Tableau Data Management Add-On Simplified

Ofem Eteng • Last Modified: December 29th, 2022

Tableau Data Management Add-on

Data Management is considered to be an essential practice for any business primarily because of the value of the data being collected. Businesses usually spend a massive amount of resources ensuring that the data collected for analytical purposes is not mismanaged or accidentally misplaced.

Good data management makes it easier for the various departments within a business to find and understand the information they need to perform their analysis and plan future strategies accordingly. It also allows information to be stored for future reference and easy retrieval.
There are a wide variety of tools that can be used to manage business data. One of the most well-known Business Intelligence tools, Tableau also houses a robust Add-On called Tableau Data Management that can be leveraged by any business to manage their data efficiently.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Tableau

Tableau Logo
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Tableau is one of the most powerful and fastest-growing Data Visualization and Business Intelligence tools available in the market. It allows users to seamlessly transform raw data into a visual format that can be understood by anyone.

The various tiers offered by Tableau are as follows:

  • Tableau Desktop
  • Tableau Public
  • Tableau Online
  • Tableau Server
  • Tableau Reader

Tableau is widely used as it allows users to analyze the required data seamlessly. Visualizations in Tableau are generated as Worksheets, Dashboards, and Stories. Users can create custom dashboards that provide actionable insights and help drive the business forward. When configured with the proper underlying hardware and operating systems, all products by Tableau always operate in virtualized environments. Tableau can be used to explore data with limitless visualizations.

More information on Tableau can be found here.

Key Features of Tableau

The key features of Tableau are as follows:

  • Advanced Dashboard: Tableau Dashboards provide an in-depth view of the data using advanced visualizations. Dashboards are considered to be very informative as they support the addition of multiple views and objects. It also allows visualization of data in the form of Stories by giving users a variety of layouts and formats to choose from.
  • In-Memory and Live Data: Tableau ensures seamless connectivity with data extracted from external data sources in the form of In-memory data or live data sources. This gives users the ability to analyze data from various data sources without any restrictions. 
  • Attractive Visualizations: Tableau gives users the ability to create different types of data visualizations. For example, users can seamlessly create the simplest visualizations such as a Pie Chart or Bar Chart or some of the most complex visualizations such as Bullet Chart, Gantt Chart, Boxplot, etc. Tableau also comes with information on geographical data such as Countries, Cities, Postal Codes, etc. that allows users to build visualizations using informative maps.
  • Robust Security: Tableau implemented special measures to ensure user and data security. It houses a security system based on permission and authentication mechanisms for user access and data connections.
  • Predictive Analytics: Tableau houses several data modeling capabilities, including forecasting and trending. Users can easily add a trend line or forecast data for any chart, and view details describing the fit easily.

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What is Tableau Data Management Add-On

Tableau Data Management software is an analytical environment that helps you in managing your data to ensure it is up-to-date and efficient, thereby accelerating analysis which will in turn help drive data-driven decision-making. It gives data analysts the needed control and ability to visualize data of diverse formats by preparing, scaling into required forms, and integrating them with other Tableau platforms.

It has a collection of features and functionality that can be used to regulate Tableau content and data assets on both Tableau Server and Tableau Online environments. Its usability ranges from the preparation of data to cataloging the data for general Data Management.

These broad features on Data Management Add-On are grouped into two categories i.e. Tableau Data Management Prep Conductor and Tableau Data Management Catalog.

More information on Tableau Data Management Add-On can be found here.

Introduction to Tableau Data Management Prep Conductor

Tableau Prep Conductor is part of the Data Management Add-On available for on-premise Tableau Server and is used to automate the process of scheduling and monitoring flows, checking connection credentials, and sending alerts when a flow fails. It uses features found in Tableau Server and Tableau Online to run your flow and update the flow output automatically.

Tracking the flow of your data with Tableau Data Management Prep Conductor is essential as this can help you in viewing and monitoring the various details about your flow such as recent activities on the content page, editing your flow by reconfiguring it to suit the required purpose, viewing results of the successful flow runs as well as errors encountered, receiving alerts for any failed flow run, monitoring server and site history by using Administrative View, notifying flow owners by setting up email notification alerts to tell them when a flow fails to run and reasons for that.

To gain access to the features listed above, Tableau Data Management Prep Conductor has to be enabled, otherwise, it becomes a tedious process of manually trying to correct errors and monitor your flow runs.

Enabling Tableau Prep Conductor

Tableau Data Management Prep Conductor is licensed through Tableau Data Management Add-On and can be installed on Tableau Server or Tableau Online.

Enabling and Configuring on Tableau Server

When Tableau Server is being installed, you can use the Data Management product key to enable Tableau Prep Conductor automatically through the setup program. 

For a new installation of Tableau Server, after Tableau Server is installed following the procedures for Windows found here and Linux found here. Implement the following steps to add the Data Management product key to your Tableau Server to enable Tableau Data Management Prep Conductor:

  • Open Tableau Services Manager (TSM) in a browser: https://<tsm-computer-name>:8850
  • Chick Licensing on the Configuration tab.
  • Click Activate License.
  • Enter or paste your Data Management product key and click Activate.
  • Enter your information in the fields on the Register page and click Register.
  • Follow the subsequent prompts and restart Tableaus Server after registration is complete.

To enable Tableau Prep Conductor on an existing installation of Tableau Server, it is advisable to have a specified node that will be dedicated to running flows, then do the following:

  • Run an upgrade on your current Tableau Server installation using information for Windows here and Linux here.
  • After the completion of the installation of the Server, add the Data Management product key to enable Tableau Data Management Prep Conductor on your node. 
  • Click Licensing on the Configuration tab and click Activate License in the Tableau Services Manager (TSM) Web interface.
  • Enter or paste your new product key then click Activate.
  • Enter your information on the Register page in the available fields and click Register.
  • Restart the Server and Tableau Data Management Prep Conductor will be enabled upon restart.

For further information about enabling Tableau Data Management Prep Conductor, click here for new and here for an existing installation.

Enabling and Configuring on Tableau Online

Tableau Data Management Prep Conductor is automatically enabled on Tableau Online after purchasing the Data Management Add-On. For confirmation if it is enabled, do the following:

  • Log in to Tableau Online then sign in to the Server through the Sign In menu.
  • On the general page under Settings, if notifications for Extract Jobs and Flow Runs is visible, then Tableau Online is licensed with Tableau Data Management Add-On and Tableau Data Management Prep Conductor is enabled but if only notifications for Extract Jobs are shown, then the Tableau Prep Conductor is not available as Tableau Online is not licensed with Data Management Add-On and has to be purchased. 

Flow Workspace of Tableau Prep Conductor

When you publish flows, you can schedule tasks in Tableau Server and Tableau Online to automatically run your flow and keep your data updated. Tableau Prep Conductor workspace consists of different pages to help you monitor your flow runs thereby increasing efficiency. The pages available are listed below.

1) Flow Overview Page

This page is the main landing page where Flows and Schedules can be viewed, monitored, and maintained. You can open the flow overview page by:

  • Clicking on Content.
  • Selecting Explore.
  • Then clicking All Flows and finally selecting a particular flow from the list to get to the Overview page.
Tableau Flow Overview Page
Image Source: Self

The flow page consist of the following:

  • Header: This is the top of the page and it shows the name of the Flow, the Flow owner, the date of the last modification of Flow. You can also edit existing Flows, download the Flow, set permissions, change Flow owner, etc using the More Actions button.
  • Description: This is used to view and edit the Flow description and to set tags to help others find Flows they want to access easily.
  • Output Steps and Run buttons: Output steps are used to view Flows along with the status of the last update, see schedules the output is assigned to, and ascertain errors from the previous Flow run, while, Run button is used to run all or individual output steps on demand.
  • Image of flow: This is used to view the image of your Flow.

2) Flow Connections Page

This allows you to view both the input and output locations for a Glow, Connection Types, Authentication Settings, Input and Output Steps, and any Connectivity Errors that may occur.

Tableau Flow Connections Page
Image Source: Self

3) Flow Schedule Tasks Page/ Schedules Page

This is used to view the list of Flows assigned to a schedule and to also see the outputs that are included in the schedules. You can add new tasks or manage existing ones from this page by running, editing, or deleting a task.

Tableau Flow Schedule Tasks Page
Image Source: Self

On the Schedule page, Flows assigned to a particular Schedule are viewed and details about the Flow runs are visible. You can run the schedule on-demand or run all Flows assigned to it, select one or more Flows, change Flow schedule or priority, delete selected Flows or resume suspended Flows.

Tableau Flow Schedule Tasks Page
Image Source: Self

4) Flow Run History

This page displays details about the history of a Flow run such as the type of Flow, duration of Flow, and the number of rows that were generated. You can also search, view, or sort through previous historical runs on the Flow Run History page and if an error had occurred on any run, you can view messages of the error by hovering over the error.

Tableau Flow Run History
Image Source: Self

Introduction to Tableau Data Management Catalog

The amount of data being generated has increased not only in volume but in different formats and keeping track of these types of data has become complex. Tableau Catalog has become imperative as it involves the use of Metadata, combined with data management and search tools to help analysts and other data users find the data they need, provide an inventory of available data, and give useful information about the status of the data to be used.

Tableau Data Management Catalog which is part of Tableau Data Management Add-On is Tableau’s cataloging tool that helps you overcome the challenges of keeping track of different types of data and at the same time allowing you and other users to gain access to an updated version of your data from any location across the world. It does this by integrating features such as Lineage, Impact Analysis, Data Dictionary, Data Quality Warnings, and search in your Tableau applications. 

Tableau Data Management Catalog builds a catalog from your Tableau content so you can have a comprehensive overview of your data requirements and functionality. It discovers and indexes all the content on your Site, Workbooks, Metrics, Data Sources, Sheets, and Flows into the Metadata. 

From the Metadata, databases, and tables referred to as external assets are easily identified and Tableau displays the relationship that exists between them by showing the lineage of the content and external assets. It is compatible with both Tableau Server and Tableau Online to help you have trust in your data, therefore, discovering new insights from it.

Enabling Tableau Data Management Catalog

Tableau Server and Tableau Online are licensed with the Data Management Add-on and Tableau Data Management Catalog can be found on them. For Tableau Online, Tableau Data Management Catalog is on by default and ready for use when licensed.

For Tableau Server, you will have to enable the Tableau Metadata API before using it. Simply use the TSM Maintenance Metadata-Services command after which it is on by default and configured to use derived permissions.

Features of Tableau Data Management Catalog

Tableau Data Management Catalog ensures the grouping of your data by getting necessary information about the Content, Schema, and Lineage of the content as Metadata. It is useful for the following  functions:

1) Impact Analysis and Lineage

Workbooks and other Tableau content that depend on columns and fields from tables and other data sources can be seen on the Tableau Data Management Catalog and hence, managing and carrying out a quality analysis becomes very easy and requires less time. You can use lineage to trace the source of your data and know the impact of changes made to your data and how these changes might affect users. 

As an end-user, you can also use visualization to know where the data used in creating views come from and you can set up email to inform owners of a Workbook, Flow, or Contacts when a database update is done.

2) Data Discovery 

Tableau Data Management Catalog can be used to search for databases, tables, and data sources. The data could be a published data source, specific databases, tables, workbooks, etc. The search could also include fields, columns, etc. This is easily carried out in Tableau by going to the Connect pane and clicking Search for Data then selecting Tableau Server to connect to your data as Tableau Data Management Catalog is enabled. 

3) Curation and Trust

You can use the Tableau Data Management Catalog to add helpful information to the metadata so users can identify the right data they need quickly. Information like descriptions and certification is used to help users find trusted and recommended data. You can also set data quality warnings to deter users from using stale or deprecated data and categorize items to help filter external assets. 


This article discussed in detail Tableau Data Management Add-On. It broke it down into Tableau Data Management Prep Conductor and Tableau Data Management Catalog. It further showed that Tableau Data Management Prep Conductor is used in automating the process of monitoring Flows and planning Schedules while Tableau Data Management Catalog is used to keep track of your data by identifying data sources and helps in searches by adding descriptions to data. You were also shown how to enable them on both Tableau Server and Tableau Online. 

However, having read through this article, you will realize that scheduling and planning your data needs to be a thoughtful process with lots of skills involved, and doing it manually would require immense engineering bandwidth and resources. You can instead use automated platforms like Hevo.

Hevo helps you directly transfer data from a source of your choice to a Data Warehouse, Business Intelligence tools such as Tableau, etc., or desired destination in a fully automated and secure manner without having to write the code. It will make your life easier and make data migration hassle-free. It is User-Friendly, Reliable, and Secure.

Details on Hevo pricing can be found here. Give Hevo a try by signing up for the 14-day free trial today.

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