Improve Performance and Create an Image Repository in PAW with Data URIs

During the recent IBM Think 2019 conference in San Francisco, CA, I went to the “Planning Analytics Workspace for Power Users” session led by the PAW developers. They shared a lot of exciting new features that we can expect in upcoming PAW releases, along with some advanced tips and tricks that are already available today.

One of the simplest and yet most useful tips that I learned in the session was how to utilize data URIs (rather than web URLs) to embed images in PAW. The primary benefit of using data URIs is that they improve performance by reducing the number of HTTP requests that PAW makes to load a page. Every image stored as a web URL makes a separate HTTP request. By using data URIs, you’re embedding the file data directly within PAW and no separate HTTP requests are made.

A secondary benefit is not having to have a web repository for your PAW images. After adding them to a PAW sheet you can use the Collection feature to save them for future use. It’s a good practice to name the book you use to paste and collect the image after the type of image you want to collect (e.g. “Logos”) as collections are named after the book and this will make it easier to search for images later (you can delete this book after you’re done adding and collecting images). This is a great way to help quickly and easily add things like company logos or help icons with pop-up text (collected objects retain all their properties, including pop-up text) to your PAW reports!

A couple things to note:
1. This should only be used with small images, such as logos or icons.
2. To use data URIs for your PAW images, you’ll first need to convert the images using an image to data URI converter (plenty of free ones online).

Check out the short tutorial video below to see how it’s done!

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