Restrict Dashboard Users during Tableau data refresh

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Background

Tableau data refresh and simultaneous login by users is one of the typical scenarios faced by businesses on day to day operations. What would happen if one happens to data when it is in the middle of being refreshed? Tableau data refresh Is one of the most common activities in an analytics environment. The same report can be referenced by different people with different data a few minutes apart from each other causing confusion. Let’s learn how to manage users during Tableau Data Refresh.

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Tableau Dashboards access during Data Refresh
Tableau Dashboards access during Data Refresh

Tableau Check Refresh Time

A solution to this is creating a new calculation that checks for system time. If it is in the time frame we want to show a ”do not use the system” message – then show message – else show null. This will help users notify when it is okay to use the system during a Tableau data refresh process.

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Now, add this calculation to a new sheet. Float the sheet over our dashboard area, and format for solid background colors. We also need to ensure float order is at the front, and make necessary formatting changes.

When the time is within the report view range, the null value will cause the float sheet to resize up and out of the way revealing the report underneath. Else, the message that we floated on the top will be displayed. This will ensure stakeholders are notified that a Tableau data refresh was in progress.

Tableau REST API Approach

Another option to consider during a Tableau data refresh is using REST API. Instead of scheduling Tableau data refresh, we can have our codes responsible for running that extract or flow. When the schedule is activated, we can have it download the latest Tableau workbook from the site. Then delete the workbook so it can’t be accessed. Then run the Tableau data refresh, and publish back the workbook after the Tableau data refresh processes are over. Here is a reference to the API and we have seen it in use heavily across such Tableau data refresh environments.

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Tableau thus provides a few different ways by which we can achieve our objective of user awareness during Tableau data refresh. This will allow Tableau users to avoid accidentally stumbling upon data that is in the middle of being refreshed and thus giving unexpected results.


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Published by Rahul Bhattacharya

Rahul is a data analyst and expert in visualizing business scenarios using data science. He has performed extensive research across varied business scenarios and datasets to come up with insightful results. Rahul is skilled in a number of programming languages and data analysis tools. When he is not busy refining business data, Rahul can be found somewhere in the Appalachian trails or in an ethnic restaurant in Chicago.

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