Tableau Prep is a new ETL tool that allows for a fast and visual overview of the data and to prepare, cleanse and blend the data easily. Before you start your analysis in Tableau Desktop, this ETL tool allows to prepare and cleanse data to make sure it is ready for use. Data needs some preparation before starting with the analysis and visualizations. Also, we need to combine the data with additional data sources, Tableau prep will help in doing the same.

We can do data cleansing, joining, and filtering through Tableau Desktop. But sometimes this creates a bit messy with the different changes which we made. With several calculated fields just for data cleansing purposes that makes our data pane a bit messy or different filters that we should apply that aren’t as clear for the rest of the analysts. As we join lots of data sources together which slows down our workbooks.

Tableau Prep performs all the tasks which are already present in Tableau Desktop but in a much easier and cleaner way. Tableau Prep makes things very easy to replicate and run those steps again in the future and share it with others.

Tableau Prep works in a step by step basis where

  • First, we have to connect to the data set or data sets we want to prepare.
  • Use operations to filter, rename, split, join, summarize, create calculated fields, etc.
  • Check the actions we have applied so far and
  • Output the data to a Tableau Extract or publish it to Tableau Server or Tableau Online.
  • Finally, the flow which appears looks like in Maestro.

In Tableau Prep, tracking and reviewing the tasks is easy when you do changes to them. Also, the data preparation process that is being applied to different datasets is easy to understand until we create the final output.

Tableau Prep is quite comfortable for Tableau users. The start screen of Tableau prep is almost similar to Tableau Desktop main screen. The layout of Tableau prep holds the connections to the left, recent work to the middle of the screen. Instead of showing the dashboards, Tableau Prep shows the flows and training, resources on the right side. You will feel Tableau Prep as quite familiar with it.

There is quite a good number of data sources we can connect thru Tableau Prep. You can work with Excel, flat files, Redshift, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL, Teradata, Splunk and also Tableau Extracts.  We can perform tasks and data preparation on TDEs and hyper extracts with Tableau Prep.

 Pros:

  • Amazing data visualization
  • Excellent user interface
  • Easy Integration with data from many sources
  • Excellent UI  and easy adaptability for mobile devices and
  • Active user forums and Customer Service
  • Tableau is comparatively of a low-cost solution
  • Easy to upgrade to the latest releases of software.
  • Low-cost solution to implement and upgrade

Cons

  • Companies need to have strong technical skills to build the initial structure.
  • Not all statistical features are provided.
  • Not sufficient capability in Financial Reporting
  • Still, need IT expertise in writing a query to pull the dataset from SQL
  • Change management issues – no previous version restore
  • Risky security – To set up row-level security, it requires that the user have a database user account which leads hackers to exploit.

 Conclusion:

Tableau Prep is an ETL tool for a fast and visual overview of the data to prepare, cleanse and blend the data easily. This tool allows to prepare and cleanse data to make sure it is ready for use.