Today marks the kickoff the blog Hint Tank. Hint Tank exists for data professionals. The aim is to provide useful tips and guides used in real world scenarios. Content will range from trends in analytics to best security trends. Anything and all things associated with building a fast, reliable, intelligent, and secure data platform will be addressed.

Why the name Hint Tank? Data pros may have one point in their career finding themselves applying special coding techniques called “hints” to override default system behavior. Using hints correctly requires business knowledge and strong technical expertise. While it’s nice to be able to tell the machine how to do its job by invoking hints, having domain knowledge paired with technical expertise has grander implications. It grants one the ability to drive an enterprise to prosperity or save it from the clutches of oblivion.

The words “Think tank” bring to mind a room full of researchers crunching numbers, performing analysis, and running experiments to find the best possible solution to a complex problem. Hence we try to subliminally convey these feelings onto the readers with our use of the word “Tank”.

The site is hosted by the Ghost blogging platform. It combines an easy to use interface but also allows some custom scripting.

Here’s some of the Ghost service specs I’m happy about:

  • Custom Subdomain - Ghost uses to provide domains. Using their provider makes the registration process painless. After shopping around a bit I opted to use a more well-known feature rich domain provider.

  • Custom theme – The Ghost market place has a decent selection of free and paid for themes. I ended up using a custom theme. Immediately after applying the theme and making adjustments to CSS I received an email stating a new version was available. Bummer, It just dawned on me I will need to update periodically and then merge any custom changes back in. I’m by no-means a front end expert so perhaps there’s an easier way. I’ll find out later.

  • Google Analytics – The code injection feature makes for a slick integration with Google Analytics. Now I’ll get a pulse on page activity, what the people like, and what was a flop. Decisions can now be based on data, appropriate in the spirit of the blog.

Just drop the Google script into the Blog footer and…


We have real-time analytics! Shows in real-time the number of users. At this point two simultaneous users is an all-time for Hint Tank … Full disclosure those are both me.


A few specs within finger length

  • SSL – As traffic picks up and subscribers are willing to provide more data, it’s best to make a little investment in enhancing security.

  • Custom email associated with domain –Using a personal gmail account for now. As volume increases it will be appropriate to switch to a custom email.

  • Slack integration – Slack is a robust chat application. Useful if the team of contributors grows. Also useful for sending team mates random/ slightly inappropriate giffs using the /giphy integration.