How do I stop users from accessing Tableau Dashboards when data is being refreshed?


This 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? The same report can be referenced by different people with different data a few minutes apart from each other causing confusion.

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.

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.

Tableau REST API Approach

Another option is using REST API. Instead of scheduling 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 data refresh, and publish back the workbook. Here is a reference to the API.

Tableau thus provides a few different ways by which we can achieve our objective of user awareness during data refresh. This will 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

Comfortably confused :)

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