MongoDB: BI Connector & Tableau


Ronan Bohan from MongoDB and Vaidy Krishnan from Tableau presented the Jumpstart presentation.  The BI connector was just shipped by MongoDB.  The mission of Tableau is to harness the power of data.  There are three core tenets of the development philosophy are:

  1. Connectivity to access all data
  2. Design software for deeper thinking
  3. Ability to scale data and provide analytics on that data

There is a focus on Big Data.  The goal is to provide focus and make the data discoverable.  Vaidy stated that Tableau is about data access.  Tableau will transfer the data from the application layer to the business actionable level.  Tableau has been adopted by 55,000 clients all over the world.

Ronan began a discussion of how to connect MongoDB data to the Tableau platform.  Tableau was originally designed to work with structured data from relational databases.  MongoDB is designed to store semi-structured data.  This made MongoDB and Tableau incompatible.  This problem has been solved by the BI connector.  This allows MongoDB’s semi-structured data to connect to the Tableau visualization platform.

Ronan provided the audience with a demo using the BI Connector to link the MongoDB data to the Tableau visualization tool.  He displayed a DRDL Definition file which is a YAML  file that is used to map the MongoDB data to a schema that applications that consume structured data can understand.

Detailed information on the MongoDB BI Connector can found on the MongoDB website. (

Some use cases for using Tableau with MongoDB includes ad hoc analysis.

The future of the MongoDB BI Connector will include additional PushDown capabilities, improved authentication, and centralized management tools.


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