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Fulcrum Data Shares and the Tableau Web Data Connector

June 10, 2016

Fulcrum and Tableau

Just as Fulcrum specializes in being a data collection tool, Tableau shines as an analytics and visualization platform. The last time we posted about Tableau, Katrina showed us some basic data processing steps to get a Fulcrum CSV Data Share into Tableau. In this post we’ll go through another method, using GeoJSON/CSV Data Shares with a Tableau Web Data Connector (WDC).

Tableau with Fulcrum data

In a nutshell, the WDC gives you the ability to bring data from different sources into Tableau. You can read more about the current version of the WDC in the webdataconnector repository on Tableau’s GitHub account. The next version (when this blog post was originally written) of the WDC (2.0) seems like it will be even easier to develop with and has a very well written tutorial. WDC 2.0 will only be compatible with Tableau 10.0 and is coming soon now available.

Bryan, our integrations manager, built a Fulcrum-Tableau WDC that is compatible with Tableau Public and open sourced on GitHub. We can add the URL of this connector https://fulcrumapp.github.io/tableau-webdataconnector/ when connecting to a server in Tableau. You need to have enabled Data Shares and obtained your GeoJSON/CSV URL for input into the WDC.

using a Fulcrum Data Share in Tableau

Tableau will connect to the data source and create a local extract database. In just a few moments, your Fulcrum Data Share will be loaded as a Data Source for analysis, styling, and visualization in Tableau. You can then publish your Workbook to Tableau Public to share with the world or embed it on your own web page!

A note about updating: if you update your Fulcrum app data and you want that update to be reflected in your Tableau visualization, open your Workbook from Tableau Public desktop and click the Data Source tab and Refresh from the Data menu. You will also need to save and publish this new version back to Tableau Public.

We’re proud of how flexible the Fulcrum platform allows our customers to be. Whether it’s integrations with their own databases or custom notifications, Fulcrum was designed to be extensible so the data you collect can be easily combined with your other workflow processes. This is a great example of getting information from a platform that specializes in collecting data into a platform that helps people see and understand that data.