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Visualize Google Analytics Data in Tableau

The CData ODBC driver for Google Analytics enables you integrate Google Analytics data into Tableau dashboards.

The CData ODBC Driver for Google Analytics enables you to access live Google Analytics data in business intelligence tools like Tableau. In this article, you will integrate Google Analytics data into a dashboard that reflects changes to Google Analytics data in real time.

The CData ODBC drivers offer unmatched performance for interacting with live Google Analytics data in Tableau due to optimized data processing built into the driver. When you issue complex SQL queries from Tableau to Google Analytics, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to Google Analytics and utilizes the embedded SQL engine to process unsupported operations (often SQL functions and JOIN operations) client-side. With built-in dynamic metadata querying, you can visualize and analyze Google Analytics data using native Tableau data types.

Connect to Google Analytics as an ODBC Data Source

If you have not already, first specify connection properties in an ODBC DSN (data source name). This is the last step of the driver installation. You can use the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure ODBC DSNs.

Google uses the OAuth authentication standard. To access Google APIs on behalf on individual users, you can use the embedded credentials or you can register your own OAuth app.

OAuth also enables you to use a service account to connect on behalf of users in a Google Apps domain. To authenticate with a service account, you will need to register an application to obtain the OAuth JWT values.

In addition to the OAuth values, set Profile to the profile you want to connect to. This can be set to either the Id or website URL for the Profile. If not specified, the first Profile returned will be used.

When you configure the DSN, you may also want to set the Max Rows connection property. This will limit the number of rows returned, which is especially helpful for improving performance when designing reports and visualizations.

Add Google Analytics Data to a Dashboard

  1. Click Connect to Data -> More Servers -> Other Databases (ODBC).
    Select the CData Data Source Name (for example: CData GoogleAnalytics Source).
  2. In the Database menu, select CData.
  3. In the Table box, enter a table name or click New Custom SQL to enter an SQL query. This article retrieves the Traffic table.
  4. Drag the table onto the join area. At this point, you can include multiple tables, leveraging the built-in SQL engine to process complex data requests.
  5. In the Connection menu, select the Live option, so that you skip loading a copy of the data into Tableau and instead work on real-time data. The optimized data processing native to CData ODBC drivers enables unmatched performance in live connectivity.
  6. Click the tab for your worksheet. Columns are listed as Dimensions and Measures, depending on the data type. The CData driver discovers data types automatically, allowing you to leverage the powerful data processing and visualization features of Tableau.
  7. Drop the Browser column in the Dimensions pane onto the dashboard. When you select dimensions, Tableau builds a query to the driver. The results are grouped based on that dimension. In Tableau, the raw query is automatically modified as you select dimensions and measures.
  8. Drag the Sessions column in the Measures field onto the Detail and Color buttons. Tableau executes the following query:

    SELECT Browser, SUM(Sessions) FROM Traffic GROUP BY Browser

    When you select a measure, Tableau executes a command to the driver to calculate a summary function, such as SUM, AVG, etc., on the grouped values. The SQL engine (embedded within the driver) is leveraged to process the aggregation of the data, where needed, providing a seamless experience in Tableau, regardless of the data source.

    To change the summary function, open the Sessions menu and select the summary you want in the Measure command.

  9. You can create other charts using dimensions and measures to build SQL queries visually:

With the CData ODBC Driver for Google Analytics, you get live connectivity to your Google Analytics data, allowing you to build real-time charts, graphs, and more.