TDEs for Free


Tableau users❤️ TDEs!

Most analysts think of Tableau Data Extracts (TDEs) as magic files that make their analysis faster. There are posts you can read (here, here and here) to wipe away that glee, but don't let me ruin your promising perspective. Go ahead and think of TDEs as blazing fast, magic data structures Tableau users like to leverage. It'll keep the conversation fun for now. We'll want to dive deeper into the technology as we start dealing with large datasets, but that's outside the scope of this post #respectscope


less of these

with TDEs

Unfortunately, the entire data discovery, wrangling and TDE creation can't all be done in Tableau (yet). To get our data ready for Tableau many of us use Excel or push the result of R scripts to a CSV. Hell, you can even write Python (+ a few other languages) to structure your data and create your TDEs with Tableau's Extract API.

What if you want TDEs without code or a steep price tag?

Hi, Trifacta! 

With Trifacta Wrangler you can explore your data visually, wrangle it into a structure that will work for your Tableau visualization and it's free.

Like Tableau, Trifacta's focus is on keeping you in the flow of your analysis. However, Trifacta prides itself on the data wrangling (read: processing) piece of the pipeline. In Week 27 of #MakeoverMonday I wanted to use Trifacta Wrangler to make a simple edit to a few months Tableau wasn't recognizing. They were in German 🙄

Trifacta saw the problem too 

All it takes is one formula to resolve these issues and the syntax is similar to many other tools.


After I had edited the data, Trifacta presented my with the option get my results in the lovely TDE format we cherish so dearly.



Much to my surprise, it was even smaller than the one Tableau created, ha.


Start Wrangling!

If you know why Trifacta's TDEs are smaller, want to share fun things you do with their tool or have questions for me you can comment below or email me directly.

P.S. I am not attempting to discourage you from diving deeper into the tech. But, I also don't want to stop anyone who is getting started or time-strapped from giving it a go.