Feature Adoption – Data-Driven Alert

Data-driven alert is a great long waiting feature of Tableau V10.3. It allows interactors to set threshold on the numeric axis of the view and receive emails only when the data exceeds (or below) the defined threshold. It also allows interactors to define how often to receive the emails when conditions are met. It works for custom view as well.  Interactors can define multiple alerts with different thresholds for the same view.  This blog explains how it works, why it is better than subscriptions and w
hat are the limitation.screenshot_2408
How Data-Driven Alerts work?

    • Numeric axis only
    • Interactors decides alerts
    • Interactors can add any site users who have email address to the alerts
    • Permissions are checked before  emails are sending NOT when users are added (opposite to subscriptions).
    • Email will not go to those recipients who  have no permission to the view although those users can still be added w/o any warning or error.
    • Pls vote IDEA https://community.tableau.com/ideas/8048
    • Can’t add group as recipients
    • Alerts can be created on saved custom views
    • Live connection –  server checks hourly(can be configured)
    • Extract – whenever refresh happens
    • When condition is true, how often emails to be sent is decided by alert owner.
    • Recipients can decide to be removed from alerts but can’t decide how often the emails will go out when conditions are met

What are the controls server admins have for data-driven alerts?

  1. Turn data-driven alerts on/off at site level (site, settings, uncheck or check data-driven alerts
  2. For live connections, decide how often server checks  alert conditions

Why Data-Driven Alerts are better?

  1. screenshot_2406It is a backgrounder process (admins can check Backgrounder Tasks for Non-Extracts : Check if Data Alert Condition is True)
  2. Less emails go out since Alert owners can compress emails when conditional are met
  3. It is a ‘push’ – every single extract completion will trigger one Check if Data Alert Condition is True backgrounder task

Why Subscriptions are not preferred?

  1. Subscriptions send out email at defined intervals, which does have a lot of convienances for some users. Tableau’s strength is interactive. The subscription is counter-interactive. 
  2. Each subscription is a simulation of user click on Tableau server unlike data-driven alerts which is a backgrounder process. User subscriptions are part of usage from http_requests table.
  3. It is nothing wrong for users to get Tableau views in their inbox. The problem is that server admins have no way to tell if the users open the emails at all. Overtime, admins can’t tell if users are actually using the Tableau server or not.


Tips and tricks to manage data-driven alerts in enterprise

  1. Limit number of subscription schedule to ‘force’ users from subscription to data-driven alert
  2. If your Tableau server has a content archiving program to archive unused workbooks, you can exclude subscription usage (historical_event_types, ‘Send Email’)
  3. Monitor your server to understand percentage of subscriptions vs. total click. It is hard to see what is the right balance but if your server subscriptions are >10% of total usage, it suggests that you have too many subscriptions.subs