New in Looker 6.24, you can create email alerts from dashboards when specified conditions have been met or exceeded without having to enable the Conditional Alerts Labs feature.
If you have the appropriate 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 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 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 bell icon in the upper right of the dashboard tile to see the number of public (can be viewed and followed) alerts for that tile, even alerts that do not include you as a recipient and that you are not following. If there are no alerts visible to you for this tile, or if your admin has paused the alert, the icon will appear grayed out. If you do not have permissions to view alerts, you will not see the alert icon.
Clicking on 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):
In the alert view pop-up, the default alert title indicates which conditions need to be true for the alert to be triggered. If an alert has a custom title, you can hover over the title to see the conditions that trigger that alert. You can hover over the icons to the right of the alert title to see the method and frequency of that alert’s notification scheme. For example, the first alert listed in the image above has the alert condition ‘Any Total Sale Price’ is greater than 15. When that condition is true, an email notification will be sent every day at 5 a.m.
If you have the appropriate permissions, you can follow, or subscribe to, some alerts to receive email notifications when the alert conditions specified by the alert’s creator are triggered. You are also automatically following any alert on which the creator has listed you as a recipient.
To subscribe to an alert, click on the bell icon for a tile with alerts, and then click Follow.
To unsubscribe to the 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 unsubscribe 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.
To create an alert from a dashboard, hover over the bell icon in the upper right of the tile.
Clicking the bell will list the publicly visible alerts and your own private alerts in a new pop-up window, where you can click the Create Alert button at the bottom. If no alerts currently exist for that tile, clicking the bell icon will open the alert creation pop-up:
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.
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 visualizations (such as changing the visualization type or enabling the Table-Next (Beta) Labs feature) 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.
In the alert creation pop-up, you can specify several components of your alert:
- Custom title
- Alert conditions
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 once on the alert title, enter a custom title, and click away from the field or hit the Enter key to save. 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.
You can hover over the custom title of any alert in the alert view pop-up to see the conditions that trigger that alert.
Setting Alert Conditions
In the Alert if drop-down in the alert creation pop-up, you can set alert conditions for any dimension, measure, or even cell 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 Notify by 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 Send 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)
Click 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 Visibility
You can set your alert’s visibility by selecting Public or Private from the Visibility 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 listed on the alert view pop-up. They can also follow, or subscribe to, 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 by choosing Private from the Visibility drop-down in the alert creation pop-up. You will not be able to see the Visibility drop-down if the alert is not followable.
You will not be able to mark an alert as followable 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 that 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.
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.
To edit an alert, click Edit Alert to open a pop-up to edit the existing alert settings; when you’re finished editing, click Update 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 the value that triggered the alert, a visualization of the dashboard tile and a link to the alert tile’s dashboard (that each take into account any dashboard filters that are part of the alert), as well as options to unfollow or, depending on your permissions and who owns the alert, 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 unsubscribe on behalf of a group email address, no group members will receive that alert notification.
If your Looker admin has enabled the Table (Beta) Labs feature, some dashboard visualizations in your alert notification email may show the table (beta) rendering, even if your Looker dashboard shows the table (legacy) rendering.