Build BigQuery Visualizations in Tableau Online

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Use CData Connect Cloud to connect to live BigQuery data and build visualizations in Tableau Online.

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

CData Connect Cloud provides a pure SQL Server, cloud-to-cloud interface for BigQuery, allowing you to easily build visualizations from live BigQuery 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, CData Connect Cloud pushes all supported SQL operations (filters, JOINs, etc) directly to BigQuery, leveraging server-side processing to quickly return BigQuery data.

Connect to BigQuery in Connect Cloud

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

  1. Log into Connect Cloud, click Connections and click Add Connection
  2. Select "BigQuery" from the Add Connection panel
  3. BigQuery uses OAuth to authenticate. Click "Sign in" to authenticate with BigQuery.
  4. Navigate to the Permissions tab in the Add BigQuery Connection page and update the User-based permissions.

Add a Personal Access Token

If you are connecting from a service, application, platform, or framework that does not support OAuth authentication, you can create a Personal Access Token (PAT) to use for authentication. Best practices would dictate that you create a separate PAT for each service, to maintain granularity of access.

  1. Click on your username at the top right of the Connect Cloud app and click User Profile.
  2. On the User Profile page, scroll down to the Personal Access Tokens section and click Create PAT.
  3. Give your PAT a name and click Create.
  4. The personal access token is only visible at creation, so be sure to copy it and store it securely for future use.

With the connection configured, you are ready to connect to BigQuery data from Tableau Online.

Visualize Live BigQuery Data in Tableau Online

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

  1. Log into Tableau Online, select a account, and create a new workbook.
  2. In the new workbook, choose the Microsoft SQL Server Connector from the data wizard and fill in the values for your Connect Cloud instance.
    • Set Server to tds.cdata.com,14333
    • Set Database to the BigQuery connection you created (e.g. GoogleBigQuery1)
    • Set Username to your Connect Cloud username (e.g. user@mydomain.com)
    • Set Password to a PAT for the above user
    • Check the Require SSL checkbox
  3. Select your newly created database and the table(s) you wish to visualize (defining relationships for JOINad tables as needed).
  4. Select Dimensions and Measures and configure your visualization.

Real-Time Access to BigQuery Data from Cloud Applications

At this point, you have a direct, cloud-to-cloud connection to live BigQuery 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 live access to data from more than 100 SaaS, Big Data, and NoSQL sources from cloud applications like Tableau Online, refer to our Connect Cloud page.