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Build Airtable Visualizations in Tableau Online

Use the CData Cloud Hub to create a virtual MySQL Database for Airtable data and build visualizations in Tableau Online.

Tableau Online is an analytics platform fully hosted in the cloud. When paired with the CData Cloud Hub, you get instant, cloud-to-cloud access to Airtable data for visualizations, dashboards, and more. This article shows how to create a virtual database for Airtable and build visualizations from Airtable data in Tableau Online.

The CData Cloud Hub provides a pure MySQL, cloud-to-cloud interface for Airtable, allowing you to easily build visualizations from live Airtable data in Tableau Online without installing connectors or publishing worksheets and data sources from Tableau Desktop. As you build visualizations, Tableau Online generates SQL queries to gather data. Using optimized data processing out of the box, the CData Cloud Hub pushes all supported SQL operations (filters, JOINs, etc) directly to Airtable, leveraging server-side processing to quickly return Airtable data.

Create a Virtual MySQL Database for Airtable Data

CData Cloud Hub uses a straightforward, point-and-click interface to connect to data sources and generate APIs.

  1. Login to Cloud Hub and click Databases.
  2. Select "Airtable" from Available Data Sources.
  3. Enter the necessary authentication properties to connect to Airtable.

    APIKey, BaseId and TableNames parameters are required to connect to Airtable. ViewNames is an optional parameter where views of the tables may be specified.

    • APIKey : API Key of your account. To obtain this value, after logging in go to Account. In API section click Generate API key.
    • BaseId : Id of your base. To obtain this value, it is in the same section as the APIKey. Click on Airtable API, or navigate to https://airtable.com/api and select a base. In the introduction section you can find "The ID of this base is appxxN2ftedc0nEG7."
    • TableNames : A comma separated list of table names for the selected base. These are the same names of tables as found in the UI.
    • ViewNames : A comma separated list of views in the format of (table.view) names. These are the same names of the views as found in the UI.
  4. Click Test Database.
  5. Click Privileges -> Add and add the new user (or an existing user) with the appropriate permissions.

With the virtual database created, you are ready to build visualizations in Tableau Online.

Visualize Live Airtable Data in Tableau Online

The steps below outline creating a new data source in Tableau Online based on the virtual Airtable database in Cloud Hub and building a simple visualization from the data.

  1. Log into Tableau Online, select a project, and create a new workbook.
  2. In the new workbook, choose the MySQL Connector from the data wizard and fill in the values for your Cloud Hub instance.
  3. Select your newly created database and the table(s) you wish to visualize (defining relationships for JOINed tables as needed).
  4. Select Dimensions and Measures and configure your visualization.

SQL Access to Airtable Data from Cloud Applications

At this point, you have a direct, cloud-to-cloud connection to live Airtable data from your Tableau Online workbook. You can create new visualizations, build dashboards, and more, with no need to publish data sources and workbooks from Tableau Desktop. For more information on gaining SQL access to data from more than 100 SaaS, Big Data, and NoSQL sources from cloud applications like Tableau Online, refer to our Cloud Hub page.