Importing data into Tableau

API customers can easily bring results of API exports and analytics into Tableau to build custom dashboards and reports.

In this guide we'll show you how to use Meltwater's Web Data Connector to import data into Tableau Desktop.

What we'll cover

  1. Accessing the Meltwater Web Data Connector
  2. Providing your Meltwater API credentials
  3. Choosing data to import
  4. Configure tables in your data source
  5. Refreshing the data
  6. Understanding how the connector consumes your API limits
  7. Solving proxy issues

Walkthrough video

Watch this video for a quick overview of how you can use the integration:


Before you start

  • If you wish to bring export results into Tableau, please make sure you have an ACTIVE (recurring export) or FINISHED (one-time export) export.
  • You'll need a licensed copy of Tableau Desktop.

1. Accessing the Meltwater Web Data Connector

In Tableau Desktop, under the Data menu select New Data Source.

Under the "To a Server" section select Web Data Connector.


This opens the Web Data Connector window. Enter https://api.meltwater.com/connect/tableau/ in the location bar.


Hit [return ⏎]. This will load the connector wizard.

2. Providing your Meltwater API credentials

The first step of using the connector is to provide your Meltwater API credentials:


You need to provide the apikey which you'll find on the API Credentials page.

Enter your API key and click Next to continue.

3. Choosing data to import

The next step is to configure the connector to fetch the data you'd like to import.

You can choose to import one of:

  • The result of a One Time Export
  • The result of a Recurring Export
  • The result of an Analytics Request

The connector only allows you to select one data set for import. You can import multiple exports or analysis results by creating multiple connections.

Note that not all customers have access to exports and analytics features. If you are unsure check with your account manager or the support team.

Importing a one-time or recurring export result

To import an export result, for the next step select One-time Export or Recurring Export. Click Next to continue.


Next select the export result you'd to import.

In the list exports are identified by their ID and the name of the first search / tag in the export configuration.


Click Run to finish the wizard and return to Tableau.

Importing an analysis result

To import an analysis result, for the next step select Analytics Request. Click Next to continue.


Next you need to configure your analytics request:

  • Firstly choose the saved search you'd like to use
  • Next choose a start and end date for your analysis


Now choose an analysis type, for example "Top key phrases".


The remaining options will depend on the analysis type you choose. Select options for the remaining parameters.

Click Run to finish the wizard and return to Tableau.

4. Configure tables in your data source

When you are returned to Tableau you will be in the Data Source editor. At this point you will need to select which of the tables provided by the connector you'd like to have in your data source.

The tables available will depend on what you chose to import. However, the same principles apply for exports and analytics so as an example we'll continue using an export as an example.

For the export you'll see the following tables:

  • Documents
  • Key Phrases
  • Authors
  • Matched Keywords
  • Tags

Drag the tables you need into the top right panel. The Documents table is the main table with all the search result documents. The rest of the tables contain additional information and is using document_id as the foreign key to relate to the Documents table. If you drag multiple tables into your data source Tableau will attempt to suggest a column to join the tables on.


Click Update Now button to get a 1000 row preview of the data.


Navigate to your Tableau worksheet. This starts the Tableau data extract creation process and imports the data into the workbook.


Once done Sheet 1 is activated you can see all available Dimensions and Measures on the Data tab on the left.


Now the data is ready to be dragged and dropped into the sheet to start creating reports.


5. Refreshing the data

When you set up the connector, then first bring data into a worksheet, Tableau creates an 'extract' of the data.

If you'd like to refresh the data (for example you have imported a recurring export and want the latest data) you need to refresh the extract. Select the data source in the Data menu and choose the refresh extract option:


For analytics refreshing the extract doen't make sense as the API will be called with the same date range and you will get exactly the same results. You can edit your connection if you'd like to bring in analysis results for a more recent time frame.

6. Understanding how the connector consumes your API limits

For exports, the connector itself will not consume your API limits. For one-time exports your limits are consumed when you create the export using the Export Console or by calling the API. For recurring exports your limits are consumed each time the export is run on your chosen schedule by the API. Refreshing the data for an export in Domo simply downloads the existing export result.

For analytics, the connector will call the appropriate analytics endpoint. Therefore when you first fetch data through the connector, or the connector refreshes the data, each time this will use one of your analysis calls from your limit.

7. Solving proxy issues

Since our Tableau Web Data Connector is a browser application, there are certain scenarios in which you can run into CORS issues.

This typically comes up when customers are trying to configure automatic refreshes in Tableau Server, and using a proxy to fetch the data from the Meltwater API.

You would likely experience this by seeing a never-ending spinner in Tableau, when you are trying to load data using our WDC through a proxy.

Why does this happen?

When you are using our WDC to retrieve data directly from https://exports.meltwater.com/..., you will not run into any such issues, since the export data url is in the same domain as the web data connector.

However if you use a proxy service for fetching the results, you will likely run into CORS issues. This is because our Tableau WDC is hosted at api.meltwater.com, while the URL you are trying to fetch the results from is from a different domain (your proxy domain).

How to solve this?

To solve this problem, enable CORS support in your proxy by setting Access-Control-Allow-Origin header to allow requests from the connector’s domain.

Please refer to the official Tableau documentation for solving CORS issues.