Recently Tableau released an exciting new feature: R integration via RServe. Tableau with R seems to bring my data science toolbox to the next level! In this tutorial, I’m going to walk you through the installation and connecting Tableau with RServe. I will also give you an example of calling an R function with a parameter from Tableau to visualize the results in Tableau.
1. Install and start R and RServe
You can download base R from r-project.org. Next, invoke R from the terminal to install and run the RServe package:
To ensure RServe is running, you can try Telnet to connect to it:
Protip: If you prefer an IDE for R, I can highly recommend you to install RStudio.
2. Connecting Tableau to RServe
Now let’s open Tableau and set up the connection:
3. Adding R code to a Calculated Field
You can invoke R scripts in Tableau’s Calculated Fields, such as k-means clustering controlled by an interactive parameter slider:
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|kmeans(data.frame(.arg1,.arg2,.arg3),' + STR([Cluster Amount]) + ')$cluster;|
|SUM([Sales]), SUM([Profit]), SUM([Quantity]))|
4. Use Calculated Field in Tableau
You can now use your R calculation as an alternate Calculated Field in your Tableau worksheet:
Feel free to download the Tableau Packaged Workbook (twbx) here.
Update 26 Jun 2016: Tableau 8.1 screenshots were updated with Tableau 10.0 (preview) screenshots due to my upcoming Advanced Analytics session at TC16, which is going to reference back to this blog post.