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Tableau

Introduction

Tableau is a best-in class business intelligence tool specializing in data visualization that empowers people of any skill to work with data. Transform has an integration with Tableau through a Web Data Connector which allows users to select their Transform metrics and dimensions to create their data sources in Tableau.

note

As with any data extract that is not coming from a live connection, you must take some precaution when doing further aggregations on the data in Tableau because it could lead to incorrect results. In general, for metrics that are defined from non-additive measures (e.g. count distincts, averages, ratios) you should not aggregate further in Tableau and you must consume the data with the same dimensions and time granularity in Tableau as you've selected it out of Transform. For metrics that are additive (e.g. sum, sum_boolean, min, max), you can aggregate them as you please in Tableau. See an example of a non-additive metric here

Using Transform's Web Data Connector in Tableau

Requirements

  • Tableau Desktop for initial connection (you can also publish to Server and Online)
  • Transform API Key. All users of Transform can generate and access API Keys here.
  • Tableau Creator License

Instructions for Connecting

The Web Data Connector (WDC) allows you to connect directly to Transform through Tableau Desktop and create an extract. You can also publish these extracts to Server and Online.

  1. Open Tableau Desktop. Navigate to the Web Data Connectors via Connect To a Server --> More --> Web Data Connector

SelectWDC

  1. Copy the following link and paste it into the Web Data Connector within Tableau desktop: https://wdc.transformdata.io (Note you can always get this link directly from our application under Integrations).

SelectURL

  1. The page will navigate over to Transform's WDC homepage. When prompted, please enter your Transform API Key and click Continue to Metrics.

AuthenticateWDC

  1. Select your desired Metrics and Dimensions and then click Submit & Connect.
note

Dimensions that are common to the selected Metrics will populate in on the right panel. If there are no common dimensions then right panel will indicate this. Metrics that do not have common dimensions between other metrics that are already chosen will grey out as the selections are made.

SelectMetrics

  1. The selected data will be imported as a single table with each metric and dimension as columns in the table.

Accessing Published Extracts from Tableau Server & Tableau Online

A published Transform data source extract behaves just like any other published data source extract on Tableau Server meaning that it can be refreshed on scheduled and connected directly to it on Tableau Server.

Dependencies for Publishing to Server and Online

Tableau Server – Web Data Connector must be approved by the Tableau Server Admin (See documentation here)

Tableau Online – When you publish to Tableau Online, as a security measure, Tableau Online can't connect to or refresh an extract created by a web data connector. To refresh some web data connector extracts, you can use Tableau Bridge (See documentation here)

Web Data Connector Reference Documentation

Tableau provides official documentation on Web Data Connectors here

Example of using Non-Additive Metrics in Tableau

Consider a ratio metric called revenue per active customer that is defined by dividing two distinct measures - revenue and active customers. If you've selected this ratio metric at a daily granularity and sliced by the dimension country in the extract, you must plot the data with daily granularity and with the country dimension in Tableau (i.e. in the and same way that you've selected it out of Transform). To calculate the ratio correctly at a different granularity or without the dimensions you pulled from Transform in the original extract, you would then need access the source measure data for the numerator and denominator, which you can only do with a live connection to the data source. To aggregate further than the extract in this particular case, you must bring both numerator and denominator into Tableau and do the calculation yourself. Conversely, if your metric is calculated through a sum, it does not matter how you aggregate it, since you don't need source data to calculate the varying slices and dices of data correctly.

Troubleshooting

Debug Mode

  1. Close Tableau Desktop

  2. Run Tableau Desktop in debug mode with the following

Mac:

open /Applications/Tableau\\ Desktop\\ 2021.4.app --args --remote-debugging-port=9000

Windows: Navigate into the correct directory by filling in the version name in the below command

cd C:\\Program Files\\Tableau\\Tableau <your-version>\\bin\\

Start Tableau with the remote debugging option.

tableau.exe --remote-debugging-port=9000
  1. Access http://localhost:9000 to see errors and logs.

Web Inspector

For issues that occur before you submit and connect, you can open up Web Data Connector URL in your browser and use the web inspector.