TabPy Tutorial: Integrating Python with Tableau for Advanced Analytics

TabPy allows Tableau to execute Python code on the fly
TabPy allows Tableau to execute Python code on the fly

In 2013 Tableau introduced the R Integration, the ability to call R scripts in calculated fields. This opened up possibilities such as K-means clustering, Random Forest models and sentiment analysis. With the release of Tableau 10.1, we can enjoy a new, fancy addition to this feature: the Python Integration through TabPy, the Tableau Python Server.

Python is a widely used general-purpose programming language, popular among academia and industry alike. It provides a wide variety of statistical and machine learning techniques, and is highly extensible. Together, Python and Tableau is the data science dream team to cover any organization’s data analysis needs.

In this tutorial I’m going to walk you through the installation and connecting Tableau with TabPy. I will also give you an example of calling a Python function from Tableau to calculate correlation coefficients for a trellis chart.

1. Install and start Python and TabPy

Download TabPy from Tableau’s GitHub repository:

> git clone git://github.com/tableau/TabPy

TabPy download via GitHub

Within the TabPy directory, execute setup.sh (or setup.bat if you are on Windows). This script downloads and installs Python, TabPy and all necessary dependencies. After completion, TabPy is starting up and listens on port 9004.

2. Connecting Tableau to TabPy

In Tableau 10.1, a connection to TabPy can be added in Help > Settings and Performance > Manage External Service Connection:

Tableau Help menu

Set port to 9004:

TabPy port 9004

3. Adding Python code to a Calculated Field

You can invoke Calculated Field functions called SCRIPT_STR, SCRIPT_REAL, SCRIPT_BOOL, and SCRIPT_INT to embed your Python script in Tableau:

Python script within Tableau

4. Use Calculated Field in Tableau

Now you can use your Python calculation as Calculated Field in your Tableau worksheet:

Tableau Worksheet

Feel free to download the Tableau Packaged Workbook (twbx) here.

Translated to Japanese by Tomohiro Iwahashi: Tableau + Python 連携 (Tabpy) を使ってみよう!

  • Rene Ramirez

    Cool intro. One tip: Set the corr coef calc to compute using “custmer id” otherwise you’ll receive an error and think you’ve installed the tabpy server incorrectly. 😉