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Day: February 26, 2024

An Overview of Data Types in R

Steven Sanderson talks data types:

Imagine your data as a diverse collection of individuals. Some might be numbers (like age or weight), while others might be text (like names or addresses). These different categories are called data types, and R recognizes several key ones:

Click through for that list. It’s a bit different from what you’d expect if you come at this from a SQL or C-based programming language background. But they all make good sense when you remember that R is a domain-specific language for statistics, so it’s going to emphasize the things that make the most sense for statisticians and data scientists.

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Installing or Upgrading SQL Server on a Workstation

Aaron Bertrand shares some advice:

Lately, I’ve seen many people struggling to upgrade their workstation to the latest version of SQL Server. The main source of the problem is usually the web installer/wrapper, which can fail for a variety of reasons that aren’t always made clear by the error messages. Today, I’m going to walk through one way you can approach a workstation upgrade and avoid these web installer issues altogether. I’ll focus on SQL Server 2022, but most of the information applies to any modern major version. Most of the information applies if you’re installing a brand-new instance, too.

Click through for several good tips and practices.

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dataConvergeDefinition and DirectQuery Partitions

Chris Webb talks about hybrid tables:

Hybrid tables – tables which contain both Import mode and DirectQuery mode partitions to hold data from different time periods – have been around for a while. They are useful in cases where your historic data doesn’t change but your most recent data changes very frequently and you need to reflect those changes in your reports; you can also have “reverse hybrid tables” where the latest data is in Import mode but your historic data (which may not be queried often but still needs to be available) is in DirectQuery mode. Up to now they had a problem though: even when you were querying data that was in the Import mode partition, Power BI still sent a SQL query to the DirectQuery partition and that could hurt performance. That problem is now solved with the new dataCoverageDefinition property on the DirectQuery partition.

Read on to see what dataCoverageDefinition does.

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Improving Aurora Postgres Performance by Lowering random_page_cost

Shayon Mukherjee does some performance tuning:

Recently I have been working with some queries in Postgres where I noticed either it has decided not to use an index and perform a sequential scan, or it decided to use an alternative index over a composite partial index. This was quite puzzling, especially when you know there are indexes in the system that can perform these queries faster.

So what gives?

After some research, I stumbled upon random_page_cost (ref).

Read on to learn more about what this is, how you can change it, and a warning before you go wild in changing it.

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Accessibility in UI Design

Benedict Ampea-Badu shares some tips:

In this last segment of the series, we’ll delve into the crucial elements of navigation and flow, exploring further the part of web accessibility that ensures users can effortlessly navigate online content. Additionally, we’ll shine a spotlight on the indispensable practice of regular testing, an ongoing commitment that goes beyond compliance, providing invaluable insights into real user experiences and fostering continuous improvement.

Ensuring a seamless online experience for everyone and facilitating smooth navigation boils down to adhering to the fundamentals of web accessibility. It boils down to carefully planning how websites are laid out, making it easy for users to explore different things effortlessly. When developers grasp how users interact and tackle possible issues, they go beyond just ticking boxes on a checklist. Instead, they create websites that truly put users first, considering how people actually use and prefer to browse.

This is particularly about accessibility in web applications but many of the same principles apply to things like Power BI reports.

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