3 Replies Latest reply on May 21, 2018 6:27 PM by Okechukwu Ossai

    The Dashboard that Makes Time (and everything else) Stand Still

    Kimberly Coutts

      Hi All -

       

      I am wrestling with a dashboard optimization issue that I'm hoping someone might have an answer.  Our college is part of a guided pathway program that follows students from their first enrollment to graduation.  I have built a very well-received dashboard that answers a number of frequently asked questions.

       

      The problem?  It's load and rendering pegs out our server.  We have an 8 core licensing plan and it just kills every other dashboard.   The fastest load time we have reached is just over 2 minutes....but that is if no one else is using any of our other dashboards currently in existence at that same times.  Load times of 15 minutes+ have been seen, and while folks might be willing to wait 1-2 minutes, 15 is not an option.

       

      I know that this is likely due to the number of vizzes on the page, (see image below)  but I hesitate to eliminate anything because all of it is really useful. Granted,  it's not useful if no one can get to it either,  but I'm trying to do everything I can to optimize it before I start chopping off pieces.

       

      The facts and what I have tried so far:

      • We are currently on 10.4 but will be moving to 10.5 in the next couple of weeks.
      • We publish to Tableau server, but then embed the dashboard within our sharepoint portal.  Load times are not significantly different between the two.
      • The dataset is relatively small <16k rows.  The dashboard data source originally came from an excel file but we created a live extract on server to see if that made things load faster.  It didn't. 
      • I've filtered the entire dataset to look only at the specific students needed for the dashboard.
      • I have deleted all parameters as they aren't needed for this dashboard.

       

      Any other things I could try? I've attached a twbx file for reference.

       

      Thanks in advance,

       

      Kimberly Coutts

       

        • 1. Re: The Dashboard that Makes Time (and everything else) Stand Still
          Okechukwu Ossai

          Hi Kimberly,

           

          Optimization is such a broad topic and dashboard poor performance might be caused by several factors which might be unique for different people. So, it could be a challenge to generalize a solution.

           

          Having said that, the first thing to check is if the dashboard loads faster on Tableau Desktop than on the Server. If it does, then the problem might be more related to the server. It took less than 2 mins to open on my system, I don't know how the Desktop version performs on your system.

           

          The next thing to look at is your infrastructure. Is your Tableau server housed in it's own hardware or is it sharing hardware with other applications? This could determine how much resource is available to Tableau server. You mentioned that you are currently on the 8 core CPU and 32GB memory plan. I noticed that this plan could be upgraded to 16 Core/64GB plan for a marginal cost. However, if your Tableau server doesn't have it's dedicated hardware, then I don't know how much this will be of help.

           

          The other important thing to look at is the workbook itself. Hide unused columns, delete unused worksheets. Remove rarely used filters. COUNTD() and LODs kill performance in pre 10.5 versions. However, Both calculations have not been intensively used in your workbook. The only thing I  noticed is that there are few calculations with multiple-condition IF statements. It may take Tableau some time trying to go through all the conditions before the views are rendered. Hopefully, version 10.5 with the new hyper technology might make a difference. You can use the performance recorder to test different elements of your workbook. Record and Analyze Workbook Performance .This link contains other links 6 Tips to Increase Dashboard Performance

           

          Your datasource is relatively small and I don't see much issues with 16k rows of data. However, if everything fails, consider moving the Excel workbook as a table to a SQL database using an ETL process which will refresh on a regular basis. Then consider using an extract instead and moving some heavy calculations to the database.

           

          Hope this helps.

          Ossai

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: The Dashboard that Makes Time (and everything else) Stand Still
            Kimberly Coutts

            Hi Okechukwu -

             

            Thank you so much for your thoughtful and detailed response.  I was pulled onto another project but am now back and onto problem-solving this issue.  I deeply appreciate the resources.  I think I am going to have to do some slashing,  but at least I am doing it knowing that I've tried every other options. 

             

            K

            • 3. Re: The Dashboard that Makes Time (and everything else) Stand Still
              Okechukwu Ossai

              You're welcome Kimberly. Gad it helped.