Get Ready For March Madness With Able2Extract 10

 

Basketball Slam Dunk

Microsoft Excel can be intimidating. True.  But a big pro is that it can be a life saver when wrestling with numbers and data.

Now, if you’re asking yourself when in the world would you have to deal with numbers and data, we have two words for you: March Madness.

March Madness 2016 is almost here and you can bet that everyone who doesn’t (or does) deal with data will be wading in conference standings and school stats over the next few weeks.

If you’re running a March Madness pool for your office, using MS Excel will be the best way to analyze, track and digest all the information you need to fill out your brackets and keep your pool in order.

Yet that’s only half the battle. The other half is getting that data into Excel. And this is where Able2Extact 10 can help you get everything in order.

Transfer Any March Madness Data To Excel

In Excel, you can streamline and combine any existing data you want to keep as reference or update as the tournament goes on.

Player and team data will usually be available in a downloadable PDF. But what if you have a Word file? A PowerPoint presentation? No worries.

You can get your March Madness data into Excel spreadsheets regardless of the format you have. Just open your file in Able2Extract 10 and select the content you want converted (a page, line or the entire file). Then simply click on the Convert to Excel command on toolbar.

Easily Convert Complex Team Information With A Few Settings

There are a lot of pain points associated with dealing with data when managing a pool—or several, one of them being the many different formats you have to consolidate and analyze. If you have differently formatted tables or statistical charts spanning pages, it can be a nightmare.

Good news is that you can tailor a PDF to Excel conversion according to the table structures in your file. Able2Extract has a few PDF to Excel conversion settings that make the job easier to identify and deal with the source document’s table structure. Select your settings before you make the conversion and you’re good to go.

Able2Extract Excel Conversion Settings

Customize Your Data Extractions Into Excel

You may also need specific data extractions for analyzing detailed statistics. For example, you may want to eliminate the data for lower seeded teams or scrape only the data from top teams in the last year to create your own shortlist.

For this, you can simply perform a Custom PDF to Excel conversion and filter out that information even before you even hit the Convert button. You can move rows, columns and even preview your conversion results to see if you have all the numbers you need in the right place.

Able2Extract Custom Conversion Interface

Convert March Madness Statistics In PDF to CSV

Which team you root for depends just as much on the numbers as it does on a team’s dynamics. But we’re talking about 68 Division I college teams plus stats on individual players, coaches and so on. That’s a lot of data!

It, thus, may be worthwhile to have database tools for March Madness. Or, if you’re tech savvy enough, you may have a tool or script that can crunch the numbers to predict the perfect March Madness bracket.

Able2Extract-CSV-Conversion-Option

In either case, you can get your March Madness PDF data into raw .CSV or delimited formats.  Just click on the Convert to CSV command in Able2Extract. It’ll get your data working with the databases and tools you already have in place.

Organize Your Data According To Worksheets

In some instances, you may have PDF data on teams all lumped into one single PDF with each team on one page or separate categories of data on each page.

It’s convenient for distributing and consuming the information, but hardly so if you want to separate that data. For instance, if you end up wanting to analyze each of the Final Four teams separately, you may want to organize and record each team’s information into separate worksheets.

Excel Single Worksheet Option

Now, you can go into your spreadsheet and move all your data around via copy-paste. But an easier way is to uncheck the Single Worksheet option in Able2Extract’s Excel/CSV Conversion Options before you make your conversion.

This will automatically convert each PDF page into a separate worksheet, saving you the hassle of doing it manually.

No matter what type of pool your group decides to set up, knowing your stats is essential. Whether it be analyzing wins, losses and odds or keeping track of results and pool entries, Excel will be your best bet. The key is getting that data set up properly for analysis. Hopefully a few of the tips above helped!

So with March Madness just around the corner, how are you filling out your brackets this year?

 

How to Export Tables From AutoCAD to Excel Format?

Part 1 of 13 in our How To Use AutoCAD series

When working with AutoCAD, you never work completely in isolation. AutoCAD workflows are always about collaboration, review and approval. As such, AutoCAD projects and designs will always be connected and work in conjunction with other formats.

More often than not, the detailed tables of information of a design will need to be either recorded, edited or entered into Excel spreadsheets. That being said, you’ll need to know how to get that table into Excel.

To export a table from AutoCAD and edit it in Microsoft Excel simply select the table, then right click and choose “Export”. The table will be exported in .CSV file format.

Next, right click on the exported .CSV file and from the options menu choose Open with Excel.

Opening CSV In Excel

Once the table has been opened in the Microsoft Excel, save it as an .xlsx file and you can instantly start editing the spreadsheet.

 

What 5 Oscar Nominated Directors Can Teach You About Being An Entrepreneur

It’s that time of year again and the 2016 Oscars are right around the corner. You can be nothing but inspired by the films and their actors, screenplays, and production teams. This is especially the case with this year’s nominees for best director. Each brought something unique to the table.

These directors had a vision they worked hard to realize and they did it while dealing with a lot of risk.  And in certain ways, these movie directors are similar in nature to entrepreneurs. Given their success, the 5 Academy Award-nominated directors of 2016 can certainly give you a few extra pointers about being an entrepreneur.

Work With Your Strengths And Past Experiences

Known for his big hit comedies, Adam McKay had to find the sweet spot between comedy and drama in bringing the The Big Short to the big screen.  Based on the financial crash of 2008, making the topic with all its financial talk accessible to everyone was essential to the film’s purpose.

You may think that a comedy-based director wouldn’t be able to pull it off, but he did. It was the lynch pin for him. He worked the explanations into a pop-culture frame, getting celebrities to break down financial concepts into analogies that resonated with the average Joe.

In an interview with Film Comment, McKay says, “that was the very first idea I had when I read the book: you’ve got to break the fourth wall in this movie…. I’d seen some movies do it really well, and certainly from my theater background I’d done it a bunch. So I knew it could work—it’s all about how much you do it, the way you do it. But yeah, the very first idea I had was going to those explanations.”

The key takeaway? Know where your experience and strengths fit into your start up. Be brave enough to apply them in different ways.

Whether you’re a knowledge-seeking, problem solver or the manager-type who thinks outside of the box, your perspective and experiences will only help your business thrive. Only you can develop your startup in ways that no one else can.

Feeling Lost Can Be A Positive Part Of The Process

Alejandro González Iñárritu directed The Revenant, which, as you can imagine, was a challenge to shoot. Extreme and unpredictable weather conditions out in the wilderness can’t be easy for any director and film crew to deal with. But, to Iñárritu, the challenge was a personal journey.

Explaining this to Deadline.com, he says of the filming process, “this is not some tourist trip with a GPS, where everything is planned and everything is on time. This is a journey, and my process sometimes in life is to get lost. I personally think that you have to get lost to find something really worthwhile, at least sometimes…. But sometimes the best journey, and the best things you discover, come when you get lost.”

As you build your startup, things won’t always go according to plan. But when you’re in a tailspin, you can find, as Iñárritu did, the inspiration to turn things around.

You need to remember that feeling lost can be a constructive emotion.  It’s a sign to switch gears, adapt, and discover a better path towards your goal.

Don’t Let Setbacks Stop You

George Miller introduced the world to Max Rockatansky back in 1979. That was more than 30 years ago. And it’s been more than 10 since Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome was released in 1985. A long time for diehard fans.

Why the huge gap? Talking to Vice.com, Miller spoke about the many setbacks leading up to the latest film. There were a wide range of obstacles: 9/11, a weak Australian dollar, locations falling through and losing Mel Gibson as Mad Max.

When asked if they made him think of abandoning the franchise, Miller says that it never got to that point. They were just a natural part of the film business.  He expands on the thought, saying, “you have a number of things going, and there’s one that sort of drives you. But if it falls away, if it’s good enough, it keeps coming back. So it was just a matter of getting it all sort of lined up and the right things happening.”

No doubt Mad Max: Fury Road kept coming back for Miller. Struggles will happen and things may get side tracked. But it doesn’t mean the end of your dreams.

In fact, it can be a blessing in disguise. A sign to wait for the right time. And what you need during that time is a sixth sense to know that you have an idea that’s worth developing. Pursue it despite the setbacks.

Learn from your Mistakes and your Achievements

Leading up to this point, Tom McCarthy has acted in a number of films (and TV shows) over the years, including The Lovely Bones and Meet The Parents. He has directed 5 movies with his last recent film being, The Cobbler, which wasn’t well-received by audiences and critics.  But, in stark contrast, the actor/director is now nominated this year for Spotlight, a journalist drama based on true events,.

RollingStone.com talked to him about the differences in success between The Cobbler and Spotlight. And he responded with a reflection on his view on the film-making process:

“You learn with every movie you make, you learn from your mistakes and you learn from your achievements, and I really do have that approach to filmmaking. It was certainly a learning experience, just like making a good movie is a learning experience.”

And likewise, this same perspective holds true for entrepreneurs. You need to treat each step as an experience to learn from. You’re always thrown into new situations, making errors and gaining successes along the way.

But if you can constructively learn from your new insights and experiences, both good and bad, things can only develop and move forward just as they did for McCarthy.

Be Passionate About What You Do

The success of Lenny Abrahamson’s Room has the director in new territory with his first Academy Award nomination. And of course, interviewers are wondering about how he’s reacting to the success and how it affects him.

In an interview with Collider.com, Abrhamson reflects that “you can get a little caught up in it. Also, what I’ve done, I’ve done because I feel passionate about it. I think that works for me. It’s how you make good work. Your heart has to be deeply in it. If you started to choose projects because you like the awards buzz too much and you were a bit addicted to that, and you choose the next project based on whether it’s going to be awards worthy or not, you’ll make really bad decisions.”

As entrepreneurs, you dream of success. And when it finally comes, it can be easy to let profit and success drive you. But the important part is to remember the “why” and “what” that started it all.

You didn’t work long hours and go through all that stress for an idea you weren’t emotionally invested in. Why start now? Always let your passion drive you. Your success will be all the sweeter for it.

 
So if you need some inspiration and advice on your road to entrepreneurial success, you don’t have to look far.  Just look to the silver screen.

How To Learn AutoCAD

AutoCAD Technical Design

In this day and age, anyone can pick up a new skill and turn it into a high-paying career asset. This is especially true for the tech savvy who already tinker around with and explore software on their own. They can translate that hobby into valuable skills needed for certain positions or tasks.

For instance, being able to create high quality AutoCAD images, 3D digital drawings and the like, is an extremely valuable skillset. Because of its extremely niched usage, AutoCAD isn’t a software skill likely to be common among average computer users.

And even if you’re not learning it for professional reasons, you may simply be curious about AutoCAD software, wanting to learn more about it.  

But where do you start? With such a complex piece of software, the learning process is sure to be confusing. Fear not.  Below are some basic answers, handy tips and a few pointers on how to learn your way around AutoCAD.

How To Learn AutoCAD On Your Own?

The best way to start learning AutoCAD on your own is to find an online course or tutorials that best suit your learning preferences and needs. For example, if you’re dominantly a visual learner you may want to start with YouTube video tutorials or enroll an online course with lots of video materials. If you prefer to learn by reading step by step instructions followed by images and screenshots, you may want to start with a basic course offering such materials. Fortunately, there are many AutoCAD learning resources to be found on the Internet. The first resource that comes to mind:  Autodesk official training guide, tools and learning tools.

Additionally, we’ve compiled a list of websites that provide free online AutoCAD courses, tutorials and complementary exercises.

Beside that, here are some additional helpful tips for self-learning with AutoCAD:

  • Find blogs and tutorials specific to your field of work. For example, if you want to learn how to use AutoCAD for mechanical workflows, try to find a blog or tutorial that specifically covers this topic.  
  • Search for exercises that will help you to memorize various commands by practice. He goes on to point out that this way of learning boosts your morale and self-esteem:  each time you complete an exercise, you feel more and more accomplished.
  • Start by learning how to use 2D drawing tools and applying what you learn to 2D drawings. If you don’t have any 2D drawings, just search the web; there are many 2D drawings available online. Once you get the hang of 2D drawing tools, then go for 3D which are mostly the same ones as 2D except for some specialized tools.
  • Practice, practice and then practice some more. This is the rule that applies to learning new skills or mastering a software application such as AutoCAD.

How Can Kids Learn AutoCAD?

Although AutoCAD isn’t a general purpose software application that all children will necessarily use in their higher education or future line of work, they can certainly learn how to draft 2D and 3D models in AutoCAD. Most importantly, a Quora thread shows that there’s an interest in teaching kids how to use AutoCAD.

A good place to start would be to teach a class or a child how to use one of the widely available free and easy-to-learn online apps for creating and printing 3D models. It’s fun and  good preparation for working with a more advanced desktop software program for 2D and 3D drafting such as AutoCAD.

The next step would be to do a few demos on how to use the key commands and solve common problems. Provide them with video lessons that you can create yourself or choose and use free online AutoCAD tutorials.  

There are also ready-made exercises and quizzes to test students’ progress. Follow their progress with the program and assign different challenges based on their individual performance, interest and engagement.

If you’re teaching, let’s say a bunch of 8th graders, chances are that majority of them won’t be engaged enough to become proficient in AutoCAD, especially if they don’t aspire to become architects or engineers. Therefore, adapt the course to accommodate for this and yet keep encouraging and challenging the students who do have higher engagement and interest levels.

How To Become An AutoCAD Professional?

Once you’ve mastered the basics and learned how to create basic drawings and blueprints in AutoCAD using any or all of the above mentioned techniques,  you’re ready to take your AutoCAD skills and expertise to the next level. Experienced AutoCAD users like Raymond Owusu suggest finding professional, complex drawings and trying to replicate them. Another good tip is to join AutoCAD forums and communities and ask how to do some difficult things. Consistent practice and especially real life projects will help you become a power user or even an AutoCAD professional.

The easiest way to test and prove your expertise in AutoCAD is to take a test provided by Autodesk and earn official certification status that will validate your drafting and design skills. Autodesk certifications are widely recognized credentials in the CAD industry and can establish you as an AutoCAD professional and further your design career.  

How To Get Autodesk Certification For AutoCAD?

In order to become Autodesk AutoCAD certified user or professional, it is necessary to take and pass a suitable exam offered by Autodesk.

You can find the detailed exam preparation information on the Autodesk website. This includes exam topics and objectives, recommended preparation methods for different certification levels, requirements, training options, and other related info.  

 

Top 10 Big Data And Data Science Conferences In 2016

Conference Event AuditoriumYou can’t go a day online without reading about big data. In our fast-paced, tech-oriented world where data is key, it isn’t any wonder. Managing, analysing, and storing all that generated data are issues many businesses are looking to improve upon or resolve.

Reading and discovering all about data science while you’re online isn’t hard. It’s staying well ahead of the game that is. There are big data science trends going on and it’s crucial to stay on top of them.

What new developments are happening? Will business intelligence predictions affect your company? Where can you get expert advice?

The best place to start? Data science conferences. They’re a great way for data practitioners and business pros to network, gain some perspective or learn new skills.

Here are the 2016 conferences that made our shortlist.  Did we miss any? Add your suggestions and recommendations in the comments!

  1. Strata + Hadoop World

Presented by Cloudera and O’Reilly, this conference is one of the most renowned data conferences you can attend. Its focus is on putting new methods and technologies into the spotlight, helping you develop new skills, best practices and strategies for dealing with and leveraging your data.  Attend and you can take advantage of training, career opportunities, workshops, keynote speakers, and discussions. You’ll get the opportunity to network with industry leading data scientists, business professionals and thought leaders.

Date & location: 

  • San Jose, California
  • March 28-29 (training)
  • March 29-31 (conference)
  1. Emetrics Summit

The eMetrics Summit is an event dedicated towards the data-driven marketer. Its speakers and tracks are geared at exploring how big data and technology will impact the future of your online and social media marketing efforts.  Discover answers to your questions and learn the latest from experts about digital analytics and marketing optimization.

Date & Location:

  • San Francisco, April 3-6
  • Chicago, June 20-23
  • New York, October 24-27
  1. Predictive Analytics World for Business

The Predictive Analytics World for Business conference, is co-located with the eMetrics summit mentioned above. Attendees at this event can get insights and hands on discovery with predictive analysis to improve the decisions being made from collected data.  This conference brings together the predictive analytics community to cover popular topics like marketing and CRM (offline and online), insurance pricing, credit scoring and other areas where predictive analytics is applied.  Get product recommendations, ideas on strategies, and more.

Date & Location: 

  • San Francisco, California
  • April 3-7
  1. Open Data Science Conference

When dealing with big data, it isn’t uncommon for data professionals to work with open source tools. This conference is an event that fosters the melding of open source and big data where you can get deeper insight on how one is integrated with the other. Its focus? Open source languages used in data sciences, data visualization, predictive analytics, big data tools, Hadoop-based languages, and machine learning, among other topics.

Date & Location:

  1. Data Science Innovation Summit

While you may have missed the Big Data Innovation Summit going on right now, you can still catch the Data Science Innovation Summit next month. The event showcases a number of keynote presentations, interactive workshops, and case studies from Fortune 500 companies. Check it out if you’re interested in discussing how to extract the value from your data, which is the event’s main focus for 2016. Learn from other business, data, and IT pros in the field.

Date & Location:

  • San Diego, California
  • February 18-19

 

Making Business Connections

  1. useR!

This conference is offered and organized by the R language user and developer community, one of the main programming languages specifically designed for analyzing big data. Attendees get to hear from colleagues with invited and user-contributed presentations exploring R-related and general topics. The useR! program will cover visualization and graphics, bioinformatics, high performance computing, industrial applications, statistical learning with big data, teaching and more.

Date & Location:  

  • Stanford, California
  • June 27 -30
  1. Insight 2016

While details for this conference are still in the works, you’ll want to keep this one on your radar. In the past, this IBM conference has  had an excellent program that includes speakers, informative sessions, and tons of opportunities aimed at helping you learn about capturing your data more efficiently and leveraging it for your business.  In addition to data and analytics, this conference covers a broad range of interests including cloud, mobile, IoT, security and much more!

Date & Location:

  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • October 23-27
  1. JSM

The Joint Statistics Meeting boasts being the “largest gathering of statisticians held in North America”. And rightly so. This conference is held jointly with a number of prestigious associations in the field of statistics. Attending this conference, you can get a broader picture about statistics, data, and their real world applications.

Date & Location:

  • Chicago, Illinois
  • July 30-August 4
  1. Data Summit

This summit has some of the biggest corporations in attendance. It covers a wide range of hot topics being discussed in data science: big data integration, data engineering, data discovery, modern data architectures, big data in the cloud and more. Visit the site for more details.

Date & Location:

  • New York, New York
  • May 9-11
  1. KDD2016

Behind this event is the SIGKDD, ACM’s Special Interest Group on Knowledge Discovery and Data Science. As an interdisciplinary conference, KDD 2016 will be the place to be if you’re looking for a community of data scientists and experts who are enthusiastic about discussing and spreading the word about developments in the KDD field, as well as encouraging education among researchers, users and practitioners.

Date & Location:  

  • San Francisco, California
  • August 13-17

 

Now that there are tools like Excel 2016 that are making it easy for dealing with big data, everyone has the potential to be a data scientist.  If you’re one of them, attend at least one of these in the upcoming year or, if not, check in with them online as there will have post-event content available.