Observable Notebooks as Tableau Extensions

Tableau is a popular (in few business communities at least) and easy to use data visualization tool, its very good at connecting to various data sources and building quick visualizations using basic charts among other things. But when it comes to creating more bespoke graphics its very hard to create them natively, but they have an extension API for using web components in the dashboard.

I have created a template with most common functionality here, you can select sheets, fields and even pass a selection back to Tableau to highlight other charts, you can build the complete extension UI along with the bespoke data visualization directly in Observable using this approach to reduce development time and then use it on your Tableau dashboard connecting and integrating with various datasets dynamically.


Looking forward to hear your comments and feedback on this approach.

Thank you!


Very interesting idea. I tried using it, but when I try and pick the source sheet, and fields, the dropdown are empty. Any ideas?

Hi Cobus, Tableau requires the sheet to be present on the dashboard too for the extension to be able to read it. It’s a security feature, I believe it’s more for dependency tracking and transparency to the user so they know which sheet is being used where, but it requires the user to add the sheet as a floating element and then set its width and height to 1px and move to the corner in case they don’t want to the the native sheet… I think I should add this to the description, thanks for pointing it out. Hope it works for you now, please let me know your comments. Thanks!