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8 - Cloud Apps
8 - Cloud Apps

Getting started with Sisense- the self-taught way: 
A crash course on lessons learned after Sisense crashed

January 2021, I had just begun my career as a data analyst with Family Insight (a mental health care provider located in the state of VA). I took over the role from someone who also taught themselves Sisense.  He gave me a crash course on our use case and encouraged me to take the training classes that Sisesne offered. I thought I had a month to learn everything and get comfortable before he left… that happened to not work out as planned. I had 1 week to get comfortable. And of course, Murphy's law happened.  

My 2nd week in the role our main elastic cube crashed and refused to be resurrected. We hired a consulting company to try and get things back up and running.  Hindsight is 20/20 and being almost 3 years into this I can certify that K.I.S.S (keep it simple stupid) works the best. We had this massive cube that held all our data– it was worse than a plate of cold spaghetti. Trying to untangle it was a lesson in futility.  So maybe some of my lessons learned the hard way can help prevent you from also having a pile of spaghetti. 

Lesson 1: Keep your cubes small. 

Lesson 2: Do as much as you can in a data warehouse. 

Lesson 3: You don’t have to master SQL to use Sisense. 

Lesson 4: Use custom tables and/or bring in tables from other cubes to accomplish your tasks. 

Lesson 5: you can do many functions similar to those available in Excel in the widgets and even in custom columns…you can even use conditional formatting to draw the user’s eye to areas of success (or concern). One valuable function I use in almost every table is the lookup function.  

A note on custom columns… while I use them frequently (not all our data is in a data warehouse), I have found that they can create tangles of their own if schemas are changed, or data gets changed. So, if you can do most of your customization in a data warehouse you will save yourself some trouble. 

Hopefully, these lessons learned will prevent you from similar headaches and cold plates of spaghetti.

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