Liberal Thoughts

issues that otherwise won't matter to the others

Online tools that made my life easier

Most of the links here are what I happened to come through in my work process and were of some help. This listing is not in any particular order.

docs.google.com
A very handy one to create doc and spreadsheet files on the move. Create it anywhere – access it anywhere. The new version is much more to better and fancy.

http://www.silktide.com/sitescore
A free version online tool from sitescore.com that analyzes the quality of a website giving information from design end to SEO end.

Update: (26 Jul ’07) This free service has been stopped currently and is currently up with a new and dedicated domain.

http://www.dnsstuff.com/
Domain Name Service

http://www.blog-connection.com/submit-blogs.htm
If you got a blog, you will want it to be popular. But you may have to register in most of the sites to submit your blog.

http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com/vendor_discovery_tool.asp
A simple vendor discovery tool from Eric Peterson’s vault. It’s basically a script that can be used to tell the presence of different analytics packages. It basically searches following 9 packages from the following vendors: GA,CT,Websidestory,Omniture,Coremetrics,Fireclick,IBM Surfaid and WT.

http://www.bsnl.co.in/stdsearch.php
To find std codes in India

http://www.utitsl.co.in/pan/
PAN card related information.

http://www.trainenquiry.com/indexNS.aspx
Train running information that displays how late or fast a train is running.

http://www.irctc.co.in
Online railway reservation. A sign-in name is required.

http://www.sysindia.com/pincode/
For querying PIN code of a region or vice-versa. Often doesn’t seem to work though.

This is not an exhaustive list though and is entirely on my usage. May be I will add more or recompile the list later.

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July 26, 2007 Posted by | Analytics, General | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The IMified Buddy

This website is really a buddy when it comes to performing some network lookups on a regular or irregular basis. Just by adding this buddy imified@imified.com in your IM client, now you can easily post and entry in your Blog, set up and view alerts, manage projects in the online project management tool Basecamp, bookmark in Delicious, run network commands like ping, whois, traceroute, etc. Good thing is this buddy can be added in most of the IM client’s viz- AIM, MSN, Jabber, Gtalk, Yahoo (this one has been down off late). I am not sure how its spelt, whether I call it I-M-‘e’-fied or I-M-‘i’-fied”, but that really doesn’t matter. I would rather call it by the first one.

After adding the buddy to the buddy list, you just need to send any message to this buddy and your account is created. Finally interactions can be done when you have the Main Menu. Cool huh! That’s how one gets IMified.

Launched on 3rd February ’07, a free service as of now, it might start charging a nominal fee as the user base increases. It’s already becoming increasingly popular according to their blog.

It’s an easy to access productivity tool. To take advantage of it, there are a variety of widgets available which has to be added in your account and then its ready to access through a menu system. The developers in the lab are working on adding more widgets and others can also create their own widgets using the API provided. I used the service to check for some network commands. Here are a few snapshots.

The set of commands available under NetLookup command

The PING command

The ALEXA command

An impressive WHOIS response

Kudos to the IMified team. For more information just keep checking for more and keep IMifieing.

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June 14, 2007 Posted by | Analytics | 1 Comment

Errors after massive data crunching

Excel workouts

When you see massive chunks of formatted data and you know that something is wrong out there, there needs to be a way of proving or disproving your hypothesis. You have to find out something which is wrong in this huge chunk and there you would be in a very sorry position. Finding out problems and then the approach to rectify the problem is a pain in the ass for those who know this well. Common things to watch out for in such situation would be:

  • disect the formula(s) used part by part.
  • check out the references if any
  • check out the ranges if any
  • Be cautious of the data obtained using lookup’s and pivot tables’s. They are very handy tools but could lead one to some surprising(and unlikely) data.
  • Try redoing the same for one set of data and then compare with the exisiting ones to find if there is any dissimilarity.

Whatever be the scenario I have tried to sum up all mishaps in these few points and I am in no mood to elucidate over this now. These are what one may like to say “Just in case!!”Image
So next time you are asked to collect and make a presentation out of those horribly looking data, check out the points I have highlighted……just in case.

September 20, 2006 Posted by | Analytics | Leave a comment