I'm assuming you're demoing Desktop, version 8.
Use a smaller data set and use an extract that is saved on your demo machine. It's a demo so it doesn't have to be 100% accurate. Don't be afraid to use several vizes instead of one monster "does it all" viz.
Thanks - I thought about extracting the data before we do the preso to the execs. This should avoid any large processing times. But the extracts are huge in themselves. One concern I have is that the size of feeds is going to continue to grow and latency may get worse, right? Is there a way to store some data within the workbooks and only add in new records?
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Yes, you would use an Incremental Extract. The initial extract can be lengthy but afterwards it becomes much faster.
Again, for demo'ing use a small extract with highly filtered data e.g., current quarter only.
Read this -->
And maybe this if you decide to get Tableau --> http://kb.tableausoftware.com/articles/knowledgebase/database-query-performance