If you’re a data nerd like us, you’re surely familiar with the powerful data visualization software that is Tableau. And if you’re not, you should totally check them out. Anyway, the guys at Tableau have just released version 9.1 and with that comes a very exciting update.
Tableau 9.1 includes a Web Data Connector feature that lets you push data into Tableau via an API!
Previously, you would have had to create an import.io API, export is as a CSV and then upload that file to Tableau. If the underlying web page changed, you’d have to login, find that API, re-download the CSV and re-upload the new data into Tableau.
In preparation for the launch of Tableau 9.1, some data-driven minds over at InterWorks (a full spectrum data consulting firm and Tableau partner) developed a connector that can automatically extract data from a specified web page using our Magic API – or through any other import.io API. So now when the underlying web page changes, you simply refresh the extract in Tableau to pull in up-to-date information!
We’ll let InterWorks’ Analytics Consultant (and creator of this integration), Robert Rouse, tell you in his own words how it works… Take it away Rob!
How it works
First, you’ll need Tableau 9.1 or later to take advantage of the new Web Data Connector feature. If you don’t have Tableau, you can download a free trial here. You can also download and use Tableau Public for free, but keep in mind that whatever you create with this version will be published on the internet for the whole world to see.
Once you have the latest version of Tableau, open it up. Click “Web Data Connector” on the home screen and type in “connectors.poc.interworks.com/importio” as your URL.
The window shown below will pop up, and you’ll be prompted to enter a URL of your choosing. The Web Connector will grab the title of that webpage to be used as your data source name and use the Import.io Magic API to structure the data on that page, ultimately sending it to a Tableau data extract.
An Alternate Method
If that doesn’t get the data as expected, you can help Import.io identify the data structure of your web page by creating an extractor. You can find the tutorial here.
Once published, your extractor should show up under “My Data.” Select “Export” -> “Simple API Integration” and copy the text shown there.
If previously used, the “connectors.poc.interworks.com/importio” URL should appear under “Recent Connectors.”
Click on that connector and then click “Use a saved Import.io data source.” Paste your copied text from the Simple AP Integration step and click “Extract.” It should appear like so:
Now, every time you refresh your extract, it will grab any new data from your web page of choice.
Over to you reader
Now that it’s even easier to use Import.io and Tableau together, we can’t wait to see what you guys will come up with. So take to social media and tell us all about it (@importio @interworks @tableau)!
About the author
Robert Rouse is an Analytics Consultant at InterWorks, a full-spectrum data consulting firm and Tableau Software’s VAR Partner of the Year. As part of a multi-talented team, Robert has helped clients from Fortune 500 companies, universities and many other organizations get further, faster and smarter with their data strategy. You can find more posts from Robert and other data gurus on the InterWorks blog.