Category Archives: Tableau

Tableau Server Tip

As an administrator of Tableau Server, you’re granted access to six dashboards that show a variety of server activity/performance/utilization information. These dashboards are connected to Tableau’s internal PostgreSQL database. What if you’d like other server users to access these admin dashboards but you do not want to grant those users Administrative rights? There are four easy steps to accomplish this.

  1. Create a PostgreSQL password
  2. Find and copy the tabbed_admin_views workbook
  3. Open workbook and update database connections with your server and password
  4. Publish workbook

Step 1:

  • Log onto your machine that runs Tableau Server and in Command Line navigate to the bin folder
  • Type tabadmin db pass [password] (in version 9, “dbpass” is one word)
  • For [password] input your desired password
  • Type tabadmin configure
  • Type tabadmin restart

You’ve now set a password to the internal PostgreSQL database. You’re free to connect to it from a new workbook and poke around. Note, if you have not done so, you’ll need to install PostgreSQL database drivers.

Step 2:

Thank you Adolph Barclift, DC-VA Tableau User Group Co-Chair for the assistance on this step. 

While logged in to your machine running Tableau Server, open folder …Tableau\Tableau Server\[version]\wgserver\z5\WEB-INF\admin

Make a copy of the tabbed_admin_views.twb and save to desired location.

ScreenHunter_01 Feb. 08 12.44

Step 3:

Open the workbook and click OK when prompted to log in, you’ll get an error and click Yes to edit the connection.

Complete the connection dialog with your credentials. Port, Database and Username should remain unchanged.

ScreenHunter_02 Feb. 08 13.03

This workbook has eight separate connections so you’ll have to repeat the process seven more times.

Step 4:

Publish workbook, embedding credentials, and set your security as desire.

Congratulations! You now have your own administrative dashboards. What’s even better is that you can create custom admin dashboards! Check out Russell Christopher’s series on Tableau History Tables for more details on PostgreSQL schema.

Share Button

Year over Year Quick Tip

Over the years as a Tableau user I’ve learned to adjust my vizzes depending on the audience. Displaying Year over Year is an important metric to many at my organization. Here is a quick and easy way that I use often.

I’m using the Superstore sample data that ships with Tableau. Place Order Date in the Columns shelf and Sales in the Rows shelf, change the Marks to Bar.

ScreenHunter_06 Feb. 01 20.01

Now grab Sales again and place it in the Label Marks. Hover over the right edge of the pill until you see the triangle. Click it and move down to Quick Table Calculation > Percent Difference

ScreenHunter_09 Feb. 01 20.05

And that’s it! Tableau will use the earliest date as the base line and calculate the YoY change.

ScreenHunter_10 Feb. 01 20.06

I like this view because the viz utilizes the Y axis to display the Sales in dollars, but the label shows the YoY growth. The two metrics combined provide more context to your audience.

One thing to keep in mind is that if current year is not over, filter for months. Let’s say today is currently June 2013 and management wants to know how Sales are tracking against previous years.

ScreenHunter_12 Feb. 01 20.09

Hold right click as you drag Order Date into the Filter shelf. Filter on Months and only include January to May. Very simple!

Share Button

Puppies…need I say more?

Ten years ago, Animal Planet began running Super Bowl counter programming called Puppy Bowl. A tradition was born. Discovery Communications is headquartered in Silver Spring, MD. We have a large building in the heart of Silver Spring and a few blocks away is our DCTC (Discovery Creative & Technology Center) building. As a Discovery employee (Animal Planet is one of our networks), I work in the DCTC building where Puppy Bowl was filmed for the first few years. It was always a glorious week in October where a plethora of puppies would invade our office and be shuttled in and out of our stage. Due to Puppy Bowl’s popularity, along with the likelihood of the high number of distracted staff, PB’s filming was moved offsite, then eventually to New York.

As the 10th Puppy Bowl approaches, I decided to create a dashboard of twitter data for tweets containing “Puppy Bowl” or #puppybowl. I utilized Andy Cotgreave’s  twitter template he posted on Tableau Public but gave it a few tweaks. For the data, again as shown by Andy, I used ScraperWiki to create a data set for my desired search terms. You can set it to track future tweets in order to keep tracking your results.

Deadspin’s tweet announcing this year’s ability to draft a fantasy puppy team has been the most popular so far. Let’s hope Yahoo Fantasy adds the Puppy Bowl to their platform!
I’ll periodically update the data until the actual event…or until the data limits are reached.
Share Button