The amount of data which is an asset to the organization being generated has skyrocketed across the period with increasing levels of granularity. This requirement demands access to data for analysis purposes and to gain business insights. Snowflake and Tableau are among the leading technologies addressing these challenges. Snowflake being cloud-based data warehouse provides a near-limitless platform for data warehousing, and Tableau is a self-service data analytics platform. This blog briefs about the tools and takes us through the steps to connect to the data in Snowflake from Tableau.


Snowflake being a data warehouse built for cloud uses a new SQL database engine with a unique architecture that makes brings data together which makes analysis easier that leads to quicker and efficient business decisions. The scalability offered by Snowflake makes it advantageous when large data needs to be pulled for imminent purposes. Its hybrid architecture improves the performance that fulfils user requirements. Easy managing of the data warehouse leverages the efforts to be involved in solving business problems.


Tableau is a self-service reporting and data visualization software which provides customers to present data in the form of interactive charts and dashboard and showcase insights. Tableau supports real-time data analytics capabilities and cloud support. One of the exemplary features is that it provides drag and drop interface to visualize any data and does not involve any complex scripting.


Connecting to Snowflake doesn’t entail any additional hardware settings. The snowflake server to be connected from Tableau should be known for which various authentication types are provided to establish a connection. The initial SQL statement to run for every time tableau connects can be provided which is an optional requirement. The driver required for this connection may be already installed on your computer. If not, Tableau displays a message in the connection dialog box with a link to the driver download page where you can find driver links and installation instructions.

How to connect?

Tableau lists various connections from which data can be accessed. Go to Connect option in Tableau -> More -> Select Snowflake.

Connecting to Snowflake from Tableau

Enter the server name to be connected. The authentication method can be chosen from the 3 options available based on which the credentials required vary:

  • Username and Password
  • SAML IdP(requires URL for the SAML IdP server)
  • OAuth (requires Username)
Connecting to Snowflake from Tableau

Provide the credentials based on the authentication type chosen.

Select Sign In.

Connecting to Snowflake from Tableau

If any initial SQL statement is to be provided, select Initial SQL to specify the commands to execute at the beginning of every connection.

Now we are connected to the specific Snowflake server from where we can connect to the required table by providing the warehouse, database and schema details.

Connecting to Snowflake from Tableau

The features of snowflake such as time travel, variant type for semi-structured data can be utilized in Tableau with Custom SQL. The data can be modelled conferring to the requirements which can be used to create workbooks with visuals for analysis in Tableau.

Why Snowflake + Tableau?

Tableau connects to various types of data sources ranging from text files to various databases using its ODBC connector. It has the capability to connect to various servers. Snowflake + Tableau enables swift exploration of datasets and analyses them to arrive at data-driven decisions. Snowflake makes working with Tableau easier which accounts for faster query timing, query cache and handling of semi-structured data. The interactive and user-friendly approach of Tableau to analytics helps in leveraging the speed of Snowflake to a great extent.

When deployed together, Tableau and Snowflake can help in delivering scalable, flexible and simple analytics platform.

Read more about similar Self Service BI topics here and learn more about Visual BI Solutions Microsoft Power BI offerings here. 

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