and Ledger tables.

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Adaptive Protection and More in Microsoft Purview

Victoria Holt summarizes some Microsoft Purview updates:

 Yesterday a lot of changes were announced for Microsoft Purview at the Microsoft security event securing your data with a multilayered defense.  Microsoft Purview is about managing data security risks across hybrid multi-cloud data estates that have a defense in depth strategy to mitigate risk. The recording can be watched at this link

Read on for a summary of what went down.

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