What’s the step before Tableau Prep?

Preparing data for Tableau Prep

We’ve watched the arrival of Tableau Prep with a keen eye. It provides Tableau users with a quick and easy way to combine, shape and clean their data for analysis. And data preparation can be made even quicker and simpler if the source is centralized, logically structured, up-to-date, accurate and secure. This is where ZAP Data Hub comes in.

As an important step before Tableau Prep, ZAP Data Hub automates accessing multiple data sources from across a business (for example ERP, CRM, HRM, SQL or Oracle), unifying them into a single, central hub and automatically applying governance and security measures to ensure accuracy, consistency, ease of access and data that can be trusted by the business as a whole.

Save time on data preparation

Analysts already spend too much time manipulating data, rather than analyzing it. Research from Harvard Business Review confirms this, demonstrating as much as 80% of analysts’ time is spent discovering and preparing data. With ZAP Data Hub, data from across the business is already unified in one place and presented in simple native language, with no cryptic table names to decipher.

This means analysts no longer have to access and find data from individual sources or silos, significantly reducing time spent on data discovery. It also saves time spent on blending data, as their data is already unified. Another bonus is that underlying transactional databases are not impacted by live queries from Tableau that can impact their performance.

Automatically unify business data for Tableau Prep

Here’s an example.  A business has multiple ERPs as well as a SaaS CRM system and an SQL database of important legacy data. They use ZAP Data Hub to automatically access the data they need from across all these sources, unify it and prepare it for analysis into one central hub that is periodically refreshed based on reporting and analysis requirements.

The business uses Tableau to analyze data from ZAP Data Hub. Although ZAP Data Hub supports data enrichment – e.g. currency conversion rates, in this case – the Tableau user wants to perform some ad-hoc analysis using data from a .CSV file. They would use Tableau Prep to blend the data they need from ZAP Data Hub with the .CSV file to prepare it for their ad-hoc analysis. ZAP Data Hub frees-up analysts and data professionals to use Tableau Prep to add value rather than for performing administrative data tasks.

Reduce data preparation performed at the point of analysis for effective data governance

By using ZAP Data Hub as the step before Tableau Prep, less data preparation is required by individual users at the point of analysis. So as well as saving time and effort, this improves data governance because there is less chance of individuals making mistakes, and less chance of silos of knowledge and data occurring across the business.

One version of the truth: no data silos, enhanced Tableau analysis, trusted information

With ZAP Data Hub, all Tableau users have access one version of the truth that is trusted by the business.  And they can use Tableau Prep when they need to perform additional data preparation that adds value to their analysis. More time is spent analyzing, less time preparing. Data is governed and secure. Analysis is enhanced, and the resulting information is trusted by the business.

Watch this two-minute video for more information on ZAP Data Hub.

Or, for a free, tailored trial of ZAP Data Hub using your own data and for analysis with Tableau, enter your details here.

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