1 Reply Latest reply on Apr 4, 2018 7:14 AM by Hope Stiles

    Packaged Workbook as Data Source?

    Damien Minter

      Hi All,


      I am working on a project to automate a lot of reporting we do in our organisation, which essentially uses 1 or 2 data sources and some custom mapping etc and is currently done using excel.


      Ideally I would like to get direct connections to those data sources into Tableau Server (which we have existing infrastructure), but until I can get the buy in of the Technology teams and am still getting the reports up and running I need a fairly robust interim solution. I don't have access to any other databases other that Access (ie SQL Server / My SQL etc) currently so am working with what I have.




      Current process is data is extracted from the system into spreadsheets. As Tableau doesn't support 'Union' for excel spread sheets, I am performing this MS Access (via link) and then connecting this to Tableau.


      MS Access doesn't support 'LOD Calculations' so I having to create an 'extract' to Tableau first to perform these calculations. I have performed a simple left join of some other data that I have stored in MS Access and started to build in the required calculations in the workbook.


      As I don't have a better place to store the data I am wondering about using a Packaged Workbook as a data source for all my other workbooks. (data will get refreshed fairly regularly, up to around once per day once until we have a permanent solution in place )





      • Do you think this model seems like a reasonable interim solution until I can get this onto Tableau Server
      • Should I expect any performance issues if connecting (multiple) live Tableau workbooks to this extract?
      • Workbooks are likely to become reasonably large and complicated. Does this seem like a decent approach?
      • Looks like "Calculate Fields" and "Sets" come are pulled into the connected Tableau workbooks. Anything I should look out for?
      • Looks like Parameters" do not (impacting some calcs). Anyway to get them saved in the extract?
      • Does anyone have any advice or better suggestions on how to manage this? (limited resources available)


      Looking forward to hearing anyone's take on this




        • 1. Re: Packaged Workbook as Data Source?
          Hope Stiles

          I have a couple of data sources published to the server that are created I a workbook.  I usually publish them as a twb and not a twbx, although I can't remember why I do that.  Then I just open that twb, refresh my extract, and republish the data source to the server whenever we need to update it.  It's a decent interim solution, but not something you want to do long term if the data needs to be refreshed very often.


          For one, I have a scaffolding excel file joined to an Access table.  For the other I have a scaffolding excel file joined to an excel file.    At this point I don't have calcs built into the data source, we're creating them in the workbooks as I'm really the only user.  But I do have plans to put them there later as we expand access to others.


          I think if the Excel data is tabs in the same workbook you would be able to union them within Tableau.  I'm not sure if that would cut out steps for you or not but thought I would mention it.


          Hope that helps.



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