4 Replies Latest reply on Sep 17, 2018 10:11 AM by Ken Flerlage

    Pros and Cons of Tableau Data Source

    Scott Schmeling

      Good AFternoon,


      Can someone point me to a good article or information on the pros and cons of using a tableau data source separate from the workbook?  Or better to use embedded in the workbook?


      I am trying to put together best practices for our department on this, and the articles that say it is best practice to use a separate data source don't go into too much detail. 


      Thank you,

        • 1. Re: Pros and Cons of Tableau Data Source
          Ken Flerlage

          The following is pretty good: Best Practices for Published Data Sources


          In my opinion, there are a couple of key benefits to publishing data sources separately:


          1) Reusability - You can model the data once and then make it reusable to anyone who needs that data. When the data is embedded, then the model has to be recreated each time.

          2) Standardization - Along with # 1, publishing allows you to standardize on a specific data model, calculations, definitions, etc.

          3) Web Edit - Up until 2018.2 (I think), users using the Web Editing tool could only work with a published data source.

          4) Performance - If you have a dozen workbooks with similar data, you will likely need to refresh them all regularly. If you can consolidate on a single, shared published data source, then you'll only need to refresh that once.

          4) Fewer Data Models - Ultimately, if you publish and share data sources, you'll end up with fewer pockets of related data, thus less likelihood of the "same" data producing different results.

          • 2. Re: Pros and Cons of Tableau Data Source
            Ken Flerlage

            Following up on this one. Let us know how we can help further.

            • 3. Re: Pros and Cons of Tableau Data Source
              Scott Schmeling

              Thanks for the follow up Ken.  It is moving very slowly on our end here.  After 6 weeks I can't even get them to agree on Templates let alone things like data sources and Account levels.  Every response is:  We do things different- of course in my mind I am thinking "Then why bring me in to standardize your Tableau and Best Practices if you are going to fight every step of the way and not take the advice"  But publicly I just move on.


              I will say I'm finally getting some of them to realize that Custom SQL is a tool used for special occasions and shouldn't be the standard when we can build views and tables in SQL but it is still very slow- plus they keep creating defacto cubes in the SQL even though they don't know what Cubes are.  Makes it harder to help troubleshoot why some of their queries aren't working.


              Thanks though and sorry for the venting I'm sure you have been there.

              • 4. Re: Pros and Cons of Tableau Data Source
                Ken Flerlage

                Yep, I know where you're coming from. Keep fighting the good fight!