ReportMessenger 2.0

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Introducción

El año pasado lanzamos ReportMessenger, nuestra herramienta de distribución de informes de Tableau Server. ReportMessenger actualiza, personaliza y distribuye toda la información de tu empresa cuando y a quién tu quieras en múltiples formatos (como PDF, PowerPoint o CSV, entre otros).

Ahora estamos orgullosos de informaros que hemos lanzado el nuevo y mejorado ReportMessenger 2.0 – una versión con más consistencia y estabilidad y con ¡muchas funcionalidades nuevas!

Report Messenger Log in page

 

ReportMessenger: Nuevo Look and Feel y funcionalidades en la Home

ReportMessenger ha mejorado su diseño para asegurar una experiencia de usuario óptima. La Home, que muestra todas las tareas programadas, ahora incluye un cuadro de búsqueda para que sea más fácil encontrar una tarea en concreto.
Además, puedes ordenar por columnas, seleccionar varias tareas a la vez y llevar a cabo distintas acciones para cada una, incluyendo: duplicar, enviar informes ahora, activar o desactivar la tarea.
Se ha añadido un color para cada tarea (verde, amarillo o rojo) para que puedas reconocer su estado en un vistazo.

ReportMessenger homepage

 

ReportMessenger: Nuevas funcionalidades

Estas son las nuevas funcionalidades que puedes encontrar en la nueva versión de ReportMessenger:

Importar contactos: Puedes importar listas de contactos directamente desde un archivo CSV en lugar de entrarlos manualmente.
Ejecutar tareas mientras estás desconectado: Ya no necesitarás estar conectado para que se ejecute una tarea. Esta funcionalidad es muy útil para empresas con una política de seguridad muy estricta.
Filtros de usuario: Con esta nueva funcionalidad puedes definir, dentro de una misma tarea, qué información va a recibir cada usuario y asegúrate que cada persona recibe los datos que le son relevantes.
Repetir tarea: Establece, con intervalos personalizados de minutos o horas, cada cuánto quieres que una misma tarea se ejecute. Esta nueva funcionalidad está pensada para empresas que necesitan tener información actualizada constantemente.
Descarga tus informes localmente: Puedes descargar tus informes en tus carpetas compartidas o intranet corporativa. Esto es útil, por ejemplo, si necesitas tener guardado un histórico de todos tus informes.
Reporte de errores:
»  Reporta errores en la tareas: Cualquier error durante la ejecución de una tarea será reportado a la dirección de email que se desee.
»  Reporta errores en la aplicación Web: Estos errores se reportaran al departamento de soporte de ClearPeaks para que podamos solucionar cualquier incidencia lo antes posible.
Evita que se envíen informes vacíos.
Especifica el SMTP sender: Puedes especificar el campo “De” de tus emails.
Inicia sesión en ReportMessenger: Ahora puedes iniciar sesión con cualquier cuenta de administrador de Tableau.

Figure 3

 

Cómo funcionan los filtros de usuario?

Una de las principales nuevas funcionalidades de ReportMessenger 2.0 es el filtro de usuario.

Permite al administrador crear una tarea utilizando filtros dinámicos. De esta forma evitamos crear una tarea distinta para cada vista que queramos enviar.

El filtro de usuario se define en el perfil del usuario y cada usuario de puede crear con hasta 4 filtros distintos:

Figure 4

 

 

En el caso anterior, el primer filtro se ha utilizado para poder filtrar por regiones y el segundo nos permite filtrar por categorías. Esto es útil cuando una empresa quiere mandar un informe a cada agente de zona. En lugar de crear una tarea para cada agente o región, ahora se puede incluir todo en una misma tarea. Además, puedes añadir más de un valor por usuario y filtro añadiéndolos entre comas. Por ejemplo: North, South, East, West

Cuando los filtros de usuario están definidos los puedes aplicar a cualquier tarea:

 

Figure 5

Como puedes ver, la fórmula para utilizar el filtro es: Region=<<filter1>>&Category=<<filter2>>, Tanto la vista de la región cómo la de la categoría viene de Tableau.

En las siguientes imágenes puedes ver el resultado después de aplicar un filtro dinámico:

Figure 6

Figura 1: Informe de Antonio (filtrado por la región "South")                   Figure 2: Informe de Jordi (filtrado por la región "West") 

 

Si un usuario no tiene ningún filtro definido, recibirá el informe con todos los datos.

 

Conclusión

Esta última versión de ReportMessenger aporta mayor estabilidad y asegura una mejor experiencia de usuario. Las nuevas funcionalidades permiten personalizar mucho más cualquier tarea, permitiéndote aplicar filtros dinámicos y repetirlas sin tener que duplicar una tarea original varias veces.

¡No dudes en contactar con nosotros si quieres recibir más información o una demostración gratuita!

 

ReportMessenger 2.0

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Introduction

Last year we successfully launched ReportMessenger, our easy-to-use report distribution solution for Tableau reports. With ReportMessenger, you can reliably schedule and deliver your reports to anyone in your organization in any combination of file formats from enriched PDF to CSV!

We´re now proud to announce the new improved ReportMessenger 2.0 - a version that brings greater consistency, stability and a bunch of new features!

Report Messenger Log in page

 

ReportMessenger New Look&Feel and Homepage Functionalities

ReportMessenger has improved its design for optimal user experience. The homepage, which displays all scheduled tasks, now has an integrated search box that makes it easy to find a task. You can also sort data columns through an interactive table, select multiple tasks from the aforementioned table, and perform different actions for each selected task, including duplicate, run now, activate and deactivate. Color-coded tasks (red, yellow, or green) have also been added make it easier and quicker to identify their current status.

ReportMessenger homepage

 

ReportMessenger New Features

Below you can find a list of the new features we have implemented in this version:

Import contacts: you can import multiple contacts from a CSV file as opposed to entering the contacts manually.
Run tasks while logged off: You do not have to be logged on anymore to run a task. This feature is useful if your company has a very strict security policy.
User-filters: With this new feature, you´re able to send reports to multiple users with different filters applied by creating just one task. Find out more about this feature in the next chapter!
Repeat task: With this option your task will be executed in set intervals of minutes and hours. This option is very useful for companies in need of constant progress updates on their critical data.
Download reports locally: You can download your generated reports locally. This is very useful, for example, if your company needs to store all your reports and make a history vault. They can also be downloaded to a network drive.
Report errors:
»  Report task failures: Any error during the execution of a task will be reported to a previously defined e-mail address.
»  Report web application errors: these errors will be reported to ClearPeaks Support so we can solve any inconsistencies as soon as possible.
Prevent sending empty reports.
Specify SMTP sender: you can specify the “From” field of your email.
Log in to ReportMessenger: you can now login with any Tableau Administrator account.

Figure 3

 

How do user-filters work? 

One of the main new features of ReportMessenger 2.0 is the User-Filters functionality.

It allows the ReportMessenger administrator to create a task using a dynamic filter. This feature prevents the creation of multiple tasks within the same view.

The user-filter is defined on each user profile and can be set up with up to four filters per user:

Figure 4

 

 

In the case above, filter one has been set to filter by regions and filter two is filtering by categories. This is useful for when your company wants to send a report to each agent of every region. Instead of creating a task for every region, you can now condense it all into a single task. You can also add different values for any filter by separating them with a comma (,). For example: North, South, East, West

Once the user-filters are defined, you can apply them to any task:

 

Figure 5

As you can see, the formula of the filter is Region=<<filter1>>&Category=<<filter2>>, Region and Category are fields from the Tableau’s view.

The next two images show the result of applying the dynamic filter:

 

Figure 6

Figure 1: Antonio’s Report (filtered by South region)                     Figure 2: Jordi’s Report (filtered by West region)

 

If a user doesn’t have any filter defined, then that user will receive the report with the full content of data.

 

Conclusion

This new version of ReportMessenger provides greater stability and ensures a better user experience. The new features make ReportMessenger more configurable than ever, allowing you to customize each task with a dynamic filter and set up repeating tasks without needing to duplicate the original task multiple times.

Don't hesitate to contact us if you would like to receive more information about ReportMessenger or request a free demo!

 

Tableau Tricks – Using Shapes and Bar Charts to get Instant Insights

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Introduction

As Business Intelligence professionals, developing visually-intuitive dashboards for optimal data insights is one of our daily task. This is the first blog article of a series of articles where we will share useful tricks for developing key analytics tools with Tableau in order answer your questions or test your hypothesis.

In this blog article, we will explain how to combine shapes and bar charts to compare KPI performances over two periods of time. The main benefit of this approach is that the analysis is highly intuitive, so we get the data insights straight away.

 

Use Case

Imagine that you are the Head of Sales for the Mediterranean territory of a manufacturing company and you would like to know the difference between 2017 sales and 2016 sales by country (by percentage). As you can see, with this approach you can visually compare the sales by year for each country in a clear and easy way.

Below are all the steps that we need to follow in order to generate this analysis:

1 First, we need to create three calculated fields: “Sales 2017”, “Sales 2016” and “Sales Diff %”

Figure 1: Formula to calculate sales in 2016

Figure 2: Formula to calculate sales in 2017

Figure 3: Formula to calculate % difference between sales in 2017 and 2016. We multiply it by 100 because afterwards this value will be converted to string

 

2 Secondly, we have to create the bar chart, moving the “Country” dimension to Columns and the  “Sales 2016” and “Sales 2017” measures to Rows.

Figure 4: Tableau bar chart with separate measures

 

3 Then, you have to apply some steps to change the look and feel of the bar chart. Here, we moved “Measure Names” to the Color tile, applied “Dual Axis” to one of the bar charts and resized the size of the bars from the Size tiles.

Figure 5: Tableau bar chart with “Dual Axis” applied, and with the bar size narrower for “Sales 2017” measure

 

4 After customizing the look and feel, we need to create two new calculated fields, “Icon UP” and “Icon Down”. These fields will indicate if the sales in 2017 are increasing (Icon UP) or decreasing in relation with 2016.

Figure 6: Formula with the text when de “Sales Diff %” is positive

 

Figure 7: Formula with the text when de “Sales Diff %” is negative

 

5 Finally, we have to move these two calculated fields into the Label tiles to display the yearly sales variation. Note that you will also need to change the Color label to make this analysis more intuitive.

 

In the “Sales 2016” mark,  we put “Icon Down” into Label tile.

Figure 8: In the “Sales 2016” mark, we put “Icon Down” field into Label tile

 

In “Sales 2017” mark,  we put “Icon Up” into Label tile.

Figure 9: In the “Sales 2017” mark, we put “Icon Up” field into Label tile

And this is the final result:

Figure 9

Figure 10: Bar chart to compare sales between 2017 and 2016 with text that shows the % difference

 

 

Conclusions

We can use some icons as text instead of using shapes, so that we take advantage of embedment into Labels or Tooltips.

These kind of analysis are very engaging when we perform data analysis or when we are currently in the data discovery processes because they allow us to get insights in a very quick and visual way.

As a Tableau partner, we are certified with the last Tableau Certifications, so do not hesitate to contact us if you have any data challenge in mind.

 

Tableau 10.3: Data-Driven Alerts and a smart trick for KPIs

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With version 10.3, Tableau has introduced a very useful feature: Data-Driven Alerts.

Now, when looking at a dashboard in Tableau Server, you can set up automatic mail notifications to a set of recipients when a certain value reaches a specific threshold.

In this article, we’re going to go through the basics of this feature, explaining how to use it, and then show you how to get even more from it when dealing with KPIs.

 

1. How to set up an alert

In our example we have a dashboard that shows the yearly earnings and revenues of our company. We have two KPIs (amount of earnings and revenues for a certain year compared to a target) and three charts comparing them with expenses and with each other.

Tableau 10.3: Data-Driven Alerts and a smart trick for KPIs

Figure 1: Dashboard example

To set up the alert on one of the measures shown, all we have to do is click on one of the axes (without applying any filters or actions) and then click on Alert. We will be able to set up our alert and save it in the pop-up window.

Tableau 10.3: Data-Driven Alerts and a smart trick for KPIs

Figure 2: Alert creation

The various options for the condition are:

Above or equal to
Above
Below or equal to
Below
Equal to

The frequency can be set as:

Once - the first time it's true
As frequently as possible
Hourly at most
Daily at most
Weekly at most

In the example shown, we’re going to set up an alert on the Earnings measure, and we want to receive an email as soon as the value reaches €5M.

Once saved, the alert becomes active. If you want to see the status of all the alerts when browsing a site, click on Tasks (if you have permission), and then on Alerts. You will see a list of all the active alerts, with name, view, owner, recipients, email frequency, last check time, and last alert time. You can also edit or delete them by clicking on “…”.

You can set up more alerts on the same view or dashboard, and even on the same measure or axis. Just remember that you must do it on the original dashboard, with no filters or actions applied (otherwise Tableau will give you an error).

Tableau 10.3: Data-Driven Alerts and a smart trick for KPIs

Figure 3: Alerts management pane

 

2. A smart trick for KPIs

Alerts are a really good new feature and work pretty well. In the previous example, you get an email as soon as your earnings reach €5M. There is, however, one major restriction: alerts can only be set up by clicking on a continuous axis. This means that we can’t use them on our beloved KPIs, as they usually only show a number and maybe a few indicators.

In our example, the KPIs show the value of the earnings and the revenues. To set up an alert on them, we could click on any of the axes below, and even set one up on revenues. But what if there is no axis in the dashboard for the measure that we want to track?

Don’t worry, we’ve got a neat trick to show you.

We’re going to add a third measure, a calculated field that shows the ratio between the earnings and the revenues, that we can call Quality.

Tableau 10.3: Data-Driven Alerts and a smart trick for KPIs

Figure 4: Dashboard example with new KPI

How can we add an alert on it? It has no axis, but we can modify it and “cheat?” Tableau while still showing our KPI. We can edit the sheet like this:

Create a dummy calculated field that simply has value 1
Drag it to the sheet, alongside your quality measure
Set the visualization as a bar chart and use the double axis feature
Fix the axis of the dummy field to go from 0 to 1, so that it always shows a full bar
Do the same with the second axis, synchronizing the two axes
Clean the two axes, removing text and ticks. Leave some text on the second one to indicate where to click to set up the alert
Set the size as maximum and the colours the same as the background, in order to “hide” the bars
Drag your quality field to the dummy text box, and align it in the middle

Done! Your sheet will now look like this (we added some extra fancy text to it, but you don’t need to):

Tableau 10.3: Data-Driven Alerts and a smart trick for KPIs

Figure 5: New KPI sheet

Drag your new sheet to the dashboard, then upload it to Tableau Server and click on “Click for Alert”. You can now set up an alert on your custom KPI!

Tableau 10.3: Data-Driven Alerts and a smart trick for KPIs

Figure 6: Alert creation on new KPI with no axis

 

Conclusion

Data-Driven Alerts are a very powerful new feature that users had been asking for quite a long time, allowing the tracking of the most important measures in the easiest possible way (by receiving a notification in your business email box) without having to repeatedly check the dashboard! This should save you a significant amount of time…

Yes, the axis chart restriction is a bit of an inconvenience, but this can be overcome with the trick shown above. We are also sure that Tableau will improve it even more in future versions.

Use JavaScript to embed Tableau dashboards into SharePoint

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How to use JavaScript to embed Tableau dashboards into SharePoint with automatic sizing and current date quick filter selection?

As we all know, Tableau comes with its own web-based repository (Tableau Server), but sometimes we have to consume the dashboard that we create in other platforms. One of them is SharePoint, Microsoft’s web-based application, often used by enterprises to share content with their employees and departments.

Use JavaScript to embed tableau dashboards into SharePoint with automatic sizing and current date quick filter selection

Figure 1: Schema of the integration between SharePoint, Tableau Server and the enterprise accounts

Tableau allows us to easily share our dashboards by embedding them in JavaScript code or iFrames, providing ready-to-use code snippets that we just need to copy and paste in our solution.

These are very useful, but what if we want to go even further? For example, it’s currently not possible to set a quick filter to automatically select the current date. What if we want our dashboard to show data for the current year or month by default?

In this article, we’re going to explain how to embed dashboards into SharePoint, how to dynamically resize them and how to apply the default date quick filter with the help of some JavaScript power.

 

1. Embedding the dashboard into SharePoint

To embed the dashboard into SharePoint, we must first create a page with an “Embed Code” container. Once your SharePoint page is ready, click on Edit, then Insert, and select Embed Code. This particular type of container, as its name suggests, allows us to embed code inside SharePoint, and it will be our door to Tableau.

Use JavaScript to embed tableau dashboards into SharePoint with automatic sizing and current date quick filter selection

Figure 2: SharePoint’s Insert toolbar with highlighted “Embed code” button

Now that your container is ready, you will see a canvas where you can write your code. Let’s start by embedding the dashboard as it is, with an iFrame.

First of all, we need the dashboard link. We can find it in Tableau Server: just navigate to the dashboard that you want to embed into SharePoint and click on Share, in the upper-right corner. You will see two links: “Embed Code” and “Link”. The first is a JavaScript snippet, ready to be copied and pasted; the second is a pure URL to the dashboard. Click on the second and copy it.

Use JavaScript to embed tableau dashboards into SharePoint with automatic sizing and current date quick filter selection

Figure 3: Tableau Server’s “share” option and corresponding links

We are using this link because it is slightly less verbose; it’s also interesting to see how the two technologies can easily integrate.

Now that the link is ready, return to the Embed Code container canvas and write a simple HTML page that contains an iFrame, and use the link as the source URL, like this:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
  <center><body>
    <iframe src="(Tableau Server URL)" id="myIframe"></iframe>
  </body></center>
</html>

Click on insert, and the dashboard will appear in your page!
 

2. Dynamic Sizing

Now that your dashboard is into SharePoint, you might want to change its size. Sometimes, to make our dashboards look as cool as they can on every screen, we set the resolution to automatic in Tableau Desktop; this is usually a great idea, but into SharePoint we might have big headers, multiple contents on the same browser page, etc., which don’t let our dashboard look as good as it could. We can solve this issue by changing the size of the Embed Code container automatically, with just a few JavaScript lines.

Edit the container that you just set up, and add the following script AFTER the iFrame (but before the closing body tag):

<script type="text/javaScript">
var iframe = document.getElementById('myIframe');
	
//Automatic size: the following lines of code adapt the dashboard size to the browser window
var height = window.innerHeight;
var width = window.innerWidth;					   
iframe.height = height*0.95;
iframe.width = width*0.95;

document.getElementById('contentBox').style.marginLeft="0px";
document.getElementById('contentBox').style.marginRight="0px";
document.getElementById('contentRow').style.paddingTop="0px";
	
var containers = document.getElementsByClassName('container-fluid');
var container = containers[1];
container.style.marginLeft="0px";
container.style.marginRight="0px";
container.style.paddingLeft="0px";
container.style.paddingRight="0px";
		
containers = document.getElementsByClassName('welcome blank-wp');
container = containers[0];
container.style.paddingLeft="0px";
container.style.paddingRight="0px";
container.style.paddingTop="0px";
container.style.paddingBottom="0px";

containers = document.getElementsByClassName('welcome-content');
container = containers[0];
container.style.marginTop="0px";	
</script>

Again, click on Insert, and your dashboard will automatically resize when it’s loaded!In this script, we take the actual size of the browser and use it as a reference to change our “contentBox” size. In the example we basically use 95% of the available space in both dimensions, but you can change it as you wish. Notice how we also remove all possible padding.
 

3. Setting default current date filter

Our dashboard is now ready into SharePoint and it automatically resizes. The next step is to add automatic filters.

Tableau allows us to manually set parameters in the URL, with the classic name=value combination. We will exploit this, changing the parameter list when loading the page.

Let’s say, for example, that we have a date dimension called Year-Month, in the format YYYY-MM, and we want our dashboard to automatically filter to the actual month every time we open it. This is something that Tableau currently can’t do (you can vote for it in “ideas” in the community: use think link or this ). Luckily, JavaScript comes to the rescue.

Add the following lines of code after your iFrame (the additional comments help understand the various steps):

//get the parameters from the URL
var loc = window.location.href;
var params = "";
if(loc.indexOf('?') >= 0) params = loc.split('?')[1];	
	
//get the actual iframe URL
var iframe = document.getElementById('myIframe');
var iframe_url = iframe.src;

//if the date parameter doesn't exist, set the actual Year-Month	
n = params.indexOf("Year-Month"); 		
if(n<0){ //if the parameter is not in the URL yet…
var today = new Date();
var mm = today.getMonth()+1; //JS’s months go from 0 to 11
var yyyy = today.getFullYear();			
if(mm<10) mm="0"+mm;

//append the new parameter to the other ones (if any)
var ym = "Year-Month="+yyyy+"-"+mm;
if (params.length > 0) params=params+'&'+ym;
else params = ym;
}
	
//set the new iframe URL (or restore the original one)		
iframe.src = iframe_url+params;

That’s it! By clicking Import, your dashboard will filter according to the current month, automatically. Pretty cool!

 

4. Next steps

This is a pretty basic but highly useful implementation of Tableau embedding. We used the date in our example, but you can easily set whatever parameter you want. You can also set up an URL action in your dashboard that points to a SharePoint page, and then write JavaScript code that processes the various parameters, in order to apply the filters automatically when the dashboard is loaded in that page.

For an even better use of the tool, don’t forget to check out the Tableau APIs:

JavaScript API
REST API

Contact us if you would like to hear more about the topic or need any help embedding your Tableau dashboards into SharePoint.

 

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