CUSTOM TABLEAU SERVER REPOSITORY DASHBOARDS

Have you wanted to see exactly what users are viewing on your Tableau Server?  Or maybe you’ve been asked “Is anyone even looking at my dashboards?!”


If you have Tableau Server Administrative rights you know that Tableau Server has pre-made/out of the box admin dashboards.  If you navigate to Status then scroll down to Analysis you will see a list of Tableau dashboards.




These dashboards are a treasure trove of information, but there are a few issues:

  1. If you really want to dig into the data and discover what is happening on your server these dashboards probably aren’t going to cut it
  2. You have to have admin permissions to view these dashboards, and for good reason you don’t want to give everyone who asked “Is anyone even looking at my dashboards?!” admin access!


The solution?  Custom dashboards!!
That sounds great but how do we do this, how does this work?


The treasure trove of information is called the Tableau Server Repository.  The Tableau Server Repository is a Postgres database that houses all of the information about Tableau Server.  The repository can answer questions like the following:


  • Who is viewing my project?  What workbooks or views are they looking at?  When are they looking at the content?
  • What data connections do we have saved on the server?  Are they extracts?  If they’re extracts how are they performing?  Are the extracts on a schedule?
  • Who has access to my project?  What level of access do they have?


HOW DO YOU CONNECT TO THE REPOSITORY?
Two levels of access
  • “tableau” username can connect to the 19 database views
  • “readonly” username can connect to everything ( 93 tables 19 views)
    Tableau Server administrator needs to use tabadmin dbpass to enable one or both of the usernames
    Tabadmin dbpass --username readonly ‘passwordhere’
    Tabadmin restart
    Tableau’s instructions - Collect Data with the Tableau Server Repository
    HOW DO YOU NAVIGATE THROUGH THE REPOSITORY?
    There are a lot of tables and views in the repository.  These are two short cuts to finding the data you want:

    1. Use the data sources that Tableau made in the default admin views.
    2. Use the data sources that Matt Coles, from Tableau, made.


    TIPS WHILE WORKING WITH THE REPOSITORY
    • Use Tableau’s data dictionary
    • All times are in UTC (Coordinated Universal Time)
    • Level of detail is down to the view level, meaning I can see that a user went to a particular view, but I don’t know what they clicked on, filtered on, hovered on, etc…
    • Only a set amount of historical data is saved
      • Hist tables by default (can be adjusted) keep the past 183 days of data
      • _background_tasks tables keep the past 30 days of data
      • “_” tables contain current data


    Now that you’re armed with data what are the next steps?  Make it available to your organization.  By using Tableau Server you can publish data sources for your users that have user friendly field names, use folders to group data fields, add comments to calculations and use user filters for row-level security.  Tableau is about self service, so make it easy for your users to explore their own data.

    EXAMPLE SCENARIOS AND DASHBOARDS
    Are my users looking at my dashboard? If they are when and what are they looking at?

    This is a "utilization" dashboard. What percent of users who have access to the dashboards are viewing them? How is their utilization trending over time? What views are the most popular? and my personal favorite - a list of users who have not logged into the dashboards aka "The List of Shame!"


    What users have access to my dashboard?  or for admins How can I see all of the project permissions in one location?

    This dashboard is a consolidated view of all projects and groups on our Tableau Server - similar to the standard Tableau Server (at a project level).  In the main table a user can see what permissions are assigned to each group, by project.  In the top right corner you can see which users belong to each Tableau Server group.


    Our IT server administrators wanted to know about our Tableau extracts.  How many extracts are running?  When are the extracts running?  How long do they take to run?

    This dashboard gives an overall view of extract information on our Tableau Server.


    This dashboard shows how long it takes for extracts to run each day.  We have a lot of data sources that get updated every 15 minutes or every hour and this visualization makes it easy to spot outliers.


    These are just a few examples of how you can utilize the Tableau Server Repository at your organization.  The repository is a great resource on monitoring and troubleshooting.  I've found so many use cases and already have more in mind!  Feel free to share some of the dashboards or ideas you have!

    View Google Sheets Presentation

    6 comments:

    1. Hi Bfongdata,

      Can we get these workbooks as .twb?

      ReplyDelete
    2. Excellent. Can you share the workbooks?

      ReplyDelete
    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

      ReplyDelete
    4. Excellent, Can you share the workbooks

      ReplyDelete
    5. The 'Is anyone looking' question is easy to answer, look below the comment entry form for the 'Who has seen this view' link and click on it!

      ReplyDelete
    6. Dashboards are not about reporting, they are about performance management - identifying what to measure, connection to current strategic objectives, and knowing how the business drives value to achieve those objectives. kpi dashboards

      ReplyDelete