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How many times have you read your own book?

Okay, so here is a fun fact about me.In all my life I have read 54 books. And, if you take the digits and reverse the order, you get the number of times I have read my own book.Yup, 45 times it is.After I was done reading my book 8 times already, I knew for sure that there would be many more reads in the coming months. Thus, I decided to maintain a counter for the same. I had taken some printed drafts of the book, and I would read it thereafter again and again, making slight and at times major corrections, changes, and also many times deleting certain portions out in entirety. I was following a simple tenet, if there was even a word that in my perception could be done without, then it must be done without asap.And, repeating that process again and again and again, finally two days before I finally released my book, I completed the 45th read of it.Reading through 'Redemption of a Son' for all those times was a necessity because I had promised myself that I would release the book only when I would have made it so perfect that no one would be able to say, "It's pretty evident that it’s the work of a first-time author."That statement was my challenge, and I had to craft my book to such precision that it would beat that statement in all senses. And, I feel so proud to say this at this moment that well over 18 readers have personally told me this over calls or messages that they didn't find a single point where they could say that it was written by a first-time author. And, yes, I am again maintaining a counter XDThis achievement has been such a delight for me!All of those 45 reads took place before I released the book bygone 21st Oct 2018. It was a part of my editing plan and process. And, it delivered on my set milestones. Ergo, it was all freaking worth it!My debut book ‘Redemption of a Son’[1][1][1][1] released this bygone Oct 21st, 2018 on Amazon's Kindle Store and can be read easily over one's smartphone by downloading the 'Kindle' app, on any Kindle device, or also over PC/laptop by visiting the 'Kindle Cloud Reader'PS: This answer was in response to a question raised in a session I had hosted about my newly released book.Signing off,ShilanjanFootnotes[1] An Unheard And Untold Tale of Breaking And Making of a Son eBook: Jayant Shilanjan Mundhra: Kindle Store[1] An Unheard And Untold Tale of Breaking And Making of a Son eBook: Jayant Shilanjan Mundhra: Kindle Store[1] An Unheard And Untold Tale of Breaking And Making of a Son eBook: Jayant Shilanjan Mundhra: Kindle Store[1] An Unheard And Untold Tale of Breaking And Making of a Son eBook: Jayant Shilanjan Mundhra: Kindle Store

What should I study or learn if I want to be a data analyst for a software company like Quora, Zynga, Airbnb, etc.?

Updated Aug 2018The following sections will outline five skills that will help you further a career as a Data Analyst:Data Exploration via Excel/Google SheetsData Extraction with SQLData Visualization via TableauData Automation via PythonData Analysis/Science with Python + Stat librariesWho this is for - College students, new graduates, career changers, and new analysts will probably benefit most from this article. It assumes you have minimal analytics, programming, or work experience. This article should help you build a foundation so you can begin or further a career in data analytics.Who I am - I’m a self-taught analyst who has worked at various companies (Netflix, CNET, Zynga) in a variety of analytical roles (Marketing, Finance, Social, Growth) for over a decade.Two notes before proceeding:This article will not outline how to become a data scientist or data engineer (read more about the differences), which generally require degree(s) in statistics or computer science respectfully.While you can learn these in any order, you’ll probably progress most seamlessly by starting with #1 and #2 before #3–51. Data Exploration via Excel / Google SheetsAt most organizations, Microsoft Excel and/or Google Sheets are the most broadly used data applications. While many tools perform a specific function very well (such as Tableau for visualization), few can enable most lightweight data tasks as easily as a spreadsheet. Not only are Gsheets/Excel the Swiss Army knives of data exploration, they also have a relatively shallow learning curve, which make either a great tool to learn first. If you’re dead-set on other analysts skills, don’t spend too much time here--but don’t make the mistake of not becoming familiar with a spreadsheet program either. Many data questions can be answered and communicated with a spreadsheet faster than with other technologies.Start by learning the following:FormulasGeneral Formulas. Once you’ve downloaded the data, see if you can enhance it with some formulas. The IF statement, boolean logic (AND, OR), and VLOOKUP functions are the most common formulas used across spreadsheets. Afterward, graduate to learning text-based formulas like MID, LEFT/RIGHT, SUBSTITUTE, TRIM. Experiment with the date formulas--such as converting a date (in any format) to the components of a date (year, month, day).Formula References. You should know the difference between an absolute and a relative reference as well as how to input either via editing a formula using the keyboard (F2) as well as toggling either (F4) via the keyboard.Aggregation Formulas. These formulas help you find conditional summary level statistics: SUMIF(s) , COUNTIF(s), and SUMPRODUCT, which are good to learn for reporting purposesInterested in learning more formulas? See this article.Data Filter. The data filter is a key feature which helps end users, sort, filter, and understand a sample from a large data set. Memorize the keyboard shortcut for creating one--you’ll use this often.Pivot Tables. Pivot tables allow an end users to easily get summary level statistics for a given dataset. Learn how to create a pivot table, and scenarios in which to place fields or metrics in the row, column, filter, or value section. Learn how to create formulas at the pivot table level, and understand how creating them on a pivot table is different than at the data table level. Finally, learn the GETPIVOTDATA function, which is especially useful when creating dashboardsCharting and Pivot Charting. Lean how to create bar, line, scatter, and other charts in Excel. Formatting charts is relatively easy--when you want to change something click on it (or right click), and in general the Excel Ribbon or the right click menu will allow you to modify the look and feel of a chart within the ribbon or or menu.Keyboard Shortcuts. As you begin to get more comfortable, begin mastering the keyboard shortcuts rather than use the mouse. Start by learning the basic shortcuts for tactics like find and replace and paste special. Then move onto to navigating using the keypad. Experiment with selecting rows and columns by using a combination of shift and control. You should eventually learn how to add rows/columns, hide rows/columns, delete rows/columns--all by using the keyboard.Excel Dashboard Design. Learn the Data → Pivot → Presentation pattern, in which one separates the source data from summarized data, and summarized data from the viewable dashboard. This pattern will allow you to easily update a report as more data comes in as well as hide complexity from those who just want to see the most important learnings. How? The first tab contains your data, which you should ideally not change. The second tab contains one or many pivot tables that calculate summary statistics needed for the report. The third tab is a dashboard with one or many visuals or data tables that source data primarily from the second tab (and not from first tab). You’ll present just the third tab to end users, but hide the first and second tabs. When displaying summary level statistics, you’ll likely leverage GETPIVOTDATA—instead of using other summary formulas—will has a faster runtime than the summary formulas. This article explains how to create a dashboard using GETPIVOTDATA such that an end user can select various input options and see a visualization change---Some notes:Excel or Google Sheets? Google Sheets performs best with smaller datasets (<10k rows). It’s also free. Out of the box, Gsheets is also more collaborative, and a good solution if your dataset will be viewed or modified by multiple stakeholders. For larger datasets, spreadsheets with lots of formulas, or the use of esoteric features, Excel is usually the preferred optionDon’t learn Excel VBA. If you’re interested in programming, skip to the Data Programming section and consider Python instead.2. Data Extraction with SQLExcel allows you to slice and dice data, but it assumes you have the data readily available. As you become a more seasoned analyst, you'll find that a better way to get at data is to pull it directly from the source, which often means authoring SQL.The great news about SQL is that unlike a procedural based programming language like Python, SQL is a declarative language. In most cases, instead of writing step-by-step syntax to perform an operation, you describe what you want. As a result, you should be able to learn SQL faster than learning most programming languages.I’m not going to outline all of the flavors of data storage solutions (to start, learn about relational vs non-relational databases) but instead focus on what you’re most likely to encounter--a relational database which supports some flavor of SQL.Start by learning the big six reserved keywords:SELECTFROMWHEREGROUP BYHAVINGORDER BYNext, you’ll want to learn common sql functions, such as the CASE statement, boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT), and IFNULL/COALESCE. Next, learn string functions such as INSTR, SUBSTR, and REPLACE.As you begin to write summary level queries which use the GROUP BY keyword, experiment with the aggregate functions such as SUM, COUNT, MIN, and MAX. Following that, learn how to join to other tables. Know the difference between an inner and outer join.Next, take a break from writing SQL and invest in learning more about how relational databases are structured. Know the difference between a fact and dimension table, understand why database indexes (or partitions) are leveraged, and read about why traditional database adhere to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd normal forms. If someone says they have a high cardinality dataset, a snowflaked schema, or slowly changing dimension--you should know what they mean.As you work with larger datasets, you’ll discover that more involved SQL queries require issuing several SQL queries in sequence. For example, the first query may create a table; the second one will insert data into that table; and the third will extract such data. To get started here, read more about temporary tables. Then you’ll want to learn about column data types as well as how to create traditional database tables and indexes/partitions to support more performant querying.---Some notes:SQL Bolt has a great interactive tutorial to help you learn SQL by doingToptal’s top SQL interview questions can help you get your next job that requires knowing SQLThis section only covered data extraction. As you become more senior, you’ll need to know how to build intermediary tables for analysis, or even construct source tables to store non-temporal data. Read more about SQL DML and DDLIf you’re interested in learning more about dimensional modeling, purchase Kimball’s The Data Warehouse Toolkit, which was originally published in 1996 but still relevant for traditional relational databases today.Try creating your own database locally by downloading and installing mysql or postrgres. Or do so via google cloud.This section only covered relational databases. See this article to learn more about non-relational databases3. Data Visualization via TableauIn the past decade, Tableau has become the leading enterprise tool for visualization. If you’re familiar with pivot tables, you’ll find that creating lightweight visualizations and dashboards with Tableau is relatively easy. To spreadsheet users, Tableau feels like working with an enterprise version of Pivot Tables and Pivot Charts. While keeping your analyses private requires a purchased Tableau Desktop license, Tableau public--which stores any saved analyses to the publicly accessible Tableau portal--is free and a great way to get started learning.Let’s start with Tableau Public--begin by creating an account and downloading the software, and then import a dataset into Tableau. Next, learn more about the panels within the tool. You’ll see the data you’ve added broken up into Dimensions and Measures. Try dragging a given dimension into the columns shelf, and a given measure into the Rows shelf. Tableau will analyze the structure of your data, and automatically generate a visualization (without you selecting one). You can easily change the visualization displayed by changing the type, or by shifting the data between Rows and Columns.After you’ve created a couple of different visualizations across multiple worksheets, create a dashboard. A dashboard can contain one or many views (worksheets) and also allow an end user to manipulate such a view via buttons, filters, and other controls. Start by adding one view to your new Dashboard. Then, add a Filter for a given measure or dimension. Once added, you can change the nature of each filter. For example, you can create a slider to change the range of dates included, or add a radio form to allow an end user to select a given measure. Once you have a functional dashboard, feel free to save it to Tableau Public so you can both view it as an external user would as well as modify it later. For inspiration, see some existing dashboards.From here, there’s a lot more you can do and learn. Tableau’s learning curve quickly steepens as you produce more advanced visualizations and deal with more complex datasets. If you want to continue learning, your best bet is to watch Tableau’s series of free training videos.---Some notes:While Tableau is the current Enterprise visualization market leader, it may not be five years from now. Tableau started as a desktop application and then grew to support web-based reporting, and now many upstarts are producing Tableau-like tools that are 100% browser based (See alternatives to Tableau), responsive by default, and built to work in the cloud as well as integrate with other sources.4. Data Programming via PythonNow you can source data from a database with SQL, manipulate it with a spreadsheet, and publish visualizations via a Tableau dashboard. A next natural step is to learn a programming language. Python is the most utilized programming language in the data community as well as the most common language taught at universities. With it you can achieve a number of data-related tasks such as extracting data from a website, loading said data into a database, and emailing the results of a SQL select statement to a set of stakeholders. If you’re interested in building web application, you could use Python and Flask to create an API as well as create a website leveraging the Flask HTML templating engine Jinja2. Or, you can leverage Python Notebooks for iterative development, the PANDAS library to see the results of a model you’re building as you develop it.The best way to build a strong programming foundation is to start by learning computer science fundamentals. For example, I was introduced to many computer programming concepts via the book Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs (SICP) at university. Although originally authored in 1979, the book’s concepts are still relevant today and are still leverage today used at UC Berkeley to teach introductory computer science. Once you learn many of the fundamentals, you should be able to apply them to learn any computer programming language. However, learning the fundamentals can take a lot of time--and the content in SICP is academically dense (this review describes it well). Sometimes the better tactic to get started is to learn by doing.I learned python syntax years ago via Learn Python the Hard Way. The online course costs $30 now--and there are plenty of other free alternatives--but when I took the course (at the time it was free), I found it to be one of the better tutorials for learning the Python syntax. If you’re looking for a free option, head to Learn Python or Code Academy.You will have covered python basics when you’re familiar with python variables, control-flow, data structures (lists, dictionaries), classes, inheritance, and encapsulation. A good way to solidify your knowledge is to think of a project you’d like to implement and begin developing—this site has a couple of datasets that you can use to get started.Now that you have the basics down, you’ll want to learn more about how to become a more productive programmer by improving your development environment. The next three sub-sections will cover how to save/share/iterate your work using Github, author Python scripts using Jupyter Notebooks, and make changes to projects using the command line.4a. Learn version control using GitHub/git.GitHub allows you to host, update, document, and share your projects easily online. You’ll soon discover that GitHub will likely be where you end up when you’re discovering new programming libraries. Start by creating a GitHub account (almost all developers have one). Then spend time iterating through the GitHub tutorials, which will outline all of the capabilities of git. Once complete, you should be familiar with how to git clone an existing repository, how to create a new repository, git add files to a commit, prepare a set of changes with git commit, and push changes to a branch via git push. As you invest time in any project, make a habit of committing it to github to ensure that you won’t lose your work. You’ll know that you’re progressing with git once you feel comfortable using the above commands for both managing your own projects as well as cloning other projects to augment your development efforts.4b. Author Python scripts using Jupyter Notebooks As you’re learning Python, you’ll discover that there are multiple ways to author python code. Some developers will use IDEs built specifically for programming such as PyCharm, others elect rich text editors with a focus specifically on coding such as Sublime, and a small minority will edit code exclusively through a shell using VIM. Increasingly, data professionals are gravitating toward using notebooks--specifically Jupyter Notebooks--to author scripts in a web browser for exploration purposes. A key feature within notebooks is the ability to execute code blocks within each notebook rather than all at once, allowing the developer to gradually tweak a data analaysis. Moreover, since the output is in the web browser versus a shell, notebooks can display rich outputs, such as an annotated datatable or timeseries graph beneath the code that generated it. This is incredibly helpful when you’re writing a script to perform a data task and want to see the progress of our script as it executes without leaving the browser.There are a variety of ways to get started with Notebooks. One way is to download Jupyter and run an instance on your local machine. Another option is to use Google’s free version of notebooks or Microsoft Azure Notebooks. I prefer to use notebooks hosted on pythonanywhere, which is the same service I use to host python-based web applications. The free service will let you create your own python apps but you can’t run notebooks--the most affordable tier is $5/month.A good way to learn some of the key value adds of developing with Notebooks is to explore a dataset using the Python Data Analyst library, PANDAS. This site has a great getting started tutorial. Start by importing a dataset and print it out. Learn more about the data-frame storage structure, and then apply functions to it just like you would with another dataset. Filter, sort, group by, and run regressions. Try leveraging seaborn, a statistical visualization library which leverages matplotlib to explore your datasets visually. You’ll quickly discover that the framework allows for repeatable data operations with option for data exploration against a moderate cardinality dataset. Notebooks are often the preferred prototyping interface for data scientists, and thus worth learning how to use if you’re interested in learning more about statistics.4c. The Command Line - using shells and editing with vimIf you’ve read this far, you’ve probably already used a shell, a command-line based user interface for interacting with a computer. You’ve likely used shells to execute python code, download code libraries, and commit changes to git. Knowing how to execute a file, navigate within a shell, and monitor an active process will help you become a stronger data analyst. A great place to learn more about shells is following this interactive tutorial. You know that you’re becoming more proficient with shells when you can easily navigate within a directory, create aliases, change file permissions, search for files and/or contents using grep, and view the head/tail of a file.VIM is a unix-originated command-line text editor which is run in a shell. It’s especially useful when you want to view or edit a file—such as a log or a data output—on a remote server. Initially, you’ll likely find that learning VIM is a bit cumbersome because you primarily interact with the application without a mouse. However, over time you’ll begin to develop the muscle memory needed to toggle between edit-mode, view-mode, and executing commands. A great place to get started with VIM is to go through this interactive tutorial. You’ll know that you’re becoming more comfortable with VIM once you can easily navigate between input and edit mode, go to a row by a number, add or delete a row or character, search and replace text, and easily exit and save files you’ve edited.5. Data Analysis/Science with Python + Stat librariesWhile the goal of this article is not to describe how to be a data scientist--that typically requires a undergraduate and/or graduate level education in statistics--having a solid foundation in statistics will help any analyst make statistically sound inferences from most data sets.One way to get started is to take an online course in descriptive statistics--such as this free one from Udacity--which will teach you how to communicate summarized observations from a sample dataset. While you may be tempted to jump to other hotter industry topics such as machine learning, start with the basics. A solid foundation in descriptive statistics is a prerequisite for machine learning as well as many other statistics applications. After going through Udacity or other tutorials, you should be able to describe various types of distributions, identify skews, and how to describe central tendency, variance, and standard deviation.Next up, graduate to learning inferential statistics (such as Udacity’s free course), which will enable you to draw conclusions by making inferences from a sample (or samples) of a population. Regardless with the learning path you take, you should learn how to develop hypothesis as well as become familiar with tactics for validating such hypothesis using t-tests, understand when to leverage different types of experiments, as well as compute a basic linear regression with one more more dependent variables.The two most popular languages for applying statistics are R and Python. If you’re just getting started, I’d recommend using Python over R. Python is generally considered an easier language to learn. Moreover, Python is typically understood by most teams who build data products. There are more libraries available in Python that can be applied to a wider set of data applications--such as deploying a website or creating an api. This means you can often start an exploratory analysis in Python and easily append a few more libraries to deploy a tool / product leveraging such data, which can reduce the time to release. Finally, data applications continue to gravitate to Python over R as the preferred applied statistics language, so by learning the statistical libraries on Python you’ll be riding this latest adoption trend.Regardless of which language you choose, both Python and R can be executed via Jupyter Notebooks, which allow for more easy visualization and communication as you’re getting started.Next, try learning more about machine learning (Udacity’s free ML course is here). Following any course you should be more familiar with how to differentiate a supervised vs unsupervised learning, understand bayes theorem and how it’s used in ML applications, and outline when decision trees are leveraged. Once you’ve learned the concepts, try cementing your understanding by implementing one of these 8 machine learning projects.Finally, Python has a wealth of free libraries commonly leveraged by data scientists. One way to become more familiar with data scientist tactics are to try experimenting with data science libraries. For example, scikit-learn provides standard algorithms for machine learning applications, and NLTK is a library which can help you process and analysis text using NLP.Wrap UpNow you can write a python script to extract data (#4), store it in a database with SQL (#2), build a model to predict future observations with a python data science library (#5), and share what you learn via a spreadsheet (#1) or a Tableau Dashboard (#5). During that process, you may have committed your code to git, authored in a Jupyter Notebook, and published it on your python-hosted server. Congratulations! You’re well on your way to becoming a data analyst.

Is cloud hosting beneficial for small business?

Here are the benefits of cloud hosting in small hosting . You can take a look over this link for more details.First-time small business owners often cast themselves as the underdog when they incorporate: inhabiting the idea of "us against the world," solving problems with paper clips and duct tape, and pinching pennies everywhere possible in order to reach that first big payday.But cloud computing has changed the way small and midsize businesses (SMBs) go about their business from day one. Cloud computing and hosting companies can put SMBs on an even playing field with their biggest competitors. It's no great stretch to call cloud computing a game-changer for SMBs. Here's a deeper dive into the benefits of cloud hosting for small businesses.1. Reduced costsIf you're like most small business owners, your eyes just lit up at reading that subhead. The high price of starting a business is a critical drain on your capital. You'll spend money on a hundred things you've never even considered when you get your business off the ground. In previous days, running a business meant worrying about computing requirements that would be necessary in a traditional setup. The power of cloud computing means no more costly purchases of physical processors and databases. Physical storage is no longer a concern, because the physical servers and databases housing your information and infrastructure exist somewhere else. Without onsite physical storage, your company's IT requirements shrink drastically as well. No more panicked calls to your outsourced IT service when the network goes down – your cloud computing host is on the problem within seconds of it happening.2. Improved collaborationWith the world gone so very digital and mobile, you're lucky to ever have your entire staff in the same room at any given time. Heck, you're lucky if there's even a physical room that you can call your base of operations. In 2015, I worked for an art magazine that saw its staff spread across Oregon, California, Ohio, New York, Massachusetts, Nova Scotia, Georgia, Texas, Mexico, England, Macedonia, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines and Australia. Our workflow went effortlessly because everything was based in the cloud. We were a close-knit group in which almost no one had ever met anyone else. The only thing holding us back from having a virtual office Christmas party was that there wasn't any good time where we were all actually awake.Hosting your workflow in the cloud means never having to worry again about that long chain of emails where everyone has made their own changes to the same document and hit Reply All. And let's face facts – when you're building your small business, you're probably going to be on the go a lot. CEOs travel a lot to make those initial connections and deals. Salespeople are out beating the bushes for customers. You likely have at least one employee who is a contractor or a freelancer who works from home or random locations. Cloud computing gives every type of employee the exact same access regardless of what their GPS or clock says.3. Greater productivityThink back to your first job in an internet environment. Remember when the servers would crash? Or those times the connection was down and everyone went to Starbucks for a two-hour break? Yeah, those days are pretty much over once you're running your small business in the cloud.Cloud computing companies set their watch and warrant on their ability to keep your business up and available as close to every second of the year as possible. According to CloudHarmony, Google had just 74 minutes of total time lost in 2016, while Amazon Web Services had 108 and Microsoft Azure had 270. Even the worst of those (Azure) equates to only 4.5 hours of downtime per year, which is an uptime of 99.949 percent. Not bad for third place.That sort of always-on confidence means a huge bounce in productivity, because your employees won't be spending countless hours doing nothing or repairing or reproducing documents and other work-related materials lost during downtime. And when cloud computing sites do go down, not only does your work save automatically, but you also have IT professionals whose sole job is to keep your website and/or infrastructure online, beginning the process immediately. The lag time of your staff noticing a problem, trying to fix it in-house, calling the company IT specialist, waiting for their arrival, and then waiting for them to restore service is cut down to almost nothing.4. No more software updatesNo one recognizes the power of cloud computing like the big software manufacturers. The likes of Adobe are shrewd to the fact that once you're in the cloud, they can become your company's provider of business software in perpetuity. Thus, instead of you buying new physical copies of the software products you use to run your business, when the time comes for an upgrade, a push of a button downloads the latest version of said software to your cloud space. No installation necessary, no ridiculously long activation keys for each user to enter off the back of the box, and, perhaps most importantly, no need to keep upgrading your business computers with more memory or higher operating speeds to handle the new upgrades.A favorite story of mine comes from a firm I worked for in the early 2000s. We had been clamoring for new versions of the Adobe family of products for years and finally got the go-ahead from management. With our outdated operating system, Photoshop took 45 minutes to install on my Mac, and when you opened it, you couldn't have any other application open because it took up so much memory to run. Software companies provide bundles and better deals for companies that upload through the cloud, as it costs them far less to create digital copies of their software than to produce physical products.5. ScalingGrowth is something that every small business both desires and fears. We are thrilled with the idea that we've become desirable in our business niche and need to expand to meet demand. At the same time, the increased overhead and the difficulty in making a seamless transition to a larger business model can be terrifying and expensive.However, when you employ a cloud computing company, you immediately rule out the need for potentially expensive upgrades like more databases, more processing power and extra hardware. Your cloud computing vendor can expand your processing power, available memory, or software needs in the blink of an eye and the press of a button. This is really useful if your upgrades and expansions are only for a select time of year or a special offer, such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday. If you offer great deals that mean your web traffic is going to double over Black Friday weekend, you can upgrade to more bandwidth and possible connections for your site for a few days in the cloud, then drop back down to your normal capacity when it's over for a minimal price increase during those 100 or so hours.

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