Errors & Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting Custom Expressions in Spotfire

Working with custom expressions in Spotfire can be tricky. You try different combinations of syntax and just get errors. Sometimes the error message is helpful, but often it is just jibberish. How do you know exactly what’s getting passed thru the expression? There is a way to find out. Check out this short post for a solid pro-tip on troubleshooting custom expressions in Spotfire.

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Calculate the Last Value on a Visualization

Spotfire’s label functionality leaves a lot to be desired. You can turn on all labels, which will probably clutter the chart since you can’t move labels on most charts. Or, you can mark data points to see select labels. None of this is helpful if you want specific labels on an exported report, which is where I found myself last week. To get around Spotfire limitations and still fulfill my customer requirements, I opted to add a text area with a calculated value above my visualization. This allowed me to calculate the last value from a visualization without dealing with labels. My calculation was cumulative, so I expected that if I used the same calculation, the end result would be the last value on my visualization. It was not. Even TIBCO support was stumped as to why this didn’t work. Read on to learn a little bit more about calculated values and the Spotfire expression language.

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How to Improve Spotfire Load Times

Long load times are a problem all Spotfire users struggle with eventually. The first step to reducing load time involves understanding which tables are taking the longest to load. Spotfire provides this information in the Help menu, but it’s not in a form that is easy to work with. This week, I need to help one of our project teams optimize their Spotfire project, so I built an Excel template to parse this data. Now I know what to go after in order to improve Spotfire load times.

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Resolve Data Function Errors When Upgrading Spotfire

Despite all of the current chaos, we are getting ready to upgrade our Spotfire installation. I’m a bit sad we are only going from 10.2 to 10.3, but 10.3 is the last LTS version. In performing testing in our dev environment, we ran into errors with data functions using packages. This post will explain how to resolve the error — ‘xyx package’ was built by an R engine with different internals. Read on to learn how to resolve data function errors when upgrading Spotfire.

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How to Search for DXP Dependencies

I can’t tell you how many times my manager has asked me — “How many projects connect to the <insert name> information link? While this might seem like a difficult question to answer, the information is just a few clicks away in the Library Administrator. The key is knowing how to search for it. If you don’t know how to search for it, maybe you have relied on the terrifying-yet-effective method of clicking delete in the Information Designer and waiting for Spotfire to tell you what the info link is connected to. Rather than be afraid you are about to break something, let me show you how to use the Library Administrator to search for DXP dependencies. Read on to learn more.

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Error Reporting with Alteryx & Spotfire

It’s a fact. If you have manual data entry, there will be errors. I found this out the hard way when working with our completions team on a Spotfire KPI project. We built the Spotfire KPIs and were attempting to tie out to spreadsheets. The numbers didn’t match. Discrepancies consistently traced back to bad data entry. We would fix the bad data, but without proper controls to keep it out, we were chasing our tails. So, we addressed bad data with a QAQC or error report. The first version was all Spotfire, but it had flaws. Version 2 performed error reporting with Alteryx. Ultimately, I wound up with a combination of Alteryx and Spotfire. To see what it looks like and how it was implemented, read on.

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What are key columns for linked data?

  • Have you noticed key columns for linked data in Data Table Properties and just want to know more?
  • Have you tried to use replace value transformations but found options grayed out (screenshot above)?
  • Have you ever lost the marked data behind tags when opening or closing a file?
  • Would you like to be able to edit values in a data table?

If any of these apply, read on to find how what key columns are and how to use them.

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5 Tip for Troubleshooting Data Wrangling Problems

I’ve never found a great way to explain what I do. Analogies help right? The first analogous thing that pops into my head is a Rubix cube. My day to day work feels like trying to solve a Rubix cube over and over, and the cube is a big pile of dirty, messy data. Thus, much of my day to day is troubleshooting data wrangling problems.

Some days, it’s incredibly satisfying, as solving a Rubix cube is. Other days, I want to rip the stickers off and throw it out the window. When I drafted this post, I was in “rip the stickers off” mode. I was frustrated with how long it took to solve data wrangling problems. When I get in that mindset, I want to share what I learn so other people don’t suffer as much. Thus, this post discusses my top 5 ways to approach troubleshooting data problems. These methods will apply no matter what application you are working in or if the problem is related to data wrangling or logic problems. Read on for details.

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