Archive for the ‘Tableau’ Category

Tableau Install Tabcmd

December 10th, 2015 No comments

If you need to install tabcmd without involving the Tableau server administrator, provided you have admin rights on your machine, there’s a simple way to do this.

To begin install the trial version of Tableau Sever to your machine. It’s very simple, the same as installing any bit of software where a basic knowledge of IT is all that’s required.

Assuming you’re just using Tableau’s default options during the install, go to the Tableau Server directory during installation and watch for the tabcmd installer file (TabcmdInstaller-x64 for 64 bit install) to appear. Read more…

Send an email from Tableau

November 5th, 2015 No comments

Using URL actions it’s relatively simple to send an email (assuming you’re using a client such as Outlook) directly from a Tableau workbook or the Tableau server. Set up the Tableau URL Action to be run on Menu, so it can be made clear to any user they’re making a conscious decision to send the email.

In the URL field enter:

mailto:[Email Address]?subject=Your Email Subject&body=Your message text

Mailto Tableau URL action

Wikipedia has more detail on the syntax of mailto


Alteryx output to Tableau Data Extract tde file

October 6th, 2015 No comments

To output data from Alteryx to Tableau is incredibly simple, Alteryx has the output File Format of a TDE file.

Alteryx Output Data Tool

Just select your data, drag in an Output tool and set the file type to be Tableau Data Extract (tde). Alternatively enter a .tde file name into the ‘Write to File or Database’ input box and it’ll default to a Tableau Data Extract File Format.

If you don’t have a tde file already created, Alteryx will create it for you – although this isn’t 100% clear. Type the name and location you want for your Tableau Data Extract in the ‘Write to File or Database’ location and Alteryx will create and put your tde file in that location.

Alteryx Tde Output Configuration

In the Output Options you can now append to an existing Tableau Data Extract file, meaning you don’t need to recreate the entire tde every time, particularly useful if you have incremental data. If not then go for the Overwrite Existing Extract File (Create if does not Exist) option.

Tableau Web Edit permissions and Self Service set up guide

September 29th, 2015 1 comment

In many organisations you are likely to find increasing demand for users to directly access the data themselves, enabling them to build their own custom tabular reports or carry out ad-hoc investigations without being dependent on a different team, such as IT or BI, to assist.

The Tableau web edit functionality allows tableau developers to open up the data directly to the users in a relatively simple way and it gives similar, although not as flexible, data access to using an Excel pivot table.

When using web edit in Tableau Server there are a few things to consider in terms of data usability for the less data savvy users plus whether the users should have the ability to save their creations. In addition Tableau web edit permissions need to be set up correctly to allow users to edit and save in the appropriate places. Read more…

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Tableau Server 9 Admin Views

August 18th, 2015 No comments

The Tableau Server 9 admin views are a massive improvement on those of Tableau 8 and Tableau have also made the Tableau Server admin view workbook publically available:, which, in case it disappears for some reason, I have also attached it to the bottom of this post.


Previously I wrote a post about creating your own Tableau Server admin views which were based on my need to monitor report usage. Even with the release of the enhanced Tableau admin views I still prefer to keep my own view for usage statistics.

Read more…

Tableau Connect to Sharepoint Lists

August 11th, 2015 10 comments

Within Tableau it’s possible to connect to a Sharepoint list using the OData data connector. To connect to a Sharepoint list takes some understanding of the Sharepoint URL structure, which I’ll attempt to explain below.

Each Sharepoint site has it’s own administration, lists, pages, etc. For reporting from Sharepoint in Tableau I have always used a List, which is basically a Sharepoint version of a database table. Read more…

Using Tableau Server groups for row level security

August 4th, 2015 No comments

In an earlier post I demonstrated some options on implementing row level security in Tableau.

When using a data extract, where permissions can be more challenging within Tableau (connecting live means you can implement your permissions in the underlying database, which is far cleaner and simpler), another way to manage permissions is to use the Tableau Server groups and ISMEMBEROF function. This can be used at a row level, as demonstrated below, and server groups can also be used with Tableau Project level permissions. Read more…

Tableau row level security

July 28th, 2015 No comments

There are a number of options available to implement row level security in Tableau. You would use row level security within Tableau for circumstances where access to only specific rows of your data set are required, for example maybe sales data can only be seen via people within that sales hierarchy – i.e. only the management of an employee can see the sales of that employee.

Often the clearest way to show how to use row level security is to include some examples. Assuming we have the following data:


There are 3 main ways to implement row level security in Tableau. Read more…

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Tableau 9 Performance Improvement

February 5th, 2015 No comments

Apparently the query engine in Tableau 9 has undergone massive improvement. All I can say is I hope it’s as good as implied in this article and, if so, well done Tableau!

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Using Tableau’s database to build your own Tableau Server usage reports

January 3rd, 2015 5 comments

Out of the box Tableau supplies a number of tools to monitor what is happening on the server. Often these aren’t adequate to get a good view into what’s happening on your server hence you might want to create your own custom admin views. Tableau have allowed, unsupported, querying of the underlying postgres database to create views but until recently there was very little documentation available to help, plus all of the usual ‘do so at your own risk’ warnings. Now things are beginning to change and there are many good sources of information about this database, incluing Tableau themselves now providing a lot of information about their database schema. Andre Pandre wrote up the following very useful post about the underlying Tableau postgres database, essentially bringing all the vital information into one place.

The Tableau postgres database can supply information on the actual server performance as well as what users are doing on the server. My approach to this is from a report usage perspective as, since I look after report development, that’s how my work is judged hence this post is about tracking what the users are doing. Read more…

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