MySQL and Tableau: A Healthcare Application

To once again demonstrate the power of MySQL (download), MySQL Workbench (download), and Tableau Desktop (free trial version can be downloaded here), I wanted to walk through another data analysis example. This time, I found a Medicare dataset publicly available on and imported it using the Import Wizard as seen below.

MySQL Import Wizard

Let’s take a look at the data: it has hospital location information, measure name (payment for heart attack patient, pneumonia patient, etc), and payment information.

Medicare data look at it

I decided to look at the difference in lower and higher payment estimates for heart attack patients in each state to get a sense of variance in treatment cost. I created a query and saved it as a view.

MySQL View saved

One of the convenient features of Tableau Desktop is the ability to connect directly to MySQL, so I used that connection to load my view directly into Tableau.

Tableau MySQL connection

I wanted to see how the difference between lower and higher payment estimate varies by state. Using Tableau’s maps and geographic recognition of the state column, I used a few drag-and-drop moves and a color fill to complete the visualization.

Tableau dragging columns

You can copy the image itself to use elsewhere, choosing to add labels and legends if necessary, by simply right-clicking and copying. Enjoy.

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