Turbocharge Tableau with the lightning-fast Presto SQL query engine

Ahana Cloud for Presto is a SaaS Managed Service which speeds up the performance of leading business intelligence, data visualization, and SQL tools like Tableau.

Interactive, ad hoc queries and faster data visualizations for Tableau

What is Tableau? Tableau is a data visualization tool that can query a wide range of data sources like relational databases, cloud databases, spreadsheets, data warehouses, and much more.

Tableau allows people to see and understand their data and provides business intelligence. Users can combine data from various data sources for analysis in dashboards. You can also manage Tableau in your own environment or with a managed service. It offers an interface suitable for both visualization beginners and experts.

image from tableau.com

Tableau is capable of creating visualizations with sophisticated data analysis. Apart from building charts, Tableau helps to uncover deeply hidden relationships in the data. It also allows you to do calculations right inside the visualization layer, which makes it easier to adjust on the fly.

Consequently, Tableau is used regularly by academia and business professionals in different fields. Data scientists use Tableau to get insights on data spread across their business. Engineers use Tableau to quickly plot data and automate reporting for other business units.. Business analysts create self-service reports for top managers.

One way Tableau is used is via direct connections to individual supported data stores. The other way is to connect Tableau to a distributed query engine like Presto, to enable higher performance, higher concurrent workloads and instant, seamless access to multiple data sources. With Tableau + Presto, a distributed SQL query engine, it can become an even more powerful tool.

What is Presto?

Great analytics requires great amounts of data and a speedy query engine. This is where Presto comes into play. 

It is called a distributed query engine since uses a cluster of scale-out worker instances. It’s called a federated engine because it allows you to fetch data from multiple sources inside the same query. Furthermore, Presto works with both relational and non-relational databases. Even petabytes of data won’t slow down its performance and prevent it from delivering results within seconds.

Presto is open-source and hosted under the Linux Foundation license. Anyone can download it from a GitHub repository and use it.

A few things make Presto stand out. More often than not, to query your raw data, you would need to move it to a new warehouse first. Presto works in-memory, querying the data directly where you store it. It creates an abstraction layer to transform data on the fly and dispatch it to you.

Presto runs on Hadoop(HDFS), S3-based cloud data lakes, and supports a wide variety of data sources. Presto’s architecture is close to being a massively parallel processing (MPP) database management system but is more advanced. 

Presto has multiple worker nodes that are orchestrated by a coordinator node. The worker nodes fetch your data across sources, and the coordinator plans the execution of your query and delivers the results.

Faster Queries and Unified Access to more Data using Tableau and PrestoDB


Traditionally, Business Intelligence tools, such as Tableau, are optimized for structured data queries against data warehouses. These BI tools were unable to support big data sources efficiently. It made for a slow (and sometimes expensive) process with a lot of manual workflows.

It’s also a manual process to connect Tableau to your various data sources, and you have to manage each one. If you connect Tableau to Presto, then you can run your queries with Presto which will query all of your data sources with one query, without the need to manage all of those connections. The performance is much better as well, especially when you have many users. Combining Tableau and Presto enables organizations to create a highly scalable, distributed, and modern data engineering platform.

You can connect to Presto from the Connectors menu directly or by using an SQL statement. Once connected, you will be able to access live Presto data within Tableau. You can also publish completed workbooks with Presto data.

A typical architecture consists of Tableau connected to a presto cluster with one or more connected data sources. Presto handles the data access and in-memory processing of queries. Tableau handles the visualization of reports and dashboards. This allows the presto cluster to be scaled by adding or removing processing nodes to meet the requirements of the Tableau users. Integrating them offers other benefits such as data federation, fast query processing, and being able to have different clusters that can be optimized to best meet the needs of business analysts and data scientists.

Ahana Cloud is the cloud-native SaaS managed service for Presto, see how you can turbocharge Tableau in 30 minutes!

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