If you have the appropriate user permissions, you can create an alert to receive a scheduled email whenever the results from a query-based or Look-linked dashboard tile meet or exceed a specified threshold. Depending on your user permissions, you can also view and follow the public alerts created by other users.
Because alerts are set on query-based or Look-linked tiles, you cannot create a single alert for an entire dashboard — that is, you cannot be alerted when any result has changed on any tile for a given dashboard. Instead, with the appropriate user permissions, you can create alerts on individual dashboard tiles and view and follow some alerts created by other users. Alert conditions will also take into account any existing dashboard filters.
Hover over the dashboard tile to display the bell icon, which indicates the number of public alerts (alerts that can be viewed and followed) for that tile, even alerts that do not include you as a recipient and that you are not following.
If the tile does not contain content upon which you can set an alert (at least one numeric measure or table calculation is required to set up an alert), the icon will appear grayed out. If you do not have user permissions to view alerts, you will not see the alert icon.
Clicking the bell icon on the top right of the tile will display a list of its public alerts (you may need to scroll to see the entire list):
A description below the alert title shows the method and frequency of that alert’s notification scheme. For example, when the conditions specified in the first alert listed in the image above are true, an email notification to one email address will be sent every day at 5 a.m. This alert is subject to one dashboard filter.
If you have the appropriate user permissions, you can follow some alerts to receive an email notification when one of those alerts is triggered. You are automatically following any alert that you create or on which you are listed as a recipient.
To follow an alert, click the bell icon for a tile with alerts, and then click Follow.
To unfollow an alert, click Unfollow in the alert view pop-up or Unfollow this alert at the bottom of your alert notification email.
If you unfollow an alert, you’ll be removed from its recipient list. If you unfollow on behalf of a group email address, no group members will receive that alert notification.
Creating an Alert
Your dashboard must be out of edit mode and you must be out of Development Mode to create alerts. At least one numeric measure or table calculation is required to set up an alert. Field options are limited to those visible in the tile’s visualization.
Alerts based on a single value visualization of pivoted results will fail.
To create an alert, click the bell icon on the upper right of the dashboard tile. The alert view pop-up window will list any existing publicly visible alerts and your own private alerts; click the New button at the bottom. If no alerts currently exist for that tile, clicking the bell icon will open the alert creation pop-up:
In the alert creation pop-up, you can specify several components of your alert:
Each alert captures the dashboard settings at the time the alert was created. Your alert will not pick up any changes made to dashboard filters or the appearance of your dashboard tile’s visualization (such as changing the visualization type) after you create the alert. You would need to create a new alert after these changes are implemented for them to apply to your alert and email notification.
Naming an Alert
The default alert title indicates which conditions need to be true for the alert to be triggered. If you would like to rename your alert, click the three-dot menu, and then click Edit Alert. Click once on the alert title, enter a custom title, and then click away from the field or hit the Enter key to see your update. Click Save Alert to save your new title. Your custom alert title will appear in any publicly visible alerts listed in the alert view pop-up on that tile. The custom title will also appear in the alert email notification.
Setting Alert Conditions
In the Condition drop-down in the alert creation pop-up, you can set alert conditions for numeric measures or table calculations in the query.
These conditions include:
- Is greater than
- Is less than
- Is equal to
- Is greater than or equal to
- Is less than or equal to
If the query contains a date field, additional conditions are available:
- Increases by
- Decreases by
- Changes by
Using these comparison conditions with time series data has some additional considerations. For more information, see this Help Center article on Setting Alerts Based on Time Series Data.
Looker only creates alerts based on comparisons of whole number and decimal data values. However, with a simple workaround, you can set alerts based on percentage changes of data values.
Setting Alert Notifications
Under the Where to send it section of the alert creation pop-up, you can designate the recipients of the alert email notification. By default, your email will be listed, and you can add others as necessary. Each recipient will receive an email with a link to the dashboard for which you’ve set up the alert.
Setting Alert Frequency
You can set the frequency at which you’ll receive an alert notification — once the alert conditions are met — under the Frequency section of the alert creation pop-up. Frequency options include:
- Daily at a specified hour (the default is 5 a.m.)
- Weekly at a specified hour (the default is 5 a.m.) on a specified day of the week (the default is Sunday)
- Monthly at a specified hour (the default is 5 a.m.) on a specified day of the month (the default is the first of the month)
Hover over the tooltip next to your selected frequency options for a summary of how often your alert notifications will be sent.
Looker sends alerts according to the time zone indicated in the Application Time Zone setting on the Admin Settings page, or, if enabled, the alert creator’s User Specific Time Zone.
Setting Alert Permissions
You can set your alert’s permissions by selecting Public or Private from the Permissions drop-down in the alert creation pop-up. Alerts are marked Public by default, which means that any Looker user with permissions to access the underlying content of the dashboard tile can see your alert and its settings on the alert view pop-up. They can also follow your alert, so that they can receive email notifications when your alert’s conditions are triggered.
You can set your alert to Private so that it is viewable only to you (and admins) by choosing Private from the Permissions drop-down in the alert creation pop-up.
You will not be able to see the Permissions drop-down if the alert is not followable.
Some alerts cannot be followed by other users, and you will not be able to mark the alert as Public (that is, followable). Other users will not be able to follow an alert if its content meets one or more of the following conditions:
- Is based on any models with database connection strings containing user attributes
- Contains filters based on user attributes
- Is based on any models with access grants
Alerting with Dashboard Filters
Alerts will take into account the dashboard’s existing filters. The number of filters applied to the alert will appear in the alert view pop-up. Clicking the filter link will show more details about the filter or filters applied to the existing alert:
Click Done to close the filter detail pop-up.
Any alerts created before adding or modifying a dashboard filter will not pick up changes to the dashboard filter. You would need to create a new alert after the dashboard filter is modified.
You can also see which dashboard filters will apply to an alert as you create it. Click the filter icon in the upper right corner of the alert creation pop-up to open the filter detail pop-up and see a list of active dashboard filters:
These are the filters that would be applied to your alert once you create it. Click Done to close the filter detail pop-up.
Modifying an Alert
You can click the three-dot menu to the right of the alerts listed in the alert view pop-up to edit, duplicate, or delete alerts that you own. Modifying your alert settings will also change those settings for users following your alert.
Admins can edit, duplicate, delete, or pause any alert, even private alerts created by other users.
To edit an alert, click Edit Alert to open a pop-up to edit the existing alert settings; when you’re finished editing, click Save Alert. To duplicate an alert, click Duplicate to open a pop-up pre-populated with the existing alert settings, and then click Create Alert. To delete an alert, click Delete, and then confirm in the resulting pop-up.
Click Done to close the alert view pop-up.
Receiving an Alert Notification
Your alert email notification includes:
- A link to the dashboard for the tile on which the alert is based
- The value that triggered the alert
- The visualization for the tile on which the alert is based
- Options to unfollow or, depending on your permissions and who owns the alert, to edit the alert
If you choose to unfollow the alert, you will be removed from the alert’s recipient list and will no longer receive notifications when the alert is triggered. If you unfollow on behalf of a group email address, group members will no longer receive notifications when that alert is triggered.