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Aptude's Blog - IT Staffing, Consulting, and Software Development Services

Welcome to Aptude's blogging center! Our blogs are written by experts in each respective field. We hope any information gathered in these articles will be beneficial to you and your company. For more information about how we can assist you with your IT Staffing, IT Consulting, or Software Development needs please give us a call at (630) 692-6700!

That’s Not Normal! The Frustrations of Dirty Data and Power BI Features to Help You Transform Your Data Sets

That’s Not Normal! The Frustrations of Dirty Data and Power BI Features to Help You Transform Your Data Sets
We’ve all been there, tasked with transforming an utterly useless file into a data set that can be used and analyzed. My most infuriating example was a data set provided as two 1,500 page pdfs. Yes, you read that correctly, two 1500 page pdfs! What is anyone supposed to do with a pdf?!? It gets worse than that, though. The necessary data was formatted into three columns. Data fields would break randomly across lines. Some, but not all, contained characters like ¨or * between fields. There was no uniformity to the fields present for each entry or the order they were in. That was in my pre Power BI days, PPBI if you will. I had to copy the pdf file and paste is as Unicode text into a Word doc, where I removed the columns and irritating characters, then into Excel where the transformation took place. It took several days,...
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Here’s why your ‘Definition of Done’ is the key to your Agile Project Management success

Here’s why your ‘Definition of Done’ is the key to your Agile Project Management success
What does ‘Done’ mean to you? What does it mean to your team? And your organization? Are all the definitions the same? Similar, at the least? As your team embarks on a project using the Agile approach, don’t consider these questions irrelevant. The goal of working together as a team is to ship the product. And to deliver, you need to ensure that each team member’s ‘Definition of Done’ complements the team’s ‘Definition of Done’. Complicated? Let’s take a step back. In Agile, every sprint should result in the closure of a story, or a product increment that can be released. The team, therefore, should be aware what exactly is required from each one of them to make the product fit for release. In other words, they must understand what ‘Done’ means to them in that sprint and for the story in question. The trouble begins when we assume that everybody’s...
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Power (BI) to the People! - Easing the Transition From Excel to PowerBI

Power (BI) to the People! - Easing the Transition From Excel to PowerBI
I’ll admit it, I’m a diehard Excel user. I get excited by the capabilities of nested functions and I consider a well crafted pivot table a work of art. I’ve learned the data limits of a spreadsheet the hard way (1048576 rows by 16384 columns, in case you were wondering). I take pride in building a workbook that allows me to import data and instantly transform it into useful visualizations. I just might be a little bit stubborn; I didn’t really want to leave the familiarity and comfort of a tool that I’ve used for so long and know so well. Fortunately, I might also be a little bit lazy, which drives me to employ efficiencies and work smarter wherever possible to minimize the amount of work I have to do. When I realized just how simple Power BI is to use, and how, well, powerful its visualization capabilities are, I...
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3 Test Automation Strategies to Consider

3 Test Automation Strategies to Consider
Test automation is an established strategy to get your code up and running successfully by complementing manual testing. Moreover, with Agile and DevOps practices gaining ground, automation has become a necessity. However, while drafting their test automation strategy, organizations often make the mistakes of either looking for the ‘best’ automation tool, or the ‘best’ automation strategy. The truth is that there is no one-size-fit-all approach. Instead, businesses should ask what is the best automation test tool for them. Joe Colantonio suggests that questions to ponder over should include: What’s your strategy and goals? What is it that you are trying to get done? What problems are you trying to solve with automation? Who is going to be using your test tools? Programmers or testers? What is your tech stack? What tool will be future proof? Is it scalable enough? Do you have the budget to train your team on the tool...
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Power BI vs QlikView - Business Intelligence tool comparison

In July, I had created a post about Power Bi vs Tableau for BI data visualization. The race between Power BI and Tableau is rather close, as is evident from the Gartner’s Magic Quadrant 2017. However, you must have noticed that there’s another player in the Leaders’quadrant – QlikView. While its scores on ‘ability to execute’and ‘completeness of vision’could do better, QlikView is certainly a solution to watch out for. But is it better than Power BI? Not in my opinion. If you are about to choose a BI solution for your organization and are wondering which solution to go ahead with – Power BI or QlikView – let me make the choice easier for you. QlikView – Offers flexibility and simplicity and yet… QlikView is one of the most flexible Business Intelligence platforms in the world. Qlikview’s USP ‘The Associative Experience’. They enable users to gain unexpected  business insights by...
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