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Alteryx Gallery Serves Fresh Data Straight to Tableau

At Tableau’s 2014 conference in Seattle The Information Lab launched our Alteryx Tools for Tableau, the key feature of which was a native publish from Alteryx Designer to Tableau Server. One year on and we’re at it again, this time turning it on its head, making use of Tableau’s new Web Data Connector to bring data directly from the Alteryx Gallery into Tableau Desktop.

Alteryx Gallery Web Data Connector for Tableau

How fresh should the data be?

We love democratising data across organisations, when a company makes its data truly accessible amazing things can happen. We practice what we preach internally with Info Lab employees able to access all datasets covering sales, consulting, web analytics and many more. But even when we do something cool in Alteryx we’re reliant on a SQL Server or our Tableau Data Server to store the results.

Keeping these results fresh requires we answer one question that can never be truly be answered…”How fresh should the data be?” In other words how often should we schedule the data refresh? Every 1 hour, 6 hours, 5 minutes? More likely we’ll decide to make it more often rather than less often. However that decision doesn’t scale. We’re effectively putting loads of load on our data sources and servers without maybe even needing the data to be refreshed. After all if nobody’s looking at the analysis the data doesn’t really need to be updated.

Connecting the Tableau Web Data Connector to the Alteryx Gallery allows refreshed data to be generated on demand, with parameters specified at the time of request. Auto refresh is also possible with the Web Data Connector published to the Tableau Server which can trigger on a time-based event.

Sounds great, how do I get it?

Currently the connector is in a pre-release phase. We’re waiting for Alteryx to update a bug in the API which is preventing the connector from running on any server other than the that hosting the Alteryx Gallery. This is a key requirement for allowing Tableau Server to host and run the connector directly. Keep watching this blog for the latest updates or follow @infolabuk on twitter.

Once the bug is fixed the connector will be made available for free at http://data.theinformationlab.co.uk. All you’ll need is Alteryx Gallery and Tableau Desktop (and/or Tableau Server) to take advantage of it.

Craig Bloodworth

York, UK

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