E022 – Tech Spec – Tableau Project Maestro Data Prep

Zip file of all the sample data, Maestro flows, and Tableau workbook I used to get a first impression: E022_maestro_demo_files.

Screenshots

Sample Flow from Tableau

Field Selection

Data Profiling

Filters

Join Clause

Refresh / Run Flow

File Output Options

Pros:

  1. Has the clean, intuitive feel of Tableau. I did my hands-on test with no training or previous exposure
  2. Lots of features for a first release – joins, unions, type conversion, calculated fields, data connectors, etc.
  3. Easy to click into any part of your flow and see data
  4. Ability to edit inline – much like tweaking an Excel pivot table
  5. Data profiling is a nice visual cue to begin working with data
  6. Ability to sort, filter, rename, add calculated fields anywhere along the way
  7. Great for quick and dirty data prep that you know is heading into Tableau for ad-hoc analysis

Cons:

  1. Ability to sort, filter, rename, add calculated fields anywhere along the way – this can get messy for others to come behind you to maintain or see what is happening
  2. Reconciliation issues between reports will now be complicated by similar flows doing slightly different things
  3. You have to remove header fields from Excel if you want Maestro to latch onto and display field names from table. By default, it looks at first row and gives generic names if column headings aren’t there (i.e., F1, F2, …)
  4. Can only have one flow open at any time
  5. Performance seems a tiny bit slow on my example with ~13,000 rows. Curious to see how it will perform against larger data sets, RDBMS, and big data connectors
  6. Only outputs to TDE or Hyper formats currently. No ability to save as CSV, XLSX, PDF, or write back to a data store
  7. Unable to source data from a TDE or Tableau Workbook
  8. No reuse of common transformations or logic across different flows
  9. NO community generated content yet – since it is very new, you can’t Google for answers or YouTube videos. Established, mature ETL and data prep tools will continue to have a leg up on this front for a while.

Music

Deep Sky Blue by Graphiqs Groove

Sources:

  1. https://www.tableau.com/project-maestro
  2. https://prerelease.tableau.com/
  3. https://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/eia923/
  4. https://www2.census.gov/programs-surveys/popest/tables/2010-2016/state/totals/nst-est2016-01.xlsx

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