Salesforce Templates for Tableau

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Templates can give a jump-start on your sales analytics. You can use them as-is, or modify them in Tableau Desktop to fit your business. You can also add custom objects or blend other data with Salesforce data directly in Tableau.

These templates provide pre-built dashboards for your Salesforce data. They use standard Salesforce objects and are not bound geographically. When opening the workbooks you'll be prompted for your SFDC account credentials, the native Tableau to SFDC connector will then update the workbooks with your data.

The Salesforce Templates

This package contains dashboards for Accounts, Opportunities, and Leads, with a variety of visualizations that you can explore.

How to Use the Templates

To get your data into the dashboards

  • Download the templates. Save the Excel file in the same folder as the Opportunity Dashboard
  • Double click on a template to open it in Tableau Desktop
  • A dialog box will appear prompting you for your Salesforce credentials
  • Enter your credentials and click “OK”

If any worksheets appear blank, navigate to the worksheet. Replace reference fields by right clicking on the fields with red exclamation marks as necessary.

To update Salesforce using Tableau Online or Tableau Server

You can update your Salesforce data on a schedule with this method.

  • Right click on the Salesforce connection and click “Publish to Server.” Login to Tableau Server or Tableau Online.
  • In the publish window, set schedules for incremental and/or full refreshes
  • To update the data automatically, you will need to click "OK" when asked to embed credentials.
  • Go to menu Data --> Connect to Data. You should still be connected to the server you just published your data to.
  • Select the data source you just published.
  • Now you should have two data sources in your Data Window: the direct connection to Salesforce and the new connection, whose icon is square.
  • Right-click on the old connection and choose "Replace Data Source."
  • Right click on the original data source, and click “Close.” We will use the one on the server.
  • To manage your refresh schedules, go to Tableau Online or Server and click "Data Sources" on the left-hand menu. Find your new connection and click into it.
  • Under Refresh Schedule, you can make changes or add a new schedule.

To update Salesforce using Tableau Desktop

This method is for people who do not have Tableau Server or Tableau Online.

  • Right-click on the new connection you just made to Salesforce, and click "Extract --> Refresh (Incremental).
  • Do this whenever you want to update the data in your workbook. You cannot set refresh schedules on Tableau Desktop; updates are manual.

To publish and share the templates

You can share these templates using Tableau Server or Tableau Online. If you have followed the steps above, publishing the templates will mean others can access them and see data as it is updated on the schedule you established.

Salesforce Templates FAQ

  1. What if I have custom objects?
    If you want to include custom fields or tables in the dashboards, simply download them to Tableau Desktop and edit your data connection to include those custom objects. Then they will be available to use in Tableau Desktop. Modify your dashboards as desired and publish them back to Tableau Server or Tableau Online.
  2. What if I have custom objects to include, and have already published a data source?
    If you have already published a data source and would like to modify the data source itself, you can make a local copy on Tableau Desktop, modify the data source, and republish it to Tableau Server or Online.
  3. I received an error that there was a problem connecting to Salesforce. Why?
    Most likely, you will need to log into Salesforce and reset your security through Setup > My Personal Information > Reset security token. It will be sent by email.
  4. I received a “Tableau Data Engine Error 4” message. How do I solve this?
    Completely close Tableau, and double click on the Salesforce template .twb file in order to re-open Tableau Desktop. Ensure that you are entering your Salesforce username and password into the first dialog box that appears, rather than clicking cancel.
  5. I connected to my data, but now the views are empty. Why?
    Most likely, your Salesforce account has different field names than in the Templates. Hover over the top right corner of any worksheet in the dashboard and click “Go to worksheet.” From the worksheet, find the fields on the left with red exclamation points. One by one, right click and choose “replace references.” You will see the worksheet populate with your data as you point Tableau to the correct fields.
  6. I got my data into the dashboard but it's not updating. Why?
    First, ensure that you are working against a published data source for Salesforce data. Even if you published your Salesforce extract, you must still tell Tableau Desktop to point your dashboards at the data source. Second, make sure you have set a data refresh schedule for your published data source.
  7. How can I find out what tables in Salesforce a particular dashboard uses?
    Each dashboard includes an "About" tab that tells you which Salesforce tables and fields it is referencing.
  8. How can I update the data on a schedule?
    You must be using Tableau Server or Tableau Online to update on a schedule. With Tableau Desktop you can trigger a data refresh manually. Follow the steps above. Or see this documentation for more information.
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