As a Tableau user, you may have encountered the term “data engine.” It’s a commonly used term in Tableau that makes it easier to understand how data is connected. This article will discuss what is a data engine is in Tableau?

What is a data engine in Tableau?

What is Tableau?

Tableau is a data analytics software that allows you to visualize and analyze data. You can use it to create dashboards, reports, and charts.

Tableau is one of the most popular visualization tools in the market today. It has free and paid versions available for download on their website (

What is a data engine in Tableau?

If you’re new to Tableau or want to know more about how it works under the hood, this article is for you.

Tableau is a data visualization tool that allows users to create beautiful and effective visualizations with their data. Tableau relies on “data engines” to make this possible when working with Tableau Server (which needs three components: server software, client software, and data repository). Data can come from various sources, including Excel, text, or databases (like PostgreSQL).

  • The Extract Engine extracts information from your source systems into a format that the other parts of the Tableau Server can understand. It also converts those formats into an extract (.tde) file, which contains only information relevant for analysis purposes (and not any unnecessary details). This process happens automatically every time someone opens up their workbook via a web browser or desktop application, so there’s no need for manual intervention here!

When to use a data engine?

What is a data engine in Tableau?

  • When you need to access data that Tableau does not natively support.
  • When you need to access data in a different format. For example, suppose your organization has been using Excel as its primary reporting tool and wants to move over to Tableau but still needs access to the same data sources (or something similar). In that case, it might make sense for them to use an ODBC driver to continue working with those files as before without disrupting their workflow or process.
  • Scaling up your existing infrastructure becomes an issue not just because there’s more demand but also because there needs to be more capacity available due to factors like aging hardware or limited bandwidth between servers/databases. This could happen when multiple users are accessing large amounts of information simultaneously–for example: when using large volumes of transactional data such as those found at banks; when trying out different scenarios within simulations; etcetera.”

How does a data engine work?

Data engines are the next generation of Tableau’s extract file format. They’re a new way to store data for use in Tableau, and they’re designed to be faster and more flexible than extracts.

Data engines have two main differences from extracts:

  • They can be updated dynamically over time. 
  • They’re stored on the server instead of downloaded by users when they open their workbooks (like traditional extracts). This means that if someone opens your workbook with an updated version of their data engine, everyone will see all changes automatically–no manual refresh required! You can add new columns or rows without re-importing your data, giving you more flexibility in working with it.


In conclusion, a data engine is a way to connect Tableau to databases. It allows you to access the data without creating extracts or connecting directly with your database server. This is especially useful if your company has many databases and they’re all different from each other!

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