Infographic: The World’s Biggest Data Breaches (Information is Beautiful)

Readers:

Happy New Year!

In late November, presumed North Korean hackers targeted Sony Pictures Entertainment in an unprecedented cyber attack. This resulted in the exposure of thousands of sensitive emails from Sony executives and threats to release more if the release of the film “The Interview” wasn’t canceled.

While this breach was indeed historically devastating, it’s not the first successful cyber attack on a big corporate powerhouse.

David McCandless and the folks over at Information Is Beautiful have put together an amazing infographic with the biggest data breaches in recent history. You can see when the attack happened, who it happened to, and how large the impact was.

I always encourage my social media friends to reset all of your passwords each new year. Now is the time to do so.

Safe blogging.

Michael

[Click on image to use the interactive version]

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Interview Question #12: Command Manager v9.3.1 and Intelligent Cubes

Question

In Command Manager 9.3.1, you can use scripts to manage Intelligent Cube Caches.

True

False

 

 

 

 

 

Answer

True

MicroStrategy Course Where You Will Learn About This Topic

MicroStrategy Administration Course

Jacob Gube: 6 Ways to Increase the Visual Weight of Something

Readers:

Jason GubeWhile purusing through Zite, I came across this blog post on the Design Instruct web site by Jacob Gube. Jacob is the co-founder and a managing editor of Design Instruct. He’s a web developer, and also the owner of Six Revisions. Follow Jacob on Twitter: @sixrevisions.

Best Regards,

Michael

6 Ways to Increase the Visual Weight of Something

In a design composition, the visual weight of an object refers to how well it draws attention to itself compared to other components of the composition. The “heavier” the object is, the more eye-grabbing it is.

When creating a design, it’s a good idea to prioritize key elements in the visual space by giving them heavier visual weights. For example, things you might consider giving heavier visual weights to — so that they’re more easily seen by the viewer — are call-to-action buttons in a web design, or the subject of a photograph.

I’ll talk about a few tricks for increasing the visual weight of an object.

1. Give It a Different Color

When the color-contrast between an object and its surroundings (including its background) is high, the more able it is to garner our attention.

In the example above, notice how, even though the size, shape and margins of the stars are identical, the red star is able to get your attention simply because of how distinctive its color is compared to other elements in the composition.

2. Move It Away from Other Objects

One easy trick for increasing the visual weight of an object is distancing it from other objects. Adding plenty of negative space around the object separates it from other objects, which in turn makes the object stand out.

In the example above, look at how our eyes interpret the composition as two groups of rabbits: A big group of 12 rabbits and a small group consisting of only one rabbit. By being farther away from the others, the estranged rabbit is able to command our attention more than any other rabbit in the composition.

3. Make It Look Different

When things look alike, it’s naturally hard for us to differentiate them. So, quite simply, we can make the visual weight of an object heavier by making it look different from other objects.

Even a slight change in the style properties of an object can heavily influence its visual weight if objects in the composition look similar. In the above example, notice how the circle at the center of the first row is able to get our eyes’ attention compared to the other circles.

4. Point to It

A simple trick for increasing the visual weight of something is to direct the viewer’s eyes to it using visual queues such as arrows.

In the above example, check out how the visual weight of the house is increased because it’s surrounded by arrows that point to its location. No matter where our attention goes, we’re redirected to look at the house because of the arrows.

5. Make It Look Visually Complex

An ornate object attracts our eyes more when it’s set among simple and unadorned objects. We can make the appearance of an object complex by giving it textures, drop shadows, changing its shape, adding more color to it, and so forth.

In the example above, the multi-colored circle has the heaviest visual weight because the surrounding objects are styled plainly.

6. Make It Bigger

Making an object larger than the other objects around it will increase its visual weight. It’s a reasonable proposition: The more visual space an object takes up, the more visible it is.

In the example above, notice how our eyes are quickly drawn to the biggest heart . The only thing different with it is its size.

Visual weight is a simple but incredibly powerful design tool for strategically arranging elements so that more important elements are readily seen by our viewers.

What tricks do you use to increase the visual weight of an object? Share your advice in the comments.

Interview Question #11: History List Messages Stored in a Database

Question

Which of the following is possible only when History List messages are stored in a database?

A. History List Messages are available in a two-tier environment.

B. When deleting History List messages using a schedule, a single session is created on the Intelligence Server.

C. History List messages can be shared across cluster nodes.

D. You can duplicate History List messages on reprompt or refresh.

E. Both B and C.

 

 

 

 

 

Answer

B. When deleting History List messages using a schedule, a single session is created on the Intelligence Server.

Benefits of Using Database-Based History List Storage

  • Access additional information about each History List message, such as message and job execution statistics. As a result, you can effectively monitor and manage the History List based on its actual usage by the users.
  • The database backing of the History List provides greater scalability and improved performance. Instead of accessing a multitude of large files that usually reside on the server machine, you retrieve users’ inbox information from a database.
  • When the administrative task to delete History List messages is triggered, it creates only one session on the Intelligence Server rather than multiple separate sessions for each user.
  • Use the History List Messages monitor to monitor and manage messages for each MicroStrategy user.

 

MicroStrategy Course Where You Will Learn About This Topic

MicroStrategy Administration Course

NEW! MicroStrategy Interview Questions Quick Reference Page

Readers:

To make it easier to find all of the MicroStrategy Interview Questions I posted, I have added a new page that contains a quick reference to all of them (see screenshot below).

I will update this page after every five new interview questions have been added.

Best Regards,

Michael

Interview Questions Quick Reference

Introducing Adobe Brackets 1.0 and Extract for Brackets (Preview)

Readers:

We had a Technology Discovery Day the other day at work. I worked my way over to the folks from Adobe to try to get some questions answered. I have been an Adobe Flex and Flash user and wanted to know what my alternatives were going to be going forward with custom mobile report development for Apple products since they do not support Flash (actually, they really do, but don’t want us to know that).

I talked to one of the reps from Adobe and he told me to look at Adobe Brackets. I have downloaded and installed the Brackets editor and have been getting familiar with it.

Here is a brief overview of Adobe Brackets from their Creative Cloud Team. Once I become more proficient, I will blog more about it.

MicroStrategy, Tableau, Qlikview: Are you listening?

Best Regards,

Michael

brackets_logo_flat

What is Brackets?

Brackets is a modern, open source text editor that understands web design. It was built for web designers and front-end developers working with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Adobe not only created Brackets, but were also a key contributor to the project. When Adobe first started Brackets, they wanted to release early and often. They have done both. This will mark the 45th release of Brackets in 3 years; it’s a pace of innovation that our teams are able to maintain now that we’ve moved to Creative Cloud.

ExtractBrackets_2

Introducing Extract for Brackets (preview)

This release also includes a preview of Extract for Brackets, a new Creative Cloud service that lets you view and get information and assets out of a PSD right from your text editor. Extract for Brackets lets you pull things like colors, fonts, measurement, gradients, and more from a PSD in the form of contextual code hints in CSS and HTML files. You can also extract layers as images, use information from the PSD to define preprocessor variables, and easily get dimensions between objects. Adobe is really excited about how it will improve the process of moving from design to development and speed workflows.

ExtractBrackets_3

If you haven’t looked at Brackets in a while or are brand new to it, now is a great time to see the awesome stuff Adobe has been working on.

Brackets blends visual tools right into the editor so you get the right amount of help when you want it. In more recent releases, Adobe has added multiple cursors, split view, theme support, and many more fixes and enhancements.

Extract for Brackets (preview) can be downloaded as a standalone extension from the Brackets Extension Registry or included with Brackets 1.0 in a bundle that’s immediately available as a free download from brackets.io.

————————————————————

Sources:

NEW! MicroStrategy Tips & Tricks Quick Reference Page

Readers:

To make it easier to find all of the MicroStrategy Tips & Tricks I posted, I have added a new page that contains a quick reference to all of them (see screenshot below).

I will update this page after every five new tips & tricks have been added.

Best Regards,

Michael

Tips and Tricks Quick Reference

Information is Beautiful Awards 2014 Announced

IIB_Awards_942_FB

 

Last Wednesday, November 12th, 2014, the third annual Information is Beautiful Awards celebrated data visualization at its best. Hundreds of entries were trimmed to an elite set of outstandingly illuminating infographics, over which the judges deliberated long and hard. Now, with thanks to their generous sponsors Kantar, here are the winners.

Data Visualization

rappers_459

Gold – Rappers, Sorted by Size of Vocabulary by Matthew Daniels

Silver – Weather Radials Poster by Timm Kekeritz

Bronze – The Depth of the Problem by The Washington Post

Special mention – The Analytical Tourism Map of Piedmont by Marco Bernardi, Federica Fragapane and Francesco Majno

 

Infographic

creativeroutines_459

Gold – Creative Routines by RJ Andrews

Silver – Game of Thrones Decoded by Heather Jones

Bronze – The Graphic Continuum by Jonathan Schwabish and Severino Ribecca

 

Interactive

The Refugee Project by Hyperakt and Ekene Ijeoma

Gold – The Refugee Project by Hyperakt and Ekene Ijeoma

Silver – How Americans Die by Bloomberg Visual Data

Joint Bronze – Commonwealth War Dead: First World War Visualised by James Offer

Joint Bronze – World Food Clock by Luke Twyman

 

Motion infographic

nyctaxis_459

Gold – NYC Taxis: A Day in the Life by Chris Whong

Silver – Beyond Bytes by Maral Pourkazemi

Bronze – Everything You Need to Know about Planet Earth by Kurzgesagt

Special mention – Energy by Adam Nieman

 

Website

selfie_459

Gold – Selfiecity by Moritz Stefaner

Silver – OECD Regional Well-Being by Moritz Stefaner

Bronze – After Babylon by Sofia Girelli, Eleonora Grotto, Pietro Lodi, Daniele Lupatini and Emilio Patuzzo

 

Tool

raw_459

Gold – RAW by Density Design Research Lab

Silver – Kennedy by Brendan Dawes

Bronze – Figure it Out by Friedrich Riha

 

Student

Sam Slover, Wrap Genius

Sam Slover, Wrap Genius

 

Individual

Brendan Dawes, Kennedy

Brendan Dawes, Kennedy

 

Studio

womeninscience_459

FFunction, Women in Science and HP What Matters

 

Corporate

biobased_459

Schwandt Infographics, Biobased Economy

 

Community

The Rite of Spring by Stephen Malinowski and Jay Bacal

The Rite of Spring by Stephen Malinowski and Jay Bacal

 

Most Beautiful

raw_459

RAW by Density Design Research Lab

Interview Question #10: Placing Hierarchies in Report Template in MicroStrategy

Question

Which of the following about placing hierarchies in the report template is true?

A. You can only place one hierarchy in the report template.

B. The report level is always resolved to the lowest level attribute in the hierarchy.

C. You can use user hierarchies as well as the System Hierarchy on the template.

D. For the SQL Engine to resolve the level of the report, one or more attributes from the same hierarchy should be referenced in the report filter.

E. Both B and D.

 

 

 

 

 

Answer

D. For the SQL Engine to resolve the level of the report, one or more attributes from the same hierarchy should be referenced in the report filter.

 

Why the others are false

A. You can only place one hierarchy in the report template. You can place any number on the report.

B. The report level is always resolved to the lowest level attribute in the hierarchy. Since the hierarchy contains several attributes, the SQL Engine does not automatically know which attribute to place on the result set.

C. You can use user hierarchies as well as the System Hierarchy on the template. Cannot use System Hierarchy.

E. Both B and D. B is False.

MicroStrategy Course Where You Will Learn About This Topic

MicroStrategy Engine Essentials Course

HBR Blog Review: The Core Incompetencies of the Corporation

HBR-logo

Readers:

Gary HamelI am taking the day off of blogging to share with you a very thoughtful and insightful blog from The Harvard Business Review Blog Network written by Gary Hamel (photo right). Mr. Hamel blogged this on October 31, 2014 and it it titled The Core Incompetencies of the Corporation. Mr. Hamel is an influential business thinker, cofounder of Strategos and director of the Management Lab. He latest book is The Future of Management.

I hope you enjoy his blog as much as I did.

Best Regards,

Michael

The Core Incompetencies of the Corporation

Large organizations of all types suffer from an assortment of congenital disabilities that no amount of incremental therapy can cure. First, they are inertial. They are frequently caught out by the future and seldom change in the absence of a crisis. Deep change, when it happens, is belated and convulsive, and typically requires an overhaul of the leadership team. Absent the bloodshed, the dynamics of change in the world’s largest companies aren’t much different from what one sees in a poorly-governed, authoritarian regime – and for the same reason: there are few, if any, mechanisms that facilitate proactive bottom-up renewal.

Second, large organizations are incremental. Despite their resource advantages, incumbents are seldom the authors of game-changing innovation. It’s not that veteran CEOs discount the value of innovation; rather, they’ve inherited organizational structures and processes that are inherently toxic to break-out thinking and relentless experimentation. Strangely, most CEOs seem resigned to this fact, since few, if any, have tackled the challenge of innovation with the sort of zeal and persistence they’ve devoted to the pursuit of operational efficiency. Their preferred strategy seems to be to acquire young companies that haven’t yet lost their own innovation mojo (but upon acquisition most likely will).

And finally, large organizations are emotionally insipid. Managers know how to command obedience and diligence, but most are clueless when it comes to galvanizing the sort of volunteerism that animates life on the social web. Initiative, imagination, and passion can’t be commanded—they’re gifts. Every day, employees choose whether to bring those gifts to work or not, and the evidence suggests they usually leave them at home. In Gallup’s latest 142-country survey on the State of the Global Workplace, only 13% of employees were truly engaged in their work. Imagine, if you will, a car engine so woefully inefficient that only 13% of the gas it consumes actually combusts. That’s the sort of waste we’re talking about. Large organizations squander more human capability than they use.

Inertial. Incremental. Insipid. As the winds of creative destruction continue to strengthen, these infirmities will become even more debilitating. Few companies, though, have made much progress in eradicating them. Most of the recommended remedies—idea wikis, business incubators, online collaboration, design thinking, “authentic” leadership, et al—are no more than minor tweaks. They are unlikely to be any more effective than the dozens of “fixes” that came before them. Remember T-groups, total quality management, skunk works, high performance teams, “intrapreneurship,” re-engineering, the learning organization, communities of practice, knowledge management, and customer centricity? All of these were timely, and a few genuinely helpful, but none of them rendered organizations fundamentally more adaptable, innovative, or engaging. Band-Aids, braces, and bariatric surgery don’t fix genetic disorders.

To build organizations that are fit for the future, we have to go deeper, much deeper. When confronted by unprecedented challenges, like an inflection in the pace of change, the most important things to think about are the things we never think about—the taken-for-granted assumptions that are to us as unremarkable as water is to fish. The performance of any social system (be it a government, a religious denomination or a corporation), is ultimately limited by the paradigmatic beliefs of its members; by the core tenets that have been encapsulated in creeds and reified in structures.

Reflect for a moment on the development of constitutional democracy. Ancient and medieval societies were predicated on the “divine right of kings.” The sovereign was answerable only to God and royal edicts could not be countermanded. Society was ordered in descending ranks of royal privilege and everyone from dukes to peasants “knew their place.” To most of those who lived in this pre-democratic world, the idea of self-government would have been ludicrous, if it could have been imagined at all. Thankfully, a few brave souls like William Penn, Thomas Paine, and Patrick Henry not only imagined self-government, but devoted their lives to making it a reality. Today it’s the imperial alternative that’s unthinkable.

Until we challenge our foundational beliefs, we won’t be able to build organizations that are substantially more capable than the ones we have today. We will fail to build organizations that are as nimble as change itself. We will fail to make innovation an instinctual and intrinsic capability. We will fail to inspire extraordinary contributions from our colleagues and employees.

Most organizations are still feudal at their core, with a raft of institutionalized distinctions between thinkers and doers—between the executive class and everyone else. And most leaders still over-value alignment and conformance and under-value heterodoxy and heresy. Until this changes, our organizations will be substantially less capable than they might be.

This post is part of a series leading up to the 2014 Global Drucker Forum, taking place November 13-14 in Vienna, Austria. See the rest of the series here.

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