2 Replies Latest reply on Feb 11, 2020 10:23 AM by Steven Mahoney

    Historical Trends & Summaries (Tableau Server)

    Steven Mahoney

      Hi everyone,


           I know Tableau doesn't create data and this is more of a reporting type question than analytics, but is there a good way to go about saving workbooks to reference later for historical purposes? I've attached a workbook showing generally what I'm trying to accomplish, using random excel file data as a test. I'm trying to summarize multiple workbooks and then plot those out on a line graph by customer, issue category, and time, with the ability to drill-down into by customer / issue category, and then within those categories, show the tables of data so each item can be resolved individually later. But for past reports I only care about showing the totals & subtotals of records for each type of issue.


           For example, if I want to keep track of all system issues, I could do queries to error logs to pull issues by type within a set date range and then total those up. So say there were a total of 100 API failures, 50 database locks, and 2 hours of server downtime in November. For the current report, I'm trying to set it up where you could see an overall summary of issues by category with historical trends, then you could click into "System" and see the categories of "API, "Database", and "Server" and see the subtotals of issues by each (100, 50, and 2 for the past month). Then if you wanted more detail on the server outages you could click that subcategory and see the 2 records for the downtime in the current month and a trend of server downtime over the last X months. And then if you clicked into the current month you'd see the logs showing downtime start/stop, affected servers, and anything else pertinent. Doing this with current data seems very doable, but the historical aspect of it is troublesome.


      Here's what I've come up with as potential options:


      1.) Create history summary tables in each data warehouse of each report and schedule jobs to update them monthly

      2.) Export the workbook summary data only into an excel file or something and reference a folder containing those


      Option #1 seems the most consistent and least maintenance, but maybe more work to get setup. It also seems like I'd need to recreate all my Tableau joins in SQL to get the summary numbers, which could lead to mismatches in the calculations. On the other hand, option number 2 seems manual and that has its own issues, especially since I'm trying to compile the same types of data across multiple databases. Any suggestions?


      I've attached a rough example workbook of what I'm trying to show.

        • 1. Re: Historical Trends & Summaries (Tableau Server)
          Andy Cooper

          Hi Steven,


          Both option have pros and cons as you point out in your original post.  For the second option, have you considered using Tableau Prep Builder for this?  You could use this to create a daily summary extract and then union each days' extract into a master extract file.


          Creating history tables would a good option if you have the resource to create this - we do this internally at Tableau for some of our internal reporting where we need to keep daily data snapshots.




          Andy Cooper

          If this post assists in resolving the question, please mark it helpful or as the 'correct answer' if it resolves the question. This will help other users find the same answer/resolution.  Thank you.

          • 2. Re: Historical Trends & Summaries (Tableau Server)
            Steven Mahoney

            Hi Andy,


                Sorry for the late response. I lost track of this question over the holidays. Thanks for the help. I haven't used Tableau prep before but that sounds like a good short-term solution for this.