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Connecting Tableau and Salesforce

October 29, 2021 in

If you want to expand your organization’s business intelligence capabilities, integrating Tableau with your Salesforce customer relationship management (CRM) tool may be right for you. Tableau is a powerful data visualization platform that you can use to harness valuable insights from raw data, helping your organization deploy better-informed decisions to support customer and client experiences.

However, connecting Tableau and Salesforce can be a complex process. In these situations, understanding the integration process is crucial—and obtaining a Salesforce implementation specialist is sometimes necessary for a proper connection.

Step 1: Prepare for the Integration Process

Before you begin to connect Tableau and Salesforce, it is important to prepare. To perform the integration, you will need to have working knowledge of Tableau and Salesforce. You will also need Tableau installed on the host workstation and an active Salesforce account. 

Next, you will need to gather credentials for signing into Salesforce using OAuth, an open standard internet protocol used to provision access to protected data on an application without using a password. Tableau Desktop version 2020.4 requires OAuth for sign in, so it is important to have this data before you begin.

Step 2: Configure the Integration and Establish the Data Source

To begin connecting Tableau and Salesforce, open Tableau on your workstation and head to the Connect column on the left-hand side of your screen. Click “Salesforce” if it is available. If Salesforce is not listed on an option, select “More” under “To a Server.”

These actions will launch a new window. Take the following steps when the window loads.

  • Enter your sign-in credentials for Salesforce and log in.
  • In Allow Access dialog box, select Allow to transfer your Salesforce data into Tableau.

Next, a data source page will load. On this page, perform the following actions.

  • Select a standard connection or create your own custom connection.
  • Select a sheet tab to begin analyzing your data.

Step 3: Work with Your Salesforce Data on Tableau

Once you’ve configured your data source and set up your databases, you can begin working with Salesforce data on Tableau. You have the ability to work with different subsets of columns, quickly build informative dashboard designs using Dashboard Starter, and use joins in Salesforce to connect different data sources. These solutions provide an integrated view of your CRM data, which you can use to make decisions, track business progress, and monitor outcomes in real time. 

Limitations of Manual Tableau and Salesforce Integration

While you can set up a connection between Tableau and Salesforce manually, limitations and issues can arise during this process. Character limit errors can occur while transferring Salesforce data to Tableau, which can harm data quality. Additionally, you cannot perform real-time data transfers using this method, and must refresh data periodically to make sure you always have the most updated information.

To reduce manual labor and streamline the integration process, it is important to seek the help of Salesforce implementation specialists as soon as possible. At HigherEchelon, Inc., we have the tools, resources, knowledge, and experience you need to connect Salesforce data to Tableau using an advanced integration pipeline. Contact us today to learn more about our Salesforce implementation services.