Being a technical blogger, a data dork and an organized digital hoarder does have its advantages, although my wife would probably argue that point! She just makes statements to her friends like this:
Yes, he is a dork, and I do have to live with this all the time.
She will call me Mr Max Data Dork on the days I dress like this (Figure 1). I know that I deserve that! It’s worth it since I know that I have a supercomputer in my backpack coupled with two incredible software packages called Alteryx and Tableau. With that backpack, I feel like I can do anything with data!
This Is A Special Article For Me
When Tableau 10.5 was released, I knew that this special article was born. Why is it special? Well, it is my 300th article on 3danim8’s Blog, and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate completing another 100 blog articles by going back to my Tableau roots.
I awoke this morning with this article formed in my head. I have no control over how this happens, but I do control whether I react to these stories by taking the time to do the work and write the stories. In this case, I’m going to do the work and write the results.
I have chosen to write this one without having completed any of the work. Just like in my Tableau Vs Power BI series, I have no prior knowledge of the outcome as I write these words. The only work I have done so far is to find the old hard drive that held some data files I previously used to benchmark Tableau, as I will explain.
It Was 1,530 Days Ago When…
I published this Tableau benchmark article on Nov 4, 2013. For the record, I didn’t really expect anyone to read this one.
Back then, I believed that the Tableau development team and only true Tableau computational nerds would show interest in an article like this. I thought a few guys like Joe Mako, Jonathan Drummey, and Russell Christopher were possible readers when I hit the publish button. We didn’t have as many computational Tableau bloggers back then like there are now.
Much to my surprise, as shown in Figure 2, this is one of those articles that has stuck around over time. With about 3 reads per day on average over the past 4.5 years, this article continues to be interesting to people. With 2,670 reads since it was written, this example conclusively proves to me that I have no idea what I’m doing writing a blog. It amazes me that so many articles like this one can have long-term readership.
In this article, I published a series of 15 benchmark examples using Tableau version 8.0.5. These benchmarks were intended to determine how fast Tableau could ingest csv files and turn them into Tableau data extracts (tdes). I also examined the compression ratios achieved for the different types of files.
In a strange twist of fate, my place of employment has an ongoing program named “Hyper Ingestion” of data, in which large volumes of data are being added to a big data system. Sometimes this program can give us “Hyper Indigestion” because we can’t get to the data we need when we need it because it hasn’t been “consumed”.
For this study, I’m going to determine if the new Tableau “Hyper” data engine will give me “High Performance” or will it give me “Hyper Indigestion”. Let the games begin.
In this test, I am going to reproduce the results using my original fifteen test cases. I might even go deep and hit Tableau with some of my big files. My goal is to quantify how much improvement occurs when using Hyper. I want to know how much faster Tableau can create a hyper extract compared to what it could do when creating a “tde”. Once that is done, I might even do some performance testing on using the extracts in a head-to-head comparison.
Why would I want to do this? I do it because I love this stuff. For me, things like this take me back to the beginnings of my studies of numerical calculus, numerical analysis, computational efficiency, etc. The years I worked writing computational algorithms for solving partial differential equations gave me some insight into what it takes to drive technology forward. Tableau is great at bringing us new technologies that make us better at our jobs.
I believe inTableau. I believe in the development team. Even though I haven’t done any work on this, I am confident that the results will be impressive when article number 301 gets written sometime soon. If the outcome isn’t what I expect it to be, I’ll be shocked.
I’m excited to do the work, so if you are interested, consider subscribing to this blog to follow my next 100 articles. As shown in Figure 3, you never know what is going to get cooked up in the mind of this data dork!
Writing a blog like this doesn’t always go according to plan. Figure 4 shows that there are almost 20 draft articles I have started writing but I have not yet finished. Motivations change, life gets in the way, and work takes precedence over blogging. All of these things collide on a daily basis to slow me down from achieving my vision and satisfying my curiosity.
The only piece of advice I can give to people interested in doing this type of “free” work is to keep chugging along, and after a sufficient amount of time has passed, you can look back and see where you have been. You will see your own progress, even though not too many people will not look at your work. There is satisfaction in completing each article and sharing your knowledge.