Integrating Tableau Workbooks in Tableau Server

This post explains ways to pass information a web page to a Tableau Workbook on the server.  This web page can be anywhere.

 

Use cases

  • There are visuals in two separate dashboards that users want in one place,
  • A web page passes variables to Tableau Server, and
  • A visibility control mechanism that allows certain visuals for select people.

Note:  This is for Tableau and Tableau Server/Public 10.0 and above.

Embedding a Dashboard Within a Dashboard

 

Sometimes areas want to reuse visuals from one dashboard on another.  Usually this mean making a copy of the visuals and data.  The problem with this is that the visuals will slowly diverge as creators apply updates.  It may even come to the point where they will give different answers, even if both dashboard use the same data source.

To get around this problem, embed the dashboard.  This keeps the source the single version of the truth.

1. In IE 11, Chrome, or Firefox go to the dashboard you wish to embed

 

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2. Click Share > Link

3. Copy the URL link

Note: At this point, web site designers can use this link to embed a visual into a web page if they wish to place the visualization in a Iframe.  However, a better idea would be to use the embed code for best presentation and more control.  This is useful on Microsoft SharePoint, Yammer, and blogs such as WordPress.

 

This is what it looks like when a Tableau Public dashboard is embeded into WordPress.  Sizing is a bit off with this view.  Full version

 

4. In Tableau Desktop, create a Dashboard page

 

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5. Under Objects, select Web Page

6. Drag it to the canvas

7. In the Edit URL popup, paste the link (CTRL+V)

 

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8. Click OK

 

 

Optional – Sizing

If the linked dashboard linked is larger than the source dashboard it might not fit the view.  To fix this you need to have Tableau adjust the size of the screen. 

Under Size > Fixed Size, choose Automatic  (easiest to use but developers should play with the fixed sized settings for best fit.)

 

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Optional 2 – Look an Feel

Developers can also control the look and feel depending on the options sent via the URL.

 

https://tableau.test.com/views/TestDashboard/TestDashboardPage?:embed=y&:showShareOptions=true&:display_count=no&:showVizHome=no

 

Each of the colored items are options.  You can append as many as you need.

  • :embed=y  —– Turns off Tableau server header and only shows the dashboard
  • :tabs=no   —– Turns off tabs and only shows the linked page of the workbook
  • :toolbar=  —– Turns on and off download and edit toolbar at the bottom of the page
    • Yes
    • No
    • Top
  • :tooltip=no  —– Turns off tooltips
  • :showShareOptions=false  —– Stops people from being able to share the view
  • :format=png  —– Will turn the secondary dashboard to a picture.  Useful to prevent people from downloading the data. It also can be copied into presentations.

More Info: https://onlinehelp.tableau.com/current/server/en-us/embed_list.htm 

Note: These options only work with Tableau Server not Tableau Public.

 

Optional 3 – Filtering

Using Parameters

Developers can pass parameters from one dashboard to another through the URL.  This allows the main dashboard to filter items on the secondary dashboard.

 

https://tableau.test.com/views/TestDashboard/TestDashboardPage?Districts=<Parameters.Districts>&:embed=y&:showShareOptions=true&:display_count=no&:showVizHome=no

 

In this example, the link in the main dashboard contains a parameter that passes along the agency to the secondary dashboard.  Since the test dashboard has a field or parameter called ‘Districts’, this filters the embedded dashboard.  The URL can contain multiple filter-parameters.

The parameter in the main dashboard does not need to have the same name as the field in the secondary dashboard, but it may help with passing variables

See this in action: Link

 

Hard Coding Parameters

https://public.tableau.com/profile/steve.rubendall6256#!/vizhome/SuperstoreSub-WorkbookExample/Overview?State=Iowa

Developers can also hardcode the filters.  This is useful when users need to see only a subset of the data.  In this example will display the state of Alaska.   Some developers will be able to use dashboard actions to finely control what is sent to the secondary dashboard.

See this in action: Link

Note:  This can be used as to filter data based on people’s ID or name.  For instance, a page a user ID via the URL to a dashboard embedded on an intranet site.  This provides good visibility protection for those non-technical users, but should not be on the public internet.

 

Multi-Filter Parameters

Developers can also pass more than one filter in the URL.

 

https://public.tableau.com/profile/steve.rubendall6256#!/vizhome/SuperstoreSub-WorkbookExample/Overview?State=Iowa,Illinois&Category=Furniture

 

Here, there are multiple filter values with State using multiple values.  This displays only career reps in both Alaska and Tennessee.

See it in Action: Link

Other Notes

  • Spaces in filters and valid values need to be changed to %20 (ex: Carol Stream –> Carol%20Stream) for them to work on the web.  Other escape characters may also need to be altered to fit in a URL.

 

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Update #1: In checking with Tableau, it looks like embedded reports do not print to PDF.  This is by design as a security and visibility feature.   This also goes for graphics and web pages that are embedded.

Workarounds

    1. Add a toolbar to embedded dashboard to download it as a separate report.  In the URL string use toolbar=top or toolbar=yes.
    2. Take a screen shot (I use a program called Greenshot for picture perfect capture.)
    3. Make it an online only report and point people to it.  Developers can subscribe users to updates so they always get the latest version of the report when available through a periodic email.

Bloomington-Normal Job Locations

I stumbled on the Where Are the Job? website, that places all of the jobs in the US on the map. 

2016-12-21 09_54_30-Where Are The Jobs_ - Pale Moon

It is from 2014, so in Bloomington-Normal it is pre-Mitsubishi closing.  The clustering in is interesting.  People looking for manufacturing or logistics jobs should be on the western, southern, and northern outskirts along the Interstates.  Professional services jobs are clustered around COUNTRY Financial and State Farm along Veteran’s Parkway. 

Service sectors jobs are in the thin line following Veteran’s Parkway while much of the government, medical, and education jobs follow Main St (US 51.)

Clustering of jobs isn’t surprising.  Small companies of similar types grow up near larger institutions.  It also help workers since working in proximity to others in the same field help spread ideas and talent.  It also shortens travel time during work hours.

Businesses and Integrating Social Media

imageA year or so ago, I wrote this to help managers in mid-sized companies  understand the best ways to train employees on how to use social media to interact with customers.  Clearly, I suck at the subject so take it as a outsiders view point. 

Before using social media, most employees generally want training on how to engage customers, especially if they grew up pre-internet or don’t use it personally.  The most preferred way individual training.  Unfortunately, in most companies this scales poorly.  There is so much turnover that it is expensive to keep everyone up to date with newest networks, let alone how to use Facebook or Instagram.  It also limits the learner to established practices.  This limits their options and discourages them from exploring new ways to communicate with customers.

Many companies fallback to webinar training, but this is usually a terrible medium for learning complex ideas.  This type of training often take the worst aspects of traditional classroom learning such as being a passive listener and having to attend at a fixed time.  Add to that a student needs to stare at PowerPoint slides on a tiny 17” screen while listening through tinny speakers it a wonder that anyone would attend unless forced. 

There is still a place individualized training and webinars but other options work better.  Some of the best idea come from podcasters and YouTube video bloggers.  Many are entrepreneurs with their livelihoods at stake.  Therefore, most tend to be focused on increasing attendance.  Here is what they many successful ones do:

1. Keep the message short and focused. 

People find the best training sessions are up to 5 minutes long.  Studies show that people on phones watch training sessions for about 3 minutes and tablets/computers for 5 minutes. 

Short lengths help keep people’s attention.  More short content offers increases the likelihood of covering something people need simply by chance. 

Serialization provides more excuses to publicize content.  This is similar to how tweets aren’t often about the content.  They are about keeping the message in the front of the consumer.

The problem is that short content is often harder to do.  Instructors spend more working a 3-minute speech than an hour-long one.  This increases quality.

Percentage of video watchedviewingpercentageSource: Wistia.com

  1. Make highlight reels.

Take snippets the important ideas from long-form content and post it on the content intranet.  This is common in the public policy sphere.  A creator will make an hour-long video, take snippets out, and post the best parts as short form content.  Some will even create separate short pieces and condense the material still further (sort of like an ad or highlight reel.)  

  1. Practice just-in-time learning.

Because most businesses are cyclical, create and publicize content when learners need it, during peak times of the year.  For instance, at a bank, more employees will want to give savings advice during tax season.  

  1. Ask questions before producing content.

Participation is higher in session where employees know it will cover something they are interested in learning.  In a hour+ long training, few people ask questions.  Sessions cause mental fatigue, especially those in remote locations when the temptation to answer emails or play solitaire is strong.

Gathering feedback before production gives the trainer an idea of what people want to know.  It also gives time for people to think about what they want to learn.

  1. Market it.

Content is worthless if no one knows it exists, market it.  Ideally, there should be multiple posts per week about how to do things cycled on the intranet.  Even if it is a repeat, post it.  Few employees will know that it is a repeat and even if they do, there is no harm with a little refresh. 

  1. Build a community.

If the company is really serious about using the internet to communicate with customers, build a internal community.  Make it a one stop shop.  Start by adding all available training and links to corporate social media presences.  Next, have employees write about personal experiences.  Make this a user listening post.  Use forums, surveys, Q&A, and anything to keep interest.  This will also help trainers and experts by giving a single place for research.

  1. Be passionate.

Nothing is more boring than listening someone reading a script or going through the motions.  If it is boring to the poster, imagine what it like for others.  Training should be interesting to the trainer firstly.  Otherwise, it is not worth doing.

  1. Use multiple mediums.

People learn in different ways, so it is important to mix up training by using multiple mediums such as live training, audio, webinars, videos, blog post, LinkedIn requests, etc.  Together with many short pieces, this has several benefits:

  • Helps to track what works for the audience.
  • Risk of failure is lower, so it allows trainers more freedom to experiment. 
  • Allow for creation of meta-training.  This means creating categories of training based ideas and not on the content type.  Some of the better MOOCs do this.

Use video and live feeds and examples to liven the presentation.  When using video, produce audio and text versions of content.  Despite MTV mantra, video didn’t kill the radio star.  The great aspect of audio is learners can multitask (think audio books.)  Short posts are great to drive traffic to existing content and offer bite sized training to boot.  Post snippets from live training sessions can help reinforce ideas.

9.  Test your audience.

Short quizzes or surveys after the content can reinforce content.  Even if the content is short, ask questions after it to reinforce the material and to gather feedback on how well the content was conveyed.

10.  Be Committed

The weakest part of an social media strategy is management.  Most C-level executive want to engage customers online, but don’t put resources into help employee do it.  The results is lackluster with many employees jumping in at the start and two months in the effort is forgot about, to the detriment of the customer base. 

Nor do many engagement their employees or customers to provide an example.  Without this engagement, interest will wane.

Samsung vs Internet

Boomstick

 

 

Samsung seems to be taking tips from TheDonald and attempting to silence parities and stiff people who have been affected by the fire prone Note 7.  You think companies would have learned that controlling the narrative rarely working on the Internet these days.

There are just too many people with access and too few public relations employees to fight them.  Instead, an obscure modder get their 15 seconds of fame while I and much of the world wouldn’t have even know it existed.  It shouldn’t be surprising that they treat their potential buyers as poorly as they treat their employees.

Link: GTA 5 – EXPLOSIVE Samsung Galaxy Note 7?! (GTA 5 Mods Showcase)

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Learn from Other and Don’t Reuse Passwords

imag0741_crSigh, another day, another hack.  Clinton’s campaign chief John Podesta had his email hacked and displayed for all to see earlier this month.  That was bad enough, but miscreants noticed his password saved in an email.  They started to look for other accounts that used the same password finally ending up deleting everything in his Apple account and posting embarrassing tweets on Twitter.

John failed to follow two simple security protocols.  Never reuse passwords and do not put them in an email.  Emails usually have no encryption and anyone can read them when sent through the internet.  Saving the information in a document is almost as bad because malware can harvest these if a piece of hardware becomes infected.  It also a pain to keep synced with all devices unless stored in DropBox of other file shares.

A Simple Security First Step

Keeping track of more than a handful of id and passwords is pain and nearly impossible on today’s internet.  So, use a password manager.  Several of today’s password managers such as LastPass and KeePass integrate seamlessly into desktops and mobile devices.  To find one that meets your needs, Likehacker or PC Mag sites have some good information on how the software works.

Remember to make the password on the manager unique and easy to remember you will use it daily.

Changing Passwords

If you are using the same password in more than one in place, stop.  If there is a breach, especially if it is your email account, then all other sites become vulnerable.

It is tedious to change passwords on all of the web site you access at once.  To break up the frustrations start in this order, doing a bit at a time:

  1. Protect your email and phone. A breach of one these leave all accounts venerable to hacking because of the password reset options sites have.  A stolen phone without a password or other lock leaves your virtual life open to snooping.
  2. Accounts holding financial information. Bank accounts are most important, but this group also includes sites such as Amazon or your power company since they store credit card information.
  3. Social sites. This includes social media sites such as Facebook but also other sites that you regularly use to communicate with others such as forums.  It is embarrassing for a spammer to hijack your account and start spamming fake Nike or pharmaceuticals to your friends and family.
  4. Anything else. Update other sites as you log into them.

Other Security Ideas

  • Occasionally check the news to see what sites have breaches.  Have I been pwned is a good side to check if your email address or user name are in lists of stolen accounts.
  • For important sites, use two-factor authentication. This can come in form of a text message sent to your phone, an email, or an app downloaded to your phone.  Even if someone gets your password, they will be unable to get into your accounts.
  • Don’t share accounts with others. Find out a way to give each person a unique log in.  As a bonus, the personalization features stay unique to you.  No longer will you receive cartoon recommendations when you use Netflix.
  • Don’t share passwords with anyone for any reason. Legit tech people will next ask for one.
  • Password-protect your phone. It is your most important piece of technology and is the center of their lives for many.
  • Do save password in the browser.  It is hard to move from one machine to another and malware can read it if installed.
  • Install an ad blocker.

While taking these steps won’t make your digit life hack proof, it makes you a more difficult target and just like locking your front door, it raises the time and hassle it takes do to something to you.  It is worth a few hours of investment for some extra protection.

Ad-blockers Improve the Surfing Experience

free-image-download-blank-not_allowed-signA few weeks ago, someone I know contacted me and said they received a message when visiting a site.  It said their computer was infected and to call Microsoft.  This was a common scam where less savory internet elements buy ad space on sites to con the unwary into calling or downloading malware.

This is an easily alleviated problem.  Just install an ad block extension to the browser.  They block a common vector of viruses, scams, and malware that often piggy back on malicious ads.  This happened to me a about 5 years ago when an ad on Dillert.com downloaded malware to my machine.  Fortunately, the hackers only wanted the gold in my World of Warcraft account.   Ever since, all of my browsers had ad blockers.

Ad blockers also have another use.  They make the web a cleaner, less flashy place.  No more loud blinking ads.  No more ads breaking up content.  Below are the versions I normally use and install on people’s machines to improve their browsing experience.

 

image Firefox / image Pale Moon

Icon of uBlock Origin

For Mozilla compatible clients, uBlock Origin seems to be the one of the better ad-blocker extensions.  As my main browser, I have tried at least a dozen of them and found it to be a little lighter on my machines.  It also plays well with the other add-on installed in the browser such as NoScript, Disconnect, and EFF’s Privacy Badger.  I also feel it is a good one for people who have little knowledge of how browsers work.

The only issue is that a few sites like Forbes will block access to their site, but most ad laden sites don’t have much in the way of original content so there is no real loss.

 

image  Chrome

imageI use Chrome at work over Internet Explorer because users can install plug-ins without administrative rights.  Again, uBlock Origin is the one of choice.  Given the closed nature of Chrome, it runs a bit rougher than on Firefox but most users will not notice it.

 

image Internet Explorer 11

imageBeing hard to code for and growing obsolete, there are few addons for IE 11.  When I reluctantly need to use IE, I use Adblock Plus (ABP.)  It works fine but is slower because IE is just pain to use compared to faster and newer browsers. 

Also, I don’t really endorse ABP.  The company who writes the software acts in a scummy way.  Advertisers can pay to have ‘acceptable’ ads show through.  However, there are few decent alternatives. 

 

image  Microsoft Edge

imageEdge in Microsoft’s new browser that is available on Windows 10.  Despite the hate, it is actually a decent browser.  It was recently made better when Microsoft started to allow extensions.  Like IE 11, I don’t use it much because it doesn’t have the extension pool I need yet, but when I have to surf on it, I use AdBlock.  I choose it because it was the most downloaded extension not out of any well founded research.  Overall, I don’t have many complaints except that it sometimes causes odd style sheet changes to web sites where uBlock Origin doesn’t on other browsers.

 

image Safari

I have no idea what is good since I don’t use Macs.  Fortunately, Apple recently updated the browser to allow ad blocker.  Quara users have a decent list to try with some being on my own list.  Remember that Safari isn’t the only browser available.  Installing the extensions above in Firefox or Chrome will work just as well.

This Chart Shows Who Marries CEOs, Doctors, Chefs and Janitors

Bloomberg recently released a cool visual showing they type of people marrying each other by the jobs they hold.  At work, I read through reams of cross tabs to better understand clients so this is a neat way to display data for people inclined to read hard numbers.

Unsurprisingly, it does shows people are more likely to marry those with similar pay with men a bit more likely to women in lower paid positions.

When it comes to falling in love, it’s not just fate that brings people together

Source: This Chart Shows Who Marries CEOs, Doctors, Chefs and Janitors