Sample Data for the Taking

When learning a new system, you need data! Here are some tips to help locate it.
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1/9/2013 |  7
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Louis Watson
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Re: Lots of upsides, any downsides?
Louis Watson   1/30/2013 7:19:49 PM
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Thank you Tricia for these tips on how to get some data for testing.  Your recommended sites are great resources for data manipulators of all kinds.

Pierre DeBois
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Re: Lots of upsides, any downsides?
Pierre DeBois   1/11/2013 10:57:03 PM
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I second Beth's thanks, Tricia.  It's a great overview of data samples that can give some inspired ideas as to the kind of model inputs possible.

BethSchultz
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Re: Lots of upsides, any downsides?
BethSchultz   1/10/2013 1:17:47 PM
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Great. Thanks for the additional info!

 

TAanderud
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Re: Lots of upsides, any downsides?
TAanderud   1/10/2013 11:09:58 AM
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If you want to learn how to use your new BI system or the companies BI system - then you most likely want to get the data to your system.

You can download it in several formats (i.e. CSV, TXT, or XLS) and then import into your system. The XLS file format would be the most likely to contain a virus - so if that is an issue you would probably choose to get the data as CSV and convert to something easy to import into your BI tool. 

Many of the sites also note that the data is virus free and checked so I have not seen that as an issue.

 

 

BethSchultz
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Re: Lots of upsides, any downsides?
BethSchultz   1/10/2013 11:01:18 AM
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So Tricia does playing around with sample data typically involved downloading it (ie, bringing it in house) or are we talking about playing around with it on the provider's site (in the cloud, in today's parlance)?

TAanderud
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Re: Lots of upsides, any downsides?
TAanderud   1/10/2013 10:56:36 AM
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Good question Beth.  Many companies have a development or test area where it is playpen area. My larger concern has always been making sure the data is good to use for learning.

I really liked the BIRT data because the data has issues (missing values, complicated joins) that force you to learn how to use the tool to overcome those situations. Real data often has issues so you have to know how to work with the data.

 

BethSchultz
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Lots of upsides, any downsides?
BethSchultz   1/9/2013 4:26:32 PM
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Hi Tricia, I love the idea of using sample data, especially when it's free. But do BI and analytics professionals need to be aware of any risks, especially if you bring the sample data inhouse? Do we have to be concerned about bugs or other security issues, for example?

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