Is there a preferred file format for importing data into Tableau

0 votes
I'm working in R and need to transfer some tabular data into Tableau.

I can export the data in a variety of file formats (e.g., csv,.xlsx,.rda, etc. ), but I'm curious whether there is a recommended file format for reading data into Tableau.

When I export a dataset from R to a csv, for example, the missing values are coded as "NA" character strings. These columns are thus misinterpreted by Tableau as character columns. I can prevent this mistake by recoding missing data in R as NULL values, however this experience made me question if Tableau prefers a certain file format for import.

Should I use the rtableau package to export the data from R into a Tableau Data Extract (.tde)?

EDIT: Rtableau is only compatible with Linux and Mac computers, and it does not appear to be regularly developed, which is unfortunate for me.

Connecting Tableau to a.rda file via the Connect > Statistical File interface may be the most efficient method (more info here).
Mar 25 in Tableau by Neha
• 6,260 points
27 views

1 answer to this question.

0 votes
I don't have a final solution for you, although I have experience working with both R and Tableau on various projects. I advocate utilising the package to create.tde Files since it requires you to format the data in Tableau's native types, which should result in the least error-prone work-flows.

There are several ways to fail when importing csv into Tableau. Aside from the issues you described, I've also run across the issue where Tableau selects the column type depending on the first 500 observations. As a result, depending on the data, one specific column was either recognised as "numeric" or "integer," resulting in display mistakes. In my experience, similar issues exist with all non-native data types.

I hope this information is useful.
answered Mar 29 by Vaani
• 5,240 points

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