The online help discusses connection options with Tableau Online - Get your Data to Tableau Online including which sources provide for a direct connection. Google BigQuery and Amazon Redshift or a server hosted on Amazon RDS or Microsoft Azure are options for a live connection.
Let us know if something in the online help is not clear and we can pass to the documentation team.
thanks for the response. Sorry for the huge delay in responding ... I was evaluating different BI solutions at the time which took a while, but we have now decided to use Tableau.
Your response seemed to only answer part of my question ... I may be wrong, but I thought visualisations published to Tableau Online are only visible to licensed users whereas I would like these live updated visualisations to be publicly available. Is there any way of achieving that?
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A visualization that you would like publicly available can be posted to Tableau Public. You can lock down the viz so the underlying data is not available when publishing as well to maintain some data privacy however consider carefully about posting visualizations and data to the public site. Personally, I would prune my data to only include data elements that I felt comfortable publicly sharing.
Tableau Online does not offer a way to make a visualization accessible without logging in. The last option would be to utilize Tableau Server with a core license and the guest account access enabled. This is how we host Crow's Nest in the community.
I hope that helps.