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Sending Conditional Alert Notifications

update

Update to Looker 7.16 to 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. Instead, you can create alerts on individual dashboard tiles. You can also view, duplicate, 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.

Looker admins can see and manage all active and inactive alerts on the Alerts page in the Alerts & Schedules section of the Admin panel. 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 Looker user permissions associated with alerts. Some permissions determine what the user can do with alerts; others determine what destinations a user can send an alert notification to. See the Roles documentation page for more information about Looker permissions, including dependencies.

Looker user permissions are distinct from the alert setting called Permissions, which allows the alert’s creator to determine whether other users will be able to view and potentially follow the alert.

In addition to the permissions described below, users need see_looks permissions and see_user_dashboards and/or see_lookml_dashboards permissions for the models on which the dashboard or LookML dashboard tiles, respectively, are based.

Permission Allows Users To
admin See the tile’s bell icon: the numeric indicator shows the total number of enabled public alerts on the tile. In addition to the capabilities provided by the create_alerts and follow_alerts permissions, admins can manage alerts from the Admin Setting — Manage Alerts admin page, even private alerts created by other users.
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. Create, duplicate, and delete their own alerts. View their alerts on the Manage Alerts user page.
follow_alerts Users can view and follow public, followable alerts that are on the tile. 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.

Viewing Alerts from a Dashboard Tile

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.

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

If you have the appropriate user permissions, you can “follow” an alert so that you receive an email notification when its conditions are triggered. You are automatically following any email alert that you create or 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.

Some alerts cannot be followed, including:

Unfollowing Alerts

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 types of alerts are known as “unfollowable,” which means that they cannot be viewed or followed by other users. When you create these alerts, you will not be able to view or set the alert Permissions. An alert is unfollowable if it meets one or more of these conditions:

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 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.

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 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.

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

update

Update to Looker 7.16 to send alert notifications to the Slack Attachment (API Token) integration once specified conditions are met or exceeded.

Sending Alerts to the Slack Integration

update

Update to Looker 7.16 to send alert notifications to the Slack integration once specified conditions are met or exceeded.

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 is not unfollowable, 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, and you will not be able to view or set the alert Permissions.

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 as permitted. 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.

Deleting an Alert’s Dashboard or Dashboard Tile

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.

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.

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