Posts Tagged ‘DataConnection’

Tableau Connect to Sharepoint Lists

August 11th, 2015 10 comments

Within Tableau it’s possible to connect to a Sharepoint list using the OData data connector. To connect to a Sharepoint list takes some understanding of the Sharepoint URL structure, which I’ll attempt to explain below.

Each Sharepoint site has it’s own administration, lists, pages, etc. For reporting from Sharepoint in Tableau I have always used a List, which is basically a Sharepoint version of a database table. Read more…

Starting out with Alteryx

January 27th, 2014 No comments

With all of the buzz around Alteryx currently I’ve decided to try and learn to use it in my spare time. In my day job the current project I’m working on doesn’t include any Tableau or Alteryx unfortunately so I will be doing this in my spare time (which is currently very limited…) and hopefully will find some nice ‘real world’ challenges on which to test it out.

Initial thoughts on Alteryx are that it should make combining multiple disparate data sources far quicker and easier than building out a SQL database as I currently would do. It’ll be interesting to see if this actually works in practice as in the real world some of the data sets can contain some nasty data that needs to be cleaned up. It also appears at first glance that some knowledge of how databases work, how to join data, etc, is required to make good use of the Join tools within Alteryx.

Also predictive analytics looks far simpler. I currently have a very basic knowledge of R and am hoping Alteryx will mean I don’t need to learn more R as I’ll be able to use Alteryx instead.

To begin I downloaded Alteryx Project Edition

Once installed when Alteryx is opened a pop up screen appears containing some basic tutorials (click on Open Tutorials) which I have run through as my basic training.

Alteryx Splash Screen

Next I plan to track down some real world cases where I could have used Alteryx and give it a better run out.

Keep an aggregation static and unaffected by Filter in Tableau

February 10th, 2013 No comments

A question I’ve seen asked many times in different guises is how to keep an aggregation static and unaffected by filters for comparison purposes in Tableau.  Dependent on the circumstances of how the data is set up in the background and how the visualisation needs to be filtered is how the solution is derived. Unfortunately I can’t be clearer than that, as everybody who’s familiar with Tableau knows every solution is different – and there are often multiple techniques available to reach the same goal.

In this post I’m going to detail what I feel is the simplest way to do a comparison of individual values against an aggregated value – for example how an individual stores sales compare against a group average, or how a regions new business leads compare against the entire country.

The key to this is to have the aggregation not affected by the filtering to allow for comparison. Read more…

Custom SQL data connections in Tableau

July 12th, 2012 6 comments

Recently I have had to reshape text files using custom SQL in the data connection. Being reasonably competent in SQL I thought this would be easy. Unfortunately I was wrong. Tableau uses the MS Jet data engine which has slightly different syntax to standard SQL used in SQL server. For example when using the DATEADD function the syntax differs. With DATEADD the syntax also differs between the Custom SQL connection and the Tableau calculated fields. This link could also help with the datepart intervals.

Also the CASE statement isn’t recognised by MS Jet SQL, instead an alternative has to be used, such as nested IIF statements. This post I found suggesting CASE alternatives, written back in 2006, suggests CHOOSE can be used instead, it all depends on how the CASE statement was going to be used. Read more…

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Info About Extracts on Tableau Server 6

May 3rd, 2012 No comments

My current employer is still using Tableau Server 6.1 – or 6.1.6 to be precise. I’ve been trying to work out how the extracts work when pulling from a SQL Server so the same extract can be shared by multiple dashboards. The reason for this is that some of my extracts take a long time to update which is not ideal when the same extract is used in multiple dashboards and instead of refreshing it multiple times for each dashboard it would be more efficient to update just once and all dashboards using it will be updated together.

What I was wondering was if when you connect to a data extract in Tableau is whether the published extract is updated when any dashboard based on this extract is updated. It seems this isn’t the case. Once the extract is published it remains as it was a publication time for all time I believe. It appears that when you connect to that extract and publish the workbook Tableau actually duplicates the extract and updates this duplicate whenever the dashboard is updated. In other words the extract published individually to the server doesn’t alter but the duplicate Tableau made embedded in the dashboard does update. Read more…

Tableau Connecting to Data

September 5th, 2011 No comments

Tableau is very flexible when it comes to connecting to data. Using the full paid for product it’s possible to connect to any data source accessible by an ODBC connection, cubes (both SSAS and Orcale Essbase), text files, spreadsheets and a number of different databases.

Tableau Data Connection Options

It’s possible to connect to the live data source directly or to import the data into Tableau as an extract. Importing the data opens up the full array of Tableau inbuilt functionality; for example the quick table calculations, the Count Distinct (COUNTD) function and a variety of others; where these options are often not available depending on the data source. Read more…