Alteryx released their new version 10.1 this week – license holders/demo seekers can pop along to the download page to install it.
Amongst the new features it promised was:
Automatically update Tableau Server and Tableau Online with a new Tableau macro
The concept is simple: process/model/advanced-analyse your data in Alteryx and then it will push up the results as a Tableau data source which all your Tableau Server or Tableau Online users can use in their Tableau workbooks. If you set it up nicely, you could therefore have it auto-update a bunch of complicated datasources with one click of a button.
As the community of Tableau users gets ever more integrated with the community of Alteryx users, this is a pretty exciting development. In fairness, the geniuses at the Information Lab had already enabled this via a couple of nice macros they were kind enough to distribute – but I guess to see this made a feature of the core software itself at least shows that what they did was highly desired!
After quickly installing 10.1 though, I couldn’t find the tool immediately. It turns out you need to download and install it. It’s very easy to do, but below are some notes on the process to follow, and how to configure the tool if you use Tableau Online, rather than Tableau Server.
Steps to install the “Publish to Tableau Server” tool
Firstly, make sure you have installed Alteryx 10.1. Get it here.
Then go download the “Publish to Tableau Server” tool from the Alteryx Analytics Gallery.
Double-click to run it once you have downloaded it and it will open in Alteryx.
Press the toolbar button for “Run as an analytic app”. This is not the usual “play” triangle, but rather the one that looks like a wand next to it.
From the resulting wizard, choose “Install”
Close and restart Alteryx – and now you should have the sparkly new Publish to Tableau Server tool available.
Configuring the tool to upload to Tableau Online
(which is really pretty much the same to a Tableau Server, but there’s a couple of extra bits to bear in mind for those using the cloud online version of Tableau.)
As with any other Alteryx tool, pop it into your workflow such that the data you want uploading to Tableau Online/Server is going into its input. The output it passes on will be the same as whatever input you gave it, so you can continue processing the data in Alteryx after the upload has happened.
Click on the Publish tool and you will see you have to configure 2 tabs: Connection and Output.
They’re quite self explanatory, but note, for Tableau Online:
When configuring with a server URL, do not just enter online.tableau.com. Instead you have to include the subdomain before the “online” bit. To find out what that is just log onto your Tableau Online site in your web browser and note the first part of the address. The one I tested on for instance is called: https://10az.online.tableau.com
The “Use default site” option will not work for Tableau Online. This is presumably because there is not really a default site when a single server is being used by a large number of different customers! Manually type in the name of your Tableau online site, which you can find in the URL of your web browser again when you log into Tableau Online after the “/site/” bit. It’s probably the name of your company or something similar (if you’re working in a company).
You can then use the “Output” tab of the configuration to specify the project, data source and so on to save to. Then just hit the normal “run” button, wait a couple of minutes until Alteryx tells you it’s finished, and you should find you have a nice new datasource in your Tableau Online site.