Ready to Learn?Ex Libris products all provide open APIs

Tech Blog


Tableau Web Data Connector for Ex Libris Analytics

Josh Weisman on April 4th, 2017

Many Ex Libris customers use Tableau Software for business intelligence. Tableau provides a way to visualize data from various sources, and offers special pricing for academic institutions, making it an attractive option for many university libraries. In a recent Show & Tell sponsored by the ELUNA/IGELU Interoperability Special Interest Working Group, Joan Kolarik showed a prototype connecting Tableau to Alma Analytics via a Tableau Web Data Connector. In this blog post we're announcing an open source Ex Libris web data connector for use by all Ex Libris customers. The connector is open source and available for everyone.

Below is a brief description of the connector. For a detailed how-to on using the web data connector, see this presentation.

To use the web data connector, download Tableau Desktop. Open a new workbook, click connect to data source, and select Web Data Connector.

Tableau Web Data Connector - Connect


When prompted for the URL of the web data connector, enter the following and hit enter:

Tableau Web Data Connector - URL


You'll be provided with a form to enter the relevant Ex Libris Analytics details:

Tableau Web Data Connector - Form

You'll need to fill out the following fields:

  1. API Key- retrieve an API key from the Ex Libris Developers Network. The key should have permissions for the analytics APIs. For more information on obtaining an API key, see the Getting Started guide.
  2. Report Path- the path of the analytics report from which you wish to use data. The easiest way to retrieve the path is to open the report in Analytics and then copy the path parameter from the URL, as seen below.
  3. Region- the region of your Alma instance

Tableau Web Data Connector - Path


Once you've filled in the information, click the "Get data" button. Tableau will fill in the columns from the selected report.

Tableau Web Data Connector - Schema


To retrieve the data, click "Update Now". Tableau will retrieve the data from Analytics and present it in the workbook:

Tableau Web Data Connector - Data


From here you can work with the data from your Ex Libris products as you would any other data source in Tableau. For more information on how to use Tableau Desktop, you can browse their extensive training videos.The connector is a work in progress. We welcome community participation at this Github repository. Feel free to open an issue or make pull requests.