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Visualize RSS Feeds in Tableau

The CData ODBC driver for RSS enables you integrate RSS feeds into Tableau dashboards.

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

The CData ODBC drivers offer unmatched performance for interacting with live RSS feeds in Tableau due to optimized data processing built into the driver. When you issue complex SQL queries from Tableau to RSS, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to RSS 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 RSS feeds using native Tableau data types.

Connect to RSS 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.

You can connect to RSS and Atom feeds, as well as feeds with custom extensions. To connect to a feed, set the URL property. You can also access secure feeds. A variety of authentication mechanisms are supported. See the help documentation for details.

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 RSS Feeds to a Dashboard

  1. Click Connect to Data -> More Servers -> Other Databases (ODBC).
    Select the CData Data Source Name (for example: CData RSS 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 Latest News 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 Author 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 Pubdate column in the Measures field onto the Detail and Color buttons. Tableau executes the following query:

    SELECT Author, SUM(Pubdate) FROM Latest News GROUP BY Author

    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 Pubdate 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 RSS, you get live connectivity to your RSS feeds, allowing you to build real-time charts, graphs, and more.