Archives for 31 Mar,2021

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Informer 5.4 Preview

Madhavi Chandra, Director of Informer Product Management, shares development details on our upcoming release Informer 5.4!

It’s coming! Informer 5.4 is currently in release process mode and will be officially released in Q2.  We have many new features that will bolster data governance and business workflows.  You’ll find a new Field Security model that allows for granular field level security – you can restrict and grant differentiated access to fields within the same Mapping. Sharing a Dataset will now provide row level and field level restrictions for more robust security. The new security features are backwards compatible with previous versions of Informer.

The new Elastic Script Fields allow you to augment your Dataset without requiring the data to be re-indexed. Think of Elastic Script Fields as a post-Elasticsearch calculated column. You can now easily do calculations like ‘As of’ a specific date with fast performance.

Interacting with large amounts of data can be challenging. We improved column selection across the board so you can quickly navigate, find a field, and pare down the view by dynamically choosing fields that you wish to see.

You’ll also find two new Visuals in our Visual Gallery, Heat Map and Spider Chart, increasing the number of ways that you can visualize your data.

We have two impactful features behind an experimental flag – Templates Preview and a new Web Datasource driver.

Templates Preview allows total pixel-perfect control over output. You can create the exact layout you desire using HTML with server-side rendering. This mode allows for complete flexibility in designing a Template. Future features for Templates will include different modes for customizing existing PDF exporter and other tailored Template experiences.

The Web Datasource driver connects Informer 5 to web-based tools, opening the door to limitless possibilities. At Entrinsik, we have utilized the driver to connect Jira Software to Informer 5 to aid in the efficiency of our developmental process. Connect the Web Datasource to one of your web-based tools and see the insights you can extract.

With so much in Informer 5.4, it’s no wonder we are excited to release it to you soon.

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Spring Cleaning: Informer 4

Robin Lamb, Director of Informer Client Services, shares invaluable tips on Informer 4 maintenance and clean up.

Winter has ended and it is time for some spring cleaning. We all know that the value you can drive from reporting is a direct result of the quality of the data. So, in addition to the tiding up around the office or home, lets also take a few minutes to tidy up Informer with these three easy steps.

Link Audit for mismatched Field Types in U2 Datasources

Mismatched field types can create numerous problems within Informer including data holes and reporting errors.  This simple report can identify and fix all mismatched fields within your Informer instance to assist with a clean mapping migration.

Clean up to prepare for Informer 5 migration.

Spring is also a great time to migrate and unlock the performance of Informer 5.
In order to make sure you are ready for the move we have developed a couple of reports that will automate your preparation.

Link Audit Report – Use this report to help diagnose problems with migrating to Informer 5. It will diagnose which links need to be fixed before the migration.

Audit Reports – These 4 reports will help you analyze which reports use calculated expressions, aggregate columns, aggregate or sub select conditions in the reports. Some of the features will not translate into Informer 5 in the same format. You may need to tweak the reports once they are imported into Informer 5. Running these reports will identify possible issues and help you plan your migration.

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Using Geotags in Informer

Chris Reeves, VP of Informer Partnerships, explores the benefit of using third party tools to enhance Informer 5.

Our clients and partners have found many use cases for incorporating Google Maps with geotag data into Dashboards and Reports. There are police departments looking at crime incidents and how they’re concentrated within specific locales. Municipalities can also analyze car accidents and how to better traffic patterns. Distributors can optimize the product flow of their supply chain. Informer’s pluggable architecture provides limitless potential in utilizing location data with out-of-the-box functionality and third-party tools.

Informer comes with a Flow Step called “Zip2Geo.” This allows users to reference zip codes to generate an average latitude and longitude for each row of data. This then gets plotted onto a Google Map highlighting concentrations with colors and markers. To map individual addresses with their coordinates, we looked at third party tools and created a plugin and Flow Step using Geocodio’s API.

In my Informer instance I also have the Google Maps Plugin installed. This plugin enables full use of embedded Google Maps inside Informer. To use this plugin you must obtain a Google Maps API Key found here. Note there is a potential cost associated with the Google Maps API Key, but it only kicks in with enormous volume requests.

For this demonstration, I found a dataset containing the street addresses of nearly 2000 McDonald’s restaurants. Once loaded as an Informer Dataset, we can begin to process the addresses.

The plugin injects a new Flow Step into Informer. Simply add the new Geocode Flow Step to your Dataset and identify the column containing full street address data. The Flow Step will POST those addresses to the API and in return populate your Dataset with new columns containing associated latitude and longitude.

The Plugin injects a new Flow Step into Informer
The Flow Step populates the dataset with new columns, one of which is the latitude and longitude of the provided address

Informer recognizes the latitude and longitude column as being a datatype of Location, and the Google Maps visual accepts the Location datatype to generate a Google Map with Location markers. You can now zoom into a Google Map, click a marker, and choose to view with Google Street View!

Have a look for yourself and find your local McDonald’s. Drill down into the dashboard, click on a marker and select “Street view” for a fully interactive street view of that location. I’ve created the visual and included it in a dashboard:

The Google Maps Visual accepts a Dataset field with a Location data type
The Plugin and Google Maps Visual produce a Google Map with street view level accuracy

Geocodio is one of many such geotag services available online. We chose to use it here because they offer a reasonably high volume of free lookups per day – currently 2,500. So it works well for demonstration purposes. But Informer can easily support other services in the same way and achieve the same result. If your organization is interested in learning more, get in touch with the support staff at and we’ll discuss details.

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