How about publishing the workbook with the data source embedded as an extract to the Server (rather than using a Data Server data source), then set a refresh schedule for the workbook/embedded extract and set the schedule to refresh overnight--so, if you open the workbook from the Server site after refresh, the new data should be there and you shouldn't have to load it into the workbook.
Does this make sense to you? Or have you never worked with workbooks published with embedded extracts? Is there a specific reason you utilizing the Data Server for your data source?
That is a great idea but the users want the extract scheduled for mid day :-(
Oh well, I shall keep searching!
Thanks for your reply (and it makes prefect sense!).
You're using the word "workbook" which has two definitions in your particular post, Tableau Desktop workbook and Excel workbook, so be mindful of reader ambiguity.
Is the Excel workbook saved on the Tableau Server or is it saved on another device? If there is a separation (e.g. Excel workbook is saved on another server located on the other side of the world) then network traffic would contribute to the delay...especially during business hours!
Also, is your Tableau workbook connecting to an extract? Because it really should be for faster response times. If it is connecting to an extract, will an incremental extract work? What you'd do is initially a full extract to populate the extract and then schedule a daily incremental extract. I think this would be much faster and should work since data is being added to the extract, not changing rows in it.
OP states he is using an extract.
You could still use the same technique I listed, just have the workbook refresh on the Server mid-day instead of overnight. You still won't have to deal with slow load times when you open the workbook, as once its refreshed, it'll be dynamically updated on Server. Unless I am missing something.
Toby's suggestion of an incremental extract may be a good one for your scenario; all my data refreshes overnight so I haven't dealt with this technique much and cannot comment on it.
Good points Toby -- and sorry for the ambiguity -- you are so right; I shall be more careful in the future.