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JET is the problem here - the MS software that Tableau uses to connect. JET has a limit of 256 columns.
Tableau should warn you when it sees 256 columns. I have an idea here for them to implement better error checking with JET: http://community.tableau.com/ideas/1104
That doesn't help you though - can you get rid of any, perhaps concatenate some, reshape the data so there are more rows, but fewer columns?
Thanks, Alex. At least I know I was using the correct process to load it. I think the best solution for me is to break my data set into several smaller ones. Rearranging isn't an option.
Is breaking the file up into 4 and then later joining them in Tableau an option or does JET limit joined files to a total of 256?
What is causing the width - are they really separate measures or similar measures over different time periods or regions or something like that?
They are data aggregated from multiple sources and they are all separate.