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How can I Leverage the 'PERIODSTODATE' and 'PRIORPERIODS' Functions in #WatsonAnalytics

Question: I’ve noticed two new types of calculations called ‘PERIODSTODATE’ and ‘PRIORPERIODS’. What is the purpose of these functions, and how do I use them to create member calculations? Solution: The two functions discussed here allow users to leverage existing time hierarchies to analyze their data historically. Each serve a particular purpose in accomplishing this task. The ‘PERIODSTODATE’ function returns the aggregate of periods to date within the specified time level. For example, a user may specify ‘Year’ as the time level, prompting the calculation to return an aggregation of all years to date as seen in the data. The ‘PRIORPERIOD’ function, on the other hand, returns the value of a specified member for a previous period. Again, the user must define the time period in question. Below we’ve outlined steps to utilize each of these functions. For this example, we will use the “Fruit Sales” dataset. (https://ibm.box.com/s/1skxb4f392z7fl9c4l833x7f2bt6q2da) Prior Period:  Click on the dataset to open the discovery pop-up. Scroll down and choose the “Grid” visualization found under “Tables and summary”. Upload the “Fruit Sales” dataset to Watson Analytics. Instructions on uploading datasets can be found here  Click on the “Actions” button at the bottom left of the screen. Scroll down to find “Year (Date) – Day (Date)” It is grayed out because by default this hierarchy is hidden. Check mark the field to make it visible. Click on the “Edit” button, next to the column name in the actions menu. Change the name of the hierarchy to “Calendar”. Click on “Done” to confirm the changes and then click on the “Actions” button again to close the panel. When using your own dataset, you can create your own date hierarchy with the levels that you want. See information on how to do this here Click on “Rows” and select “Calendar”. Click on “Columns” and select “Measures”. Within “Measures”, select only “Sales”. You will obtain the following grid: Right click on “Sales” and select “Create member calculation”. In the calculation UI enter the prior period formula: Sales Last Year = PRIORPERIOD([Calendar].[Year (Date)],[Sales]) Click on “Done” and the new calculated measure will be included in the visualization. Periods To Date: Add a new tab by clicking on the + icon at the top of the page while in Discover. Scroll down and choose the “Grid” visualization found under “Tables and summary”. Click on “Rows” and select “Calendar”. Click on “Columns” and select “Measures”. Within “Measures”, select only “Sales”. Click on “Calendar” and then expand the years so that the months are included in the visualization. As before, right click on the “Sales” measure in the grid and select “Create member calculation”. Add the following formula: SalesYTD = PERIODSTODATE([Calendar].[Year (Date)],[Sales]) Click on “Done” and the new calculated measure will be included in the visualization. More Information: Please review the following documentation regarding member calculations.                

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What is the Difference Between a Member Calculation and a Simple Calculation in #WatsonAnalytics?

Question: I noticed there are two different types of calculations in Watson Analytics, Member Calculations and Simple Calculations. What is the difference between the two? Solution: There are two types of calculations that can be created within Watson Analytics – simple calculations and member calculations. Calculations are important for solving problems and help immensely in making the right decisions based on the data available. Simple calculation: This type of calculation is referred to simply as ‘Calculation’ within the Watson Analytics user interface.  This can be created in Refine, Discover and Display. When created in Refine, the calculated field is added as a column in your dataset which can be added to any visualization. They help you define relationships between items of interest. For example, creating calculations such as ‘variance’ in a cost-benefit analysis will help you compare costs to revenues and actual sales to projected sales across products. When a calculation is created in Discover or Display, it is added as a column in the data tray and can only be used in the visualizations with the same Discovery set or Display. This calculated column is not stored with the data, as seen in Refine.  If you would like calculations based on aggregated data, creating them in Discover enables you to do that. For example, if you are looking to create weighted average across the sum of all values within the column, then you would create a calculation in Discover. Member Calculation: Member calculations can only be created in Discover or Display.  This should be used when the new calculated item needs to depend upon the values of other items in a column. For example, a member calculation can be used to get the difference between two successive years and then show this over ‘product group’. These item based calculations are only available in the discovery set where you created them and will not be stored with the data as seen in Refine. We encourage you to stay tuned to our blog for upcoming posts which will specifically discuss various functions which can be used to create Simple and Member calculations in Watson Analytics. More Information: Please review the available documentation regarding Calculations for a more in depth discussion of the functions available, and how to effectively use them.  

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Transition to a New IBM Support Portal

We heard you…and we are taking actions to improve your Support experience! IBM appreciates the opportunity to have you as a customer.  We always strive to seek new and better ways to improve our communications and support that we offer.  With that in mind, we are implementing a new Support Portal for a select number of IBM products, including Business Analytics. Our new portal will be supported by IBM Watson and will provide you with enhanced transparency into your ticket resolution workflow along with improved self-service options. You can watch a short video to learn more: https://ibm.co/2gKKwlK When we transition to the new Support Community, you will be able to access the new portal to open a new ticket (which will now be called a “case”).  At this time, you will no longer be able to access the current Support portal for the Business Analytics solution, and you will be redirected to our new Community. We will provide you with more detailed access information as we get closer to the transition date. The new Support Portal will be a “one-stop shop”for Customer Support related information for the Business Analytics solution, and will offer you the following self-service capabilities: Ticket creation/updates Ability to attach documents for review by Support Simplified search capability to view ticket history and knowledge base artifacts And much more! We will continue to expand this new platform so that all IBM customers will have this new, improved Support Experience. Should you have any questions, please contact your IBM Business Analytics team. Regards, IBM Business Analytics Support Team

Getting Started

Getting Started Tutorial for IBM Watson Analytics

We all ask questions about our data every day. Some questions are about a status or situation. Some are about why something happened. In short, when it comes to data, we want to know what is happening, why it’s happening, and what insights need to be communicated with others. IBM® Watson™ Analytics can help you understand your data, find insights that are hidden in your data and provide you with answers to make confident decisions – all on your own. This tutorial uses sample data to walk you through the skills you need to get started. Each chapter covers a different area of Watson Analytics, from importing data to discovering insights to sharing these insights in a dashboard to social media analytics. Take 15-30 minutes to complete a chapter, or complete the entire tutorial in about 90 minutes. Getting started with IBM Watson Analytics Last updated: 2017-11-22

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How do I Join Two Previously Uploaded Data Sets in #WatsonAnalytics

Question: I have two separate data sets which I’ve uploaded into Watson Analytics for further analysis. Is it possible for me to join these two data sets so that they may be used in conjunction to create Discovery and Display Assets? Solution: Below you’ll find the steps required to join two previously separate data sets. In this use case, the two data sets beings joined are titled ‘Game of Thrones – House of’ and ‘Game of Thrones – Character Description’. In the Final step, we see the combined data set titled ‘Game of Thrones – Joined’ Ensure you have both data assets uploaded. Click on the ellipsis on the data tile and select ‘Refine’ for the first data asset. You are then brought to the Refine portion of WA where you may initiate the join process. Add the second data asset to the first by tapping the ‘+’ icon at the top of your screen. A dialog box will then be presented. Navigate and select the second data asset which is to be joined with the first. Once selected, click ‘OK’ Both data assets will now be available within the refinement section.  You may view either by switching tabs. Note: ‘Sheet1’ is the default name given to the data asset.  This is determined by the name of the sheet within the spreadsheet program (such as Microsoft Excel).   To override this name, you must assign the sheet name desired from within the spreadsheet program prior to uploading into Watson Analytics. Click the ‘Join’ button. A new tab will be opened, displaying the join configuration parameters.  You will notice the columns from the first data asset are listed at the top while the columns from the second data asset are listed at the bottom, each with its own color label. Columns must now be mapped in order to specify which columns are to be joined. Mapping between columns can be specified by dragging an arrow from one column to another. Note: The color under each column name is indicative of its originating data asset. The type of join may be selected by clicking on the text at the bottom bar (in this case ‘matching rows’). Matching rows: This is an inner join.  Based on the joined column, includes only the rows that match in both data assets. A + matching rows: This is a left join.  All rows from data asset ‘A’ are included along with rows from data asset ‘B’ that match the joined column in data asset ‘A’. B + matching rows: This is a right join.  All rows from data asset ‘B’ are included along with rows from data asset ‘A’ that match the joined column in data asset ‘B’. The join is now complete. You must save the newly joined data asset.  ‘Save’ will overwrite the original data asset while ‘Save as’ will create a new data asset without overwriting the original. The joined data asset will be reflected with the data asset tile below. More Information Please review the following documentation for more information on joining data assets.            

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How can I Resolve Issues Configuring a Secure Gateway in #WatsonAnalytics on Linux?

Question: I am receiving an error when attempting to start the IBM Secure Gateway client after installation on a Linux OS. How do I resolve this issue? Error: Cannot find module 'log4js' at Function.Module._resolveFilename (module.js:455:15) at Function.Module._load (module.js:403:25) at Module.require (module.js:483:17) at require (internal/module.js:20:19) at Object.<anonymous> (/opt/ibm/securegateway/client/lib/utils/logging.js:26:18) at Module._compile (module.js:556:32) at Object.Module._extensions..js (module.js:565:10) at Module.load (module.js:473:32) at tryModuleLoad (module.js:432:12) at Function.Module._load (module.js:424:3) Solution: A user will see the error above, or one similar to it, when required dependencies are not present on the Linux machine when attempting to start the Secure Gateway Client.  To resolve the issue, the missing dependency will need to be installed on to the server/machine for the Secure Gateway Client to work correctly. Here is a list of common dependencies that could potentially be missing.  Please note, there may be other dependencies that could be required that are not on this list. log4js request async ws validator optimist password-hash-and-salt rangen express compression To install these dependencies, you will first need to navigate to the main Secure Gateway installation directory by following the path below: cd /opt/ibm/securegateway/client Once at the Secure Gateway directory, use the npm install command for the missing dependency. Example: npm install log4js –save –only=dev With the dependency now installed, we expect that the secure gateway will function as expected, and may be used to connect Watson Analytics to an on premises data source. More information: For a more in depth discussion, please see the following documentation on Secure Gateways and Secure Gateway issues specific to Linux.  

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How do I Publish my #WatsonAnalytics Content to the Analytics Exchange?

The Analytics Exchange (AE) is a feature which is accessible to users of Watson Analytics. Here, users may browse through a large collection of sample data sets and Expert Storybooks which have been published to the AE by other Watson Analytics subscribers. As these assets are shared publicly, the purpose of the AE is for users to collaborate with one another outside of their respective Watson Analytics tenants. While all users are encouraged to import assets from the AE into their own tenant, not all users have the ability to publish content to the AE. The AE is accessed from the drop-down arrow located at the top of left corner of the Watson Analytics user interface. Question: I am a subscriber to Watson Analytics Plus/Professional and I noticed that I have access to the Analytics Exchange. I would like to publish my own content to this public area, but cannot do so as I am not authorized. How do I publish content (either a data set or an expert storybook) to the Analytics Exchange for public consumption? Solution: Currently, the publisher role is reserved for a select group of Watson Analytics users who are a part of IBM, an IBM business partner, or a customer who has been approved by an IBM representative. Approval is based on the user’s particular business justification for publishing content publicly. To become enabled with a publisher ID on the Analytics Exchange, IBMers, business partners, and customers alike will need to take the following actions: Contact Watson Analytics support via discussion post, ticket or chat requesting that the publisher role on the Analytics Exchange be enabled for your ID. The assigned support representative will be required to obtain your business justification, and if adequate, will become the IBMer sponsoring you as a publisher (in the case of Business partners and customers). You will be provided a document outlining our terms and conditions. Before you become a publisher on the AE, it is crucial that you fully understand and subsequently abide by the terms of the agreement. Your IBM representative will coordinate with the Analytics Exchange team on your behalf then will confirm with you when you have been given the publisher role. Once confirmed, you may publish content to the Analytics Exchange. That content can then be viewed by all other subscribers to Watson Analytics, and in the future may be imported into the tenants of other users to derive further findings. More Information: Please reiview the relevant Watson Analytics documentation regarding Publishing a Storybook to the AE and Using a Storybook for a more in depth discussion of these issues.  

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How do I Import an Image to #WatsonAnalytics from IBM Box?

Question: I am attempting to add an Image Widget to my Watson Analytics Display Dashboard using an image stored on IBM Box and I am receiving one of the following errors: “This type of media is not supported” or “The image URL is not valid”. How can I add an image to my Watson Analytics Display Dashboard that is stored on IBM Box? Solution: The standard ‘Share Link’ that IBM Box generates is not a valid image URL that can be used with the Watson Analytics image Widget. An IBM Box direct link to the image can be used with the Watson Analytics image Widget.  To obtain a useable direct link to the image from IBM Box, use the following steps. 1. Login to IBM Box and navigate to your stored image. 2. Click the ‘Share’ button beside the image you would like to import to Watson Analytics. The dialog box will display a Shared link for the image .  Confirm the default ACCESS TYPE to “People with the link”. 3. After the ACCESS TYPE is set, click the Settings icon just above the Copy button to open the Shared Link Settings. Click the Direct Link Copy button. 4. Return to the Watson Analytics Dashboard image Widget and paste in the copied link and press enter. The image will then appear on the Watson Analytics Dashboard. More information: Please review the following Watson Analytics documentation regarding Adding images and shapes. You may access your instance of IBM Box here.          

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How Do I Connect #WatsonAnalytics to my Instance of Salesforce so it may be used as a Data Source?

Question: I am having difficulty connecting my instance of Watson Analytics to Salesforce so it can be used as a data source. What is the Procedure for connecting these two products? Solution: Note: Connecting Watson Analytics to Salesforce requires the user to have a Developer or Enterprise (paid) version of Salesforce. The free version of Salesforce will not allow for connecting to Watson Analytics. The purpose of this tutorial is to guide a user to obtaining a security token which must be affixed to the Salesforce password in order to successfully connect. Log in to Salesforce. By default the Lightning Experience should be enabled. To confirm, navigate to Lightning Experience found on the left side panel and verify that it has been enabled. Access Settings found in upper left user icon (depicted with a user icon). Search for Security and click Reset My Security Token. Click the Reset Security Token button. You should receive an email with your new security token. From the email, copy the Security Token (this is used at the end of a Salesforce password) In IBM Watson Analytics, create a data connection. From the User menu icon, select Account Settings. From the Connections menu on the left side of the screen, select Data Connections. Click the Create new connection icon. Click the Salesforce.com icon. In the Password with security token text box, enter your Salesforce.com password appended with the security token copied in Step 5. Required Fields – Connection Name: XXXXXXXXX Username: “Insert Salesforce Login ID” Password with Security Token: “Password”+”SecurityToken” (no space or symbol in between both) You should now have a successful connection from Watson Analytics (WA) to Salesforce.com (SFDC)

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