Mincing Data - Gain insight from data

This site will be a container for all my musings about the analytical pipeline.

For this reason it will be necessary to define the Analytical Pipeline (at least define this pipeline from my point of view). From a general perspective (be aware that this is my perspective) five activities are necessary to build an analytical pipeline, these steps are

source

ingest

process

store

deliver


 The overall goal of an analytical pipeline is to answer an analytical question. To achieve this overall goal, different data sources have to be targeted and their data has to be ingested into the pipeline and properly processed. During these first steps the data ingested into the pipeline often has to be stored in one or more different data stores, each is used or its special type of usage, finally the result of the data processing has to be delivered to its users, its audience. Depending on the nature of the question, different types of processing methods and also different data stores may be used along the flow of the data throughout the pipeline.

 

I put a direction to these activities, but I also added this direction to spur your critical mind, because

  • source data is of course also stored somewhere
  • to target the source can become a challenge in the pipeline
  • to deliver processed data to the its audience can become a another challenge  if you try to deliver to mobile workforce
Successfully ingested data often gets processed more than once to answer different questions, and during its existence (inside an analytical data platform) this data will be transformed into various shapes, wrangled by different algorithms, and ingested into different "data stores".

For this reason I believe that these activities are tightly related, and the above mentioned sequence of these activities will just aid as a guidance.

 

I will use blog posts to describe how different activities are combined to answer analytical questions. In most of my upcoming blog posts I will link to different topics from the activities used in the pipeline. Each activity has its own menu and is by itself representing an essential part in analytical pipeline.

 

Hopefully this site will help its readers as much as it helps me to focus on each activity always knowing that most of the time more than one activity has to be mastered to find an answer to an analytical question.


Navigating Tabular Tables - Previous Row

There are a lot of situations where it becomes necessary to reference one particular row or a group of rows that are somehow related by their position to the current row of a table in the Tabular model, no matter if this model resides in SSAS, in Power Pivot, or Power BI.

But unfortunately this is not that easy, as it is in Excel, where we can use relative or absolute cell references. And another very important fact that we always have to keep in mind, a row in a table is not aware of its own position in the table.

 

One question that surfaces quite often in the Power BI community (community.powerbi.com) also in different forms, is a question like this: "What is the previous value of …"

 

Please keep in mind, that the task to answer this question can become quite difficult, depending on the nature of your table and how the rows are organized (meaning ordered) inside this table.

 

The PBIX file that contains the data, can be found here


The naive approach

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