Excel Data Source in Tableau Online

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Background

A typical business scenario is when a business is using Tableau Online and we have to create a new data source from an Excel file. We would need to refresh the source based on a specific schedule. This will allow the published report to reflect the new data. There are some recommended practices to achieve this scenario.

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Excel Data Source in Tableau Online
Excel Data Source in Tableau Online

Google Sheets as Tableau Data Source

One such approach is to use Google Sheets instead of Excel. We can schedule an extract refresh to updating our specific document. This will allow the report to get the latest data. Or, we can just keep it Live. We can also create and save a hyper file and use it in our Sandbox or a Production environment.

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Tableau Bridge for latest refreshed data

Another scenario is using Tableau Bridge, to achieve the business scenario to share the latest source data in the report. We may also prefer to use Python and write a script that updates a published data source in Online mode. It is important to note that Google Sheets, AWS Athena, Snowflake are all great options to achieve this requirement.

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OneDrive as Tableau Data Source

Another option to use an Excel source and get the latest data reported is using OneDrive. We can keep the raw data in OneDrive and use it as a data source for Tableau. There are no drivers required if we plan to use OneDrive and use our file in OneDrive as a data source for the Tableau report. It is also advisable to try and connect directly to the database server if we can find the source of the excel data. Having direct connection with the database server provides an optimized solution where we do not have to rely on the freshness of the Excel extract. With a direct connection to the database, any updates to the database will automatically reflect in the Tableau report instantaneously.


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Published by Rahul Bhattacharya

Rahul is a data analyst and expert in visualizing business scenarios using data science. He has performed extensive research across varied business scenarios and datasets to come up with insightful results. Rahul is skilled in a number of programming languages and data analysis tools. When he is not busy refining business data, Rahul can be found somewhere in the Appalachian trails or in an ethnic restaurant in Chicago.

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