4 Replies Latest reply on May 9, 2012 2:02 PM by chris.vincent

    Replacing Data Connections: Am I doing something wrong?

      I am a new Tableau user, very much in the learning stage. I hope someone can help me with this. I am trying to build a kind of template to display data that gets updated every month. The idea is keep from having to rebuild the display each time I update the workbork. I figured that all I need to do is duplicate and existing worksheet display, and then replace the data with new material (keeping in mind the data source in Excel needs to be in the same format).


      Here is the scenario:


      I have an April 2011 sheet based on an Excel worksheet designated for April.


      I also have a May 2011 sheet based on a separate similar Excel worksheet for May.


      In Tableau I duplicated the May sheet and set about replacing the exiting data for a new month.




      I did Data (menu) > Replace Data Source



      In the Replace Data Source dialog box The May data was
      listed as current. I selected the new month from the replacement drop-down.



      The new monthly data appeared in the new worksheet just
      fine, but THE NEW DATA ALSO APPEARED IN THE MAY WORKSHEET! I didn’t expect
      this. I figure that somehow when I create the duplicate sheet I have to find a
      way to break the connection between the May sheet and the new sheet. I don’t
      know what that is.



      I would appreciate advice on this. Perhaps there’s a better
      way to do templates like the ones I’m trying to create.



      Forgive me if this question sounds hopelessly ignorant.


      Chris in Seattle

        • 1. Re: Replacing Data Connections: Am I doing something wrong?

          The "Replace Data Source" function will replace data source in all worksheets, regardless of what sheet is selected at the time of replacement.

          The easiest thing would be to overwrite the old Excel file with new. Tableau will then sort everything out automatically on connecting.

          But if you want to keep both old month sheet and the new one in the same Tableau workbook, then it becomes tricky - need to think about it...

          • 2. Re: Replacing Data Connections: Am I doing something wrong?

            I really appreciate your reply. You are understanding correctly that what I am trying to do is add worksheets as each month's new data comes in. I have realized that I can create a new workbook for each new month by extracting new data and replacing the data source to the new month. But this would prevent me from creating a dashboard on several months materials, and other useful things Tableau was designed to do.


            If something comes to you on this, I would, or course, be happt to hear about it.


            Gratefully yours!

            • 3. Re: Replacing Data Connections: Am I doing something wrong?

              Is it possible for you to arrange the new month's data to be appended to the previous months' data, with a column indicating what month each row is referring to? If yes, then it is just a matter of using this time dimension to filter months, etc. and you don't have to worry about multiple data sources.

              • 4. Re: Replacing Data Connections: Am I doing something wrong?

                Thanks so much for getting back to me on this. I managed to get some time with Tableau Support and it turns out that for doing what I want this option you suggest appears to be the only option, that is, using one data set and simply applying a time filter. It's a different way of thinking about it, but it works. Thanks you for so generously working on this problem for me.