Connect Salesforce to Tableau: A Comprehensive Guide

on BI Tool, Data Integration, ETL, Tutorials • March 24th, 2022 • Write for Hevo

Salesforce to Tableau

Are you facing difficulties in analyzing your customer data? Do you find it gruelling to connect your Salesforce data to a BI tool such as Tableau? Well, look no further! This article will answer all your queries & relieve you of the stress of finding a truly efficient solution. Follow our easy step-by-step guide to help you master the skill of efficiently connecting Salesforce to Tableau and performing a fruitful analysis of your customer data to gain crucial insights that can help you create informative and insightful business reports.

A complete walk-through of the content will provide you with an in-depth knowledge of connecting Salesforce to Tableau.

Table of Contents

What is Tableau?

tableau logo.

Tableau is a powerful business intelligence tool used to turn raw data into an understandable format. It is a tool popularly used to visualize data and can be understood even by a non-technical user. It creates visualizations with the help of dashboards and worksheets, helping users perform real-time analysis in a very fast and secure manner. It doesn’t require a user to have any programming skill or technical background to operate it.

Tableau is not only available as a desktop application but also as an online service that can be accessed by any user on the go. All you need to do is sign in your account on your device. Once you have logged in successfully, Tableau’s home screen will open up as follows:

Tableau Workspace.
Tableau’s home screen

In the Connect column, you will find multiple sources you can easily connect to with Tableau. The source can be a file, a server or even saved data sources. You can analyse your data by dragging it in the centre of the screen called canvas.

Opening a workbook in Tableau.
Tableau’s canvas

Tableau comes pre-loaded with several sample workbooks. You can use these to get a better understanding of how a typical workbook looks like and how you can visualise data in Tableau.

For further information on Tableau, you can check the official site here.

What is Salesforce?

salesforce logo.

Salesforce is a cloud-based CRM tool that helps you maintain and manage your organization’s interactions with its customer base. Salesforce generates a lot of data from managing these interactions. It also offers cloud-based tools such as data analytics, IoT products. These generate data that provide priceless insights about customers and can be extremely useful for the organisation.

Key features of Salesforce:

  • Contact Management: Salesforce offers smooth contact-management by providing access to critical customer data and interaction history. It provides great insights on how to use customer data to get a better understanding of their behaviour using various trends and metrics and formulate strategies.
  • Dynamic Dashboards: Salesforce’s interactive dashboards provide a complete view of how well the business is performing using key factors such as market trends, customer behaviour, etc. You can easily create dashboards and generate real-time reports for your business.
  • Opportunity Management: It is one of the best features of Salesforce. It provides you with an in-depth view of the customers’ timeline, their buying patterns, metrics, etc and lets you strategise your next move.
  • Email Integrations: Salesforce supports full integration with applications like Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, etc and lets you synchronise your calendars and schedules. It even provides offline access to important emails and lets you develop personalised templates for potential customers.

For further information on Salesforce, you can check the official site here.

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Why Connect Salesforce and Tableau?

You can leverage Tableau to blend Salesforce data from across the Customer 360 platform with your other business data for a deeper understanding of your customers and increased visibility. Making a connection from Salesforce to Tableau provides your operations, finance, executives, and channel teams with secure, up-to-date, and tailored views of your data.

Prerequisites

  • Working knowledge of Tableau.
  • Working knowledge of Salesforce.
  • Tableau installed at the host workstation.
  • A Salesforce account.

Connecting Salesforce to Tableau using the in-built Salesforce connector

Tableau’s in-built Salesforce connector conveniently helps in setting up Salesforce to Tableau Integration. You can easily set up a data source and use Tableau to visualize your data to perform a fruitful analysis for your business.

Salesforce to Tableau Integration can be implemented using the following steps:

Step 1: Configuring Tableau’s in-built Salesforce connector

To start building Salesforce to Tableau Integration, launch Tableau on your workstation and select more from the connect column on the left. This will open a new window, from where you can select your desired data warehouse or database. Select Salesforce from the list of available options.

salesforce to Tableau connector.
Tableau’s connector list

A new dialogue box will now open up. To connect with Tableau, you will need to provide your Salesforce credentials such as username and password to sign in to your Salesforce account and load data to Tableau.

Signing in to Salesforce.
Tableau’s Salesforce connector

Once you’ve signed in successfully, you will need to provide Tableau, access to your Salesforce data and your account. Click on the allow button to provide access to transfer your Salesforce data into Tableau.

Allowing access to Tableau.
Salesforce authorization dialogue box

This is how you can configure Tableau’s in-built Salesforce connector for the Salesforce Tableau Integration.

Step 2: Configuring the data source

The data source page loads up after configuring the Salesforce to Tableau connector and successfully signing in. This is how the page looks like:

Tableau Workspace.
Tableau’s source page

Select the data source name option and give a unique name to the database you are using. It’s considered a good practice to have a unique name as it makes it much easier for users to identify the database from which data is being fetched.

Tableau allows you to either work by creating a standard connection and make use of some predefined queries, objects, and drag them onto the canvas to perform analysis, or set up a custom connection, where you can manually select tables and start analyzing your data.

To select the desired schema, you can use the schema drop-down list from the column on the left. You can also perform a text-based search to find the desired option. Now similarly find and select the desired table and drag it onto the canvas.

Tableau Tables.
Data loaded in Tableau

This is how you can connect Salesforce to Tableau. Now click on the sheets tab to begin the analysis.

Step 3: Embedding the Dashboard into Salesforce

Now that you have generated a dashboard for your account managers, you would want to ensure that it will be embedded into their homepage for efficient and easy access. For this, you are going to need to go to any individual’s account and modify their view. For this example, you can move to Bruce Kennedy’s homepage. After going to his homepage, click on the settings icon in the top right corner of your screen and select “Edit Page“.

Salesforce to Tableau: Embedding Dashboard in Salesforce Image 1
Image Source

On the left side of your screen, you can see the Components tab. You can search for “Tableau” on the search bar and locate the lightning viz component under the “Custom – Managed (1)” section.

Salesforce to Tableau: Embedding Dashboard in Salesforce Image 2
Image Source

The center of your screen will depict what objects will be on display when your account manager logs into their profile. By default, you have objects that show details of the person along with a chatter object. The objective here is to get the Tableau dashboard to show up as an object on this page.

You can drag the lightning viz component add-on onto the center of the page. If everything works as intended, the viz component will render a default example dashboard set by Salesforce.

Salesforce to Tableau: Embedding Dashboard in Salesforce Image 3
Image Source

Limitations of Manually Setting up Salesforce Tableau Integration

The following are the limitations of connecting Salesforce to Tableau using this method:

  • Errors related to character limits can occur while transferring data from Salesforce to Tableau. This is due to a character limit of 4096, which results in a failed extraction of some fields.
  • You cannot perform real-time data transfer from Salesforce to Tableau using this method, and hence to always have up-to-date data, you must refresh the data periodically.

Conclusion

This article teaches you how to connect Salesforce to Tableau. It also provides in-depth knowledge about the concepts behind every step to help you understand and implement them efficiently. Getting rid of inconsistent data and transforming it into an analysis-ready form, performing repeated and periodic data-refreshes to keep data up-to-date, etc. can be challenging & this is where Hevo saves the day. 

Hevo Data, a No-code Data Pipeline helps you transfer data from various data sources like Salesforce into a Data Warehouse of your choice for free in a fully-automated and secure manner without having to write the code repeatedly.

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Hevo with its strong integration with 100+ sources(Including 30+ Free Sources like Salesforce) & BI tools, allows you to not only export & load data but also transform & enrich your data & make it analysis-ready in a jiffy.

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Tell us about your experience of connecting Salesforce to Tableau! Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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