In this article, you will learn how to use the Tableau Server and master how to publish a Tableau Dashboard and workbook on the server.

Using Tableau Server 

As described previously in the course, there are a few different ways to share data: 

  • Publish to PDF 
  • Export or copy an image into Powerpoint or an email 
  • Export the data to Excel (try to get people to not do this) 
  • Publish to Tableau Public (not recommended for sensitive, confidential, or proprietary data) 
  • Email a packaged workbook and have people access and interact with it via Tableau Reader (a great place to start if you don’t have Server or someone doesn’t yet have Server access) 
  • Publish it to either Tableau Server (the on premise version) or Tableau Online (the cloud version) 

For many companies, they use Server or Tableau Online.  These are great products for publishing an interactive dashboard to the web, while maintaining the security protocols your data demands.  Your end user can interact with your published dashboards any time they want.  And if you are using extracts that are on refresh schedules, your data will automatically update at the frequency you specify, keeping your audience always up to date. 

How to Publish a Tableau Dashboard and Workbook to the Server: 

Do you want to know how to publish a Tableau dashboard online? One of the best options is by publishing to the Tableau server.

  1. Go to the Server menu in the top navigation. 
  1. Click Publish Workbook. 
  1. Enter your authentication credentials (typically a single sign on username and password, or database validation credentials). 
Publish Tableau Dashboard
  1. From there, make any changes needed to the default workbook name. 
How to Publish Tableau Dashboard
  1. Under Sheets, click edit to select which sheets you want to publish.  
  1. One best practice here is to hide the worksheets used in your dashboards, and only show the dashboards that you are going to publish.  This keeps your file cleaner and eliminates check boxes you have to click. 
Publish Tableau Dashboard Online
  1. Set any user permissions by clicking Edit next to Permissions.  You can leave these as the default or you can edit their permissions.  There is a wizard with a series of radio buttons you can check or uncheck. 
  1. Finally, be sure to set your Authentication and Permission by ensuring that your password is set to “Embedded” not “Prompt User.”  You want consumption of your dashboards to be seamless, not involve extra steps. 
How to Publish Tableau Dashboard Online
  1. Lastly, if you are using URL actions in your workbook, be sure to check the box in the bottom left that says “Show sheets as tabs”; otherwise, they won’t work.  If you aren’t using URL actions, you can check them or uncheck them; it’s up to you.  

A New Perspective on Using the Tableau Server to Publish a Tableau Dashboard

Too often, we take a snapshot of our data and paste it into PowerPoint, or people just want a data dump to Excel.  It’s an uphill battle to change this mindset, but completely worth it.  Instead, if you can bring a published workbook to Server and interact with your data live in a meeting, that is much more impactful.  As they then have further questions, you can drill down or drill in and see those details on-demand, maintaining things on one view for easier comparison.  This speeds decision making, and changes the discussion dramatically, and increasing participation.  I would encourage you to shoot for this type of usage in your meetings.  Also, as your people on the front line need data to make decisions, they have it instantly accessible via Server and can quickly get what they need and then take action, rather than putting in a request to you or to someone else, and waiting for a response to come back, which by then will have data that has changed from their initial need.  When you achieve this, you’ve transformed a culture and can now truly compete on analytics.   

Now that you know how to publish a Tableau dashboard online through the server, be sure to check out our Tableau training courses. We offer courses that cover how to publish Tableau dashboards on websites and more.