Set Up for Data-Driven Alerts

When data reaches important thresholds for your business, data-driven alerts automatically send email notifications to key people users specify. As a Tableau Server administrator, you set up data-driven alerts much like you do subscriptions. For information about how users create and manage these alerts, see Send Data-Driven Alerts in Tableau User Help.

Note: To create and receive data-driven alerts, users need access to related databases and views. See this list of requirements for details. If alerts are enabled for a site, any user on that site can create them.

Configure email for data-driven alerts

  1. Complete the steps in Configure SMTP Setup so the server can send email.

  2. While viewing a site, click Settings at the top of the browser window.

  3. Under Email Settings, enter a site-specific "From" address or message footer.

    A site's "From" address and message footer are also used in emails for subscriptions.

  4. Click Save.

Manage all data-driven alerts in a site

  1. At the top the browser window, click Tasks, and then click Alerts.

  2. Select any alerts you want to update.

  3. From the Actions menu, do any of the following:

    • Add or remove yourself as a recipient.

    • Edit alerts to change data thresholds, delivery schedules, and the full list of recipients.

    • Change alert ownership to different users, or delete alerts.

Disable data-driven alerts for a site

Data-driven alerts are supported for all sites by default, but administrators can disable them for specific ones.

  1. While viewing a site, click Settings at the top of the browser window.

  2. Under Data-Driven Alerts, uncheck Let users create alerts and receive alert emails.

  3. Click Save.

Suspend data-driven alerts

By default, an alert is suspended after 350 consecutive alert failures. Server administrators can configure the threshold number of alert failures before an alert is suspended. To change the threshold number of data-driven alert failures that can occur before alerts are suspended, use the tsm configuration set option, dataAlerts.SuspendFailureThreshold.

This sets the threshold for the number of consecutive failed alerts necessary before suspending the alert. This is a server-wide setting. The threshold value applies to every configured data-driven alert on the server.

Resume suspended alerts

If an alert fails enough times, you'll receive a notification email that your alert has been suspended. There are a few ways that administrators or alert owners can resume a suspended alert:

  • From the Tasks > Alerts area of Tableau web pages, an icon appears in the Last checked column to indicate that the alert is suspended. Select ... > Resume Alert to resume the alert.

  • Click Resume Alert in the notification email to resume the alert. A notification will either allow you to resume the alert, or indicate that the view has changed and the alert should be deleted.

  • From the Alerts panel of the affected view or workbook. To resume the alert from a view or workbook, select Alert to open the Alerts panel. An icon appears next to the suspended alert. Select Actions > Resume Alert on the affected alert to resume.

Alert owners will receive an email notification when the alert is working again.

Control how often the server checks data-driven alerts

By default, Tableau Server checks every 60 minutes to confirm whether data conditions for alerts are true. If you notice performance impacts, you can customize this time interval with the tsm configuration set option, dataAlerts.checkIntervalInMinutes.

Regardless of the dataAlerts.checkIntervalInMinute setting, the server also checks alerts whenever extracts in the related workbook are refreshed. To check an alert more frequently than the setting specifies, change the extract-refresh schedule.

Track the server's alert-checking process

In the Background Tasks for Non Extracts view, you can track the server's alert-checking process by looking for these tasks:

  • Find Data Alerts to Check

  • Check If Data Alert Condition Is True

The "Find" task limits "Check" tasks to alerts that can currently send related emails. For example, if a user has chosen an email frequency of "Daily at most", after the alert condition becomes true, the server waits 24 hours before checking the alert again.

Each "Check" task uses one server backgrounder process, loading the related view to evaluate the alert condition. If all users see the same version of a view, it loads only once. But if users have applied filters to a view, or the data they see is limited by user-level security, the view loads once for each recipient.

Identify and fix failing alerts

As an administrator, you can proactively identify failing alerts that users may be unaware of. To check:

  1. Select Status in your site menu

  2. Select Background tasks for non-extracts

  3. From the Task drop-down menu, select Check if Data Alert is True

  4. In the far right, click on Error to see a list of failing alerts

  5. Hover over the red failure icon to display a tooltip with alert details

To determine the alert owner, look for the alert ID number in the data_alerts table of the Tableau Server Repository. (In the alert management area of a site, you can also look for the alert name following the number, but be aware that multiple different alerts may use the same name.)

Note: Starting in Tableau Server 2019.3, alert owners will be automatically notified when an alert fails ten times. Administrators can customize when alert owners receive notifications. Administrators can configure Users will not be notified for alerts that failed prior to upgrading to Tableau Server 2018.1.

Failing alerts are often caused by content changes on Tableau Server. Encourage users to recreate alerts if changes like the following occur:

  • A workbook, view, or data field is removed or renamed.

  • Database credentials embedded in workbooks expire. (Alerts require workbooks to use either embedded credentials, or none at all.)

  • A data source becomes inaccessible.

Tip: To automatically get emailed when alerts fail, follow the steps in Collect Data with the Tableau Server Repository, and connect to the "background_jobs" table. From that table, create a custom view that includes the "Check If Data Alert Condition Is True" job name and its finish code. Then set up a data-driven alert to email you whenever a finish code equals 1 (failure).

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