3 Replies Latest reply on Nov 8, 2018 8:55 AM by Don Wise

    Tableau Prep Won't Update from Excel Source

    Robert Warren

      I've got a project status sheet that allocates project manager assignment by job number, and a job checklist for each project in a different network folder.

      I can join the data together for all projects and everything works fine. However, when I update a project checklist and save the excel file, tableau prep will not update even though I hit refresh.

      I've looked into the connection source and it goes under AppData/Local/Temp/........

      This tells me that tableau prep is copying the spreadsheet and breaking the connection to where I want it to be.


      Is there anyway around this? I am looking set up the flow once and then just hit refresh to capture changes in any project to update a dashboard.

        • 1. Re: Tableau Prep Won't Update from Excel Source
          Don Wise

          Hi Robert,


          I haven't run across the issue personally, but there are some additional ways of getting a refresh and one of these might work?


          Hopefully it's not the last option.  Thx Don


          Refresh data in the Input step

          If data changes in your input files or tables after you begin working with your flow, you can refresh the Input step to bring in the new data.

          Use one of the following options:

            • In the flow pane on the top menu, click the Refresh button to refresh all Input steps. To refresh a single Input step, click the drop-down arrow next to the refresh button and select the Input step from the list.
            • In the flow pane, right-click the Input step you want to refresh and select Refresh from the menu.

            • Remove and re-add the Input step to the flow.
            1. In the flow pane, right-click the Input step you want to refresh and select Remove from the menu. This will temporarily put your flow in an error state.
            2. Connect to the updated file again.
            3. Drag the table to the flow pane on top of the second step in the flow where you want to add the Input step. Drop it on the Add option to reconnect it to the flow.
          • 2. Re: Tableau Prep Won't Update from Excel Source
            Robert Warren


                            Thanks for the quick response. I however didn’t have any success with your offered solutions. Here is some more information

            Here is my flow:



                            When I bring in the “9151.001” file and put it into the flow, everything works fine, when I update the excel file in the network the refresh doesn’t work. I believe it is because tableau prep seems to copy the file and store it in app data, so the refresh doesn’t look at the right file.:


            Correct network location:




            Tableau Prep App Data Location:




            If I unlink the file and then bring it back into the flow I have to remap the fields in the worksheet for each checklist, which takes waaay to long. I’m just looking to have the refresh button do what, as a user, you would expect it to do. Is there anyway to have the refresh performed from the network location and not the app data folder?


            The goal here is to have 30-50 project checklists (each in a different network folder location) that can feed a dashboard so we can see what work the project manager has or hasn’t done at any given point. Re-working the flow for each checklist would take longer than manually doing it, at my current understanding anyway.


            Thanks for the support, looking forward to your reply.



            Robert Warren, P.Eng

            Director of Technical Services

            International Cooling Tower


            • 3. Re: Tableau Prep Won't Update from Excel Source
              Don Wise

              Hi Robert,


              Unless some other folks on the forums have some ideas, I'd say open a case with Tableau Support. They may have some additional insight that we don't have yet.


              Only other thought is: https://kb.tableau.com/articles/issue/data-not-refreshed-when-using-sharepoint-based-excel-data-sources  This link describes the needed UNC path to the data source in order for refreshes to properly work.  And this site: Why Won’t My Excel File Refresh? — OneNumber 


              Thx! Don