No, not Brent Spiner.
Looking forward to Star Trek Picard – Its going to be Immense
I has created a process for getting data out of FM, processing it into a SQL database then having the ability to either run pretty-straight reporting from it all via the Microsoft Business Intelligence suite (Commonly called the BI stack), or when I have a bit more data running some statistical tests on it via R ( https://www.r-project.org/ )
FMTahiti (Pelham) Has done some brilliant stuff using SPSS ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SPSS ) and this will be similar, but getting the results in a different way. If you are interested in this kind of stuff Pelham has a blog here – https://fmtahiti.blogspot.com/, has a YouTube channel here – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCN0EpFqPAwCsEMygWV1qy8A/ – and also writes for Dictate the Game here – https://dictatethegame.com/ and I am piggy-backing on this work, while hopefully showing technical ways of getting workable data in a (relatively for a system that isn’t designed to give up its data freely) easy way.
Designing a Squad View
You’ll most probably know about Squad Views if you are reading this, but I’ve designed a squad view that pretty much has everything on it with written info (As opposed to say the Abillity stars) – this is in the Steam Workshop here ( https://steamcommunity.com/id/PearceyPlays79/myworkshopfiles/ ) called PPFM_All_Data. Load this up and use the view for your squad.
The only way I’ve seen of getting data out of FM is by Ctrl+P – Essentially allowing a user to Print the page they are looking at, but also allowing to get the data out in Web Page (.html) or Text File (.rtf) formats.
I have toyed with using the text file option (Rich Text) but the way the rows of data are delimited changes every time you take a copy making parsing the data into a database different on ever run. So I settled on using the web page option. Save the Web Page somewhere that makes sense (Maybe in your C:/ drive make a folder structure allowing for you to archive files when you are done with them).
What you will have when you open the file (I use Chrome) is as follows:
Click anywhere in the data, then Ctrl-A, then Ctrl-C – You’ve selected all the data
What you can do now is either paste this into an Excel sheet or paste it directly into a Notepad window. I use Excel personally but for those that don’t I’ll go through the Notepad version of this as well. Lastly there is a way of bypassing this and just using the html sheet, and i’ll run through that during the data load blog post next up.
Getting the Data – Excel Version
You’ve pasted the data into an excel sheet. Simply save this as a csv (Comma Seperated Values)
Close this then reopen it in in Notepad, and you will see this:
Note all the data separated by columns. Any data with commas in it is also delimited by double quotes. This is now usable in the next step.
Getting the Data – Notepad Only
If you’ve selected the data as before (Ctrl-A Ctrl-C) and p[asted it straight into a Notepad page you will see this:
This data is tab-delimited (Columns separated by Tabs). This is now usable in the next step.
The Next Step
In the next post we will load the above data into a database. To do this you will need a few bits of kit (All free) downloaded and installed on your computer. They are:
- Microsoft SQL Server – Free signup to Visual Studio Dev Essentials ( https://visualstudio.microsoft.com/dev-essentials/ ) – Once you’ve signed up you can use this link – https://my.visualstudio.com/Downloads/Featured – to download SQL Server – I use 2017 but 2019 is now available. Follow all the default instructions, but make sure you also download SSIS and SSRS – a YouTube video how-to for that is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yasfZuou3zI
- Visual Studio 2017 – Download from the same link ( https://my.visualstudio.com/Downloads/Featured ) shown above – YouTube Video here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLbTrH1BzA0
- SQL Server Data Tools – Video Here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXaq0fBzQko – link to the download here – https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=2095463
Once you have the above we can get to loading the data into a database table, then designing a relational database around it so we can use the data much more easily, and we will look at that next time.