APIs and Tableau

It’s possible to get all Census data via API, saving a ton of time on downloading and managing files. The viz below is an example of how that could be done. In it there are two WDC connections – one to the data, and one to the variable names. There is also an Excel connection for relating the geoid to a descriptive area name – for internal use this would be better done as a database connection but by making it an Excel connection anyone viewing this post can download the workbook and pull different content through the same WDC.

Some notes – the connector can be used for many purposes and doesn’t save the parameters from previous calls. Record the values used in case you need to refresh or update. I did this by renaming the connection.

The variable names come from four separate APIs, divided by type. If you’re looking at a Data Profile table, you’ll need to change that second connection to the data profile variables link. Those are listed here:

Subject variables: http://data.widcenter.org/wfinfodb/Tableau/WDC/variablesACS.html
Detailed variables: http://data.widcenter.org/wfinfodb/Tableau/WDC/variabledetailACS.html
Data Profile variables: http://data.widcenter.org/wfinfodb/Tableau/WDC/variabledataprofileACS.html
Comparison Profile variables: http://data.widcenter.org/wfinfodb/Tableau/WDC/variablecomparisonACS.html

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