TechnologyMay 16, 2018

Visualize Your Data 2x Faster With Tableau

Donnie Roberson
Donnie Roberson
Visualize Your Data 2x Faster With Tableau

By now you’ve probably heard that DataStax Enterprise (DSE) is now 2x faster. If not, check out Robin Schumacher’s DSE 6 blog for a wealth of details on all the new features DSE 6 brings to the table.

But DSE isn’t the only thing that’s 2x faster. By taking advantage of the new Advanced Performance features as well as DSE Analytics AlwaysOn SQL, now anyone can visualize their data 2x faster compared to previous DSE versions when using the Spark SQL connection in Tableau.

To explain….

Our brains process visual information very efficiently.

Here’s a little test. Which of the following is easier to analyze?

Our brains process visual information very efficiently. Here’s a little test. Which of the following is easier to analyze? The visual graph right? The visual graph right? (If you prefer the tabular format, this blog isn’t for you. Everyone else, keep reading.)

If we can feed Tableau data twice as fast, we greatly improve our ability to visualize even the most complex data sets quickly and efficiently and thus are truly offering contextual insights in real-time.

The Journey to 2x

Users have always been able to use the Simba Spark ODBC driver to create a connection with Tableau. But in the past, SQL access in DSE used different services.  

For example, in DSE 5.1, SQL access was handled by the Spark SQL Thriftserver. There are a variety of reasons that make the Spark SQL Thriftserver a less desirable ODBC/JDBC service, among them being that the fact that the Spark SQL Thrift Server is not highly available and requires the administrator to manually start and monitor its state. In light of this, we designed AlwaysOn SQL to address the shortcomings of the other approaches and offer a production-ready, enterprise-grade ODBC/JDBC service in DSE 6.

We also worked with Magnitude (previously Simba), who provides our ODBC/JDBC drivers, to enhance the ODBC/JDBC driver to allow Spark SQL to seamlessly use the AlwaysOn SQL REST API.

To learn more about AlwaysOn SQL and its history, check out Brian Hess's AlwaysOn SQL blog. If you have questions, leave a comment or reach out to us at

This leaves one thing left to do!

Take this for a test drive and see the difference for yourself. Check out this tutorial, which offers simple, step-by-step instructions on how to create a simple Tableau workbook with data stored in DSE. 

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