How to Configure Tableau ODBC Drivers?: 3 Easy Steps

on BI Tool, Data Integration, Database Management Systems, MongoDB, ODBC, Tableau, Tutorials • March 31st, 2022 • Write for Hevo

Tableau ODBC Driver: Featured Image

Businesses today are striving to derive valuable insights from their ever-growing datasets. However, it involves the complex process of aggregating data from various sources and performing Data Analytics and Visualization. To simplify this process, companies rely on Business Intelligence tools like Tableau, which offers a simple solution regarding Data Management & Analytics. 

Tableau allows users to connect it to their data sources and perform Data Analytics directly. However, BI tools like Tableau still require ODBC Drivers to establish connections with popular Databases. This way, companies can avoid the complexity of managing data silos and can analyze their data with high flexibility.

This article introduces Tableau along with its key features and discusses ODBC. It also describes the steps required to set up a Tableau ODBC Drivers integration. Read along to learn the steps and benefits of connecting these 2 tools!

Table of Contents

Prerequisites

  • Install the ODBC driver from this link. (For this article, you can use MongoDB).
  • Configure a data source of your choice to your business database.

 To learn more, visit the DataDirect documentation here

What is Tableau?

Tableau ODBC Drivers: Tableau Logo
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Tableau is a well-known Business Intelligence (BI) tool that supports high-speed Data Analytics and empowers you to make data-driven decisions. You can utilize this tool to extract detailed insights from your huge datasets and create elegant visualizations. This allows you to grasp the intricate workings of your Product and Marketing Campaigns. Moreover, Tableau’s robust features facilitate customization in terms of user management. This BI tool offers an easy-to-learn user interface that simplifies major aspects of your work including managing, understanding, and visualizing data.

Tableau was developed to operate as an analytics platform that is convenient for users irrespective of their technical expertise. It enables you to get a solid grasp of your daily data. Moreover, you can utilize its various filters to customize your data and manage it in a simple-to-understand form. Tableau can easily integrate with popular databases, and its drag and drop feature simplifies Data Visualization. 

Key Features of Tableau

Tableau offers the following features to its users:

  • Data Source Integrations: Tableau can integrate with all the popular data sources and allow you to fetch data directly from different silos.  On-premise files, external spreadsheets, relational & non-relational databases, Cloud-based Data Warehouses, etc., are some of the most used sources for Tableau.
  • Rich Visualizations: Tableau offers a vivid collection of Data Visualizations ranging from plain bar &  Pie Charts to detailed Histograms, Gantt Charts, Treemaps, etc. This provides you with multiple options, each befitting the needs of a certain team in your organization.
  • High Data Privacy: Tableau provides top-notch security for valuable information. It follows all mandatory precautions and ensures that your Data Privacy remains intact. Tableau also relies on authentication mechanisms and row-level filtering to prevent attackers from gaining access to your data. 
  • Mobile View: Tableau comes in many versions, and all of them are readily compatible with your mobile devices. Using Tableau’s mobile software, you can generate reports & create dashboards in minutes with just a few clicks. Furthermore, Tableau permits you to modify its outlook to sync it with your mobile screen. This flexibility makes Tableau one of the most popular BI tools in the market.

To learn more about Tableau, visit here.

What is ODBC?

Tableau ODBC Drivers: ODBC Logo
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ODBC is one of the most popular interfaces which facilitates connections between applications and databases. Today, all popular BI tools, Analytical tools, and Databases provide inbuilt features to manipulate data via ODBC connectivity. 

ODBC contains Drivers which work on Microsoft’s Database Connectivity Interface. Moreover, it allows numerous applications to directly use SQL queries for exporting information from data in Database Management Systems (DBMS). The main reason for ODBC’s popularity is its high compatibility which allows a single application to link with various DBMS software. Afterwards, users can connect applications to their desired DBMS via ODBC Database drivers. Therefore, ODBC acts as a standard medium to facilitate the exchange of information between application developers and vendors of database drivers.

To learn more about ODBC, visit here.

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Steps to Set Up Tableau ODBC Drivers

You can set up your Tableau ODBC Driver integration using the DataDirect ODBC Drivers. This section will explain the functioning of DataDirect Drivers by connecting Tableau to MongoDB. You can replicate the same steps to set up any Tableau ODBC Drivers integration. Perform the following steps to set up the Tableau MongoDB connection via DataDirect:

Step 1: Select ODBC (MongoDB) from Tableau’s Connector List

Login to your Tableau account, navigate to Connect and select Other Databases (ODBC) as shown in the below image.

Tableau ODBC Drivers: Connect Menu
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It will present you with a pop-up window. Choose DSN, and in the menu that appears, select your data source, which was priorly configured for MongoDB connection. This is shown in the below image.

Tableau ODBC Drivers: ODBC Connection in Tableau
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Step 2: Establish the Tableau ODBC Drivers Connection

Now, click Connect, and you will see the following popup screen.

Tableau ODBC Drivers: Login to MongoDB
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Complete the required parameters required to establish the Tableau ODBC Drivers connection. Finally, click on OK

Step 3: Configure the Tableau ODBC Drivers

If the parameter entered in the last step are correct, you will see the following screen.

Tableau ODBC Drivers: Driver Configuration
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Click on Sign In, and you will reach the Tableau configuration page. You can now browse the given options from Tableau’s drop-down list. Alternatively, you can click on New Custom SQL

That’s it! Your Tableau ODBC Drivers integration is complete.

Benefits of Tableau ODBC Drivers

Establishing the Tableau ODBC Drivers connection will provide you with the following benefits:

  • ODBC allows a single application to access multiple DBMS simultaneously. This implies you can link your Tableau account with different DBMS and analyze all your data together.
  • ODBC Drivers are available in abundance as numerous vendors and operating systems support them. This implies, even if the native drivers are not available, you can rely on ODBC for application ton database connections.
  • You can use the Tableau ODBC connection as an information filter. Moreover, ODBC provides SQL queries that you can use to manipulate the Tableau data. 

Conclusion

This article introduced you to Tableau along with its key features and discussed ODBC. It also provided a step-by-step approach to setting up a Tableau ODBC Drivers integration. This method leveraged DataDirect to establish the required connection between Tableau and MongoDB (ODBC). Furthermore, the article discussed the benefits of connecting these tools. After reading this article, you can go and integrate Tableau with any ODBC software on your own and experience its various benefits.

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Try to set up the Tableau ODBC Drivers connection yourself and share your experience in the comments section!

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