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Archive for the ‘Tableau Server’ Category

Tableau Dashboard size for ipad

July 21st, 2012 No comments

Recently I’ve been experimenting in Tableau with dashboard sizes for the ipad. I prefer to set it up landscape viewing and found the optimal size is 1020 x 610 pixels, this more or less seems the perfect size to fill the full screen and remove the need for scrolling.

Tableau Extracts are Slow to Refresh on the Server

July 19th, 2012 1 comment

On many occasions I have found Tableau data extracts are slow to refresh on the Tableau Server when pulling from SQL (and I’m sure this happens with all data connections). I always used to put this down to the slow execution of the query, which could definitely be a cause as if it’s slow to run on the SQL Server it will be slow to run when refreshing an extract. It also appears that Tableau can be the cause of the slow updating in some cirucmstances. I have just come across this write up on extract performance by one of the Tableau staff which they put on their forums. I think it is very useful so I’ve copied it into this article.

Basically it advises what to check to see what the cause is of the slow updating of extracts and advises what to do if the blame is on the Tableau side. Read more…

Info About Extracts on Tableau Server 6

May 3rd, 2012 No comments

My current employer is still using Tableau Server 6.1 – or 6.1.6 to be precise. I’ve been trying to work out how the extracts work when pulling from a SQL Server so the same extract can be shared by multiple dashboards. The reason for this is that some of my extracts take a long time to update which is not ideal when the same extract is used in multiple dashboards and instead of refreshing it multiple times for each dashboard it would be more efficient to update just once and all dashboards using it will be updated together.

What I was wondering was if when you connect to a data extract in Tableau is whether the published extract is updated when any dashboard based on this extract is updated. It seems this isn’t the case. Once the extract is published it remains as it was a publication time for all time I believe. It appears that when you connect to that extract and publish the workbook Tableau actually duplicates the extract and updates this duplicate whenever the dashboard is updated. In other words the extract published individually to the server doesn’t alter but the duplicate Tableau made embedded in the dashboard does update. Read more…

Tableau be careful using an Incremental Refresh

April 20th, 2012 No comments

Perhaps the title of this post is a little extreme but I have spent some time trying to speed up the refreshing of my Tableau extracts recently and began to use incremental extract refreshes where I thought it was appropriate – for example with order data just adding yesterdays orders each day.

On closer inspection I noticed that with the data warehouse I’m using the way it’s designed is to run updates on existing records rather than inserting a new record to reflect a change in the underlying data. I was reading an article on the Tableau site about Optimising Incremental Refreshes and noticed a warning towards the end of the article saying “Updates to existing data and deletions are only included in full refreshes

In other words if you’re using a data source where the data can alter historically and your Tableau report needs to match these changes to the underlying data then a Full Refresh must be used. The incremental refresh would miss the alterations and only insert new records.

Make sure the data source is checked to be sure that none of the data can change historically OR if it can change historically check these changes don’t have to be reflected in the reporting.

Note Tableau allows an extract to be refreshed both Incrementally and Fully so dependent on the requirements it could be possible to run daily incremental updates during the week and carry out full extracts on the weekend to capture historic changes, for example.

Tableau Server Passing Parameters in the URL

February 6th, 2012 3 comments

If using Tableau Server it’s possible to pass parameters to filter your dashboard via the URL. It’s very straightforward and detailed in this post on the Tableau Forums. Basically just get the URL to access the dashboard on the server, add a ? at the end, which is how parameters are entered in a URL. After the ? put either the name of the parameter or the name of the field being filtered, =, and then the value.

For example if you want to filter/pass an email address parameter – field/parameter name being EmailAddress – your URL would be as follows: http://ServerName/views/WorkbookName/ViewName?EmailAddress=andrew@reports4u.co.uk

To add multiple of the same filter use a comma (,). For example to filter for 2 EmailAddress’s use the URL: http://ServerName/views/WorkbookName/ViewName?EmailAddress=andrew@reports4u.co.uk,admin@reports4u.co.uk

Note this is case sensitive so make sure this is taken into account. To add additional parameters add an ampersand (&) to the end of the URL for each parameter/filter and the same Name=Value syntax. For example to filter the view for EmailAddress and ReportYear you could try the following:
http://ServerName/views/WorkbookName/ViewName?EmailAddress=andrew@reports4u.co.uk&ReportYear=2012

Tableau Server Invalid field formula due to limitations in the data source

January 5th, 2012 No comments

I’ve just run into a problem when publishing a workbook on to the server where it gives me the error: ‘Invalid field formula due to limitations in the data source’

The workbook worked perfectly while being viewed in tableau but failed on publication to the server. It turns out this is due to hidden and unused fields being referenced by Tableau Server for some reason, but somewhere and somehow this field isn’t found by the server. Perhaps the field isn’t published as it’s hidden and that causes the problem but that’s pure speculation on my part.

To the important piece – how to fix it. In a previous post about unhiding sheets in Tableau I talk about editing the XML behind the Tableau visualisation. We once again need to access the XML to fix this problem – we need to find the hidden fields and delete them from the XML. Read more…

Default Naming of Views on Tableau Server

September 15th, 2011 No comments

I have noticed that when publishing to Tableau server, dependent on what you publish, the view name can change. If you publish a worksheet on to the server the view name becomes the same as the sheet title and not the sheet name. If you publish a dashboard the view name remains the same as the dashboard name regardless of title.

The moral of the story is to only publish dashboards on the server – so put your worksheets on to a dashboard(s) before publishing to ensure a self explanatory user-friendly view name which should be easier for users to find.

Tableau Server Parameter as a Month Filter

In a previous post about dashboard level filtering in Tableau I used an example of creating a month parameter to act as the filter. For this post to make sense please reference the previous post at the link.

The parameter worked perfectly in production, in the Tableau software, but when published on the server for some reason it didn’t work. It might have something to do with me being in the UK and the server I use in the US and the dates aren’t compatible, US being mm/dd/yy and the UK using dd/mm/yy – but I don’t know if this really is the problem or whether it could be that the parameter set up as a ‘Date and time’ appears to Tableau server as a text field because of the date formatting. In the example I format the date to display as the month name. (Custom format = mmmm gives a date format of January, February, March, etc.) Read more…