Version 1.10.5 released – Calculated columns and PowerPoints with several charts on one slide

You will find the following new features in the latest DataLion version:

  • Export as PowerPoint with several charts on one page (in some cases it may be necessary to call and save the export configuration in the administration backend)
  • Tables can now also contain calculated columns and rows (e.g. growth rates or rolling totals)
  • Nested tables can also contain calculated columns.
  • Number charts can now be formatted as percentages with different decimal places
  • Names of rows and columns can be customized
  • You can specify the lifetime in the cache setting
  • Administrators can send notifications to users by mail
  • Access profiles can also be based on dynamic questions
  • When you copy a report, copies of the chart settings and shows/hides are also created.
  • Table links can be set up in the backend by dropdown
  • The API backend can now also calculate mean values
  • Time series charts can now contain several characteristics and filters

DataLion 1.9 released

Experience more lion power – Embrace our new features!

There’s exciting news from DataLion: we released version 1.9 which includes numerous new features we’ve developed in close cooperation with clients & users. We have incorporated your feedback and suggestions gathered in the past months. Among new features like visualizations and export functions, we have also implemented several optimizations (e.g. loading time) and bug fixes.

In short, DataLion is faster, more flexible and more productive than ever. We hope you will love it!

Let’s have a closer look at some highlights:

Yes, more chart types!

Stacked column chart with option to display the mean or the sample size (Example):

Stacked bar chart with mean values

Extended donut chart e. g. for the comparison of Key Performance Indicators (Example):

Nested donut with arrows

New exports, New interfaces! Let’s check out the new export functions

Export of a dashboard or a report with more than one dashboard and charts as PowerPoint or Excel document

Export options

Export of an excel report with multiple tabs in an individually defined format:

Excel report exported with DataLion

Overview of our new features

Data Visualization

  • New chart type: stacked column chart with means and case numbers
  • New chart type: extended donut chart with means e.g. to compare KPI Values
  • Sort charts by mean value
  • Reverse order of stacked column chart segments
  • Top5, Top10 etc. for time series charts
  • Hide empty values and categories in time series charts
  • Separate filter dropdowns for each tab of a report
  • Export of wordclouds as image

Reports and Dashboards

  • Placeholder element in report/dashboard title
  • Read-only mode for read-only access profiles
  • Selected global filter remains across tabs
  • Automatic selection of comparison operators depending on the selected report filter
  • Individual dropdown-menus per dashboard


  • Adjustable precision of average values
  • Back-end definition of missing values
  • Set alignment and spacing in chart settings

Export features

  • Back-end configuration of pptx-exports and masters
  • Export of an entire report with multiple dashboards and charts as PPTX
  • Export of an entire report with multiple dashboards and charts as Excel
  • Export of an excel report in a pre-defined format

Metadata and import

  • Add of text fields via codebook
  • Automated incremental data update (e.g. backfill of last month, week)
  • Export of the codebook including special fields and text elements
  • Back-end function to delete and replace entire codebook

Various bug fixes and optimizations (load time, exports, imports)

Get started now and try our new version 1.9! We are looking forward to your feedback!


Best 4 free math books for deepening your machine learning skills

The best things in life aren’t things – but free books. At least if you want to spend the next few weeks to take your machine learning to another level.
We’ve selected five great books that help you to understand one important aspect in machine learning in a very profound way. Thanks to the Open Access initiative, all of these works are available for free:

Elements of Statistical Learning

The Elements of Statistical Learning by Trevor Hastie, Robert Tibshirani and Jerome Friedman

If you need a refresher on your machine learning methods, ESL is the book to go to. From Lasso to boosted trees and ensemble learning – this beautiful typeset work covers all the bases for your professional life as a data scientist.

Here’s the latest 12th printing from January 2017 as PDF download.

Convex Optimization by Stephen Boyd and Lieven Vandenberghe

Convex Optimization

If you have spend some years in machine learning, the probability is very high, that you’ve stumbled upon convex optimization problems. The theory and methods around convex optimization has been around a long time. But until a few decades, they were thought to be mostly of theoretical value. Today, convex optimization is e.g. an important part of Deep Learning and many smart things around are powered by these algorithms.

Here you can download the full book by the Stanford professor for free – and there’s a lot of additional material on the website and even an online course.

Group Representations in Probability and Statistics by Persi Diaconis

Group Representations in Probability and Statistics

This book goes back to Diaconis’ lecture notes for his course on this topic at Harvard in the 1980s. There are a lot of situations where data scientists have to deal with rankings, e.g. consumers having to rank products in a survey. These mathematical problems can be solved by applying group theory.

But wait, there’s more: As Diaconis is also a magician, the shuffling of cards also plays quite a role in this work.

The book is available at project euclid.

Mining of Massive Datasets by Jure Leskovec, Anand Rajaraman and Jeff Ullman

Mining of Massive Datasets

And finally, for something more accessible: This book is already a classic on big data techniques for processing large data sets. If you haven’t already, you really take a look at the 2nd edition of the book that also includes mining large graphs and map-reduce programming. You can also take a look at the first chapters of the upcoming 3rd edition.

Here’s the book’s homepage with a lot of additional information.

I hope, there are some useful additions to your reading list. Looking forward to your feedback about the books. What was especially useful? Which books are missing from this list?

Craft Beer & Data Tasting

After the great success of our first “Festbier Tasting” side-event of the Bits & Pretzels startup conference, we are looking forward to host another data-driven beer tasting to celebrate our first trade-fair appearance at the world’s largest marketing research fair Research & Results.

This time, we will explore some of the most fascinating Bavarian craft beers. Together with beer sommelier Stefan Hermansdorfer, we will taste six very different craft beer varieties from Munich and region.

Of course, all our tasting results – from appearance and mouth-feel to aroma and taste – will be visualized in real-time on a DataLion live dashboard:

We are looking forward to this event – and there are still a few remaining free tickets available: Register for free at Eventbrite.

When: Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Time: 8pm – 10pm
Where: DataLion GmbH, Herzog-Wilhelm-Straße 1, 80331 Munich (at Karlsplatz/Stachus)

Data-Driven Beer Research @ DataLion

Monday evening was a special evening at the DataLion office in Munich:

We hosted a beer tasting event as an official side-event of the Bits & Pretzels Founders Conference and Startup Night.

Together with beer sommelier Stefan Hermansdorfer, we tasted six different beers from Munich and surroundings that were all in the Märzen or Festbier style (Hacker-Pschorr, Augustiner, Hofbräu, Tilmans Das Helle, Eittinger and Giesinger). One of them even had a lion on the label. And because we all love data, we also created a short survey for describing and scoring the beers in terms of appearance, aroma and, of course, taste.

All results were displayed in a DataLion real-time dashboard in our conferencing room: We chose radar charts for our live visualization because they allow to compare the different taste profiles of the beers very intuitively at one glance. Every time one of our guests rated a beer, the results were updating and showing the new rankings.

You can see the live dashboard at this link. If you’re interested in live dashboards that are connected to a quick survey for your business, just leave a message at our contact page.

Big Data Design Thinking

Solving problems and developing innovations for Big Data with Design Thinking

Data is the new oil. But while the use of oil was relatively clearly defined, there are much more possibilities in data. It’s an endless story.

Almost all companies are facing the challenge of having tons of data from very heterogeneous sources. But often, they lack a clear vision of what the data could be used for.

What are new business models that can be fueled with the data? Which data products can be defined and sold by the company? The solution is: Design Thinking.

Continue reading “Big Data Design Thinking”

Time Series, data import, drag & drop – version 1.6 is live now

New Month – new update! Our software engineering lions worked until last night on the latest new features and hunted for the last remaining bugs. Their hunt was so successful that we can finally launch the new DataLion version 1.6.

Here are some of the most important new features and improvement:

Drag and drop for even more customized dashboards

The new software release allows you to create even more customized dashboards: All charts can be moved freely on the dashboard and you can also adjust the size of the charts by drag and drop. When you hover over the lower right corner of a chart, an arrow will appear that allows dragging the chart larger or smaller.

Easy import with our new wizard

Previous versions of DataLion required administration rights to import data. Now, you can import your CSV files into DataLion as a normal user, recode the values in the files and create dashboards with your own data. In our free version, you can test this feature with CSV files containing up to 500 rows and up to 100 columns. Try importing your data now!

Automated data import and dynamic variables

These two new features are complementing each other perfectly. In version 1.6 you can set up an automated data import so your data can be updated at regular time intervals (e.g. every Sunday at 2am). All analyzes and reports are also updated automatically for you.

By using the new dynamic variables, real-time analyses will become even more comfortable. With just a few clicks, you can e.g. look at the results for the last 10 days and save the results in a dynamic report that will always refer to the correct time frame.

New timeline features

Time-series analyses are becoming more and more important for many of our users, so we have improved the timeline chart even more. Now it allows the user to define columns that contain timestamps or dates in the date and then switch between different time intervals (e.g., weeks, months, and years) with one click.

In addition, you can now also compare target groups or evaluate different variables over time.

Software tour

Especially for new users, we have created a quick tour through the most important features of the DataLion software. To access the tour, click “Start Tour” in your login menu in the top right corner (you have to be logged-in).

Create presentations in record time

With our new advanced export features, you can export not just individual charts, but also entire dashboards and reports. This allows you to create your presentations in record time.

Further updates in 1.6

  • Visualize Google Analytics data in real-time with DataLion
  • Add text and images to your dashboards and reports
  • Change the look and feel of your dashboard with themes
  • “Rainbow” mode: Apply different colors to the bars in bar or column charts
  • New chart types: gauge and multidimensional scaling (See live example here)

We are looking forward to your feedback on the new features and improvements!

DataLion nominated for official selection of the I-COM 2017 data startup competition

The international marketing and data community will meet in Porto at the I-COM global summit “Data 2017 – the year of change” from April 24 to 27. We’re very proud that we’ve been nominated by the very high quality jury as one of the 10 finalists for the official selection of the Data Startup Competition.

On April 25 we’ll pitch together with many exciting and innovative startups like Sentiance from Belgium or Catalyx from the UK for the Unilever-sponsored startup award.

But we’ll also be around on the other days and are looking forward to many inspiring conversations on data science, machine learning, dashboards and visualization.

If you’re interested in our impressions of this event – that has a very comprehensive agenda reaching from artificial intelligence and targeting to attribution modeling and the role of data in gourmet restaurants – you can follow our Twitter and Instagram channels where we’ll be covering the conference.

Visualizing the Blockchain: The 7 most beautiful Bitcoin visualizations

What is the Blockchain?

The idea of money and currencies as flows in networks is not new. German sociologist Georg Simmel put forth similar ideas in his Philosophy of Money. With Bitcoin we finally have a currency that not only links people (or: nodes) together in financial transactions, but the whole network is transparent.

Experts argue that the currency is just one of many applications that can be built on the Blockchain algorithm and database powering Bitcoin. This way of linking nodes can be used to weave authentication layers in all sorts of networked applications e.g. the Internet of Things.

The best Bitcoin and Blockchain visualizations

This combination of open and transparent data available through various interfaces or APIs in combination with a networked data structure should be a jackpot for data visualizers and information designers. So we took a look around to find the most impressive ways of visualizing the Bitcoin transaction flows. Some of the following visualizations even come with recipes.

1. Bitnodes

The first visualization “Bitnodes” by Addy Yeow shows the distribution of Bitcoin nodes across the globe. It uses a Bitcoin crawler implemented in Python that is also available on Github:


2. Network Map

Even more impressive is this visualization by the same author of all the Bitcoin nodes and the node density. Although the network structure is not clearly visible, it really suggests that there is a new “universe” evolving in finance:


3. Daily Blockchain

The following visualization uses the Open Source vivagraph.js library to display the networked nature of Bitcoin. You can see Bitcoin transaction happening in real-time and the evolving hubs of the Bitcoin network.


4. Interaqt

This one by luchendricks goes in the same direction – it is also a visualization of live Bitcoin transaction. Here the size of the nodes represents the volume of the transaction. Every node also carries a link to all information on the transaction on


5. Wizbit

To show the global nature of Bitcoin, the following live-map by Wizbit not only displays the transactions but also the latest discovered Bitcoin blocks (wow, someone in the USA just found a block of 2479 Bitcoins which is worth about 580,000 USD). The WebGL globe visualization is also available on Github.


6. Big Bang

This visualization “The Bitcoin Big Bang” by Elliptic is one of the most beautiful visualizations of Bitcoin history at the moment:


7. Blockseer

Blockseer is more of a visual research tool than a creative visualization of the Bitcoin universe. You can visualize transactions and blocks in a detailed tree diagram:


8. Follow the Cryptocurrency

For those of you that want to try creating your own visualizations with the public Bitcoin APIs, here’s a very interesting interactive notebook “Follow the Cryptocurrency” by Dato that shows all the different steps of accessing, analyzing and interpreting Bitcoin data.

9. Bitcoin Tree

Here’s some examples we did at DataLion to query and visualize the blockchain with R:


10. Blockchain Tweets

To round it all off, here’s a sneak preview from our new tool “DataLion Social” (currently in beta) that allows to perform quick semantic analyses of online communities or tribes like the Blockchain community in almost no time.

DataLion Social Blockchain Community

By the way, if you’re interested in joining the beta phase of DataLion Social here’s more information.