Tableau SAP ERP integration was always a challenge required multiple engineers to solve. Data Unfolder enables business users to load SAP data to Tableau Desktop/Server with a single click.
Alternatives in Tableau SAP ERP integration:
- The old fashioned extract -> load to a database -> query the extracted SAP data with Tableau. This solution is not agile, difficult to add or change data sources and conserves latency of the data presented between Tableau and SAP data.
- There are tools which are capable to access SAP data from outside and expose this data to 3rd parties. These tools will log into SAP, read the data, translate into a generic format (like relational for SQL queries or web services, etc) and make it available for queries or publish to Tableau. These tools are standalone products, have their own servers, technology, interfaces, administration, users, etc.
- And here is VirtDB Data Unfolder for SAP – a totally different approach. It runs inside SAP Application server, shows up in SAP Client UI, accesses and utilizes all SAP resources (all reports, queries, views, tables available to the particular SAP user, can run real-time or batch processes, understands internal SAP metadata, etc). No installation of a new server or to your desktop is required. In addition, by using SAP metadata Data Unfolder will preserve the data formats (types, language settings, encoding, etc) the most.
So, what is the easiest way to visualize SAP data in Tableau? Here it goes:
After an administrator authorized your SAP user for Data Unfolder and enabled your favourite SAP report / query / view / table / whatever transaction as a Data Unfolder datasource (in the example below it is MM60, the material list report) a new button will appear above the data grid in your SAP client.
If you click on this button, the first option will be “Display in Tableau Desktop”
Not surprisingly if you select this menu item – and have Tableau Desktop installed on your PC – the data from your SAP client will be opened as a data source in your Tableau immediately.
Voila. SAP – Tableau integration with a single click.
From this point you are in a threesome with Tableau and the selected SAP data – make the most exciting visualizations and dashboards & most importantly have fun!