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Build CSV Visualizations in Tableau Online

Use the CData Cloud Hub to create a virtual MySQL Database for CSV 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 CSV data for visualizations, dashboards, and more. This article shows how to create a virtual database for CSV and build visualizations from CSV data in Tableau Online.

The CData Cloud Hub provides a pure MySQL, cloud-to-cloud interface for CSV, allowing you to easily build visualizations from live CSV 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 CSV, leveraging server-side processing to quickly return CSV data.

Create a Virtual MySQL Database for CSV 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 "CSV" from Available Data Sources.
  3. Enter the necessary authentication properties to connect to CSV.

    The DataSource property must be set to a valid local folder name.

    Also, specify the IncludeFiles property to work with text files having extensions that differ from .csv, .tab, or .txt. Specify multiple file extensions in a comma-separated list. You can also set Extended Properties compatible with the Microsoft Jet OLE DB 4.0 driver. Alternatively, you can provide the format of text files in a Schema.ini file.

    Set UseRowNumbers to true if you are deleting or updating in CSV. This will create a new column with the name RowNumber which will be used as key for that table.

  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 CSV Data in Tableau Online

The steps below outline creating a new data source in Tableau Online based on the virtual CSV 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 CSV Data from Cloud Applications

At this point, you have a direct, cloud-to-cloud connection to live CSV 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.