Tableau provides some good tools to monitor what is happening on each Tableau site on the Tableau Server. Site admins and above have access to these dashboards.
They provide information on who is viewing what dashboards, the number of extracts updating and length of time to update, and information on the subscriptions sent by the server.
However, these aren’t always enough to get a good view into what’s happening on your Tableau server.
All activity on the Tableau server is captured in a postgres database. Using this database opens many options for enhanced server monitoring
Using the Tableau postgres database
Tableau allow querying of the underlying postgres database to create views.
However, until recently, there was very little documentation available to help.
In addition, using the database comes with the ‘do so at your own risk’ warning.
Now things are beginning to change and there are many good sources of information about this database. This includes Tableau themselves providing a data dictionary.
Andre Pandre wrote up the following very useful post about the underlying Tableau postgres database, essentially bringing all the vital information into one place.
The Tableau postgres database provides information on the server performance and what users are doing on the server.
As I often do large scale Tableau dashboard implementation projects, I like to monitor dashboard usage.
Usage statistics are very important to measure the success of these projects.
Monitor Tableau dashboard usage with the postgres database
First connect Tableau Desktop to the Tableau postgres database. To make this connection requires two things:
- installing the postgres driver
- getting the postgres database password from the server admins
This is what I had to enter to connect to my server, although no guarantee this will also work for your server:
As previously mentioned my main interest is around dashboard usage. To get all of the data I need I connect to the following tables:
Build the Tableau Usage Statistics dashboard
Next step is to create your Tableau Usage Statistics report.
This is for you to use so create whatever is most interesting for you.
My version, although more functional than beautiful, does exactly what I need it to do.
It shows me who is using what dashboards, when they’re using them and how often they check them.
This is what it looks like:
The postgres database also contains data on Data Extract updates.
In an extract heavy environment there can be many competing demands for Tableau Server resources.
Therefore it is good to monitor what is happening with the scheduled updates.
To see how I improved the default extract monitoring dashboard check this post showing the alterations made to the Tableau Server extract monitoring dashboard.