5 Replies Latest reply on Jan 25, 2017 8:50 AM by Katie Bueno

    Beginner Tableau User Pulling Data Through Microsoft SQL Server

    Katie Bueno

      Hello, Everyone!

       

      At my Department I am the first analyst to begin the journey of using Tableau to display reports showing data from our various healthcare/wellness programs in Denver. Prior to Tableau, the Department has only used SSRS to create reports which required very detailed SQL script. Now that we are moving on from SSRS to Tableau, I am wondering to what extent does the SQL/Tableau user prepare the data in SQL prior to manipulating it in Tableau and what is best practice when using these two programs simultaneously for keeping data organized that can easily be edited when needed.

       

      It appears that the features in Tableau do the majority of things that otherwise would have needed to be written in SQL script in order to produce reports in SSRS. Is detailed SQL script necessary? Is it enough to create a clean data set in SQL and do all parameters and features in Tableau? Our goal is to create visually appealing reports that can be automatically updated in the simplest way.

       

      Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated!

       

      Thank you,

      Katie

        • 1. Re: Beginner Tableau User Pulling Data Through Microsoft SQL Server
          Kevin McLaughlin

          Hi Katie,

           

          I came into a very similar situation during a switch-over from SSRS to Tableau, and we are down in Colorado Springs! We use Access to do any editing of data that may need done in the database (which isn't a whole lot, mainly just healthcare provider addresses).

           

          Tableau is not the tool to use for manipulating data, but is very powerful when it comes to creating "visually appealing reports that can be automatically updated in the simplest way." Creating formulas, as well as using parameters and filters to show our data is how we operate. Creating a Custom SQL Query is something that can be done directly through the Data Source tab in Tableau; however, we rarely need to utilize this feature.

           

          I will say, if you have a relatively clean data set in SQL, everything else you should be able to handle through Tableau!

           

          I'm not sure if that's exactly what you're looking for, but hopefully it's a bit of confirmation.

           

          Sincerely,

          Kevin

          • 2. Re: Beginner Tableau User Pulling Data Through Microsoft SQL Server
            Katie Bueno

            Thank you for your insight, Kevin. This helped!

            • 3. Re: Beginner Tableau User Pulling Data Through Microsoft SQL Server
              Marc Beacom

              Hi Katie,

               

              As Kevin mentioned - reporting tools such as Tableau won't help with the data manipulation and changing of any data. From our experience, data preparation is key to a successful reporting project. The majority of cases, this is building out a data warehouse or dimensional model to conform source system data and do the data cleansing and manipulation that is needed. Once a properly designed data warehouse is in place, creating reports with a Tableau will be very easy and should take 4 hours on average to create and deploy.

               

              Let me know if you have any questions in or around building out a data warehouse.

               

              All the best,

              Marc

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              • 4. Re: Beginner Tableau User Pulling Data Through Microsoft SQL Server
                Greg Lyons

                Hi Katie,

                 

                I couldn't tell which organization you're with, but believe it may be the case that I manage the account for your company as I'm now supporting a couple dozen Denver-based health and mental health oriented clients of ours. Would be glad to help and ensure you're successful in your early goings here. I'd second the comments above, that if you have a clean SQL data set you should be able to do the rest in Tableau.

                 

                Please feel free to reach me at glyons@tableau.com or 206 634 5561.

                 

                Best regards,
                Greg

                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Beginner Tableau User Pulling Data Through Microsoft SQL Server
                  Katie Bueno

                  Thank you for your insights, Marc & Greg!

                   

                  Now that I've really dived into using Tableau to create reports, I couldn't agree more. The cleaner the dataset is in SQL, the easier it is to manipulate in Tableau. Being a new user to SQL, I've learned a lot on how to keep things organized and prepared for implementation in Tableau. I'll let you know if I have any questions along the way!

                   

                  Sincerely,

                  Katie