How CDC Powers Real-time Reporting with Tableau

 

For nearly two decades, Tableau has been the gold standard for data visualization platforms. Tableau provides a highly intuitive graphical user interface that makes it easy for non-technical data analysts to go from raw data to insights without coding. Tableau is the original champion of self-service data preparation – users begin with raw data provided by the enterprise DBAs, perform desktop joins, apply data cleansing and transformation and eventually perform visualization for actionable data insights.

Of course, data must get from its original source to Tableau somehow. And if that data isn’t good, the result won’t be good either, regardless of superiority of the solution Tableau provides.  Imagine what would happen if the insights Tableau delivers began with corrupt, inaccurate or stale data. Would the insights you provide to your CEO be accurate or useful?  Imagine the impact if you gave incorrect earnings reports to your shareholders or to the SEC or any other regulatory agencies. The outcomes could be catastrophic.

How do you then take advantage of all of the Tableau “cool” capabilities by leveraging the freshest and most accurate data set?

The answer for today’s users is no longer a traditional extract, transform, load (ETL) solutions. ETL solutions are batch processes that run on a periodic basis, often once a day during off-hours. But modern organizations typically insert large numbers of new orders into the orders table. If that data is not transferred to Tableau until after hours, data analysists creating reports during the day will have stale data in those reports.

The Need for Real-Time Data for Tableau

Data analysts now need complete real-time data rather than out-of-date snapshots. A data replication solution that offers real-time log-based change data capture (CDC) allows data analysts to access the most up-to-date data from their Tableau dashboards as soon as the transactions are committed in operational systems. CDC identifies changes as they occur in the source, synchronizes the incremental changes with the Tableau system, and stores an audit trail of changes.

Tableau powers multiple dashboards across the enterprise and across different business units. With CDC, the data powering these dashboards come from commonly used application databases, minimizing the load on the source system to eliminate any performance disruptions. Additionally, the system can deliver the data multiple times in real-time to many different business units with the lowest impact to the source systems.

Data Translation

As your organization moves data from online transaction processing systems to analytics applications in Tableau, it must translate data formats. OLTP systems format data in ways that optimize for fast writes while analytics systems optimize for fast reads.  Moving data across heterogeneous databases can, therefore, be a nightmare because the data in each system adheres to different specifications, decimal positions, and scales. Look for a CDC solution that simplifies the data conversion process by automatically transforming datatypes and timestamp information from source to target database formats.

Auditing and Regulatory Compliance

From a data governance perspective,  it is important that the log-based CDC solutions trace the lineage of each source to each target platform for auditing and regulatory compliance. Data managers will want to be able to track where the data is coming from, where it is going to, what user is moving the data and performance metrics, so you gain a bird’s eye view of data movement across the enterprise.

HVR provides Real-Time CDC for Tableau

If your organization is looking to bring real-time data into your Tableau solution, look no further than HVR. HVR allows you to replace your ETL/data warehousing batch processes with real-time data delivery from databases on-premises, in the cloud or across multiple clouds without the hassles of data conversions. This enables your organization to take advantage of the real-time analytics that improves business insights across your organization. At the same time, HVR’s auditing capabilities enable you to ensure regulatory compliance by, for example, tracking to make sure you know who made what changes to your replication flows. For more information on how HVR can amp up the value of your replication projects using Tableau, contact us.

About Sreevani Abbaraju

Sreevani is the Director of Product Management for HVR.

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