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Day: October 13, 2023

Creating Horizontal Legends in R

Steven Sanderson flattens the legend:

Creating a horizontal legend in base R can be a useful skill when you want to label multiple categories in a plot without taking up too much vertical space. In this blog post, we’ll explore various methods to create horizontal legends in R and provide examples with clear explanations.

Read on for two demos, one with a single legend and one which creates two legends. I’m not so sure about how valuable the latter is (because you’re splitting valuable information into two places, losing some of the glanceability of a chart along the way), but it is interesting that you can do it.

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Killing a Running Apache Spark Application

The Big Data in Real World team pulls the plug on an application:

Apache Spark is a powerful open-source distributed computing system used for big data processing. However, sometimes you may need to kill a running Spark application for various reasons, such as if the application is stuck, consuming too many resources, or taking too long to complete. In this post, we will discuss how to kill a running Spark application.

Click through to see how you can do this.

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Connection Pooling in Postgres

Semab Tariq shows off a tool for Postgres:

PgBouncer is a lightweight yet powerful connection pooling tool for PostgreSQL. It efficiently manages and reuses database connections, reducing the load on the server and improving performance. It acts as an intermediary between applications and the PostgreSQL database, optimizing connection usage and enhancing scalability.

This is a bit different from SQL Server, where connection pooling is built in. Read on to see how it works.

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Microsoft Fabric and Dataverse

Jose Mendes let us know what’s going on with Dataverse:

If like me, you’ve been keeping taps on what Microsoft has been up to on the Power Platform world, you would have noticed that there are two concepts that are regularly referenced in their architectures and generally associated to each other, Azure Data Lake Storage (ADLS) Gen 2 and Common Data Model (CDM).

As Francesco referred in his blog, Microsoft ultimate vision is for the CDM to be the de facto standard data model, however, although there is a fair amount of resources talking about the capabilities and features, it can be a bit confusing to understand how you can actually store your data in the CDM format in ADLS and use it to run data analytics such as data warehousing, Power BI reporting and Machine Learning.

Read on for more of what’s happening on that front. I will admit that Dataverse tends to be way down on my list of priorities, but that’s because I’m a relational database snob.

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Data Activator in Microsoft Fabric

Toby Smith looks at the current state of Data Activator in Microsoft Fabric:

Fabric is the newest all-in-one analytics solution from Microsoft. It combines multiple components (some existing, some new) into a single integrated environment. One of these new components is Data Activator. As Data Activator is still in development, there is still more functionality to be added. This blog shares some of the current abilities and uses for Data Activator, along with ideas for how you can use it in your own business situations.

One of the biggest challenges with big data is understanding it. With tools like Power BI, we are now able to understand and analyse data better than ever before. But when do we act on it? Do we have to manually look at these reports daily just to check everything is going ok? This is where Data Activator comes in. Data activator is a no-code tool that automatically takes actions when certain conditions are met in the data. These actions can vary from alerts in Microsoft Teams, calling stored procedures, triggering other fabric items like a pipeline, or even retraining AI models.

This is a feature which has enormous potential for near-real-time alerting and automating workflows. But do read on to learn about some of the limitations currently in the product.

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Microsoft Fabric Roadmap

James Serra shares some thoughts on the Microsoft Fabric roadmap:

Just released was the Microsoft Fabric roadmap that you can check out at It’s great to see Microsoft be transparent on what features they are working on and when they will be available.

Here are my top 18 features on the roadmap that I am most excited about (in the order found in the roadmap):

Seems like about half of what James is looking forward to releases in Q4 and the other half releases in mid-2024.

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Updates to Power BI Field Finder

Stephanie Bruno has an update for us:

The Power BI Field Finder is a standalone .pbix file you can download and hook up to your reports and data model to. The Field Finder helps you visually analyze where fields are used in reports.

I’ve used this to great effect on a prior project where I had to figure out what was going on in a report with about 20-25 pages that other people had put together.

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