Flex Data Hub - Scheduling & Sending Dashboards

Introduction

Data Hub allows you to schedule specific reports to be delivered directly to your inbox. You can define how often you’d like to receive your data, as well as the file format, applied filters and recipients.

Important: To better protect the security of your deliveries, you will only be able to add users who have accessed Data Hub at least once as recipients.

Contents

Schedule dashboard deliveries

1. Open Data Hub and the dashboard you want to schedule.

2. Click on the Actions menu button (1) and choose Schedule delivery (2).

Note: If you do not see the Schedule delivery option, you don't have the required permissions. Contact an administrator.

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3. Depending on whether you already have existing schedules, one of the two windows will open: Schedules or Schedule Delivery. The Schedules window is explained at the end chapter of this article. We'll proceed with Schedule Delivery which is where you'll be creating your first delivery.

Schedule Delivery

If you select New from the existing schedules window, or, if you do not have any pre-existing schedules for the dashboard, this window will appear with three tabs - Settings, Filters, and Advanced options. They are explained below.

Schedule Delivery - Settings tab

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In the Settings tab, the following fields and menus are available:

1. Schedule Name - enter or edit the schedule's name. Note that it will be used for the email's subject line and as part of the filename if you choose to send the report as an email attachment.

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2. Recurrence - customize the timing of your delivery. The Recurrence drop-down menu offers the following timing categories:

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  • Send now - if you select Send now, a one-time delivery of the dashboard is sent after you fill in the required fields and click on the Send now button at the bottom of the window.
  • Time and date-based schedules - the following options are available:
    • Monthly
    • Weekly
    • Daily
    • Specific months
    • Specific days

The timing options will change depending on your selection. For example:

Specific Months

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Specific Days

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Testing a schedule

If you set the Recurrence field to anything other than Send now, a Test now  button tnow.png appears at the bottom left of the Schedule Delivery window. Click on it to send a one-time test delivery of the schedule only to yourself. A green checkmark appears to confirm a test has been sent.

Saving a schedule or sending now

  • If you set the Recurrence field to Send now, click on the Send now button sendnow.png at the bottom of the window for a one-time delivery to the listed destination.
  • If you set the Recurrence field to anything other than Send now, click on the Save button save btn.png to save your schedule and close the window.
  • Click on the Cancel button to exit the window without saving or sending the schedule.

3. Destination - here, e-mail is the only option. You can enter the required e-mails in the Email addresses field. If you're entering multiple email addresses, press the Enter key, or separate each address with a comma.

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4. Format - the drop-down menu lets you choose from a list of available formats:

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  • CSV zip file - The unformatted data from the dashboard delivered as a collection of comma-separated values (CSV) files in a zipped directory. For deliveries to email, the ZIP file is delivered as an email attachment.
  • PDF - An image of the dashboard as a single PDF file. The default layout displays tiles as they are arranged in the dashboard, but other layout and sizing options are available under Advanced options. For deliveries to email, the file is delivered as an email attachment.
  • PNG visualization - An image of the dashboard as a single PNG file. The default layout displays tiles as they are arranged in the dashboard, but other layout options are available under Advanced options. For deliveries to email, the image appears inline within the body of the email.
Emailed deliveries may not exceed 20 MB (for formats that are delivered in the email body) and 15 MB (for formats that are delivered as an attachment).

Schedule Delivery - Filters tab

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The Filters tab shows any filters applied to the dashboard as well as their values. In this tab, you can edit the values for any existing filters applied to the dashboard and the new values will be applied to the delivery. The dashboard itself will not be affected.

Important!

  • You cannot add filters to your schedule in the Filters tab, only view and edit the values for existing dashboard filters.
  • If a dashboard filter requires a filter value, you must enter a value in the Filters tab to create or save any edits to the delivery.
  • Sometimes dashboard filters change after a schedule is created. The table below explains how that affects filters applied to the scheduled deliveries:
Action Effect on Schedule Filter
A schedule is created with a filter. Later, the filter value is changed on the dashboard. No effect on the schedule filter value. It remains the value set in the Filters tab, even if that value is any value.
A schedule is created with a filter. Later, the filter is renamed in the dashboard. The filter is removed from the delivered data.
A schedule is created with a filter. Later, the filter is deleted in the dashboard. The filter is removed from the delivered data.
A schedule is created. Later, a new filter is added to the dashboard.

The filter is applied to the delivered data, using the filter value set in the Filters tab.

If no value is set in the Filters tab, the value is interpreted as is any value, essentially removing the filter.

 

Note: Dashboard filters that are renamed in or removed from a dashboard are no longer applied to delivered data. Schedule creators should be aware that renaming or removing filters could cause deliveries to expose unfiltered data.

Schedule Delivery - Advanced options tab

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The Advanced options tab provides additional customization for your delivery. The options available depend on the selected file format of your delivery.

1. Custom message - This option is available only for the email destination. Enter a message (up to 1500 characters) you would like included in the body of emails to recipients.

2. Results - available only for CSV ZIP file formats. There are two options:

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With visualizations options applied

Choose the With visualizations options applied option to apply some of the visualization settings from the dashboard tiles to your dashboard delivery. This causes the files in your delivery to appear similar to table charts. Any of the following settings in the Plot, Series, and Formatting menus that are configured for a visualization will be applied to the data delivery:

  • Show Row Numbers
  • Hide Totals
  • Hide Row Totals
  • Limit Displayed Rows to a maximum of 500 rows shown or hidden
  • Show Full Field Name
  • Custom labels for each column

As displayed in the data table

Choose the As displayed in the data table option to deliver the data as it appears in the data table of each dashboard tile's Expanded view.

3. Values - available only for CSV ZIP file formats. There are two options: Formatted or Unformatted.

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  • Select Formatted if you want the data to appear similar to how it appears in the Explore experience in Data Hub, although some features (such as linking) aren't supported by all file types.
  • Select Unformatted if you do not want to apply any special formatting of your query results, such as rounding long numbers or adding special characters, that your Data Hub developers may have put in place. This is often preferred when data is being fed into another tool for processing.

4. Expand tables to show all rows - This option is available only for PDF formats. Check the box to display all rows of any table visualizations in the dashboard (rather than just those rows that display in the dashboard tile thumbnails).

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If the option is enabled, dashboard tiles that contain table visualizations may look slightly different in delivered PDFs than they do inside Data Hub. The following differences may be noticeable in the PDF:

  • Customizations to background colors and font sizes are removed from column headers and subtotal rows.
  • Tables appear in the white theme.
  • The sort icon does not appear on pivoted tables that were not manually sorted.
  • Tables with Size Columns to Fit enabled stretch to the full width of the tile.

Additionally, for tables with more than 20,000 cells, the following differences may be noticeable in the PDF:

  • Conditional formatting options other than Background color no longer appear.
  • Cell visualizations on numeric columns no longer appear.

5. Arrange dashboard tiles in a single column. This option is available only for the PDF and PNG file formats.This layout displays dashboard tiles in a single vertical column. Leave the box unchecked to show the tiles as they are arranged in the dashboard.

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6. Paper size. This option is available only for PDF formats of dashboard deliveries. Specify the optimal size and orientation of dashboard PDFs from the drop-down menu.

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7. Table resolution. This option is available only for the PNG visualization format and when the Arrange dashboard tiles in a single column box is checked.

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You can customize the width of your visualization by using the Table resolution drop-down menu. Your width options are:

  • Normal: 800 pixels
  • Wide: 1680 pixels

Note: For deliveries to email, if you choose Wide and the visualization width exceeds the limit set by your email client, email delivery recipients may need to scroll horizontally to see the entire visualization.

8. Delivery time zone. Select the time zone from the drop-down menu. The time zone you select does not affect the data in your dashboard, just the timing of the delivery.

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Note: At times, a scheduled delivery could fail to reach one or more of its recipients. This could happen if the underlying model has an error, if the recipient does not have access to the data, or if there are rendering problems or page errors. The data destination reports an error if it is unable to connect to the specified endpoint.

If such issues occur, Data Hub sends an email to notify the schedule's creator. The email includes a link to the scheduled content, a list of the recipients it failed to reach, and more information, if available, about the problem Data Hub encountered when trying to reach the recipients.

Schedules - Review, Edit, Duplicate, Delete

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If you have already created schedules for this dashboard, this window will appear showing the schedules that you have set along with information about each schedule, such as destination and format.

Note: Deliveries that use the Send now recurrence and schedules that were created by other people will not appear in this window.

You can perform the following functions in the Existing Schedules window:

  • Click Send now next to a schedule to send out an immediate delivery. This will not change the schedule's recurrence.
  • Click on the Actions menu button Tile opt.png to edit, duplicate, or delete a schedule.

    Note
    : You can only delete the schedules you have created.
  • Click New to open the Schedule Delivery window and create a new schedule or send a new delivery.
  • Click Done to exit the window.

Duplicating a schedule (Notes)

  • The original schedule remains unchanged when you make a duplicate.
  • The filters in a duplicate schedule will be set to the same values as are present in the Filters tab of the original schedule, although you can edit these values. If any filters have changed since the creation of the original schedule, the filters will be affected as shown in the When dashboard filters change section. If a required filter was later added to the dashboard that the original schedule is based on, you need to select a value for that filter before saving the duplicated schedule.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’m getting an error message when trying to save my schedule

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This most likely happens because one of your email recipients has never accessed the Data Hub, so they would be considered an external user. You can either grant them access to the Data Hub, or set up a rule in your inbox to forward the deliveries to them.

The results are not what I was expecting

Please check the filters that are applied to your schedule.

I asked for yesterday’s results, however, I’m still seeing data from the previous day

Our database is set in the Pacific Time Zone, so when making your schedules, have in mind that it considers which day it is in that time zone. For example, if you’d like to receive yesterday’s results and you’re in London (GMT time zone), you can schedule your report to be delivered at 8 AM in the morning.

What if I want to receive a report on the last day of the month

You may have noticed that the Monthly option prompts you to select a specific day in which your dashboard would be delivered. If you select the 31st day of the month, it will, unfortunately, not be delivered in months that have only 30 days.

As a workaround, you can create 3 schedules using the Specific Months recurrence option - 1 for months with 30 days (April, June, September, and November), another one for months with 31 days (January, March, May, July, August, October, and December), and then one for February.

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