Ryan Robitaille

"Dream Big and Dare To Fail"

Ahoy! I'm a data [hacker, engineer, artist, rebel, slayer, janitor, tool builder] who also dabbles in design (if you could call it that). Whatever goofy name-of-the-week you want to call it, I'm a problem solver.
I get shit done.

Data is quickly becoming the silent lifeblood of our modern society; I try to help it get from point A to point B, sometimes point A is an indecipherable mess, and sometimes point B is human understanding (but not both at the same time hopefully).

17 December 2013 23 Comments

Connecting Tableau to ElasticSearch (READ: How to query ElasticSearch with Hive SQL and Hadoop)

I’ve been a big fan of ElasticSearch the since last Spring. Put simply, it’s a search server based on Apache Lucene. But in all honestly, it’s really a massively scalable, auto-balancing, redundant, NoSQL data-store plus a full search and analytics server.

But, if I’m storing a ton of data in ES, I certainly can’t use Tableau, since ES querying is strictly RESTful… or can I?

30 August 2013 4 Comments

Enterprise IT: Why does “having a job” and good software have to be mutually exclusive?

We’ve all heard that ‘witty’ interjection – usually after explaining (or complaining about) a very complicated software procedure (typically administrative / operational in nature) someone will always say something like “Hey, that’s why we have jobs!” (or, if consulting, “that’s why you’re here”, etc)….. Why can’t we have both?

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29 August 2013 0 Comments

RiffBank – Parsing arbitrary Text-based Guitar Tab into an Indexable and Queryable “RiffCode for ElasticSearch

Guitar tablature is meant for human readability…not for machine consumption. Granted it’s “procedural” and “linear” already, but it’s also column-based AND row-based at the same time (readers read down a short row and then over) – you are dealing with text chunks that are easily understandable by a human, but require a lot of “context” […]

21 August 2013 1 Comment

RiffBank – Indexing “Guitar Tab Data” as a pseudo-language with ElasticSearch

What is it? A fun data/hack project that I’ve been working on for the past few weeks. Basically put… Riffbank is a “reverse search engine” for guitar tabs. Give it a simple section of guitar tab (a “riff”), and it will tell you what songs it could be (plus any other metadata it knows). Give […]

22 April 2013 1 Comment

Facts, Stories, Conveyance: Postmortem “Data Viz Advice” from a famous American street photographer

Just got back from SF – one of the things we did was visit the Museum of Modern Art – the building is a wonder in itself, but obviously the museum hosts countless photographs and art installations from many famous (and not so famous) artists. I had no idea I’d find inspiration that can be DIRECTLY applied to modern data visualization practices. Advice that doesn’t get followed as much as it should…

1 April 2013 1 Comment

Going Yard: Using MLB data and Tableau 8 to “re-imagine” Homeruns in PetCo Park – “The Business Case”

Answering life’s Big Questions with Data Viz: The San Diego Padres are changing the wall dimensions for their home stadium, PetCo Park, for the 2013 MLB season. In a notoriously large “pitchers park”, how might this change affect the amount of Homeruns, the Padres record, and (possibly) ticket sales?

27 December 2012 4 Comments

The Anatomy of a Tableau 8 Dashboard (or a “floating tile grid autopsy”)

With the release of Tableau 8 just around the corner, and the Tableau 8 Public servers in a (very) limited release beta – I figured that it was good a time as any to see what I could come up with using (a couple) of the new features. Specifically the “floating tile” option for dashboards…

10 December 2012 5 Comments

Quick & Dirty Address Geocoding and Formatting with Google Maps API

Howdy. Cheers to all ya’ll down there in internet land. I got in a conversation earlier today regarding geocoding addresses in data-sets – it’s a pretty common thing, and I’ve done it numerous times for a WIDE variety of data-points (Bigfoot, Sex Offenders, Concert Venues, etc.), so I figured hell, I’ll clean it up and offer it to the Google gods. Maybe someone will find it useful…

7 December 2012 14 Comments

Build Tableau Data Extracts out of CSV Files? More Python TDE API madness!

So here we have the 3rd in a series about using Tableau 8′s ‘Data Extract’ API to automatically create TDE files from various data sources without using the desktop client. This time we’re focusing on good ole’ Comma Separated files….

Get yo CSV on!

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