The Tableau Server 9 admin views are a massive improvement on those of Tableau 8 and Tableau have also made the Tableau Server admin view workbook publically available:, which, in case it disappears for some reason, I have also attached it to the bottom of this post.


Previously I wrote a post about creating your own Tableau Server admin views which were based on my need to monitor report usage.


I use the Tableau Server admin views for monitoring the background tasks. Whenever I’m in an ‘extract heavy’ environment it’s very important to keep an eye on how the Tableau extracts are updating. The default Tableau Background Tasks view is ok. However as Tableau have made the workbook public it’s very straightforward to modify the view ‘Background Tasks for Extracts’, giving me more visibility into the extract processes.


One thing missing is easily seeing the time the extract actually started to refresh. With Tableau Server 9 it shows the time the extract refresh entered the queue. I also want to see when it actually started to refresh. A few minor alterations and the ‘Background Tasks for Extracts’ includes both the queue entry time and the refresh start time.

Make this changes to enhance background task monitoring

1. Go to the worksheet ‘What Extracts Have Run in the past 24 hours?’ in the ‘Background Tasks for Extracts’ dashboard.

2. Drag the dimension [started_at_local] to the columns shelf, on top of the existing [created_at_local]. Set it to Exact Date and Continuous.

3. The size of the gantt bar also needs to be altered by editing the measure [runtime_sec_gant]. The formula should be: datediff(‘second’,[started_at_local],[completed_at_local_nonull])/(60 * 60 * 24). All you need do is replace the field [created_at_local] with [started_at_local].

4. Now the kick off time ([created_at_local]) has gone from the view, I still want to see it so will bring it back in the form of a reference line. Drag the dimension [created_at_local] to the ‘All’ Marks Detail shelf setting it to Exact Date and Continuous

5. Right click on the X axis to add a Reference Line and select the value [created_at_local]. This should be a Line – Per Pane reference line. Personally I remove the label and also remove the fill. Leaving it at the default Minimum is fine.


Once complete the worksheet should now look something like this, with the altered fields crudely circled:

Tableau Background Tasks

The original file is zipped up here: Server Admin Views 9.0.twb