Set a Data Quality Warning

Data quality warnings are a feature of Tableau Catalog, part of the Data Management offering for Tableau Server and Tableau Cloud. For more information about Tableau Catalog, see "About Tableau Catalog" in the Tableau Server(Link opens in a new window) or Tableau Cloud(Link opens in a new window) Help.

When Tableau Catalog is enabled in your environment, you can set data quality warnings on data assets so that users of that data are aware of issues. For example, you might want to let users know that a data source has been deprecated, or that a refresh has failed for an extract data source, or that a table contains sensitive data.

You can set data quality warnings on data sources, databases, tables, flows, virtual connections, virtual connection tables, and columns.

Data quality warnings for data sources, databases, tables, and flows were introduced in Tableau Server 2019.3 and Tableau Cloud 2019.3. Data quality warnings for virtual connections and virtual connection tables were added in Tableau Server 2022.1 and Tableau Cloud March 2022, and for columns in Tableau Server 2022.3 and Tableau Cloud October 2022.

About data quality warnings

There are two kinds of data quality warnings you can set. The first kind is visible to users until you remove it. The second kind is generated by Tableau when you set Tableau to monitor for refresh failures of extract data sources or flow run failures.

For extracts and flows, you can set one data quality warning of each kind per asset.

For databases, tables, columns, virtual connections, virtual connection tables, and live data sources, you can set only one quality warning.

When you set the first kind, it's visible to users until you remove it using the data quality dialog box. You can also use the dialog box to make any updates to the quality warning you set.

When you set Tableau to monitor for extract data source refresh failures or flow run failures, if a warning is generated, it’s visible to users until the extract refresh or flow run is successful. You can update or remove a warning by opening and editing the contents in the dialog box.

Note: You can set both kinds of data quality warnings and enable high visibility using REST API. For more information, see Add Data Quality Warning in the Tableau REST API Help.

Who can see the data quality warning

In Tableau Server and Tableau Cloud, when you set a warning on a data source, flow, database, table, column, virtual connection, or virtual connection table, the warning is visible to users of the asset and any assets downstream from it. For example, a warning set on a table is visible to users looking at a dashboard with an upstream dependency on that table - users see a warning icon on the dashboard's Data Details tab and can open the pane to see the details. Warnings are visible elsewhere in Tableau as described in Set high visibility for a data quality warning.

Data quality warning on Data Details pane

When exploring some types of content using list view, Tableau Server and Tableau Cloud users also see data quality warnings in a column.

Data quality warning column in list view

In Tableau Desktop and Tableau Web Authoring, users see a warning icon (either a blue circle or a yellow triangle with an exclamation point) on the Data tab in a workbook sheet when either

  • a warning is set on a data source used in the workbook, or
  • there is a warning upstream from the data source used in the workbook

Note: Data quality warnings for columns and virtual connections do not appear in Tableau Desktop.

To see the details of the warning, hover over the warning icon with the cursor.

Data quality warning tooltip in the Data Pane

Data quality warnings in subscriptions

Administrators can turn on data quality warnings in email subscriptions so that when users subscribe to a view, for example, the email they get includes any data quality warnings associated with that view. Emails with data quality warnings contain:

  • Links to relevant views or workbooks with their Data Details pane open.
  • Links to relevant upstream assets, such as data sources, tables, or databases.

Administrators can turn on data quality warnings in email subscriptions by selecting the Data Quality Warnings in Subscriptions option on the Tableau Server or Tableau Cloud site settings page. For more information, see Data Quality Warnings in Subscriptions in the Site Settings Reference.

How to set a quality warning

You can set one of several different data quality warnings on an asset. Starting in Tableau Cloud June 2023, an administrator can add to the list of available data quality warnings by customizing data labels. (Customization is not currently available in Tableau Server.) The following data quality warnings are built-in:

  • Warning
  • Deprecated
  • Stale data
  • Under maintenance
  • Sensitive data

Beginning in Tableau Cloud June 2023, "sensitive data" warnings are no longer a data quality warning, but are a sensitivity label instead. See Sensitivity Labels for information. In current versions of Tableau Server, "sensitive data" remains a data quality warning.

In addition to showing the data quality warning, you can include an optional message with more details about the warning.

To set a data quality warning:

  1. Open the Data Quality Warning dialog for the asset you want to create a warning for. How you do this depends on the type of asset.
    • For all asset types except columns: Select the More actions menu (. . .) next to the asset, and then select Quality Warning.
    • For columns: On the table page, select the check box next to the column. Click the Actions menu and select Quality Warning.
  2. Turn the warning on.
  3. Select the warning label from the drop-down list. (Older dialogs have a Warning type dropdown.)
  4. Set the visibility level. (Older dialogs have a checkbox for high visibility.)
  5. Enter a message to display to users. You can format the text in a message with bold, underline, and italics, and include a link or an image. To see text formatting tips, click the information (i) icon above the Save button.
  6. Click Save.

Data Quality Warning dialog box

How to set a monitoring quality warning

You can set Tableau to monitor for two events: extract data source refresh failure and flow run failure. When the event occurs, Tableau generates a quality warning that appears in the same places that a manual quality warning appears.

To set Tableau to monitor for either event:

  1. Select the More actions menu (. . .) next to the extract data source or flow you want to create a warning for, and then select the appropriate option:
    • Quality Warning > Extract Refresh Monitoring
    • Quality Warning > Flow Run Monitoring
  2. Enable the warning.
  3. Set the visibility level. (Older dialogs have a checkbox for high visibility)
  4. (Optional) Enter a message to display to users. You can format the text in a message with bold, underline, and italics, and include a link or an image. To see text formatting tips, click the information (i) icon above the Save button.
  5. Click Save.

Set high visibility for a data quality warning

There are times when you want to make sure that users of a visualization know important information about the data they're viewing, whether it be that the data is stale, or that the source has been deprecated, or that the flow run has failed. You can do this by setting the visibility level to high in the Data Quality Warning dialog box, as described in How to set a data quality warning.

When enabled, a notification appears when anyone opens a published view affected by this warning.

Published view with data quality warning info toast

High visibility warnings are identified with a yellow warning symbol, which makes them more visible elsewhere in Tableau, as in these examples:

On the External Assets page:

External Assets page with data quality warning

On a database page:

Database page with data quality warning

On the Data Details pane:

Data Details pane with data quality warning

On metrics. Warnings appear when you open a metric in Tableau Mobile, and in Tableau Server and Tableau Cloud when you hover over a metric in grid view and on the metric details page, as shown below:

Metric with data quality warning

You can change a high visibility warning to normal visibility by clearing the Enable high visibility check box in the Data Quality Warning dialog box.

Remove a data quality warning

When a warning no longer applies, you can remove it by navigating to the data asset with the warning.

  1. Open the Data Quality Warning dialog for the asset. How you do this depends on the type of asset.
    • For all asset types except columns: Select the More actions menu (. . .) next to the data asset and select Quality Warning.
    • For columns: On the table page, select the check box next to the column. Click the Actions menu and select Quality Warning.
  2. Turn the warning off.
  3. Click Save.

Who can do this

To set a data quality warning, you must either

  • be a server or site administrator, or
  • have the Overwrite capability for the asset.

Customize Data Quality Warnings

Beginning with Tableau Cloud June 2023, using the REST API, an administrator can change the data quality warnings that users see in the data quality warning dialog, or create entirely new ones. This feature does not currently exist in Tableau Server. For information, see Customize Labels.

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