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Rafał Rybnik

Interactive spreadsheets help free up your time

Unless stated otherwise, all pictures in the article are by the author. Brands belong to their respective owners and are used for information purposes.

If you are like me and run your own practice (business, freelancing, publishing, whatever you want to call it), you probably use some form of a spreadsheet. I started managing my finances, client relationships, time, and other things by creating spreadsheets in Google Sheets (and even before that in classic Excel).

The advantage of Google Sheets is undoubtedly their accessibility from any platform equipped with a modern browser. Furthermore, Sheets can be extended using Google Apps Script (the equivalent of Visual Basic from Microsoft Office, I believe).

Why creators need no-code platforms

Google Sheets are great, but the more I’ve used them, I’ve noticed a…


Show users what they want (even though they don’t even know what they want)

Content recommendation system on movie website
(Pic. by author. All logos and posters belong to their respective owners and are used for informational or editorial purposes to identify specific products and services.)

Personalized content proposals are now an established element of the Web. Most social media serve content to their users based on multiple touchpoints of the user’s interaction with the platform. (Some of them also track the user outside their pages, which has caused a whole discussion about privacy and blocking cross-domain tracking.) Usually, the aim is to increase some interaction rate (i.e. measured by the number of visits, purchases or other actions per user).


How to detect seasonality, forecast and fill gaps in time series using Fast Fourier Transform

Animated circle synchronized with periodic function
Mehmet E. Yavuz (2021). Fourier Series Animation using Harmonic Circles (link), MATLAB Central File Exchange. Retrieved January 24, 2021.

In this article, I will show you how useful for time series analysis is the Fourier transform. We will use the Fast Fourier Transform algorithm, which is available in most statistical packages and libraries. Visualisations and code examples in Python supplements this article.

All are available in this notebook (Google Colab).

Although this topic often seems complicated, I will convince you that even basic use of Fourier analysis can give good results.

How to analyse weather data using Fourier analysis

Let’s assume that we work on some weather data.

In our dataset is the average daily temperature for a certain location.


Banners for All Your Markets

Depending on your industry, the language of communication with potential clients can be more or less important. Every content must be in the language with which your users feel most comfortable.

Unless stated otherwise, all pictures in the article are by the author.

Translating your banner advertisement into other languages can really impact the effectiveness of your marketing creatives.

In my experience, CTR rates are consistently (and often substantially) higher when ads are written in the local language instead of English. — Pauline Jakober, searchenginejournal.com


Create a Dashboard for Free with Google Sheets and C3.js — online visualization of spreadsheet data.

Unless stated otherwise, all pictures in the article are by the author.

We often have some business data that we need to track. We collect, process and store it in spreadsheets to then create charts and diagrams. However, sometimes there is a need to go out to a non-technical audience. There are many services for building decent-looking charts and dashboards, such as Tableau, Qlikview, or Google Data Studio.

However, they are often too expensive or too limited to be useful for any case. Fortunately, it is possible to serve static HTML and JavaScript files directly from Google Apps Script.

In this article, I show you how to create a simple dashboard using…


Google Sheets as database, Apps Script as backend

Sometimes we have some data stored in a spreadsheet that we would like to make available to other applications, such as dashboards that visualise it. Of course, the growing number of applications and functionalities most often leads to a transition to the use of a real database. But sometimes, we have to deal with a one-shot to test an idea or a set-and-forget tool. Then dealing with the administrative side of things, servers, etc., can be extremely cumbersome. In these situations, I usually turn to the Google ecosystem and their Apps Script.

Unless stated otherwise, all pictures in the article are by the author. Brands belong to their respective owners and are used for information purposes.

In this article, I will show you how…


Email is an important channel for communicating with your audience. There are plenty of email marketing platforms on the market. Most platforms offer some free tier (usually 2000 recipients per month), but the majority adds their logos to every email you send.

Unless stated otherwise, all pictures in the article are by the author.

Costs with an increasing number of users can rise considerably. How about creating your own email marketing tool? This would be not only cheaper but also tailored to your needs.

In this article, I’ll show you how to create an automatic newsletter sign-up system using SeaTable and simple scripts in Python.

Case

Let’s say we have a website and…


Translate GTK app using Gettext and Localazy

Typically, when you start developing a new app, its interface is in a specific language, perhaps English, if you want to reach an international audience. By translating your app into other human languages, you can increase the number of people who can install, use, and recommend it.

A few weeks ago, I started learning the C programming language. It is rather challenging to switch the C’s way of thinking about software engineering. While learning how to work on strings, I wondered how to solve the topic of multilingual applications.

Unless stated otherwise, all pictures in the article are by the author.

In this article, I will show you how to use `Gettext`…


Add a tl;dr button to Google Docs

Whether you’re a writer, data scientist or just skimming through sources to get a job done, reading longer texts to pluck out crumbs of information can be quite exhausting. Automating such elements of your work allows you to focus on the creative side of things.

Unless stated otherwise, all pictures in the article are by the author.

Text summarization

Text summarization is the technique of extracting key informational elements of a voluminous text. Manual text summarization is a difficult and time-expensive task, so NLP and machine learning algorithms became popular to automate it.

There are ready-made solutions on the market, whether in the form of libraries or ready-made tools for end-users.

In this article…

Rafał Rybnik

Software Developer • Data Science, Business Tools, Privacy• rafalrybnik@yahoo.com

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