Turbocharge your data management for Tableau and accelerate your analytics! Datameer Spotlight lets you deliver a much richer set of data to your Tableau teams without the need to create data prep flows. Spotlight simplifies your data management and provides you with the ability to bring together data across your landscape – on-premises and cloud – into a faster, easier way to deliver analytics. No more ETL. No more extracts. Use live data for or live analytics and dashboards. All at low-cost cloud pricing.
Tableau Data Management provides a shared environment within Tableau Server to centralize and manage the data resources used for Tableau dashboards and analysis. The objectives of Tableau Data Management are to make data shareable and discoverable, build trust in the data assets used, and help scale-out data resources for Tableau.
The main functionality of Tableau Data Management is cataloging, search, and governance of data for Tableau users. Through a central data catalog:
Tableau Data Management also includes Tableau Prep Conductor, which allows data prep job execution to be centralized on Tableau Server. Tableau Data Management is packaged and priced as an add-on module to Tableau Server.
Datameer Spotlight is a virtual data management and catalog server that gives analytics teams easy access to all enterprise data assets—regardless of type or location. Spotlight flips the analytics data model on its head, eliminating the need for costly ETL and data replication for analytics and wasted time waiting for data.
Spotlight lets analysts quickly discover, create, share, and collaborate on data assets, building knowledge, and trust along the way. It provides a single place where analytics teams can quickly discover all these analytics assets and understand which best solve their problem to produce actionable results promptly. It provides a collaborative environment where teams can share and reuse assets, collaborate to form new assets, and increase knowledge using familiar social media-like features and AI-augmented information about asset utilization.
Under the covers, Spotlight provides a scalable, performant virtual data query and access environment that brings together all the data analysts need without the need to ETL or replicate data. Spotlight is a SaaS managed service that does not require IT administration and uses patent-pending optimization techniques and an elastic compute architecture to maintain performance and scale.
Spotlight increases the ROI on your data, BI, and analytics investments. It works with any data source you may have – databases, data warehouses, data lakes, files, and applications – and any BI, analytics, and data science tool used, Tableau included. Best of all, the virtual query engine eliminates the need for ETL, allowing you to lower your data integration costs.
Datameer Spotlight provides a more scalable and functionally-rich data management environment for Tableau than Tableau Data Management. With Spotlight, analytics teams can work with a broader array of data assets and work together in a more collaborative environment with enterprise-grade scale, security, and governance that IT requires. Spotlight offers the same integration into Tableau and is even easier to use than Tableau Data Management.
Spotlight enhances and accelerates your data management for Tableau in the following ways:
Let’s examine each of these in more detail.
Data assets in Tableau Data Management are limited to those defined and used within Tableau. Creating a data asset is done by defining a data connection, then choosing tables to use within a Workbook. Once the Workbook’s data asset is complete, it can be published to Tableau Server for sharing and reuse. Tableau does not go out and introspect, catalog, index, and make discoverable data assets outside of Tableau.
Spotlight will introspect and catalog any tables (or files if a file store) within a data connection defined in the Spotlight Server. This makes all assets readily available for use in analysis, regardless if used before in other analytics. Spotlight also makes available any created datasets that combine original tables into an analysis-ready dataset.
Tableau Data Management has varying degrees of data connectivity, depending upon where you are working with the data. There are over 80 connectors from Tableau Desktop, mostly to databases, with a limited number of SaaS applications and cloud services. From Tableau Server, there are 40+ connectors with only one SaaS application. And from Tableau Online, there are only 25 connectors, all only to cloud databases and file stores.
Spotlight lets you connect to and work with far more data, with over 200 connectors to various data sources. The connectors cover a wide range of databases, data warehouses, data lakes, cloud databases and data warehouses, SaaS applications, cloud services, and more.
Lastly, Tableau Server can only integrate (JOIN/UNION) data within a single data connection – it cannot integrate data across different data sources. Spotlight can integrate across any data from any source.
Tableau Server on-premises provides decent connectivity and use of various data sources both in the cloud and on-premises. If you are moving your analytics to the cloud and looking at Tableau Online, there are significant data connectivity limitations, particularly to on-premises data sources. Working with on-premises sources in Tableau Online requires Tableau Bridge, which acts as an agent to replicate on-premises data into Tableau Online.
Spotlight provides live, virtual access to any and all of your data sources, regardless of location, without any ETL, extracts, or data replication. This helps you quickly and easily deploy cloud analytics that spans any data needed while keeping source data secure and in-place. Full encryption in-flight and at-rest, and other enterprise security mechanisms are used to ensure your data’s end-to-end security (see Complete Security and Governance section).
Tableau Catalog (inside Tableau Data Management) allows users to tag data assets and add descriptions. It also allows users to “certify” data assets and add data quality “warnings.” This added knowledge around data can be used to filter assets. Search is somewhat limited, with search only covering physical metadata (table names, field names, etc.).
Spotlight lets users tag, add descriptions to, and certify data assets and can add comments, custom properties, and business-level metadata. Users can also see places an asset is referenced, who is using it, and how often it is used. Spotlight’s faceted search covers any metadata – physical and added – to make it simple and easy to find the right assets.
Tableau Data Management allows for simple asset sharing and reuse by users. If a user discovers an appropriate asset, they can use it for their analysis, given the proper visibility and access permissions. However, there are no mechanisms that allow members to work together or collaborate on data assets.
Spotlight allows users to work together in shared workspaces where they can collaborate to add knowledge (tags, properties, etc.) and create additional shared assets. It also supports social media-like features around assets. The owner can add collaborators, and users can request to follow or fully collaborate on an asset. Once added, followers will receive notifications in their activities inbox. Collaborators can fully exchange comments and notifications on assets.
Tableau Server offers a solid array of security mechanisms, including user authentication, role-based security, SAML/SSO, and Kerberos integration. It supports encryption at-rest if the extract file is stored as a .hyper file and encryption on the wire with the Tableau client. Tableau Data Management does not support data masking and obfuscation.
Spotlight supports the same enterprise security capabilities as Tableau Server. Besides encryption at-rest, Spotlight adds encryption on-the-wire between data sources and the Spotlight server and between clients and the Spotlight server. It also supports data masking and obfuscation to protect sensitive data.
For “live” connections, Tableau Server pushes user credentials down to the originating data source to negotiate final access control determination. Spotlight negotiates final data access controls in the same manner, eliminating the need to replicate data access controls into Spotlight.
Access controls to data “extracts” (materialized instances of a data source to increase performance) need to be set up and managed within Tableau Server, forcing the replication of security controls and potentially creating data security holes. In Spotlight, “caching” is used similarly to extracts to materialized data. But with its cache, Spotlight always re-authenticates with the originating data sources before permitting access, maintaining consistent access controls and security across all data.
Spotlight works with all your BI, analytics, and data science tools, Tableau included and helps you get a greater return on those investments. Use Spotlight to create a unified analytics data repository across your entire analytics community. Share data assets between your reporting, analytics, and data science teams. Take advantage of Spotlight capabilities to get your community collaborating and sharing their knowledge to improve data literacy.
Tableau Server renders data in one of three ways:
Running Tableau Server on your cloud (AWS, Azure, GCP) requires you to have IT resources to manage and maintain performance and scale. Tableau Online is a SaaS service that eliminates operational administration, but there are no guidelines concerning the performance and scale you will encounter.
Spotlight is a SaaS managed service that requires no operational administration, particularly for performance and scale. Under the covers are managed Spark clusters that are elastic and can auto-scale to the needs of your environment to maintain high performance and fast response time.
Spotlight provides a much richer, deeper, and healthier data environment for you Tableau users. It accelerates your data management for Tableau way beyond Tableau Data Management and offers the same ease of use and plug compatibility. See it for yourself with our free trial. Or to learn more, please visit our Datameer Spotlight microsite.
|Datameer Spotlight||Tableau Data Management|
|Spotlight introspects and catalog any asset in any data source. This makes all assets readily available for use in analysis, regardless if used before in other analytics.||Data assets are limited to those manually defined and used within Tableau. No introspection and indexing of data assets outside of Tableau.|
|Spotlight provides live, virtual access to any and all of your data sources, regardless of location, without any ETL, extracts, or data replication.||Tableau Server focuses mainly on on-premises analytics data sources. In Tableau Online, there are significant limitations in data connectivity, particularly to on-premises data sources.|
|Spotlight provides a full suite of knowledge sharing including tagging, descriptions, custom properties, a business glossary and more.||Spotlight provides a full suite of knowledge sharing including tagging, descriptions, custom properties, a business glossary, and more.|
|Spotlight allows users to work together in shared workspaces where they can collaborate to add knowledge and create additional shared assets. It also supports social media-like features around assets. Collaborators can fully exchange comments and notifications on assets.||Tableau allows for basic asset sharing and reuse by users. There are no mechanisms that allow members to work together or collaborate on data assets.|
|Spotlight has complete enterprise user access c control and security capabilities, and offers encryption at-rest and in-flight. It also supports data masking and obfuscation to protect sensitive data.||Tableau offers solid user access control and role-based security mechanisms, and supports encryption. Tableau Data Management does not support data masking and obfuscation and forces duplicate security for extracts.|
|Data assets in Spotlight can be consumed and used by ANY of your BI, analytics and data science tools, facilitating collaboration and reuse across your entire analytics community.||Assets in Tableau Server and Data Management can only be used within Tableau clients and are not sharable with other tools.|
|Spotlight is a SaaS solution that includes automated, elastic compute clusters for scalability and performance.||Running Tableau Server requires you to have IT resources to manage and maintain performance and scale. Tableau Online is a SaaS service but requires buying compute blocks with no guidelines around performance and scale.|