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Getting real, useful data out of Tableau Server is difficult. More difficult than it should be. The PostgreSQL repository database that powers Server is a maze of confusing tables and cryptic, often incomplete, data. Don't go mucking about in there if you can avoid it!
Instead, use these pre-built, impeccably accurate set of data sources! All the hard work has been done for you! All you need to do is download the workbooks, point them at your Tableau Server's repository database, and publish them as data sources. You can decide to keep them accessible to just Admins, or use row-level security and share them with all your users, so they can see how their workbooks perform, when their subscriptions go out, and what content is being used by who--all without asking for your help!
Each of these data sources follow best practices for published data sources. The fields are organized into folders, and each contains a comment about what it represents. These are being attached as workbooks, so I can use the Caption field on the first sheet to explain what the data source represents and how to use it (you can use this text for the Description field if you like, when you publish them!). I try to avoid CustomSQL, but it's unfortunately unavoidable when you try to assemble some of the PostgreSQL data into a coherent set.
The Data Sources:
- TS Content: High-level summarized data for each View, Workbook, and published Data Source on Tableau Server.
- TS Background Tasks: Primarily for analyzing Extract Refresh and Subscription tasks that are run on Backgrounder processes.
- TS Events: Essentially a master audit data source showing events happening on Tableau Server. Users signing in, accessing views, publishing content, etc.
- TS Web Requests: An audit of requests made through the Tableau Server web server component. Useful for understanding user interaction with vizzes, as well as performance monitoring.
- TS Data Connections: Maps both workbooks and published data sources to their underlying data connections. Useful for answering questions on what workbooks connect to what data source, which then connects to what database(s)?
- TS Users: Aggregated information on what your users are up to on Tableau Server.
- Using these data sources requires (and assumes) that you have already opened up access to your PostgreSQL repository.
- Each attached file is named for the minimum version of Tableau Server you must be running to make use of it. You'll need to ensure your Server is running at least that version.
- Automating Empathy: How Tableau Uses Data To Run Their Deployment (2018, discusses a few of these in combination with automated emailing tool I created, called VizAlerts)
- How to Prevent an Uprising by Sharing Server Data (2016, goes into why these were created and some details on the mechanics)
I hope these are helpful to you--let me know if you find any issues, or have suggestions on what could be improved.
5/10/2019: Added "Ask Data" to TS Web Requests as a Web Edit Type value. Removed extraneous fields in all data sources for 2019.1 and 2019.2 Server versions.
3/19/2019: Corrected several fields in TS Users--the custom SQL in the Usage Stats part of the connection calculated smaller access counts than it should have.
1/23/2019: Corrected TS Content User Filter field--it was still referencing the Owner Site Role field rather than Owner Sysname, for reasons related to the previous issue.
1/18/2019: Corrected TS Content to fix an issue wherein Owner Sysname was replaced by the Site Role of the owner (how that happened, I've no idea--but it's fixed now!)
1/14/2019: Updated all data sources to 2019.1 compatibility, hid extraneous fields
11/12/2018: Updated main page text for clarity
11/7/2018: Added hyperlink and workbook fields to TS Web Requests data source
10/18/2018: Fixed bug in Export Data Type field in TS Web Requests data source
9/24/2018: Added TS Web Requests data source
9/12/2018: Corrected issue with Historical Item Repository URL field in TS Events
7/31/2018: Added TS Users data source
5/29/2018: Added starter sheets to all data sources. LUID fields have been added for REST API compatibility. Fixed hyperlink calc issue. Upversioned all data sources to a minimum of 10.2.
3/2/2018: Updated TS Background Tasks_9.2 to include Schedule information for Subscriptions and Extracts
12/1/2017: Updated all data sources to clean up 10.5 fields. Added new version of TS Content specifically for v10.5 containing nested project information.
9/8/2017: Updated TS Background Tasks name to "9.2" to reflect its true compatibility (sorry, 9.0-ers )
8/23/2017: Updated all data sources for schema changes relative to 10.4 (there should be no functional changes, it only prevents them from being inaccurate when you upgrade to Tableau Server v10.4)