Benny Goodman: Sometimes when you start loosing detaIl, whether it's in music or life, something as small as failing to be Polite, you start to loose substance.

Even if Benny Goodman does not explicitly mentioned data decades ago, I experienced that his saying is also true for almost any data related topic, may it be such as atomic as the choosing of the proper data type, or the architecture of an analytical real time streaming data pipeline.


Through all the years of my professional business life, I tried to transform data into actionable information, and succeeded most of the time (I think there were one or two situations where I failed). My personal feeling is that now are the most exciting times ever (at least so far) in the realm of Data Processing (sometimes called Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing, Business Analytics, or something completely different). There are so many fascinating tools that enable us to get meaning out of our data.


I'm still thrilled by plain SQL, MDX, or DAX statements (after conquering the Evaluation Context), that reveal secrets inside myriads of data (provided that technology is at hand that answers my questions fast enough). The possibilities to wade through Big Data not just using batch processing Map & Reduce scripts but also more responsive SQL statements (e.g. Spark SQL), or using the analytical power of R and Scala make me feel that there are no limits to gain insight from all our data.


Over all the enthusiasm of all things data, I'm trying to always be aware of what  John W. Tukey once said:


"The combination of some data and an aching desire for an answer does not ensure that a reasonable answer can be extracted from a given body of data."


After all, if there are some findings from the data that I want to keep or share, I'm always trying to make these findings shine and special. Due to the fact that our visual system is one of the most effective data processing systems (we are still alive because of the fact that we were able to detect the sneaking tiger in the grass) most of the time I will visualize my findings in one way or another. Hence I will write often about data visualizations, maybe sometimes from a more general perspective, and sometimes there will be a lot of R code involved.

I have to admit that my favorite tools are Power BI and R, for many reasons, I really enjoy using the combined power of both: scrape information from websites, combine data from a ton of different data sources, using funny algorithms and powerful DAX statements on this data and finally visualize the results.


One reason, why I'm started writing / blogging is that I learned a lot from the writings of other people who were willingly sharing their insights with the community and if there is at least one reader who will also learn something from this site I would be honored (so, this is my attempt to paying back to the community). A second reason why I'm writing is that I want to resolve my puzzlements about the things happening in this data driven time, so every comment is welcome (I guess most of them :-)).  The final reason why I started writing is that from my personal point of view there is much writing where I totally disagree, trying to provide a different angle to a special topic.

Please keep in mind that these writings only represent my personal point of view and do not necessarily correspond to the opinion of the company I'm working for (even if I'm always trying to make the company adopt my point of view :-))


Basically this was a lot of talking (being precise writing) without revealing much personal information, here is some personal data:

I'm Thomas 'Tom' Martens, but there is no living person who calls me Thomas, except the ones who do not know that I go with Tom.
Currently I'm working for MunichRe ( as a Solution Architect among a great team of data driven people. I'm focusing on Power BI and related data platforms.
If I do not work with data, I take pictures, some of my favorites images:
You will find me on twitter, if you look for:

Thanks for reading thisand visiting my website,


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