My Blog

How to Solve Rubik’s Cube with your kids

“R U, R U crazy” said my wife to me, the other day.

“R U R U” were the sounds that we all kept hearing all this weekend at our house. Every one was pacing down the floor as we keep avoiding to crash into each other, while saying “R U R U”

Some of us were audibly loud, while the others were doing it in their head. If you are wondering what I am talking about, it’s about solving the Rubik’s Cube. I had recently written about the fact that our household is trying our hands at new things every week, as many of you have. My wife keeps coming up with new ideas every week, whether it was learning to count upto 20 in various languages when washing hands, or practicing tennis strokes in the garage (somehow) OR, like this week, Rubik’s cube.

Going back to “R U R U”, you will soon see that we used the beginner’s method to solve the Rubik’s cube. This method uses a lot of Right face turns (called R) and Upper face turns (called U) etc. When we needed to make the following movements (Right Upper Right Upper), we would say “R U R U” and so on on. Hence, the title.

Saying it out loud actually helped us remember those steps. So, we suggest that you do a lot of “R U R U” as well. It gets funny, and somehow addictive.

Back to the story about learning the solve the Beginner’s way.

Being a geek myself, when I saw that Rubik’s cube was on the list of things to try this week, I got excited about it and starting watching some YouTube videos that tried to explain the concepts to us.

Unfortunately, most of the videos we found online were trying too hard to keep the length of their videos rather short. The downside was that that sometimes, a key concept was not explained in detail, or assumed. The issue in that case is if you are trying to do this with elementary school kids (like mine), it can get frustrating.

But hey, we got time on our hands and after about 2 days of trying our hands at it, we are all Rubik’s Cube solvers.

Wifey, our 5th and 3rd grade daughters and myself have all learnt to do it. We used the beginner’s method to do this and we don’t need any notes to do it anymore. It’s all in our heads. And, we are going to make it easy for you

Kids are enjoying learning more and helping put more online resources to help other kids. So, we also invested the time in making detailed notes and steps to show you the steps so you can learn it easily.

Here are the series of videos you can watch and join us in the Rubik’s Cube Challenge. All you need is a cube, patience and practice. Hope these videos and notes help. Enjoy!!! Happy Cubing!!!

Understanding the Basics
Step 1: Daisy At Top
Step 2: Flower on Bottom
Step 3: Bottom Corners
Step 4: Edge Pieces on Middle Row
Step 5: Flower on Top
Step 6: Align Edge pieces to the Face Color
Step 7: Corner Colors in Place
Step 8: Solve the Top Face

Enjoy and Happy Cubing.

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Our Data+Kids project continues to move into its 5th week as we learn how to use Tableau to learn about Data

My next post will be about “What does an Algorithm mean to a non techie person?”

Data+Kids: Their First Assignment

It’s amazing how much you can learn when you let others speak a bit more. I know this is something I struggle with; I often find myself dominating so many conversations at work and at home and I am trying to “learn how to listen”. I thought given my kids an assignment with Tableau and explaining what they did might be a great way for me to “learn to listen”… enjoy the videos

About the videos:-

So, after been doing a few things with Tableau, I asked the girls if they would like an assignment on the same. They liked the idea so I sent them a list of questions for each of their topics and asked them to present; “if they were able to get to the answers” and “What did they learn along the way”. As they presented, I definitely learnt a few things along the way. Hope you learn a few things as well.

Lavanya’s Assignment

a) Which singer has the most songs? (you can choose the chart type)

b) Which singer has the highest popularity? (on average across all their songs) (please create a bar graph for this)

c) Which year had the most number of songs with their popularity above 80?

Livienne’s Assignment

a. Create a pie chart showing which manufacturer has lowest sugar on average

b. Show which cereals have the highest level of potassium and lowest level of carbohydrates

c. Which cereal do you the think will be best (in your opinion) when eaten cold?

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Best Practices for Dashboard Performance – with the TC20-ish update

  • Do you have a problem with your tableau dashboards loading slowly?
  • But, not sure where you start?
  • What are the things I should try to optimize first?

Here is my talk from Tableau Conference 2019 (TC19) for you to watch. The Tableau Public biz has now been updated with new features from 2020.

And, here is a link to the tableau public Viz. Remember: each tip has a blog supporting the thought process. Click on it to read more

Factors affecting dashboard performance

PERFORMANCE SERIES:

If you wish to get directly to the blog series of the 42 tips, here is the blog series on Performance, where I will take up each of the items above and present my thoughts and experience with Tableau

US Election Results – with Tableau

Enjoy a Tableau visual showing results of all US elections till 2012

Tableau Dashboard Performance Series: Tip#45: Using Pages in Tableau

Pages is a way for you to create a dashboard or a view that allows itself to show different slices of the same data based on a dimension of your choosing.

Confusing much? Ok, read this quick sub-article here first

OK, now that you know what it does, just know that when you use pages (in the example above being day of the order date, Tableau is still fetching the data for all the dates and just hiding data for all the dates except the one page you are on.

So, does it mean an issue. Not necessarily, but like many other topics I have discussed here, this may just provide a bit of boost in terms of performance by removing pages but that doesn’t mean you remove it completely.

My job here is with this series is to educate you and let you make the best decision for your self.

Tableau Dashboard Performance Series: Tip#41: Utilizing Tableau Native Connectors

Ok, this one seems obvious. However, since I am writing about it, you can guess, that it’s not.

The guidance I would like to give you is to utilize the Tableau provided connectors in cases where it exists. For some of you data-savvy folks, you might have a very good understanding of ODBC connectors and in many cases, you might already have ODBC setup on your machines to connect.

We highly recommend utilizing the option that Tableau provides when you click on the name of the vendor

So, in the example of Oracle, we would want you to use the “Oracle” option and NOT THE “ODBC” option

Tableau Dashboard Performance Series: Tip#39: Set Actions

First read this to understand my perspective on Sets, then read this to understand all sorts of cool things you can do with Set Actions.

Then, sprinkle your dashboard with some Set Actions. This is like a bit of salt or lemon on your dish, just a bit. Don’t overpower your dashboards with too many set actions or you are going to leave your consumers with a disgusted taste

Tableau Dashboard Performance Series: Tip#38: Viz in Tooltip

Viz in tooltips got a huge applause when it was launched at the TC a few years ago, but I tell you, I am not applauding the analysts who are now wanting to use this in every dashboard they build.

There is a specific purpose to building dashboards and that is to give your consumers ability to see things at a high level and yes, also have the ability to slice and dice the data using interactivity and filters.

Viz in Tooltip is a great way to get that next level of understanding that goes with the context but is it a good way to do adhoc analysis. That is the issue when my customers are asking for putting dashboards inside of Vizzes. I am not sure about that.

Any how, here is a way I think of using this features

So, this might a decent example of using Viz in Tooltip

But, this is NOT (as it requires too much thought processing from the consumer).

Tableau Dashboard Performance Series: Tip#36: Number of Data Sources

This raises many eyebrows. Why does the number of data sources impact my dashboard. And, I would say, it shouldn’t. And we have made many advancements where it might not.

However, in some of the older version prior to 10, we saw a direct co-relation between the number of data sources and the initial load time it took for a dashboard to load on the Tableau Server. If you are seeing that having a higher number of data sources is causing an issue, I would advise you to create dashboards that don’t use more than 3 data sources and compare it.

In any case, if you are combining more than 3 data sources for a single dashboard, I really think you should be using your enterprise data store (EDW or similar) to get the data so you aren’t combining data in real-time with data sources that are very different in terms of their technologies.

Another thing to consider is that Tableau makes separate connection to each one of the data sources so if you have 29 data sources to a database, Tableau might be doing some of the metadata work 29 times.