6 Replies Latest reply on Jun 21, 2016 10:36 AM by Huy Nguyen

    Refresh Data using Tableau Reader

    Mithun Raj

      Hi Tableau experts,


      I am new to Tableau and would like to understand Data Refresh feature in Tableau Reader:


      My client does not want to buy the professional license and wants to use Tableau Reader to access the dashboard. Also, he'd like to update data automatically from the Tableau server. I understand that Tableau Desktop/Server is built for this purpose. But I'd like to find out if there is any workaround where I don't email him packaged workbook, but he still gets to access the latest, data-refreshed dashboard on Tableau Reader. If not, I had like to validate this is not possible using Tableau Reader




        • 1. Refresh Data using Tableau Reader
          Shawn Wallwork

          If you're really looking for someone to tell you (your client) that Reader can't refresh a dashboard, then I'll say it, no you can't do this.




          PS: See next post.

          • 2. Refresh Data using Tableau Reader
            Shawn Wallwork

            But if you're really looking for a workaround then you should know that packaged workbooks are really just ZIP files that can be opened and the Excel file (if that's your data source) can be replaced. So theoretically he could 'refresh' data in a workbook using a ZIP utility. But the data couldn't be an extract, since those have to be generated by Tableau Desktop.





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            • 3. Re: Refresh Data using Tableau Reader
              Kevin Denman

              Hi Shawn,


              I have a need for this as well. Several team members are using a combination of Tableau / Excel to do scenario analysis. To view the viz they need a data refresh.


              What is the ZIP utility and how would it be used to enable a data refresh of a packaged workbook?





              • 4. Re: Refresh Data using Tableau Reader
                Andy Harris

                Hi Kevin,


                You can use any of the masses of zip packages that are around (e.g. winzip, 7zip etc).


                To update the data you access your Zip program and select the tableau packaged workbook (or alternatively right click on the packaged workbook and select 'Open With...'. )


                This should then show you the tableau file plus a data folder. With my zip tool it looks like this;


                click on the Data folder and you will see the source excel file - Open the file and replace / correct any of the data and as you save and exit the file should be updated. If you then close the zip file and open the packaged workbook in Tableau Reader it picks up the changes that you made;


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                • 5. Re: Refresh Data using Tableau Reader
                  Kevin Denman

                  Thanks, Andy. This is what I'm looking for.


                  - Kevin

                  • 6. Re: Refresh Data using Tableau Reader
                    Huy Nguyen

                    Andy Harris, that was a great solution and it helped me do exactly what I needed. If I could add just one more layer to it, with a little serendipity I accidentally stumbled upon another possible solution. It's clumsy, yet elegant and is as follows:


                    1. Rename your Excel data source something very generic and save it to your desktop. I called my file "Tableau_Excel".

                    2. Build your Tableau Worksheet and save.

                    3. BEFORE you "Export to Packaged Workbook" go to your desktop and DELETE the Excel source file.

                    4. Now "Export to Packaged Workbook".

                    5. Share the exported .twbx with your users.


                    When the user opens the .twbx, Tableau Reader essentially chokes because it can't find the source file and will say "Cannot find 'Tableau_Excel'...blah blah blah Do you want to point to another data source?" User clicks Yes and gets a dialog box to select their own Excel data source. This is why you want a generic file name in Step #1 - the name is referenced in the error dialog and would look a little weird if it said something like "John's Excel for Q1 Sales" or something.


                    So in a nutshell, this method tricks Tableau Reader into giving the user a "Select Data Source" dialog. I wish Tableau had this option built in.


                    Hope this helps.

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