Guest post: Tweet visualization using Tableau, Twitter & Google BigQuery

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Today’s guest post comes from our friends at Tableau Jeff Feng, Product Manager, and Ellie Fields, Vice President of Product Marketing. Tableau is a leader in interactive data visualization software.

Over the month of June, the @Tableau team traveled the world as a sponsor of NEXT, a Google Cloud Platform event series (#GCPNext). In preparation for these events, we wanted to develop a killer demo that highlighted the power of our platform.

Naturally, we looked to Twitter for large data sets that serve as a rich source of social data and public conversation. Over and over again, we see our customers use Twitter data throughout their organizations. Some use cases we’ve seen include:

  • Product: soliciting product feedback directly from customers/users
  • Support: Customer service dashboards for social listening and response
  • Marketing: measurement of a new marketing product launch with volume and sentiment

For our demo, we chose to build a social media listening dashboard, in which we stream Tweets directly into BigQuery and use Tableau to monitor social activity around the #GCPNext event – all in real time.

Guest post: Tweet visualization using Tableau, Twitter & Google BigQuery

Overall architecture for visualizing streamed Tweets in BigQuery using Tableau.

We worked with our friends at Twitter (@TwitterDev) who developed an open-source connector called Twitter-for-BigQuery that streams Tweets directly into BigQuery. The connector enables users to define the filters for certain hashtags and usernames, and consequently streams Tweets matching these filters in real time directly into BigQuery using the Tabledata.insertAll method. For the purposes of our demo, our Tweet stream included hashtags such as #bigdata, #IoT, and #GCPNext as well as usernames such as @GoogleCloud.

Once the data lands in BigQuery’s tables, the data may be accessed using super-fast SQL-like query language and user interface. Tableau helps developers go one step further by providing a drag-and-drop visual interface to the data so that anybody in your organization can use it.

In the following video, Ellie shares how users build visualizations with the Tableau platform, from connecting to BigQuery for Tweet ingestion to different options of representing Tweet activity, all directly from Tableau Online.

Guest post: Tweet visualization using Tableau, Twitter & Google BigQuery

Demo video featuring Tableau Online visualizing live streamed Tweets in Google BigQuery.

Try it yourself

The powerful Tableau toolset enables non-technical users to quickly build and iterate on dashboards, and apply Twitter data to various use cases throughout their organization. The beautiful thing about our demo is that that the technologies used in the solution are easy to use.

To learn more and try it for yourself, please see the following links: