Project Maestro - Tableau's new data prep tool

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This week I downloaded and tried out Tableau’s Beta 3 data prep product, “Project Maestro”.  Overall, I am impressed by the visual interface and what it can do without advanced excel functions or programming. Here are some features I am excited it can do:

  • EXTRACT DATA FROM OUR ILS DATABASE: Using a MySQL connection, I was able to pull data from our Koha database and output the results to a CSV file.
  • MERGE A FOLDER OF EXCEL REPORTS: Using the wildcard union, I was able to easily combine a folder of reports into one csv file. I merged a folder that had a separate file of items owned for every library in the South Central Library System. The resulting file had over 3 million items, and it only took a few minutes. 
  • COMBINE DATA SOURCES: Using the join feature, I combined data from multiple sources and could easily see how many records were included/excluded.
  • FILTER: This can be done with a calculation or by selecting which field values to keep or exclude.
  • ADD OR SPLIT FIELDS: Calculated fields and custom splits can be used to add new fields. I used this to add the report date, which is typically in the filename and not listed as a report field.
  • AGGREGATE LARGE FILES: This is my favorite feature!  We create monthly database extracts with millions of records that are used by Perl scripts to generate reports. Using Maestro’s aggregate feature, I was able to aggregate (sum) these large files by year, quarter, month, day, etc. to reduce the number of records.
  • OUTPUT: The ability to output to a CSV or Tableau format is huge. I’m now wondering what this means for custom reports and rethinking my dashboard design workflows.

My only complaint with Project Maestro is that sometimes it took too long or seemed stuck. Restarting the program and keeping the flow simpler for large files seemed to help.

So how much will this cost? I contacted our Tableau representative and received this information: “Project Maestro will be included in a desktop license but they have not released any details on how it will be released i.e. as an upgrade or a new offering.” In the meantime, you can try it for free!  Here are some resources to get started:

Software: https://www.tableau.com/project-maestro 

Blog post: http://www.blastam.com/blog/tableaus-new-etl-tool-project-maestro

Training video: https://youtu.be/22_YJ6eJVTY

The many joys of Internet Archive

Internet ArchiveI attended a fun NFLS webinar last week and was reminded all over again about Internet Archive, a "non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more." Have you been there?

Here's just a tiny sampling of what you might find:

Definitely worth a look around!

The Internet Archive's Wayback Machine also allows you to view more than 310 million webpages saved over time. Run into a dead link? Wonder what a webpage used to look like? Pop it into the Wayback Machine!

Here's what the SCLS webpage (www.scls.lib.wi.us) looked like back in 1997:
1997 SCLS website

SCLS libraries interested in looking up your page - try www.scls.lib.wi.us/<3-letter delivery code> 
1997 Internet Search Engines

 

 

 

And here's the SCLS 1997 list of internet search engines:

(remember the days before Google?)

 

 

 

More articles and resources related to Internet Archive

Sharing videos via email

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Have you ever wanted to share a video via email and was told that you can't because the file was too big? Kristine from LDI had this same problem and she even tried zipping the video to make it smaller, but it was still too big. She ended up finding a solution in the Office 365 application called Stream. Using Stream she was able to upload her video and then get an online link which she used in the body of her email. She said that it worked perfectly.

To find this application you would need to be logged into your Office 365 Outlook SCLS email account. Then in the upper left-hand corner you would click on the button that has nine little squares in it. You should then see a list of applications, one of which is called Stream. Click on Stream and you will be taken to the Stream website where you can "Securely upload" your video. You will then be given a link to your video. You can then use that link in an email to send to whomever you want.

Photo by Gabriel Petry on Unsplash

Using Google Calendar for Task Reminders

I have been using Google Calendar as an online calendar for years, but more recently I have utilized the "Reminder" feature to keep track of daily tasks, especially repeating tasks.

To create a Reminder, click on the appropriate day, enter the information, and select the Reminder button (instead of the Event button).  Googlecalendarreminder-create

You can set up the Reminder for a certain time, or leave it as "all day." You can make it a one-time task, or set up a schedule for the task.

The many options for Repeating the task are highly useful. There are multiple tasks that I do on a regular schedule, such as monthly, every other month, etc. I even have Reminders set for tasks that are only done once a year. 

Googlecalendarreminder-markasdoneWhen you have completed the task for the day, you can mark the task as done to cross it off of your list (hover your mouse over the task to get the Mark as done option). If you don't mark the task done, it will appear on the next day. The tasks keep appearing until you mark them done or delete them. 

Unsplash for images

Looking for beautiful pictures to use in newsletters, blog posts, social media posts, and more?

Winnefox Library System's "Library Sparks" recently highlighted Unsplash, a source for free, high-resolution photos. Crediting isn't required, but the site provides a super-easy way to credit the photographers by providing text to embed a badge or text credit. I am in LOVE with it already! Just look at some of these beauties...

Love
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Hearts
Photo by grafxart photo on Unsplash

Love lights
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

 

Check out the review of Unsplash, and give Library Sparks a look, too -- it's a great source for all sorts of helpful library-related tips and information, and it's one of my favorite blogs!

Hey, can you stop what you're doing and proofread this for me?

GrammarlyAbout two months ago or so an ad popped up while I was watching a YouTube video about Grammarly. The ad indicated it can check your spelling and grammar for free! I feel like I’m always asking someone (way smarter than me)to check my work for mistakes, and when I saw this ad I thought I would give it a try to see how well it worked. This article is going to be all me and Grammarly, so be kind in the comments if you find any mistakes, please.


You can download Grammarly from there website for free. They have a version for Microsoft Office and for web browsers. I downloaded both options just to try out. If you happen to write a lot more than I do and would like a more robust version, they do offer a subscription version.


I wrote this in Word with Grammarly turned off until this point. I intentionally misspelled a couple words, which I fixed that both Microsoft Office Spell Checker and Grammarly caught. I also left out a comma (not intentional) between mistakes and please at the end of the first paragraph that Grammarly said should be there.


I’m also getting an alert from Grammarly that it see’s five more mistakes that the Premium version will fix. Not today it won’t! Those are for you to find!

YouTube Tips and Tricks

    Is there anyone that doesn't know what YouTube is?  There isn't a day goes by that I am not on YouTube watching/listening to something either while I do my hair and makeup in the morning or making dinner at night.  If you are anything like me and you watch YouTube videos then you watch regular TV then you might already know these tips and tricks.  If not, here are some tips and tricks that I use when watching YouTube videos.

Loop a video:

    Have a song you can't get enough of?  YouTube will loop (continuously play) it for you.  Simply right click the video and select Loop.

 

Share a video at a certain time:

    Want to share a cute cat video with your friends but the real action doesn't start until 1:00 into the video?  No problem, just click Share at the bottom of the video and check the box Start at and enter a time.  Then choose how to share the video.   Share a video at a certain time

 

 

 

 

 

 

Captions:

    Maybe you are waiting in line at Starbucks and you don't have headphones.  Turn on the captions!  Captions are not available on all videos, but if it is you can click on the CC button on the bottom of the video. 

 

Watch Later:

    This is my most used tip for YouTube.  Let's say I'm watching a video and on the side of the video player is a couple similar videos I want to watch next.  Put your cursor on the thumbnail for the video and an option will appear in the upper right corner that looks like a clock.  This will add it to your Watch Later playlist which you can access anytime in the left menu bar of YouTube.

 

 Quick way to pause video:

    Almost get caught watching a cat video while at work when your boss walked in?  Simply press the space bar on the keyboard to pause the video fast.

 

Transcript:

    Watching a video for educational purposes but missed a quote?  You can view a transcript of the video easily.  Click on the three dots at the bottom of the video by the share button and select Open Transcript.  This displays the captions essentially and time stamps which you can click on to view that part of the video.     

View this photo

 

 

Google now showing where to borrow ebooks

GoogleebookThis week Google added a new feature to their search results. When you look up a book title on Google, the results will now show a listing of libraries that have the ebook version available to borrow.

The listing shows up in the “quick facts” box either above or next to the search results, depending on whether you’re on a PC or a mobile. The feature is available on both PCs and mobile devices in the US.

I did some experimenting and it appears the information is coming from OverDrive.  Clicking on the link for “Wisconsin Public Library Consortium: South Central Library System – Madiso” brought me directly to the OverDrive page for the book and prompted for a sign in. The local library name at the end of the link will change depending on where you are or if you enter a new location in the “Edit location” window.

One thing I did note is that if you’re searching for a book that also has a movie adaptation, the “quick facts” may default to the movie information, not the book.  Searching for "The Hobbit" originally returned information about the films but adding "book" after the title got me the listing above.

Upcoming Tech Continuing Education

LauraSolomon-captionLaura Solomon, the Library Services Manager for the Ohio Public Library Information Network, is the morning speaker for this year's Tech Days. The workshop will be held on September 12 from 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. at the Fitchburg Public Library and registration is now open. Choose from six different breakout sessions for the afternoon including STEM Programming with No Budget, #Hashtag: Promoting Your Library through Social Media, and our own Craig Ellefson and Tamara Ramski talking about the Digitization Kits.

If you're not attending the Wisconsin Library Association Conference, check out this opportunity. On October 18, Library Journal and School Library Journal are hosting their 8th annual FREE TechKnowledge (formerly the Digital Shift) Virtual Conference. This year's theme is Creating Equity Through Technology. Among this year's presenters are Jim Neal, the President of the American Library Association.

If you are attending the Wisconsin Library Association Conference* (and I really hope you do!), we are pleased to have some great technology programs for you including a keynote from Linda Liukas, a Finnish computer programmer and children's author, and Jessamyn West, library technologist, will be the WLTF luncheon speaker on Thursday. Registration will be open soon!

Also in October, the iSchool at UW Madison has a new course called 25 Free Tools for Librarians* that sounds awesome. Among the tools that will be covered are Wunderlist, Todo, Notability, Dragon, Convertible, Instapaper, and Kahoot. If I weren't otherwise occupied in October, I'd be signing up for this one!

Happy Learning!

** SCLS Member public libraries may use CE Grant funds to attend.

 

Create strong passwords with a roll of the dice

From the American Libraries Magazine; 5/1/2017.
Meredith Powers, young adult librarian at Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library (BPL) teaches workshops on digital literacy and data privacy as part of the Data Privacy Project, which is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Knight Foundation’s Prototype Fund. Password security is always a hot topic.
She says that Diceware is an easy way to teach patrons how to create better passwords for their library, service, and email accounts. By rolling an ordinary die, users create a five-digit number that dicecorresponds to a word in a Diceware word list. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) maintains multiple Diceware word lists.
“Even though the list of words is publicly available, the security of a Diceware password comes from the number of words selected and the number of available words on a Diceware list,” Powers says. “By rolling dice to create several words in a sequence, you can create a strong, memorable passphrase. The creator of Diceware, Arnold Reinhold, currently recommends a six-word sequence to protect against a brute-force hack attempt.”