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Tableau and R – Some Detailed Notes on What Goes to R and Back Again

Beyond all the statistical libraries, what  fascinates me about the Tableau & R integration is R’s ability to do iterative calculations on a given set of data, for example to compute Poisson confidence intervals. Since publishing the first post on funnel plots for proportions I’ve been gaining a better understanding of the interactions between R and Tableau while building the Poisson CI functions to support funnel plots for counts, rates, and indirectly standardized ratios. Since R is a new language for me, since the 8.1 beta besides learning syntax I’ve been trying to make sense of:

  • How Tableau sends data to R
  • What that data looks like when it gets to R (and how R can work with that)
  • How R sends data back to Tableau (and how to set up the data so Tableau can work with it)

I kept a bunch of notes along the way, and I published them to the TabWiki on the Tableau Forums this weekend at:

Tableau and R Integration Wiki

If you’re using R and Tableau, I’m pretty sure this will be useful to you at some point, there’s a lot in there that hasn’t been documented yet. And this hasn’t been a solo project, I’ve gotten help along the way from Bora Beran, Andrew Ball, Mary in Tableau Support, and found the Tableau 8.1 Beta Forums quite useful as well. If you find out more, please contribute to the wiki!

Please add your thoughts and perspectives