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Visualize SAP SuccessFactors Data in Tableau

The CData ODBC driver for SAP SuccessFactors enables you integrate SAP SuccessFactors data into Tableau dashboards.

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

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

Connect to SAP SuccessFactors 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 authenticate to SAP Success Factors using Basic authentication or OAuth with SAML assertion.

Basic Authentication

You must provide values for the following properties to successfully authenticate to SAP Success Factors. Note that the provider will reuse the session opened by SAP Success Factors using cookies. Which means that your credentials will be used only on the first request to open the session. After that, cookies returned from SAP Success Factors will be used for authentication.

  • Url: set this to the URL of the server hosting Success Factors. Some of the servers are listed in the SAP support documentation (external link).
  • User: set this to the username of your account.
  • Password: set this to the password of your account.
  • CompanyId: set this to the unique identifier of your company.

OAuth Authentication

You must provide values for the following properties, which will be used to get the access token.

  • Url: set this to the URL of the server hosting Success Factors. Some of the servers are listed in the SAP support documentation (external link).
  • User: set this to the username of your account.
  • CompanyId: set this to the unique identifier of your company.
  • OAuthClientId: set this to the API Key that was generated in API Center.
  • OAuthClientSecret: the X.509 private key used to sign SAML assertion. The private key can be found in the certificate you downloaded in Registering your OAuth Client Application.
  • InitiateOAuth: set this to GETANDREFRESH.

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 SAP SuccessFactors Data to a Dashboard

  1. Click Connect to Data -> More Servers -> Other Databases (ODBC).
    Select the CData Data Source Name (for example: CData SAPSuccessFactors 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 ExtAddressInfo 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 address1 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 zipCode column in the Measures field onto the Detail and Color buttons. Tableau executes the following query:

    SELECT address1, SUM(zipCode) FROM ExtAddressInfo GROUP BY address1

    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 zipCode 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 SAP SuccessFactors, you get live connectivity to your SAP SuccessFactors data, allowing you to build real-time charts, graphs, and more.