Alteryx vs. Power BI: Exploring Two Powerful Data Analytics Tools

Introduction: In the world of data analytics, organizations require powerful tools to extract insights and drive informed decision-making. Alteryx and Power BI are two popular options that offer comprehensive solutions for data analysis and visualization. Alteryx focuses on data preparation, blending, and advanced analytics, while Power BI specializes in interactive visualizations and business intelligence. In this article, we will compare Alteryx and Power BI, highlighting their key features, strengths, and use cases.

Alteryx: Empowering Data Preparation and Advanced Analytics Alteryx is a data analytics platform designed to simplify and automate complex data-related tasks. It provides a visual interface for data preparation, blending, and advanced analytics. Key features of Alteryx include:

  1. Data Blending and Preparation: Alteryx enables users to combine, clean, and transform data from multiple sources. Its intuitive workflow-based interface allows users to visually design data flows and automate data preparation tasks without coding.
  2. Advanced Analytics: Alteryx offers a wide range of analytics tools, including predictive modeling, spatial analytics, and statistical analysis. Users can leverage these capabilities to derive insights, build models, and perform in-depth analysis.
  3. Automation and Workflow: Alteryx focuses on automating repetitive data tasks, allowing users to streamline their workflows. It provides a scalable platform for data processing and analysis, reducing manual effort and increasing efficiency.
  4. Integration and Collaboration: Alteryx seamlessly integrates with other analytics tools and platforms, allowing users to leverage the power of multiple tools within a single workflow. It also enables collaboration by providing shared access to workflows and data assets.

Power BI: Interactive Visualizations and Business Intelligence Power BI is a business intelligence tool that enables users to create interactive visualizations, reports, and dashboards. It empowers organizations to gain insights and make data-driven decisions. Key features of Power BI include:

  1. Data Visualization: Power BI offers a rich set of visual elements and interactive features for creating compelling visualizations. Users can customize charts, graphs, maps, and tables to present data in a visually appealing and easily understandable format.
  2. Data Connectivity: Power BI supports connectivity to various data sources, including databases, cloud services, and spreadsheets. It allows users to import, transform, and shape data for analysis and reporting.
  3. Collaboration and Sharing: Power BI facilitates collaboration by enabling users to share dashboards and reports with stakeholders. It provides real-time data updates and supports interactive sharing, fostering collaborative decision-making.
  4. Integration with Microsoft Ecosystem: Power BI seamlessly integrates with other Microsoft tools, such as Excel and Azure. This integration allows users to leverage existing data assets and extend their analytics capabilities within the Microsoft ecosystem.

Choosing the Right Tool: The choice between Alteryx and Power BI depends on the specific requirements and use cases of an organization. Alteryx excels in data preparation, blending, and advanced analytics, making it ideal for data analysts and data scientists who require robust data manipulation and modeling capabilities. Power BI, on the other hand, is focused on interactive visualizations and business intelligence, catering to business users who need to create engaging dashboards and reports for data-driven decision-making.

Conclusion: Alteryx and Power BI are both powerful tools in the realm of data analytics, each with its unique strengths. Alteryx empowers users with advanced data preparation, blending, and analytics capabilities, enabling them to streamline complex data workflows. Power BI, on the other hand, focuses on interactive visualizations and business intelligence, providing a user-friendly platform for creating compelling dashboards and reports. Consider your organization’s specific needs and use cases to determine which tool aligns best with your data analytics requirements.

Tableau vs. Alteryx: A Comparison of Data Visualization and Analytics Tools

Introduction: In today’s data-driven world, organizations rely on powerful tools to analyze and visualize data effectively. Two popular options in this domain are Tableau and Alteryx. Tableau is a leading data visualization tool known for its intuitive interface and interactive dashboards. Alteryx, on the other hand, is a robust analytics platform that enables data preparation, blending, and advanced analytics. In this article, we will compare Tableau and Alteryx, exploring their key features, strengths, and use cases.

Tableau: Unleashing Data Visualization Capabilities Tableau is renowned for its user-friendly approach to data visualization, enabling users to create visually appealing and interactive dashboards without extensive programming knowledge. Key features of Tableau include:

  1. Interactive Dashboards: Tableau offers a drag-and-drop interface, allowing users to create dynamic and interactive dashboards. Users can explore data, apply filters, and drill down into details for a comprehensive analysis.
  2. Data Connectivity: Tableau supports connectivity to a wide range of data sources, including spreadsheets, databases, cloud platforms, and big data sources. This flexibility allows users to blend and analyze data from various sources seamlessly.
  3. Visual Exploration: With Tableau, users can employ a vast array of charts, graphs, maps, and other visual elements to present data in a meaningful way. The platform offers a wide range of customization options to create engaging visualizations.
  4. Collaboration and Sharing: Tableau provides collaboration features, enabling users to share interactive dashboards and reports with stakeholders. It supports publishing to Tableau Server or Tableau Online, facilitating collaboration and data-driven decision-making across teams.

Alteryx: Empowering Advanced Analytics and Data Preparation Alteryx focuses on data preparation, blending, and advanced analytics, providing a comprehensive platform for data analysts and data scientists. Key features of Alteryx include:

  1. Data Blending and Preparation: Alteryx enables users to combine, cleanse, and transform data from multiple sources. It offers an intuitive workflow-based interface for data preparation tasks, reducing the need for manual coding and enhancing productivity.
  2. Advanced Analytics: Alteryx provides a range of advanced analytics capabilities, including predictive modeling, spatial analytics, and statistical analysis. Users can leverage pre-built tools and drag-and-drop workflows to perform complex analytics tasks without programming expertise.
  3. Data Automation: Alteryx focuses on automating repetitive data-related tasks, allowing users to streamline data processing workflows. This automation capability saves time and increases efficiency, especially for tasks like data cleansing, data validation, and data integration.
  4. Integration and Deployment: Alteryx integrates seamlessly with other analytics tools and platforms, such as Tableau, to extend its capabilities. It enables users to deploy analytical models and workflows in production environments for ongoing data processing and analysis.

Choosing the Right Tool: While Tableau and Alteryx have some overlapping features, they cater to different aspects of the data analysis workflow. Tableau excels in data visualization and creating interactive dashboards, making it ideal for business users who want to gain insights quickly and share them visually. On the other hand, Alteryx focuses on data preparation, blending, and advanced analytics, serving data analysts and data scientists who require robust data manipulation capabilities and automation.

Conclusion: Tableau and Alteryx are both powerful tools in the realm of data analysis, each with its unique strengths and use cases. Tableau empowers users to create visually compelling dashboards and perform interactive data exploration. Alteryx, on the other hand, provides advanced analytics capabilities and data preparation features to streamline data workflows and enhance analytical processes.

Choosing between Tableau and Alteryx depends on your specific requirements and the nature of your data

ReoLink Security Camera 810A Review 2022

ReoLink has really been upping the game on security camera products over the last few years. One of the most interesting products from a price/performance standpoint is the 810A security camera. This is a IP camera with PoE, onboard SD card availability and a really good app that makes it a breeze to set up and tweak the settings to get things just right.

Take a look at the specs:

Image Sensor1/2.49″ CMOS Sensor
Video Resolution3840×2160 (8.0 Megapixels) at 25 frames/sec
Lensf=4.0mm fixed; F=2.0, with IR-cut filter
Night Vision30 meters (100ft)
PoE PowerIEEE 802.3af PoE Switch/Injector, 48V Active (Not included)
Field of ViewHorizontal: 87° Vertical: 44°
Video Compression FormatH.265
Smart AlarmMotion detection/Human detection/Vehicle detection
OS SupportedPC: Windows, Mac OS; Smartphone: iOS, Android; Web Browser (Edge, Chrome, Firefox, Safari)
Record ModeMotion-triggered recording (default); scheduled recording; 24/7 recording
ReoLink 810 Specs

Setting up the camera is as simple as connecting it to a PoE switch or injector, scanning the 2D code on the camera, and following the prompts. Aside from the drilling and getting the ladder out etc. I had my first camera up in literally minutes.

  • IP66 Waterproof Rating
  • Great App to easily add and monitor cameras
  • No cloud storage fees if you use SD cards in each camera and have reliable internet
  • Integration with Google Assistant on Chromecast connected TV’s
  • Easily share the cameras with other people by simply installing the app and scanning a code
  • UHD 4k Recording
  • Pet/Person/Vehicle detection
  • You can push files to a computer via FTP for 24×7 recording of each camera
  • ReoLink sells a dedicated NVR to store your camera video – bundles with a couple of cameras in the $350 range
  • Did I say no monthly charges for your cameras like Arlo and others?
  • Self hosting your video gives you peace of mind
  • Great night video recording in low light
  • Connect them to other systems like Blue Iris, Zoneminder and Shinobi
  • 2 Year Warranty
  • 4k Video makes 1080p look like the 80’s 🙂

Take a look at the ReoLink 810A and it’s cousin the 811. The wider angle view and integrated lighting of that model may make sense to mix and match depending on your situation. I have tried several other types of cameras over the years, and switching from Arlo to the ReoLink brand has been a win in so many ways. Grab a couple and give them a shot!

Google Assistant Automation is a Mess – Amazon Alexa is Going to Win?

I love an automated assistant experience. I have lighting, heat and air, TV’s, dedicated assistant devices like Hub, phones, you name it. Lately though, the entire system is a flakey mess. Here are just a few of the failures that are plaguing the Google Assistant experience in my house that will likely lead to people looking to Amazon Alexa as a replacement, especially with their ever increasing device integration and open ecosystem:

  • Amazon face recognition on Google Nest Hub Max – settings go missing. The Home app shows it no longer is set to recognize owners/users. Things like reminders and the ability to perform actions like removing a pic from the slideshow stopped working, as it no longer recognizes me. Settings in Google home are greyed out, and only removing the device, setting up facial recognition etc. brings them back.
  • Google Home Nest Max stops recording and alerting activity that it sees. Much like the above, the Max and Google Home settings are jacked without a change on my part. Recording and notifications just stopped working. Greyed out in menus, and cannot connect. Remote Nest app shows that the device is no longer connected to the internet, but the Home app while home just shows the settings are all removed.
  • With the latest patch (December 2019??) Google assistant just stopped working on my phone. I sit in the car and say “OK Google, should I switch to Alexa??”. No response. Not even a snarky reply, as it now doesn’t work at all. Settings again, completely reset. (not to mention the auto screen rotation setting that is re-set every fucking time I get a system update).
  • Assistant devices on new devices like Sonos Beam and Move act like red-headed step children. They are listed as in my home and part of rooms just like any device, but they are ignored like 3rd rate citizens, most of the time they cannot control Nest or anything other than Sonos (poorly) and complain that they don’t know what I am talking about – though the same command works on the Google branded assistants.
  • The new shopping list integration into Bring lists is cool, but half the time I say “OK Google add razorblades to slit my wrists to the shopping list” it puts it into the insanely useless default Google shopping list instead of Bring shopping list. I then leave the store without 5 things and curse automation, harking back to killing trees and using pencils.
  • Routines… OMG. They so rarely work, maybe the team leading routines could at least add a damn “Test this stupid routine out” button so I can tell (much more quickly) that it will never work.
  • Sonos integration – OK this one is not a Google issue I guess, but trying to control a Sonos device using voice is the most frustrating thing in the whole world. Add to that a ridiculously broken Spotify integration, and I never even try anymore – I just use the dedicated apps. This may be a Sonos/Spotify issue, but to the user, Alexa is way better and regardless of that, it feels like a broken Google Assistant. Don’t get me started on other integrations like viewing Arlo cameras on Hub devices, holy crap that sucks. The list can go of literally all day for Sonos. How about “groups”? What about “on all of the sonos devices”? Maybe Shuffle or Repeat? What about… fuck. Forget it…
  • I can’t tell you how sick I am of “I’m sorry I don’t know how to help with that” when I say things that work on a second try. Add to that the “OK Google turn on all the lights” with a response of “12 lights are now off” as I stand in the dark. That makes me want to throw things.
  • Take a look at the user groups that support home automation of Google stuff for the nightmares surrounding IFTTT, etc etc. You will run for the hills. It’s a nightmare.

Sonos Move Review: The Speaker You Have Been Waiting For

I have a bunch of Sonos stuff, so let me start off by saying I am a fanboy of the awesome products that they put out. The audio quality of the Sonos line is great, and when you throw in the convenience of great apps, the convenience of linking all of your favorite streaming services like Spotify, and zones, party mode, and Google Assistant and Alexa integration on some of the newer devices – you just can’t go wrong with them.

Then the Sonos Move came along this week (9/2019).

I went ahead and preordered the move hoping that all of the hype would make this just another solid product in the Sonos line. Let me say, I was completely mistaking. This little Sonos is a game changer.

First off, the setup was a breeze as usual. I just plugged it in, opened the app, hit the + button and followed along for a few minutes of connecting, a quick update to the device and it was now a part of the system. I went ahead and added the Google Assistant integration, and it nicely threw me into the Home app and I was able to add it to the home automation devices there.

First up? Well, this thing is pretty. Great design and looks awesome, wherever you put it – and guess what? It’s called the Sonos Move, and you can put it anywhere!

And that is the game changer. I have had bluetooth speakers of all shapes and sizes. The Sonos Move is the top end of this genre though, at just under 10 inches tall – it’s fairly large and as any decent speaker is, heavy too. With that heft comes BIG sound. I mean like really BIG SOUND. Like I look at it with a puzzled look sometimes wondering how they could possibly have packed that into this thing, that while large for a bluetooth device, is pretty small for what this thing kicks out. This easily fills a large room with great dynamic range, impressive bass, and crisp clear highs. It really is amazing for the size.

But the magic is that this speaker sounds like a million bucks, and truth be told, it’s roughly $400 – so part way there – it’s not cheap. But that is the game changer, it’s not cheap. It has an amazing design, with sexy lines, touch buttons, perfect lighting, just enough grill to see the nice sized speakers, a great handle in the back to grab it and move to the deck, or a nice soak in the tub. This thing is portable, and instead of some tinny semblance of music on the go, you bring bass and great all around sound with you.

There are a ton of features packed into this amazing unit. Google Assistant and Alexa are built in, and they work just as well as the dedicated devices in the house we own. There is a set of microphones that magically adjust equalizer settings when you tote it into a new space that dynamically adjust the sound of the unit for the surroundings. The charging ring is a simple affair that charges the unit at lightning speed and acts as a additional stabilizer in it’s “home” spot at 10V, 2.5 amps.

The battery holds a ton of juice and has easily taken all day listening jams without a top-off and has been left alone on stand-by for days, only to come right to life when summoned by the mobile app or PC. You can also hook up a USB-C cable, and depending on the power supply, can charge in that fashion though somewhat slower.

There is a dedicated bluetooth button on the back side for pairing and switching from wifi to bluetooth. This makes it worth every penny. I have seriously grabbed this thing while on bluetooth, walked to my car, thrown it on the seat and rocked out on the way to my destination just as happy as if my awesome truck stereo had been on – all without skipping a beat. Oh, and wait until my camping neighbors hear this thing! They are going to LOVE me! 😉

I’m all in on this new speaker from Sonos. I’ll be buying another to pair for stereo and taking it to the pool, in my car, trips to the park and beach, to picnics with friends and outside while I garden and wash the car. This thing is amazing. I bought into the Sonos ecosystem long ago, and it just keeps stepping up a notch, making me oh so happy that I am the fanboy that I have become. This changes the game.

The Problem With Google’s Nexus Devices: No Accessories

I love the Google Nexus line of devices. They have proven to be solid performers, well designed, and always the first to receive updates to the OS when Google rolls out the latest “dessert”. I have owned each and every Nexus device, and look forward to the next but the strategy by Google has one fatal flaw that will keep the Nexus line from really competing with Apple: Accessories.

When Apple and Microsoft release their latest iOS or Surface device, they include some amazing accessories that make your purchase even more useful like keyboards, docks, cases, covers, and the like. Most people complain that they do it to mop up a bunch more money from the consumer, and while that is partly true, it delivers a pile of perceived value to them as well. A well designed and integrated keyboard for my new tablet? Wow, that makes it feel like I don’t need a laptop. That is value.

The latest round of Nexus devices, the 4, 7 and 10, are all amazing devices. So I should head on over to the Google Play store and pick me up some accessories, right? Wrong. 6 months after the 7’s release and a month following the release of the 4 and 10 there is exactly 1 accessory available in the Play store for these devices: a bumper case for the Nexus 4. And it has been out of stock for all but a few minutes of that month.

Google is missing the boat here. They need to create an ecosystem for their devices by adding a bevy of accessories that make their awesome Nexus devices even more amazing. They seem to think that competing on price and feature will win the war, but without accessories to back the device up, they will continue to attract the tech savvy, but not the masses. The Nexus 4 has the capability to charge wirelessly!!! Ummm, but not included in the box and a month after release, not even a leaked rumor about a date you might be able to pick one up. How about a keyboard for the Nexus 10? Nope. A official cover for the Nexus 7 that uses the “close to turn off” magnet? Not happening, unless you count the ebay Chinese junk. Come on Google, make more than just a Nuxus next time. Make a collection of Nexus branded and designed tech that changes the game.

Nexus 4 Review

OK, it’s been a few weeks since the new Google phone arrived, the Nexus 7 so it’s time for a bit of a review. I have had all of the Nexus devices over the years and my initial thought when i started using the 4 was that this phone is the Ferrari compared to the American muscle cars of past devices. Here is the Good and the Bad:


  • Fit and finish – this phone just feels great in your hand, smooth and buttery (see BAD though) and the glass makes it feel solid and sexy.
  • GPS – this has to have the best GPS of any device out there. When choosing Navigate there is no delay ever – it always has your location ready, unlike past Nexus devices.
  • Google Now – I love this feature. Integration of my Google searches, Gmail and mapping plus all that is around me in the form of notification “cards” – what is there not to love? I’m all in.
  • Wireless charging and nice little bumper – these are in theory as they are back ordered, but I know both will be great.
  • Quad Core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro – this processor screams. Project Butter (Google’s effort to make Android “smoother”) shines on this device
  • Decent battery life – although I have had a few issues with run away Google serice processes, I am happy with this device’s battery consumption – it’s taken me through the day and I am a pretty heavy user.
  • The screen is beautiful – next to my other Nexus devices, this phone looks amazing – bright and crisp.
  • Google will update this phone over the next few years with Key Lime Pie and any other OS upgrade that it will handle – usually on the day it is released. No other line of phones is treated to the Google OS love like the Nuxus ones.


  • No user replaceable battery – this is just about a deal breaker for me. I love to carry an extra battery or two when I am out exploring a city, but this device has no way to replace the battery. I will try a external charging device and decide where I will land on this one in the future.
  • Slickest Phone EVER – Wow. I never knew a phone could be this slick. I will break it for sure. I think the Gorilla Glass 2 enhancement was to create glass that you could ice skate on or something. Be prepared to put a case or bumper on this thing, not because you are afraid to scratch it, but because you are afraid you will throw it.
  • Camera – Not the best, not the worst. I wish a nexus phone had the best on the market, but it’s not the 4.
  • Wifi issue in 4.2.x – There seems to be a wifi connection issue in 4.2 and 4.2.1. When roaming around wifi connection points the Nexus 4 will drop it’s connection (the icons all turn grey) and you have to shut down the radios or go airplane mode and back to get them to re-connect. There are open issues in the Google forums for this, and some people seem to have better luck than others with their router hardware. This did not exist in 4.1.3, and is present in my other Nexii after the upgrade too, lets hope Google pushes another update soon to fix it.

All in all, this phone is a winner. If you can stand the few negatives, you will love this device – it is the best Nexus to date. I say pull the trigger, especially if you can pair it up with some cheap carrier plans (like the T-Mobile Value plans) that don’t feature carrier subsidy for phones. Currently at $299 and $349 for the 8/16GB versions.

Google Android Market VS. Amazon Appstore

There are plenty of 2nd party App-Store wanna-be’s out there like, AndroLib, AndAppStore and others that have tried hard to crack the Google Android Market gold mine, but have had only mild success. While Google rested on their “we own it” laurels, and did little to bring the Android Market to the public in bigger ways, monsters like Amazon now loom in the background – threatening t o bring real web development and internet sales skills to the table.

Google may have the lions share of the app sales game at the moment in the Android space, but are they moving too slow to lead?  Recently the search giant introduced a new web presence for the Android Store that allowed online browsing, and push to phone – something sorely missing from the Android experience, but possibly too little too late.Google needs to step up their game here I think, or the doors might be open exposing the castle keep here.

The thing with smart-phones and app stores is that they need to be sexy! You have 10 minutes to kill, so you turn on your phone, hoping to be amused, informed, amazed. Google’s less is more search interface, while perfect for the desktop experience, doesn’t fly here.  The current Android Market web experience is like it came from the same department – sans sex. Google needs to bring in some designers and marketers that know how to make me A) open their app store when I have 10 minutes, and B) be excited to be there and get new stuff.

Amazon has recently moved into Google’s space with their Appstore.  Having looked at it from the beginning, months prior to the release, I can say that they have really come a long way.  In fact, I think maybe they have even one-upped the big G’s gold standard. They have editors (that are used to selling stuff!!) writing content for app descriptions, and have an app submission process that is getting pretty sweet. Their one click purchase system makes it a breeze to get that new app, and their Appstore is fresh and feels right.

Look for more competition in this space, as there is plenty of money to be made here.  For now, these two behemoths have the dance floor and while it may not yet be even money, look for Amazon to do everything in it’s power to be in mobile as a formidable leader.

Motorola Xoom Standard Dock Review

Along with the Motorola Xoom Wifi, I picked up the standard dock for it as well.  The dock itself is a heavy little thing, which gives it plenty of stability when you are touching your tablet while docked.  The Motorola Standard Dock comes with an adapter for gel case users, and a power supply. The power supply is the same proprietary adapter that the Xoom uses (no surprises there I guess) but still made me disappointed once again that the device is not powered by mini-usb.   The tablet light sensor lines up nicely with a dot on the dock so you can easily get it into position. Also included is a standard jack to route your audio into a better sound system without fuss when docked.


I like the dock overall, but here is the list:


  • Sturdy, heavy duty feel
  • Sound routed to external system works great
  • Charges unit
  • Stays “dim-lit” so you can see your desktop/apps when not in use
  • Makes for a great living room end table slide show dock


  • If you are a developer and think this thing will have a mini-usb pass through so you can develop and debug while docked, think again.
  • The viewing angle while docked, to me, seems a bit steep
  • MSRP is $50 – are you kidding me?  You can find it cheaper, but still…

So there you go, aside from a few complaints this thing is a solid addition to the Xoom.  I’m guessing a nice Bluetooth keyboard would make this thing a pretty handy travelling PC. You can pic the dock up at Amazon over here: Motorola Standard Dock and Power for MOTOROLA XOOM (Motorola Retail Packaging)


Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi Review

The day finally came where the price point and no need for a data plan device stars aligned and I found myself down at the local Costco picking up the Motorola Xoom – Wifi version.

The device was on the shelves 3/27/2011 (and not 3/26 – I stopped in and checked, just in case.)   As a bonus for using Costco, they throw in a free gel case, and dropped the MSRP from $599 to $589.  I got there pretty early, but from what I could tell only one other had been sold at that point.


The Good:

  • The build quality is amazing – super sturdy
  • The battery life is great (and it was even charged out of the box)
  • Honeycomb (Android 3.0) is polished and ready to contend with any tablet OS
  • The speed is great, makes my Nexus S seem slow (and it’s not…)
  • WiFi is great, even picked up my shoddy WiFi at work all day
  • Micro-SD slot!!  Stereo Speakers!! Decent Camera!  Flash!! Camera Flash!!
  • The Honeycomb built apps (like Gmail etc. are all so much better than the phone versions, with preview and all kinds of extras.
  • Mini-HDMI and USB
  • Tethering to my Nexus S was seamless

The Bad:

  • This thing is heavy – I thought the same of the original iPad – build quality/battery showing their head?
  • Apps – tablet specific apps are in the 50’s as I write this, not thousands like the iPad.  Also, a few apps simply don’t like the layout and hung.
  • Probably a setting, but new apps stick icons on your desktop
  • I find the power button on the back side to be in a weird spot
  • It has a proprietary charger, not the mini USB, so car charging is out for now

With the 90 day return policy I felt confident to pull the trigger on this Moto-offering, and I can tell you I haven’t been anything but pleased in the outcome.  I even ponied up and ordered the dock which comes tomorrow. All I can say is you have to get one of these.  If you have been waiting for the right moment to get in on the tablet bandwagon, now is the time, get yourself a Xoom.