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Periscope Data's 2018 Product Improvements

Building an end-to-end BI and analytics platform during the modern data explosion is an exciting challenge. With so many businesses turning to data to answer new questions and build new competitive advantages, data usage is expanding at an incredible rate and being analyzed deeper than ever before.

As part of that growth, professionals of all types are finding ways to incorporate data into their workflow. Data analysis is no longer contained to a formal data team; it’s now a part of every team’s decision-making process. Throughout the year, it’s easy to zoom in and focus on exciting new use cases and insights that come from all of this change. A lot of people are benefitting from data in ways that, even recently, couldn’t be imagined. But there's also a bigger story to be told.

At the beginning of the year, it’s always a good time to look back holistically at the series of product improvements that we’ve made and examine the cumulative effect that collection of new data tools has on the way teams make decisions with data. We’ve added features for every user and every part of the analysis process. Below is a quick recap of everything that Periscope Data released in 2018. Click on the name of each feature for a link to more information.

Features to connect data better

  • Data Engine: Achieve faster query performance and data ingestion at scale for any kind of workload, regardless of concurrency, data volume or query complexity.
  • Modified Updates: Modified Updates is a caching strategy that caches only the changed rows instead of reloading the entire table every time a change is made to a row. It reduces the caching time from hours or days to only seconds or minutes, which means more frequent updates and lower data latency.

Features to analyze data better

For data experts:

  • SQL, Python and R Together: Have a seamless analytics experience from querying in SQL, modeling in Python or R, then visualizing and reporting results — all on a single platform. Simultaneously tweak models and queries, and see instant changes, further reducing time to insights.
  • Python & R libraries: Get more analysis done quickly with 46 Python and R libraries preloaded directly on the schema tab.
  • Python/R Views: Reuse your code, centralize business logic and join the results of predictive models with actual data to have all relevant insights in one place. Available for both Redshift and Snowflake infrastructure.
  • Python/R Templates: There’s no need to start your analysis from scratch, Periscope Data now comes with templates for popular analyses, including regression analysis, confidence intervals and matplotlib funnel.
  • Git Integration: Take complete control of your analytics environment with a sophisticated version control system and file-level access to all user-generated content (views, alerts, snippets, charts and dashboards) that can be synced, edited, created and deleted through Git.
  • Error alerts: Periscope Data underlines the exact position of a syntax error to help you easily debug SQL issues. We also alert users when there are ambiguous table names to help ensure that queries are displaying results from the expected source.
  • Quality Check SQL Alerts: Tie SQL alerts to dashboards to ensure that data is fresh before an emailed report is sent.
  • Enhanced AutoSuggest in SQL Editor: Analysts will now see better results suggested for common SQL functions, including arguments, documentation snippets and usage examples.
  • Support for Additional Delimiters: We’ve added support for file uploads with tabs, pipes and semicolons as the delimiter. You can now also download CSV files with semicolon as the delimiter.
  • Amazon SageMaker Integration (private beta program): a machine learning integration with Amazon SageMaker as part of a comprehensive offering for data teams looking to solve complex machine learning problems within one seamless workflow.

For business professionals:

Features to visualize data better

  • Text on Dashboards: Chart creators can now easily add and format texts on their dashboards to better tell a data story.
  • Conditional Formatting for Number Overlays: Now you can set the text and background colors of number overlay charts! Draw attention to the numbers on your dashboards with custom formatting that dynamically changes based on conditions you set.

Features to share data better

  • Embed API Parameter: Allows viewers to stay on an embedded page past the expiration date parameter (i.e. expires_at parameter). As long as the viewer remained on the dashboard, they can continue to view and interact with it while the link itself became unusable. This effectively allows the link to become a one-time use link.
  • Refresh Trigger for Embedded Dashboards: Allow external users to refresh their view of an embedded dashboards or charts with a click of a button, or have the dashboards automatically refresh on a schedule.
  • Embed Individual Charts: Say goodbye to building single-chart dashboards for embeds. Now you can select individual charts for embedding instead of the entire dashboard.

Features to keep your data secure and organized:

  • Azure Active Directory SSO Integration: Use AAD as an single-sign-on option to log in to Periscope. Periscope also supports Okta, OneLogin, and Google Apps SAML 2.0 SSO providers.
  • Auto Archive: Keep your Periscope Data sites clean, accurate and easy to navigate by automatically archiving dashboards, views, datasets and CSVs that haven’t been used in the past week or month.
  • User Management API: We’ve added a standard RESTful API for Create, Read, Update and Deprovision operations, making it easy to automate provisioning and permissions for your users. User Management API is the first in a series of updates set to be released in 2019 focused on enhancing and extending role-based access control (RBAC) functionality.

If you’re already a Periscope Data customer and you’re interested in some of these new features, contact your customer success manager. If your company isn’t a Periscope Data customer, the best way to see these features in action is to try them for yourself. Get a free trial of Periscope Data and start experimenting today. Stay tuned to the Periscope Data blog to read more about the exciting features we release in 2019 and beyond.


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Trinity Nguyen
Trinity is the senior product marketing manager at Periscope Data. She is experienced in product positioning, messaging and sales enablement at both startups and Fortune 100 technology companies. When she's not working, she can be found planning her next international trip while listening to Big Gigantic or the latest audiobook at 2x speed.