Visualising barcode data using Tableau

In this guide, we’ll walk you through integrating cloud sheets with Tableau’s data analytics application to model and analyze your Orca Scan data in real-time.


1. Install Tableau

To get started install Tableau Desktop or sign up for Tableau Online.

Tableau Desktop vs Tableau Online

The main difference between the two is that Tableau Online is fully cloud-based and lets you publish and share dashboards with anyone, anywhere.

Tableau Online allows you to publish and share dashboards
Tableau Online allows you to publish and share dashboards

2. Open Sheet Integrations

Start by logging in to your Orca Scan account, select the sheet that you want to connect to Tableau and open the Integrations settings.

Click on the 'Integrations' button at the top of the sheet
Click on the 'Integrations' button at the top of the sheet

3. Get Live Data URL

Now “Allow public URL access” and copy the Live Data URL to your clipboard. We’ll use this URL to query Orca Scan data in real-time.

Activate the Public URL access and copy the Live Date URL to the clipboard
Activate the Public URL access and copy the Live Date URL to the clipboard

As an additional confirmation check, you must save the integration changes.

Click save to confirm the integration changes
Click save to confirm the integration changes

Now, let’s head over to Google Sheets…


4. Connect a Google Sheet

First, add the IMPORTDATA formula

Place the cursor in the A1 cell and add the =IMPORTDATA formula to the first cell of your sheet.

Open your Google Sheet and add =IMPORTDATA into A1 cell
Open your Google Sheet and add =IMPORTDATA into A1 cell

Then, paste the Live Data URL from Orca Scan

Now add the export link from Orca Scan within the brackets =IMPORTDATA(“replace-with-your-orca-sheet-url-here.csv”) - be sure to include the quotation marks!

Paste in the URL within the brackets
Paste in the URL within the brackets

5. Connect Sheet to Tableau

We can now add the Google Sheet as a connector in Tableau.

First, add Google Sheets as a Connector

If you’re using Tableau Online, it will be called Google Drive.

Add Google Sheets as a connector in Tableau Online
Add Google Sheets as a connector in Tableau Online

Then, find the Google Sheet to use as a source

Once authorized, all your Google Sheets will surface. Pick the one that you have connected Orca Scan to and click “Connect”.

Choose the Google Sheet with your Orca Scan data in it and click 'Connect'.
Choose the Google Sheet with your Orca Scan data in it and click 'Connect'.

Using Tableau

Once connected, the columns from Orca Scan surface as Dimensions and Measures in the left-side data pane.

View your Orca Scan columns as 'Dimensions' and 'Measures' in Tableau
View your Orca Scan columns as 'Dimensions' and 'Measures' in Tableau

One thing noticeably great about Tableau is the drag and drop interface that we can use for both analyzing and visualizing the data.

To learn more about what you can do with Tableau, check out the Tableau training videos.


Refreshing data

Google sheets will pull data from Orca Scan once every 60 minutes. Tableau will automatically update the data but you can also trigger it with the Refresh option yourself.


Data import configurations

You can configure the data that you sent to Google Sheets and that ends up in Tableau. You do this by appending parameters to the URL, for example:

URL parameter Function
transactions=true Including audit trail
timezone=-03:00 Changing time zone
datetimeformat=DD/MM/YYYY Changing date format
deltas=true Including deltas for numeric columns
sortby=barcode&sortorder=desc Sort output by column

Ready to start scanning?