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Posts by Saaraswath

Regex on Tableau


When parsing JSON string in SAS, it may be cumbersome at times.

The REGEXP_EXTRACT function in  Tableau lets you enter the column name and then the JSON key pattern.

REGEXP_EXTRACT(<column name>,'”<Variablename>” : “((\\”|[^”])*)”‘)

The only downside it picks up only the first value that matches that JSON key.


To know more about it, check out:

A word of advice to the incoming batch of MS-IS 2015


I had a wonderful experience studying at UC for MS in Information Systems. Coming back to school after 4-5 years wasn’t easy but necessary for the growth ahead. If you haven’t realized yet from the various online forum, the MS-IS program at UC can be really intense for some and then there are others who go through it quite smoothly.

  • Wear a suit: Wear a suit when a representative of any organization comes to speak to you, you are the brand of the program and the academic director, Prof. Robert Rokey will make sure that you represent it well.
  • For the international students: Get a driver’s license as soon as possible. You will end up driving in 9 months as you will need to get to work. Additionally, the longer you have driven without incident the lower your insurance premium may be.
  • For the programming newbie: While the program does accept people from all walks of life, there are certain courses that are programming intensive. As a UC student you have free access to, try going through programming basics and C# courses that will help you do better in class.
  • Internship search: Try to play to your strengths instead of focusing on your weaker skills, there is a high likelihood that you might end up getting an internship in the line of work that you were already doing. Whatever you do, decide about what you want at the end of the program as soon as possible, it will help you narrow down the organizations you want to work for.
  • Friday Seminars: Every Friday, we have seminars from companies that could potentially hire MS IS students. Ask questions in Friday seminars, regardless of whether or not the organization presenting may be sponsoring H1 visa (at that moment). Your inquisitive nature shows your interest in the organization and your interest might help them change their mind about sponsoring you or other international students.
  • Take in the international culture: Try learning a few words of the languages that people speak around you and not just your own. There is a sense of exuberance, when you hear someone from another country speak your language. Essentially, get out more and be a global citizen.
  • You are not just your name: What you do represents your country.

There will be enough advice given throughout the program by your peers and professors and trust me when I tell you that Ms. Rosemary Andrew (Asst. Academic director) and Prof. Robert Rokey (Academic director) are the best people to go for advice when you really need it. If you are unsure or feel lost, don’t be afraid to reach out to those around you for help.

The Mythical Man-Month


Python Cheat Sheet for first timers


8 (not so) easy steps to become a data scientist


Become a data scientist in 8 easy steps

Installing Lync for UC students


In case you don’t know what Lync is, in simple words, it is Microsoft’s messenger for corporate email addresses and quite prevalent in many organizations. Guess what? You can use it with your UC email address. Most graduate students with work experience may know about this but it may not be a very well-known among undergrad students.

Before you disregard the possibility of using Lync as uncool or boring or work related, do consider the following facts:

Screen sharing: Lync allows share either your desktop but even allows you to limit the visibility to just one application. If you need some help from a friend to understand how things work, you can choose to give them control or take it back whenever YOU want.

File sharing: With the latest version of Lync available under UC, you can simply copy-paste a file to your chat window’s text area, press enter and the file is sent. Comes in very handy when you don’t want the hassle of attaching it in an email.

Audio and Video call: Like Skype, Lync allows you to make audio and video calls. I am not sure how handy it will be but having that option might make sense in certain circumstances.

The limitation that I understand to be the case that you can do this with UC students only. I may be wrong but it would depend how the rules are defined within UC.

How to install Lync:

As far as I understand, for the muggles (read non-UC people) Lync now comes with office 365 for $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year.  However, as a UC student you get it for free.

Step 1: Go to and log in with your 6+2 id and password

Step 2: Click on the settings button which looks like a mechanical gear and then click on “Office 365 settings”


Step 3: Click on “Software” which will appear on the left side of your screen


Step 4: Now you can either choose to install the latest version of office for free by simply scrolling down where you will get Lync 2013 along with Office OR choose just Lync 2010 by going to the next step


(Click on the image for a bigger version)

Step 5: Click on “Lync” of the left hand side which is second on the list.


Step 6: Click on install Lync 2010 which is at the bottom of the page


(Click on the image for a bigger picture)

Step 7: Follow the steps listed in the next screen and install Lync


(Click on the image for a bigger picture)

Step 8: Once installed, login with your email address and have a happily ever after

Please post your comments in the section below if you want to add any improvements to this guide.

The Social Network at Work


Social Media has penetrated more domains than we would have imagined a few years back. It is happening fast and its outreach is increasing exponentially. However, behavior modifications take time as we moved from print media to digital or from email to social. The idea is phenomenal and yet difficult to imagine. Let’s face a common fact, not everyone is as active on twitter as they are on Facebook. They all have a circle of trust, it is getting bigger one click at a time. When it comes to Social Network at Work, it is important to understand the term NSFW [Not Suitable for Work/Workplace].

There are a few basic points that need to be understood here:
1. Be there first: In the short history of Social Media, early adopters have often been most popular because they embrace the change with open arms. If your company is going social, be the first ones to adopt, propagate and experiment. Yes, there may be a few bugs but you will be one of the front runners in a culture that is here to stay. In any evolution, the species that has adopted the change has survived and succeeded, it remains true for digital evolution as well.

2. Advertise yourself: I love this quote from David Ogilvy, “If you can’t advertise yourself, what hope have you of being able to advertise anything else?”. You don’t need to have a marketing background to learn that the one thing you have to sell advertise the most is yourself.  Growth doesn’t happen to people to just work hard, it goes to people who work hard work smart and make sure that their best is visible to people above the ladder. People will then understand that you take ownership of the tasks you do and make sure that you deliver the best.

3. Most important: What is NSFW? NSFW is Not Suitable For Workplace. Do you think what you are about to post goes against your company’s culture or policies? Well, then don’t post it. Here is a useful link for you: However, more importantly a little common sense can never be harmful. 😉

4. More than just colleagues: I am sure you are interested in knowing your work buddies better but when it comes to Social Media, people get candid. Before you click on that “Add as a Friend” or “Follow” button, understand the implication your social network has on your professional network. Is there a video of you in a not-so-proud-moment of your life, try to get it removed by the person who uploaded it or try to accept the fact that you really are a badass and embrace it. If that video or picture goes viral for some reason, you really have no choice to be either honest about what happened or well… plastic surgery is always an option (Just kidding).

The point I am trying to make is once it is online, it is always there and the internet never forgets, neither is it kind. It is in human nature to speak ill of someone because not everyone is as mature as they appear, people love to gossip and trust me that embarrassing moment of yours will be a hot topic and there is nothing you can do about it.

5. How your offline behavior affects your online persona and vice versa: Your life and other people are now active online for a simple reason, people they know are online and they want to stay connected. Know where to stop and when to start. Draw the line. Maintain your Work – Life and online-offline balance. You might not have noticed this but before you know it you will start associating things from your life with what it is online. The addiction to share information needs to have its limits and only you can decide what it is.

6. Learn to open up and showcase your knowledge: Knowledge sharing is the best thing that you can do improve life for others. Quick DIY videos tips should be really helpful.

7. Blog: Blog, as much as you can. As often as you can. Give your ideas and opinions a voice. Do understand that articulation of ideas doesn’t have to be just written, take it to the next level.

Make life easier for others, share your knowledge to help, not just to show off. Share a few cool tips. If your company is going social, figure out what are they trying to understand from the existing social sites.

Its not Rocket Science, just Social Media. Having said that, I understand that common sense is ironically rare, so be sensible about what you post on your workplace Social Network. Care a little about what others think cause someday you might be the one in need for such kindness. 😉


A few questions which every blogger should ask himself


@brentmccoynet, the instigator of, has been up to a very interesting task. Today morning I came across as tweet asking me what do I do to encourage comments on my blog? While I was trying to frame a proper answer, I decided to explore how others answered the same and what I came across was an pretty long list of necesmessages/30705167sary questions which Brent had been asking Bloggers from around the world, questions that each and every blogger should ask himself. If you are a blogger or not, do post in the comments section what do you think is the possible answer or the right answer for any of these questions and make the blogosphere a better place to be.

1. What do you do to encourage comments on your blog?

There are two basic things I do, one that I write blog posts based on Social Media with a perspective which my reader might be interested in knowing or feeling is worth a conversation… Basically an aspect which works on improving or ponder over the possibility of increasing influence through Social Media and Digital marketing overall. Second, I make it a point to ask a few questions through my blog posts and request them to reply for the same in the comments section. At this point of time, there is no strategy in place regarding getting comments or traffic as I am still working on the content strategy of this blog.

Following are a few a questions that Brent asked other twitter users. I hope Brent doesn’t mind me going through his timeline but I couldn’t stop myself when I struck gold. 🙂

  • Do you link to other peoples’ posts on your blog much?
  • Is commenting on other blogs a good way to promote your own blog?
  • What do you do to encourage comments on your blog?
  • Do you keep a notepad with you much to write down post ideas?
  • Are you as thankful for Akismet as I am?
  • Do you find Twitter effective for promoting your blog?
  • What do you think your main blogging strengths are?
  • Do you learn anything strange looking at your blog’s Google Analytics?
  • Is blogging hard work for you?
  • What sort of people like to read your blog?
  • What are your favorite blog widgets?
  • What do you like about your blog’s “About” page?
  • Where is your favorite place to blog from?
  • What are your main goals in blogging, apart from money?
  • What do you think are the main advantages to come from blogging?
  • Do you write many “Top 10” style posts on your blog?
  • Do you mix up the style of content on your blog?
  • What post length suits you best?
  • Do you spend much time building back-links for your blog?
  • So what do you get up to besides blogging?
  • Do you enjoy blogging with WordPress?
  • Do you get a lot of spam comments on your blog?
  • What plug-ins do you enjoy using on your blog?
  • How did you come across the theme for your blog?
  • Do you attend many blogging events in the real world?
  • What do you think are the keys to an effective blog post title?
  • Do you use humor in a lot of your posts?
  • What days do most people visit your blog?
  • Do you meet up with a lot of bloggers where you live?
  • What aspects of your blogging would you like to improve?
  • Does blogging make you a better writer?
  • Do you get a lot of search engine traffic with your blog?
  • Do you prefer to write long or short posts?
  • Do you use any forums to help promote your blog?
  • Have you ever tried paid advertising for your blog?
  • What has been your most popular post, or the one you’re most proud of?
  • Have you ever run a contest on your blog?
  • Do you write many guest posts for other blogs?
  • Did you choose your blog topic because you love it?
  • Do you aim to stand out from other bloggers by sharing unique ideas?
  • How many ways do you get subscribers for your blog?
I’ll try and answer all these questions, taking them up one at a time. Do share your views, add a few more questions which bloggers should ask themselves and answers to the above questions in the comments section below.
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