Book Image

Tableau Prep Cookbook

By : Hendrik Kleine
Book Image

Tableau Prep Cookbook

By: Hendrik Kleine

Overview of this book

Tableau Prep is a tool in the Tableau software suite, created specifically to develop data pipelines. This book will describe, in detail, a variety of scenarios that you can apply in your environment for developing, publishing, and maintaining complex Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) data pipelines. The book starts by showing you how to set up Tableau Prep Builder. You’ll learn how to obtain data from various data sources, including files, databases, and Tableau Extracts. Next, the book demonstrates how to perform data cleaning and data aggregation in Tableau Prep Builder. You’ll also gain an understanding of Tableau Prep Builder and how you can leverage it to create data pipelines that prepare your data for downstream analytics processes, including reporting and dashboard creation in Tableau. As part of a Tableau Prep flow, you’ll also explore how to use R and Python to implement data science components inside a data pipeline. In the final chapter, you’ll apply the knowledge you’ve gained to build two use cases from scratch, including a data flow for a retail store to prepare a robust dataset using multiple disparate sources and a data flow for a call center to perform ad hoc data analysis. By the end of this book, you’ll be able to create, run, and publish Tableau Prep flows and implement solutions to common problems in data pipelines.
Table of Contents (11 chapters)

Changing data types

With Tableau Prep's ability to connect to an incredible number of different data sources comes the challenge of data type management. Every data source technology handles data types slightly differently, or stores values differently. The wrong data type may limit the number of functions you can perform with that field. For example, you cannot aggregate a number if its data type is text, nor can you filter for a date range if the data type is not a date.

Tableau Prep does a phenomenal job of automatically detecting the appropriate data type. Tableau Prep data types are listed as follows:

  • Number (decimal)
  • Number (whole)
  • Date & Time
  • Date
  • String

There are times when Tableau is unable to determine the correct data type, and times when it is unable to set it to your desired type because the values in the data are not compatible. We'll look at both cases in this recipe and how to address them.

Getting ready

To follow...