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Vertica QuickStart for Tableau
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What is a QuickStart Application?
The Vertica QuickStarts are sample applications that show how complementary technologies can work together to deliver outstanding benefits to end users. Each QuickStart uses a different client tool with Vertica Analytic Database. Each client is a product of a Vertica technology partner.
The QuickStarts are available for download free of charge on the Big Data Marketplace in the QuickStart Examples category.
About this Document
This document explains how to deploy and use the Vertica QuickStart for Tableau. The document includes the setup information that you need to get up and running, and it provides an overview of the Tableau dashboards and the Vertica data source.
Vertica QuickStart for Tableau Overview
The Vertica QuickStart for Tableau is a sample application implemented as a set of Tableau dashboards powered by Vertica Analytic Database. The dashboards present sample retail data for analysis. The QuickStart shows how retail companies could use Vertica and Tableau to quickly explore, visualize, and gain insight into their data stored in Vertica.
For a quick introduction to the Vertica QuickStart for Tableau, see the short video, Vertica QuickStart BI with Tableau:
The Vertica QuickStart for Tableau requires a Vertica database server with the VMart example database, a Vertica client, and Tableau Desktop 9.0.
Vertica Database Server
The Vertica database server runs on Linux platforms. If you do not have Vertica, you can download the RPMs or a virtual machine free of charge from the Vertica Community Portal at my.vertica.com/.
To download and install Vertica Community Edition:
- On my.vertica.com, click Community Edition to register for a Community Edition Account.
- Provide your information and click signup.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to download and install Vertica Community Edition.
VMart Example Database
The Vertica QuickStart for Tableau assumes a default installation of the Vertica VMart example database. Follow the tutorial in the Vertica Getting Started Guide to install VMart.
In the tutorial:
- Note the default VMart database location shown in Introducing the VMart Example Database.
- Follow the steps in Installing and Connecting to the VMart Example Database.
The VMart example database includes three schemas: Public, Online Sales, and Store. The schemas are interrelated and share many dimensions. For details, see Appendix: VMart Example Database Schema, Tables, and Scripts in the Vertica Getting Started Guide.
Tableau Desktop 9.0
Tableau runs on Windows or Mac OS. If you do not have Tableau Desktop 9.0, you can download and install it as follows:
- Go to the Tableau website.
- Review the system requirements.
- Download the Tableau installation file that matches your operating system.
- Launch the executable.
- Follow the prompts to install Tableau.
ODBC Client Driver
Tableau uses ODBC to connect to Vertica. The ODBC drivers for Vertica are part of a Vertica client package.
Download and Install the ODBC Driver on Windows
- Go to https://my.vertica.com/download/vertica/client-drivers/.
- Download the Vertica client package that matches your operating system (32- or 64-bit) and your version of the Vertica database.
- As Windows Administrator, launch the installer and follow the prompts to install ODBC.
Download and Install the ODBC Driver on Mac OS
For Vertica 7.1 SP2 and later:
- Go to https://my.vertica.com/downloads/.
- Download the Vertica client package for Mac OS.
- Launch the installer and follow the prompts to install ODBC.
For versions of Vertica prior to 7.1 SP2, follow the instructions in Installing the Vertica ODBC Client for Mac OS in Vertica Integration with Tableau Desktop: Connection Guide.
Download the QuickStart
To download the QuickStart:
- Go to the Big Data Marketplace and log in with your Marketplace credentials.
- Select QuickStart Examples.
- Select Vertica QuickStart for Tableau.
- Click Download.
- Navigate to the folder where you downloaded the compressed file and extract the contents.
Although Tableau can open a workbook file from any location, for best results, save the QuickStart workbook file,
VMart_Quick_Start.twbx, in the default Tableau repository. On Windows, the default Tableau repository is:
C:\Users\<user>\Documents\My Tableau Repository\Workbooks
Consult your Tableau documentation to find the default location on Mac OS.
Open the QuickStart and Provide Your Connection Information
To open the QuickStart and connect to Vertica:
- Either double-click the workbook file,
VMart_Quick_Start.twbx, or start Tableau and open the workbook from the File menu.
- In the Sign In dialog box, click Edit Connection.
- In the Server Connection dialog box, enter the name or IP address of the server, the name of the database, and your user name and password.
- Click OK to connect to the Vertica example database.
Note The QuickStart uses several data sources within the VMart data warehouse. When you connect to a data source for the first time in the session, Tableau prompts you to re-enter your connection information.
About the QuickStart Dashboards
The QuickStart dashboards present sample business and operational data that a large retail chain might track over time. The chain operates brick-and-mortar stores and an online marketplace. It sells a wide variety of products that it purchases from different vendors.
For a quick introduction to the QuickStart dashboards, watch the short video Vertica QuickStart BI with Tabeau.
Note The data in your dashboards will not match the data in the screen shots in this document. This is because the VMart data generator generates data randomly.
The Executive Dashboard presents a high-level view of the business data that is shown in greater detail in the other dashboards. In this instance, the dashboard is displaying revenue figures for products purchased during the years 2005 and 2006. During this time period, the overall revenue from online and store sales was roughly equivalent, however the sales were distributed very differently over time, especially in 2005. During that year, online revenue dipped almost to zero in the third quarter while store sales were at their highest for the year.
Online Sales Overview
This dashboard presents an overview of the online business. In this instance, the dashboard is displaying quarterly revenue for products purchased online during the years 2005 and 2006. In 2005, revenue peaked in Q2 and was at its lowest in Q3. In 2006, revenue was more even throughout the year.
To gain further insight into online sales, change the filters in the top row. For example, if you change Transaction Type from purchase to returns, you will see the negative revenue that must be taken into account for this time period.
Store Sales Overview
This dashboard presents an overview of the traditional business conducted in the brick-and-mortar stores owned by this retail chain. In this instance, the dashboard is displaying quarterly revenue for products purchased during the years 2005 and 2006. In 2005, revenue peaked in Q3. In 2006, revenue was more even throughout the year.
To gain deeper insight into store sales, change the filters in the top row. For example, if you change Date Level from Quarterly to Monthly, you will see a finer-grained analysis of the top customers, products, employees, and display types.
This dashboard presents an overview of the online and store customers of the retail chain. In this instance, the dashboard is displaying quarterly revenue for the years 2005 and 2006 and includes the ages of the six customers who accounted for the greatest share of the revenue.
To gain a better understanding of your top customers during this period, explore the different attributes under Select Customer Level of Detail. For example, if you change the customer attribute from Age to Gender, you will learn the breakdown by both age and gender of this group of customers. Knowing who your top customers are is key in designing promotions and in minimizing churn.
Call Center and Employee Overview
This dashboard presents an overview of the performance of the chain’s sales personnel, both in stores and in online call centers. In this instance, the dashboard is displaying quarterly revenue for products purchased during the years 2005 and 2006.
To gain a better understanding of your top performing call centers during this period, explore the different attributes under Select Call Center Level of Detail. For example, if you change the call center attribute from CC Region to CC Name, you will discover the specific call centers that are producing the most revenue. Knowing who your top performers are is key in designing incentive programs, allocating raises and bonuses, and in targeting areas for improvement.
This dashboard presents an overview of the products and product categories sold in stores and online. In this instance, the dashboard is displaying revenue for products purchased during the years 2005 and 2006.
To gain a better understanding of your most popular products during this period, explore the different attributes under Select Product Level. For example, if you change the product attribute from Department to Product, you will learn the specific brands that are producing the most revenue.
This dashboard presents an overview of the performance of the vendors used by this retail chain. In this instance, the dashboard is displaying Average days to deliver during 2005 and 2006 for the vendor Market Wholesale. Included in the display is the overall average for different store locations and the vendors with the best delivery times during this two-year period.
To learn more about the performance of Market Wholesale, choose a different metric, such as Average quantity ordered or Average quantity in stock. Select a different vendor under Select Vendor Name to learn about the performance of a different vendor.
This dashboard presents an overview of the inventory held by this retail chain. In this instance, the dashboard is displaying inventory information for Medical and Misc products during 2005 and 2006.
To see inventory for food items, click Food under Inventory by product category. You can narrow your focus by selecting Product instead of Department under Select Product Level. Under Select Warehouse Attribute, you can focus in on inventory by location: for a specific warehouse, or by region, state, or city.
Find More Information
Connecting Vertica and Tableau
Tips and Techniques for Vertica and Tableau
Vertica QuickStart for Tableau VIDEO
VMart Example Database
Big Data Marketplace
The Vertica QuickStart for Tableau is intended as an example of complementary technologies: Tableau with Vertica Analytic Database. As such, it is freely available for demonstration and educational purposes to anyone wishing to explore these technologies. The QuickStart is not a product, and is not governed by any license or support agreement.
We welcome your feedback. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, please contact us by clicking the Contact developer button on the Big Data Marketplace download page for the QuickStart.