The thrill of the new Tableau server honeymoon is over…and now the hard work of Tableau Content Management begins. The first article in this series will answer the question “why should I care about Tableau Server Content Management“; and will demystify the various types of content stored in Tableau server.
Why should I care about Tableau Content Management…isn’t Tableau a self-service platform?
It’s a valid question. The answer may prove to be a bit shocking at first…SELF-SERVICE isn’t really self-service. Yes, Tableau server is designed from the ground up to encourage and nurture a thriving self-service culture. However, over time, this self-service freedom comes at a cost. Here are just a few thoughts to get your Tableau Content Management juices flowing.
- Multiple copies of the same or very similar data sources published to the Tableau server
- Performance degradation
- Multiple versions of the same analytic content
- Back-end source system performance degradation (overwhelmed SQL Servers, Teradata, Oracle, etc…)
- Outdated/stale content
Finally, if your Tableau environment experiences any of the scenarios below, some focused attention on Tableau Content Management is a great place to start.
- Tableau server users have trouble identifying which data source is the most current.
- Tableau server users have trouble finding the dashboard they want (multiple copies of the same content or outdated content).
- Tableau servers overall performance keeps getting worse.
- Database administrators claim Tableau server is negatively impacting the performance of the databases they manage.
- Users cannot find the Workbook or Data source that contains the data field or formula they’re looking for.
Tableau Server Content Types
Let’s begin by identifying the various types of content found in your Tableau server.
- Sites – A Site in Tableau server is an actual content boundary. Cross-site content communication is not possible.
- Projects – A Tableau Project is an organizational object in Tableau server, not an actual object.
- Workbooks – A Workbook is a package for everything needed to display dashboards.
- Views – A View is a dashboard or worksheet published to the Tableau server as part of publishing a workbook.
- Worksheet – A Worksheet is a single visualization within a Workbook; whether it’s published to Tableau server or not.
- (Unmanaged) Data Sources – An Unmanaged Data Source is a data source that can only be seen and used within the context of a single workbook.
- Published (Managed) Data Sources – A published data source can be used across multiple workbooks.
- Metadata – Metadata is data about things like data sources, worksheets, dashboards, Tableau Storys, actions, filters, etc…
- Schedules – Schedules are definitions of when tasks are run
- Tasks – Tasks are created when a refresh or subscription of a workbook, dashboard or data source has been attached to a specific schedule.
- Extract Refreshes – An extract refresh contacts back-end systems to pull new data into a published data source hosted on the Tableau server on a designated schedule.
- Subscriptions – A subscription sends the recipient a current version of a View on a designated schedule.
- Alerts – Alerts, a content type new to Tableau server 3.X and above creates an automated notification based on user-defined threshold criteria.
- Groups – A group is a collection of Tableau server users
- Users – A user represents a user account on the Tableau server.
Yeah, there are quite a few content types living on your Tableau server.
Now that we know what type of content that lives on the Tableau server, the next article in the series will introduce some of our favorite Tableau Content Management techniques.