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3 Reasons why connecting from Tableau to the Data Warehouse Tables behind OBIEE is a Bad Idea

For several years Tableau users have wanted a way to connect to OBIEE and visualize the data or mashup OBIEE data with other external data.  Before BI connector became available and made it as easy as pie, Tableau users were presented with two options – download the data from OBIEE reports and import it into Tableau or connect directly to the database tables behind the OBIEE RPD.

Both these methods have significant drawbacks. By downloading to Excel from OBIEE and importing into Tableau the users are proliferating the data on the network drives and shared folders and hence taking on security risk of data just lying around all over the network or laptops. The other issue is that users will always be consuming stale data as it’s not a live connection to OBIEE.

The other option for the users is to connect directly to the tables behind the OBIEE RPD. This option is much worse for three main reasons.

  1. Security risks – If security is not implemented at the table level then Tableau users have unrestricted access to the data warehouse tables leading to all kinds of data privacy issues. Implementing security at the database level is not a trivial exercise and DBA expertise is needed. DBAs are always busy and hence it will take a long time to make any changes.
  2. Development time – The second issue is building all the joins and metadata logic again in Tableau. Some of the subject areas in OBIEE have several dozen tables with complex joins and calculations. To recreate all of this in Tableau will be a costly affair both time and money wise.
  3. Different results – The third issue is that once the Tableau users are given backend access they will need to fully understand the data model. If they build the data model and calculations even slightly differently from the way it was built in OBIEE this will lead to different data from OBIEE reports. Reconciling the difference between these two systems will take a lot of time from the end users. They will lose trust on both systems.

Connecting from Tableau to OBIEE live using BI connector avoids the risk that arises from downloading data from OBIEE and loading into Tableau or the greater risk of connecting directly to the tables.   If you haven’t already tried already,  Download BI connector today and avoid the above risks.

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Tags: Data Warehouse, Excel Export, OBIEE

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