A picture tells a thousand words – Frederick R. Barnard
Data visualization is a technique to analyze your data and communicate gained insights through visual representation. Using components like charts, graphs, and maps, the data visualization tool provides an interface to understand trends, spikes, and patterns displayed by the data. A good visualization removes the noise from data, highlights useful information, and narrates its story.
In this article, we will take you through two very popular applications- Snowflake, a cloud-hosted data warehouse and Tableau, a BI tool. You will also learn how to connect Snowflake to Tableau and the benefits of doing so.
Table of Contents
Introduction to Snowflake
Snowflake is a fully managed, cloud-based analytical data warehouse implemented as a Software-as-a-Service application. Snowflake uses the latest SQL database engine on AWS to provide a unique architecture that directs users to perform quick analysis and drive business decisions.
Key Highlights of Snowflake
Low Maintenance: Snowflake is a fully managed service and there is no requirement to set up, configure, install or manage the hardware.
Speed: Snowflake processes any query using a virtual warehouse and each warehouse has its MPP (Massive Parallel Processing) cluster associated with it, which has exceptional scaling capability.
Cloning Functionality: Snowflake allows users to create instant copies of objects without actually copying the data which in turn saves a lot of disk space.
Separate Storage and Compute Layer: Snowflake uses different storage and compute layers that can scale up or down without affecting the other.
Introduction to Tableau
Tableau is the most used Business Intelligence (BI) and Data Visualization tool. It is popular in the Big Data field and is simple to deploy, learn and use. Tableau creates visual masterpieces with a perfect blend of symbolic elements like colours, tables and charts that help businesses to implement market-driven decisions.
Key Features of Tableau
Tableau Dashboard: Tableau is a self-service reporting and data visualization software with an intuitive dashboard. The user doesn’t need to have in-depth programming knowledge while creating visuals.
Collaborative Sharing: Tableau provides multiple options to share the visualizations and dashboard among the users or to various data sources on the cloud, on-premise, etc. Quick sharing allows the developer to review the designs and work on the feedback promptly.
Live and In-Memory Data: Tableau has excellent support for real-time and batch data from external data sources. Users can connect to one or more types of sources.
Data Sources in Tableau: Tableau has a comprehensive library of connectors to connect to external sources like relational databases, spreadsheets, cloud applications, non-relational databases, Snowflake, Hive, etc.
One can establish a secure connection to any of the data sources and use them without any restrictions. Tableau also provides monitoring features such as data connectivity, automatic extract refresh, etc.
Data Connectors: Tableau has an enormous library of connectors to connect to the sources. Tableau connects to its sources via the ODBC connection. Some of the familiar sources are – Presto, MemSQL, Google Analytics, Google Sheets, Cloudera, Hadoop, Amazon Athena, Salesforce, SQL Server, Dropbox and many more.
Advanced Visualizations (Chart Types): Tableau has a vast collection of advanced visualization techniques. Some of them are :
Advanced methods to visualize data:
- Area Chart
- Bar Chart
- Box-and-whisker Plots
- Bubble Cloud
- Bullet Graph
- Dot Distribution Map
- Heat Map
To connect Snowflake to Tableau, you’re required to have:
- An on-Cloud instance of Snowflake.
- Talend Installation 9.3 or later.
You can create a trial account for Snowflake here.
You can download the trial version for Tableau from here.
It is essential to consolidate data from all your different sources into a central repository before performing analysis to get the most accurate results. Hevo is a No-Code Data Pipeline which helps you transfer data from multiple sources to Snowflake and visualize it in Tableau.
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Let’s see some key highlights of Hevo Data:
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- Easy Setup And Highly Intuitive User Interface: Hevo has a minimal learning curve and can be set up in minutes. Once the user has quickly configured and connected both the data source and the destination data warehouse, Hevo moves data in real-time.
- Fully Managed: Neither coding nor pipeline maintenance is required by your team.
- Unlimited Integrations: Hevo can provide connectivity to numerous cloud-based and on-site assets. Check out the complete list here.
- Automatic Schema Mapping: Hevo automatically detects the schema of the incoming data and maps it to the destination schema. This feature makes you free from the tedious job of manually configuring schema.
- Effortless Data Transformations: Hevo provides a simple python interface to clean, transform, and enrich any data before moving it to the data warehouse.
Connecting Snowflake to Tableau – Using ODBC Connector
Tableau uses an ODBC connector to connect to various data sources ranging from text files to relational databases.
Snowflake + Tableau is a great combination when it comes to data visualization. Snowflake’s fully managed service can perform exceptional data analysis and Tableau’s vast libraries of visual elements can help you design visualizations to make data-driven decisions.
Snowflake makes Tableau easier, which accounts for faster query time, query cache and semi-structured data handling. Tableau’s interactive and user-friendly approach to analytics helps in leveraging Snowflake’s speed to a great extent.
Steps to Load Snowflake Data Using Tableau
Step 1: Connect to Snowflake
With the help of Tableau’s connection manager, connect to Snowflake by choosing the option as “Snowflake”.
Step 2: Manage the Credentials
Select the authentication type and provide the following credentials.
“Initial SQL” section can be used to provide ad hoc SQL queries to perform basic transformation, filters and joins before extracting the data.
Step 3: Once you successfully connect to the Snowflake server, select the appropriate warehouse, database and schema details.
After loading data on the tableau viewer, you can now use various tableau functions to create excellent dashboards.
There are various visualization tools available in the market to visualize the relationship within data to drive business discussions. In this blog post, we discussed how to connect Snowflake to Tableau.
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However, when it comes to fully managed ETL, you can’t find a better alternative than Hevo. It is a No-Code Data Pipeline that will help you move data from multiple data sources to your destination. It is consistent and reliable. It has pre-built integrations from 100+ sources. So, give it a try – sign up for a 14-day free trial today.
Do you want to share your experience of connectingSnowflake to Tableau? Leave us a comment below.