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How to know your customer using data

With more customer data available than ever before, teams can finally identify critical trends quickly and make smart pivots for faster growth. Learn how to apply these strategies during COVID in this blog.

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Incorta Connector for Tableau: A high performance, high fidelity connection

by: Anurag Malik, Senior Director, Product Management, Incorta

Over the past decade or so, Tableau has become one of the world’s most popular business intelligence tools. It is easy to learn and intuitive to use, and against a high performance database, it can present beautiful visualizations of complex data in seconds, so it has become a favorite tool for business users.

But, if your underlying data source is slow, then Tableau performance will also be slow. Tableau fans want to use it for everything, but with the volume of data that organizations are handling todayhundreds or millions or even billions of recordsthey really need to be using Tableau with a high performance database. That is why we are pleased to announce the availability of Incorta Connector for Tableau, which we have developed in partnership with Tableau.

Greater query speed

Up until now, our joint customers could connect Tableau to Incorta using the Postgres connector that comes with Tableau. Our customized Incorta Connector for Tableau gives us more control over the user experience, and ultimately over performance. It makes it much easier for IT departments to roll out Tableau with Incorta. But the biggest beneficiaries will be end users, who will see their queries returned with greater speed. 

Many people are using Tableau with an OLTP (Online Transactional Processing Database) database such as Oracle, MySQL or SQL Server. These are not high-performance databases. They have a data connection coming in from different applications such as Oracle eBusiness or Salesforce or SAP. They are optimized to store that data efficiently. They are not optimized to run queries efficiently. You can sometimes wait 20 or 30 minutes for a query to execute against 10 to 15 tables with complex joins and millions of records. 

Let’s say you want to know, what are my sales compared to last year? What are sales year-to-date? By region? By salesperson? Running these queries against data stored in 3rd normal form in a database is very expensive, and the performance is poor. When you run the same queries in Tableau connected to Incorta where data is stored in 3rd normal form, you can expect your queries to execute in seconds. 

If a customer has already got all their data in Incorta, now they can run that same query against 10 or 15 tables and as many as 200 million plus records in that operational database in Incorta and get the results anywhere from 10X to 100X fasterin seconds instead of minutes. That adds huge value; no longer do users have to set up a query and then go find something else to do for half an hour. 

No transformation required

This is why Tableau recommends using a high performance database such as Snowflake, Redshift, Synapse or Incorta when you have tens of millions or billions of records. But not all high performance databases are created alike. Snowflake, Redshift and Synapse transform and store data using star schema, a common way of creating data marts that separates business process data into factsmeasurable, quantitative data about a businessand dimensions, which are descriptive attributes related to fact data. This makes joining tables simple, even if you have hundreds of millions of records. That is how these databases achieve high performance.

With Incorta, you can bring in all your data without transforming it into star schemain fact, without transforming it at all. This means it goes a little bit faster, and it also maintains role level security, which is often lost when data is transformed.

For example, let's say I'm a salesperson looking at all my leads and opportunities in Tableau. You are also a salesperson looking at your leads and opportunities in Tableau. We are both connected to Incorta, but we each can only see our own data.

This type of security is very difficult to maintain when you have transformed hundreds of tables into a few tables in a star schema. But when you bring the data in as it is, it's very easy for a developer to design and implement that row-level security. For any user who comes to Tableau and connects to Incorta, Incorta will know who the user is, and based on that user, it will filter the data using role-level securitythe exact same security you would have in the application itself.

Most companies today are using several different BI and analytics toolsmaybe even dozensalong with several different databases. The key to getting the most utility is to be able to easily connect your favorite tool to your database and perform your queries in seconds. That is what you can do in Tableau with the Incorta connector.

Incorta’s certified Tableau connector is now available directly from Incorta, as well as the Tableau Gallery, where customers can download the Incorta connector quickly and get started immediately for no cost. Current Incorta customers can download and use the connector free of charge. Tableau customers will need to contact Incorta and use our Direct Data Platform in order to speed up Tableau’s query performance.

Click here For more information on the partnership between Incorta and Tableau, and to get started using the Incorta Connector.