10 things about Tableau 10: Conditional Subscriptions


10 things about Tableau 10: Conditional Subscriptions

We’re going to wrap up 2016 with one last post in my blog series titled “10 things about Tableau 10“. In my last post of the year, I’m going to talk about a new feature in Tableau 10 (specifically version 10.1); “Conditional Subscriptions”.

Conditional Subscriptions

Data-driven alerts can be a great way to notify certain key individuals about changes in your data. Alerts that are triggered when your data changes can be used with so many different types of data sources, from sales quotas to production volumes. For example, instead of finding out that you are out of a certain product after an order is received, you could have Tableau send you a notification when your inventory dips below a certain threshold.

With Conditional Subscriptions, you can tell Tableau Server to notify yourself or other users, when the data changes underneath. In my example, I’ve created a simple visualisation about the Sales during the last quarter of 2016. I’ve also created a Running Total calculation, and brought in a file that has my overall sales target for the year. For simplicity, I’m using Excel data sources. I’ve also used the Analytics tab, just like my earlier posts, and created a line that shows that target in relation to my weeks, as well as another Calculated Field to highlight when the Rolling Total sales exceed my target.


I published the workbook with my data sources to the Tableau Server, and after that, I created a dashboard that included just the visualisation from the workbook.


To use the Conditional Subscription feature, you need to log onto the Tableau Server and open up the visualisation or dashboard you want to be sent to you (Note that before you can use the Subscribe -feature, the email server details need to be set up on the server-side). From the Subscribe-menu, you can set how the workbook should behave if the data is updated. I just want a notification about this vis, as I’m interested in my Sales Target vs Actuals. Enabling the “Don’t send if view is empty” will only send me a notification if my sales figures change. I could also subscribe other colleagues but I won’t at this time.


I’m using an excel data set, I’m going to union a second sheet with some more data to push my Actual Sales over the Targets, in order to trigger the alert. The alert is set to notify me at 16:30 every day, but as the administrator you can set the time to something else — most likely you’ll want the alert in the morning.


As the clock strikes 16:30, Tableau Server will trigger the alert, and create an alert email. The email will include a snapshot of the visualisation / dashboard, as well as links directly to it. By clicking on the snapshot of the vis, I can navigate directly to my dashboard.


Because I created the Calculated Field to highlight my Sales that have exceeded our Targets, you can see that the last two bars are coloured in a different colour. Pretty neat!



To download a free 14 day trial of Tableau 10, go to our trial download page and discover Tableau 10 for yourself!

Contact Person

Blog writer

Karri Linnoinen

Bilot Alumni