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Sending Conditional Alert Notifications

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New in Looker 7.16, you can send alert notifications to the Slack Attachment (API Token) integration or the Slack integration once specified conditions are met or exceeded.

With conditional alerts, you can specify conditions in your data that, when met or exceeded, trigger a notification to be sent at a desired frequency to specific recipients. This page describes how to view and follow alerts created by other users, how to create alerts, how to modify alerts, the permissions required for each action, and what information an alert notification includes.

Alerts Overview

Alerts are set on query-based or Look-linked tiles on user-defined dashboards, LookML dashboards, and dashboards (beta). Based on the alert’s frequency, Looker checks whether each alert’s conditions have been met or exceeded; if so, Looker notifies users of this change.

It is not possible to create a single alert for the entire dashboard — that is, you cannot be alerted when any result has changed on any tile for a given dashboard. Instead, you can create alerts on individual dashboard tiles and view and follow some alerts created by other users, depending on your permissions. Alert conditions will also take into account any dashboard filters that exist when the alert is created.

If your Looker admin has granted you permissions to create or follow alerts, a bell icon appears when you hover over the dashboard tile. A numeric indicator shows how many alerts you are permitted to view for that tile, even alerts that do not include you as a recipient and that you are not following.

Looker admins can see and manage all alerts on the Alerts page in the Alerts & Schedules section of the Admin panel, which lists information about all active and inactive alerts. Admins can also see the Alert History page in the Alerts & Schedules section of the Admin panel, which lists information about all active running, complete, and failed alerts.

The Manage Alerts user page shows a list of all the alerts that you own or follow, or for which you are listed as a recipient, depending on your alerts permissions.

Alerts Permissions at a Glance

There are several permissions associated with alerts. Some permissions determine what the user can do with alerts and some determine what destinations a user can send an alert notification to. See the Roles documentation page for more information about Looker permissions, including dependencies.

Permission Allows Users To
admin See the tile’s bell icon: the numeric indicator shows the total number of enabled alerts on the tile. The user must be signed into Slack from Looker to see alerts that send Slack notifications. View and follow all alerts created by any user, including alerts that are marked Private by the creator. Create, edit, duplicate, delete, or pause any alert, even private alerts created by other users. Manage alerts from the Admin Setting — Manage Alerts admin page.
create_alerts See the tile’s bell icon: the numeric indicator shows the sum of any public or private alerts that the user has created and other users’ alerts that are marked Public. The user must be signed in to Slack to see alerts that send Slack notifications. Create, duplicate, and delete their own alerts. View their alerts on the Manage Alerts user page.
follow_alerts See the tile’s bell icon: the numeric indicator shows the total number of public, followable alerts that are on the tile, even alerts that do not include the user as a recipient and that they are not following. The user must be signed in to Slack to see alerts that send Slack notifications. Follow alerts that can be followed. View the alerts they have followed or for which they are listed as a recipient from the Manage Alerts user page.
schedule_look_emails Send email notifications. Users must also have create_alerts permissions.
schedule_external_look_emails Send notifications to emails with any domain. Users must also have create_alerts permissions.
send_to_integration Send alert notifications to the Slack or Slack Attachment (API Token) integrations, if enabled for the Looker instance. Users must also have create_alerts permissions.

Viewing Alerts from a Dashboard Tile

Clicking the bell icon on the top right of the tile will display a list of alerts that you are permitted to see based on your permissions (you may need to scroll to see the entire list):

A description below the alert title shows the details of that alert’s notification scheme. For example, when the conditions specified in the first alert listed in the image above are true, a notification will be sent every day at 5 a.m. This alert is subject to one dashboard filter. The description does not include the alert notification method.

Following Alerts

Alerts that send Slack notifications cannot be followed.

If you have the appropriate user permissions, you can follow some alerts to receive an email notification once one of those alerts is triggered. You are automatically following any alert on which you are listed as a recipient.

To follow another user’s alert, click the alert bell icon to open the list of alerts, and click the Follow button next to the alert you want to receive a notification for.

To unfollow an alert and stop receiving notifications once the alert is triggered, click the Unfollow button next to the alert in the alert view pop-up. You can also unsubscribe directly from the alert notification by clicking Unfollow this alert at the bottom of your alert email.

If you unfollow an email alert, you’ll be removed from its recipient list. You can still view the alert from the list of alerts on a tile; or, if you created the alert, you can view its information on the Manage Alerts user page.

Unfollowable Alerts

For security reasons, some alerts cannot be followed by other users, and you will not be able to view or set the alert Permissions when you create the alert. Other users will not be able to follow an alert if its content meets one or more of the following conditions:

These alerts may still appear in the alerts list. If this is the case, the Follow button next to the alert will be disabled.

Creating an Alert

Your dashboard must be out of edit mode and you must be out of Development Mode to create alerts. Alerts can only be set on tiles that have at least one numeric measure or table calculation in the tile’s visualization. Alert condition field options are limited to those visible in the tile’s visualization.

Alerts based on a table calculation that includes a row total are not supported.

Clicking the bell icon on the top right of the tile will display a list of alerts that you are permitted to see (you may need to scroll to see the entire list). To create an alert, click the bell icon and then click the New button at the bottom of the list of existing alerts. 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 query captures the dashboard and tile settings at the time the alert was created. An alert query will not pick up any changes made to the dashboard or tile after the alert was created, including changes to dashboard filters or to the appearance of your dashboard tile’s visualization (such as changes to the visualization type). You would need to create a new alert after any changes are implemented for them to apply to your alert and notifications.

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 notifications.

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 Condition drop-down in the alert creation pop-up, you can set alert conditions for numeric measures or table calculations in the tile’s query visualization.

These conditions include:

If the query contains a date field, additional conditions are available:

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 specify the destination of the alert notification.

Sending Alerts to Email

To send your alert notifications to email, select Email from the Where to send it drop-down. You can designate the recipients of the alert email notification. By default, your email will be listed, and you can modify the list of recipients as necessary. Your permissions determine which email domains you’re able to send alert notifications to.

Each recipient will receive an email with information about the alert and an option to unfollow the alert. If they choose to unfollow the alert, their email address will be removed from the recipient list.

Sending Alerts to the Slack Attachment (API Token) Integration

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New in Looker 7.16, you can send alert notifications to the Slack Attachment (API Token) integration once specified conditions are met or exceeded.

The Slack Attachment (API Token) action is available from the Looker Action Hub. When this action is enabled on the Actions page in the Admin panel, Slack Attachment (API Token) will show up as an option in the Where to send it drop-down of the alert creation pop-up.

Admins of customer-hosted instances using a self-hosted action hub server must restart their action hub server when they update their Looker instance.

Once a Looker admin has enabled the Slack Attachment (API Token) action and the Looker App bot user has been set up in Slack, you can send alert notifications to Slack via the Slack Attachment (API Token) integration:

  1. Select Slack Attachment (API Token) from the Where to send it drop-down.
  2. The Share In field appears, populated with the channel and direct message options based on the credentials of the Looker App bot user in the Slack workspace:

  1. Select the direct message or channel that you would like to send the alert notification to. Anyone in that channel will see a notification with information pertaining to the tile that the alert is set on:

Even if embed users have permissions to send alert notifications to the Slack Attachment integration, they will not see the Slack Attachment (API Token) in the Where to send it drop-down unless their Slack workspace is configured for the Looker App bot user.

Sending Alerts to the Slack Integration

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New in Looker 7.16, you can send alert notifications to the Slack integration once specified conditions are met or exceeded.

The Slack actionis available from the Looker Action Hub. When this action is enabled on the Actions page in the Admin panel, Slack will show up as an option in the Where to send it drop-down of the alert creation pop-up. A Looker admin must also connect at least one Slack workspace to the Looker instance.

The Slack integration is available to Looker-hosted deployments that satisfy these conditions:

  • The Looker instance is on 6.24 or later.
  • The Looker instance is not IP whitelisted.

This Slack integration is not supported for customer-hosted instances.

To enable installation of the Looker App, your Slack workspace owner may need to adjust the app installation settings for your Slack workspace.

Once a Looker admin has enabled the Slack action and connected the appropriate Slack workspaces, you can send alert notifications to Slack:

  1. Select Slack from the Where to send it drop-down.
  2. If you have not already authenticated into Slack, a Sign in with Slack button appears under the Where to send it drop-down:

Click Sign in with Slack. Looker will request access to the Slack workspace. If your Looker admin has connected multiple Slack workspaces to your Looker instance, a drop-down menu appears in the upper right of the OAuth page. Select the appropriate Slack workspace from the drop-down. Click Allow.

You can also authenticate into Slack from your personal account page in Looker. If your Looker admin has connected multiple Slack workspace to your Looker instance, you’ll see a list of workspaces with options to log in to each one individually.

After you have logged in to at least one Slack workspace, the rest of the Slack fields in the alert creation pop-up appear:

  1. The Workspace drop-down shows a list of any workspaces that you’re signed in to. Select a workspace from the list. If you do not see the workspace to which you would like to send the alert notification, you can see a list of the workspaces that your Looker admin has connected to your Looker instance and sign in to each one individually from your personal account page in Looker.
  2. The Share In field is populated with the channel and direct message options based on the selected Slack workspace. Select the direct message or channel that you would like to send the alert notification to. Anyone in that channel will see a notification with information pertaining to the tile that the alert is set on:

Even if embed users have permissions to send alert notifications to the Slack integration, unless their Slack workspace is connected to the Looker instance, they will not see the Slack option in the Where to send it drop-down.

Setting Alert Frequency

You can set the frequency at which Looker will check your data for changes and send an alert notification — once the alert conditions are met — under the Frequency section of the alert creation pop-up. Frequency options include:

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 the Public or Private options from the Permissions drop-down in the alert creation pop-up. If an alert can be followed, it is marked Public by default, which means that any Looker user with following permissions on the dashboard tile’s underlying content 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 its settings are viewable only to you (and admins) by choosing the Private option from the Permissions drop-down in the alert creation pop-up.

For security reasons, some alerts cannot be viewed or followed by other users.

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

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 are permitted to edit. Modifying your alert settings will also change those settings for users following your alert.

You cannot view, edit, or duplicate another user’s Slack alert delivery settings if:

Admins can edit, duplicate, delete, or pause any alert, even private alerts created by other users.

If a user deletes the dashboard or dashboard tile that the alert is on, that alert will be disabled and any followers or recipients will no longer receive notifications when the alert conditions are met.

The alert owner will see immediately that the name of the dashboard has been deleted for the alert on the Manage Alerts user page. After the next time the alert query runs, the alert status will show as Disabled.

Admins will see immediately that the name of the dashboard has been replaced with a - for the alert on the Alert History page of the Admin panel and that it has been deleted for the alert on the Alerts page of the Admin panel. After the next time the alert query runs, the alert will be removed from the Alert History page of the Admin panel. On the Alerts admin page, the status shows as Paused with a tooltip message indicating that the dashboard or dashboard element (tile) has been deleted.

Receiving an Alert Notification

Users can receive notifications to email or Slack.

Alerts Notifications to Email

Once the alert is triggered, any specified recipients will receive an email notification at the specified frequency that includes:

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.

Alerts Notifications to Slack

Once the alert is triggered, anyone in the specified Slack channel or direct message will receive a Slack notification at the specified frequency that includes:

The notification is sent from the Slack user associated with the alert owner for the Slack integration; the notification is sent from the bot user for the Slack Attachment (API Token) integration.

Slack recipients can unsubscribe from the alert by clicking the Unsubscribe button from the Slack message. If any Slack recipient unsubscribes from the alert notification, the alert notification is disabled. The alert owner may see that the alert status shows as Active on the Manage Alerts user page until the next time the alert query is run.

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