Tableau Data Repository—use third-party data without the hassle

At Tableau, we believe in the power of data to make informed decisions. We have made self-service visual analytics ubiquitous, and we make it easy to analyze your data, wherever it may be.

However, when it comes to using data from external sources, the potential often remains untapped: Important context is missing from your analysis and key insights remain undiscovered.

With the Tableau Data Repository, we make finding and using external datasets easier than ever—in fact, dozens of datasets are now just three clicks away from your analysis. The Data Repository is now available in limited preview to select Tableau Online customers; just complete this form to join the program and discover how to get more from external data sources.

Introducing the Data Repository

According to Forrester Research, 80 percent of a typical analyst’s time is spent finding and preparing data. When asking Tableau users about their adoption of third-party data, it’s clear that the problems using it lie within the discovery and delivery experience. They don’t know what data exists or where to find it. If they do, that third-party data can require tedious downloading, cleaning, and transformations to make it usable—that’s before having a chance to judge its value!

At the same time, the current pandemic demonstrates how external data can seriously impact our decision-making. See this in action with stories shared on Tableau’s COVID-19 Data Hub. Companies and citizens are monitoring the spread of infections and vaccine rollout  constantly. But external data is helpful and valuable beyond a crisis and many industry, business, and government leaders recognize that as they increasingly look beyond the data generated within their own organizations to improve outcomes.

For instance, real estate, retail, and consumer goods companies leverage demographic data when finding new locations and launching new products. Finance departments look to macro-economic data to improve forecasts. And our Tableau Racial Equity Data Hub uses external data to support organizers and advocates in addressing institutionalized racism in local communities. The Data Repository is removing the friction for these organizations, their analysts, and soon more to better use and build on these external datasets for their analyses.

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Screen Shot 2021-02-22 at 4.10.32 PM.pngAbove: A retailer uses population demographics to identify stores with the highest percentage of young adults (ages 18-24), living nearby, to prepare for a limited product launch.

Initially, we created a catalog of curated, public datasets from sources such as the U.S. Census, the United Nations, and the World Bank. We added rich metadata like tags, descriptions, and previews, making it easy for you to find the right dataset. And we ensured that this data could be used in Tableau immediately, without downloading or transformations. With a live data connection, you have up-to-date views.

Get started with the Data Repository

The Data Repository is currently in limited preview for Tableau Online customers who can sign up or send us an email at athena@tableau.com to join the program. Once the feature is activated on your site, you will find a new “Data Repository (beta)” tab in the “Connect To Data” dialog: 

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On the front page, you will see datasets highlighted due to popularity or current events. A full-text search is available to immediately find a certain dataset or to search for specific tags and publishers.

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Alternatively, browse the entire catalog and apply filters to help narrow down your selection. For example, to only show geospatial data published at a postal code level, you can toggle on the filter for “geo: U.S./ZIP Code”:

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Clicking on a tile will open dataset details, including a data preview and description of all fields. To add the dataset to a workbook, just click on “Add to Workbook” and it appears as a data source. Note that this creates a live connection to the Data Repository, so you don’t have to worry about refreshing the data. 

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Feedback

We encourage people to be an integral part of our Data Repository development journey so if you have product improvement ideas, thoughts on external datasets to include in the catalog, or encounter issues, email us. We also welcome words of encouragement!

Data Vendors

If you are a Data Vendor interested in publishing a dataset in the Data Repository, please reach out to us at athena@tableau.com.

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