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    Announcing the Strava Community Web Data Connector for Tableau, by Tableau

    Kate Hotler

      At Tableau, there are only a few things we like more than data and one of them is cycling. Members of our development, marketing, support, and sales teams ride for fun, for transportation, for relaxation and for training.  So passionate are we, that in our spare time while not riding our bikes, we decided to create a web data connector that brings data from Strava via their API intoTableau for analysis and presentation, in about 10 clicks. It's been such a lot of fun! For those that might not be familiar, Strava is a popular social fitness network that is used to track cycling, running, and swimming activities, among others, using GPS data. Users can upload activities to the Strava site directly, via the Strava mobile application, or via one of Strava's data partners such as Wahoo or Garmin. While analyzing our cycling data was the primary use case, this Tableau web data connector also works great for running, hiking, indoor workouts and other Strava data.


      In honor of analytical athletes everywhere, during our developers' hackathon week this week, we are making our connector available to the public (see directions below). Today the connector supports speed, distance, heart rate and other activity data. Users can map rides and runs, compare segment results, and it even includes links to photos added to each activity. We need your feedback: please let us know here if you love it, find things that could be better, or are stuck! If you love it and wish it was more supported than the current level here and in Tableau Labs, such as being an official connector on Public, or would be into attending a Strava Vizzing meetup at Tableau Conference, you can show support for that here too. Please also consider making a Viz with your Strava data, posting it to Tableau Public, and sharing the link below, to inspire and encourage others.


      Here are just a few examples of data visualizations that folks at Tableau along with a few of our Ambassadors and Zens have already made to analyze and share their own Strava data:


      Enough ado! Hopefully you're asking yourself, "Yeah, but how does it work? Let me at it!" When you open Tableau and see the Connect pane to the left of the Start Screen, find the middle section labeled, 'To a Server', and click 'More'. Find Web Data Connector in the list of connections, and select it. When a pop-up screen appears, copy/paste in the following link and press 'Return':




      You will be prompted to enter your Strava username and password. (If you don't have a Strava account yet, we'd advise starting one ahead of time, and recording an activity or two.) Voila! A few different tables appear in the data pane! To get started, try dragging the table called, "My Activities". It's very efficient and has a lot of data at a nice level of detail. You can always come back to this pane and combine in more data later. After you've dragged it over, click on 'Sheet 1' at the bottom left, temporarily orange for visibility. Now you can see all of your fields and start to take your data for a spin!


      At Tableau, many of us are admittedly idealists, and believe deeply in the mission of helping all kinds of people see and understand their data. We hope that using Tableau to explore your Strava data might not only help you learn things about your own activities, celebrate your accomplishments and strive harder--we're also hoping that having a clean and familiar dataset created as a bi-product of your own activity will help you hone your analytics skills and safely gain confidence using Tableau. 


      For additional support and inspiration, feel free to reach out to us here and join our Tableau Users Strava Club.  For more general information about extending Tableau, visit our Developer Community.


      Finally, a few words of gratitude. This connector would never have come about without some teamwork, perseverance, and care from a big handful of folks! Internally, Kudos to Darrick Bartley, Nicolas Brisoux, Scott deVillers, Luis Enciso, Megan Fay, Tom Friedlander, Jac Fitzgerald, Dean Lee, ben lower, Dave Reeck, Kris Rhodes, Richard Shelmerdine, Chris Tolley, Javier Valderrama, and Jim Walseth. Special thanks to community members Craig Bloodworth, and the #rundata crews at the last few Tableau Conferences; to Yvan Fornes, Andy Kriebel, and especially Eva Murray. You know that bringing a solid connector live has been a marathon of an effort, and your continued interest and encouragement has made persisting feel worthwhile.


      Happy Vizzing! Strive on!

      Kate Hotler,
      on behalf of Jac Fitzgerald,Robert Kosara, Drew Loika, Sid Wray, and a very extended cast of Strava nerds and fans at Tableau


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