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Scheduling Data Deliveries

Looker lets you schedule periodic delivery of a user-defined dashboard, a Look’s visualization, or a Look’s data. Depending on how your Looker admin has set up your permissions for data delivery, you can schedule your data to be delivered to various destinations, including email, an Amazon S3 bucket, an SFTP server, a webhook, or an integrated service.

Customizing Data Deliveries

There are several ways to customize the delivery of your data. You can schedule a periodic delivery, such as delivering a certain dashboard every Monday. For Looks, you can create a schedule so that information is delivered only if the data has changed since the last delivery, or only if the query yields results. This last option is especially useful if you want to receive any new results as an alert. For example, if your Look has the query “orders over five days old that haven’t been shipped,” you can receive an alert only when a result is returned, letting you know there is an outstanding order that needs immediate attention.

You also can trigger a delivery to occur when a query’s datagroup parameter has been updated, or you can apply filters for your schedule.

Learn more about your scheduling customization options as you are creating and editing your schedules below.

You can also immediately send data directly from an Explore, Look, or dashboard with the same destination and formatting options that are available when scheduling data deliveries. This lets you send data right away, without setting up a schedule. In the case of an Explore, you can send a query immediately using all the destination and formatting options, without having to save the query to a dashboard or a Look.

Starting a Schedule

You can create a schedule for dashboards, Looks, and Explores.

If you are a Looker developer, you must turn off Development Mode to enable these scheduling options.

One option is to click Browse to find the content (dashboard or Look) you want to schedule. Then click the item’s three-dot menu and choose Edit Schedule (if there is already a schedule for the item) or Add Schedule (if there is not yet a schedule for the item).

Another option is to create a schedule for a dashboard, Look, or Explore while you’re viewing it. For Explores, click Save & Schedule to save your choices as a Look and then schedule that Look. For dashboards and Looks, click the gear menu in the upper right and choose Schedule:

For Looks, you can also click the Create Schedules link in the side panel of the Look:

From here, you can choose your delivery method, destination, and format.

Options and Formatting

After starting a schedule, Looker displays a dialog box with your scheduling choices. The screen below shows an example schedule dialog box for a dashboard:

The left panel shows all schedules created for this content and highlights the title of the schedule you are creating or editing. If this is the first schedule you’re creating for this content, the main panel displays scheduling options set to their default values. You can modify those values as desired. If you have previously created one or more schedules for this content, the main panel displays its saved scheduling settings. Then:

The following sections explain each scheduling setting.

Naming the Schedule

Give the schedule a unique title in the Give your schedule a name field. The title will appear in the left panel after you save this schedule.

Choosing the Delivery Destination

Depending on how your Looker admin has configured your permissions, the default delivery destination may be email, and this setting may not be visible.

The Where should this data go? setting may display several destination options for data deliveries. Each destination offers different data formatting and other delivery options. For specific information about each destination’s settings, click the links below:

Once you’ve selected a data destination, a new setting field appears for you to add specific details about that destination, such as an email address or webhook url.

Choosing a Data Format

The data formats available for your schedule depend on the schedule’s destination. For specific information about each destination’s settings, click the links above to a destination’s documentation page.

Triggering Delivery

If your Looker admin has given you permission, you will see the Trigger options.

You have two options to trigger deliveries.

Typically datagroups are triggered after the extract, transform, load (ETL) cycle for the model’s data has finished, which means that your data will be sent whenever the data has been updated — ensuring that your delivery includes the most up-to-date data.

To use a Datagroup update trigger, choose the source datagroup from the Select Datagroup pulldown:

To schedule a Look or dashboard using a datagroup trigger, the Look or dashboard tile’s model file needs to include a datagroup parameter. Looker lists all datagroups defined in the models included in the given Look or dashboard tile, even if the datagroups are not used to handle caching for queries or PDTs.

In the case of dashboards, which may have multiple tiles associated with multiple datagroups, you are given the option to choose from any of the datagroups that are associated with the dashboard. The entire dashboard will be sent when the selected datagroup completes.

Timing the Schedule

Customize the timing of your schedule in the Deliver this schedule section. The timing options change depending on whether you choose Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Hourly, or By minute. You can adjust the time zone for the schedule in Advanced options section.

If you have access to the Trigger options, the Deliver this schedule section appears when the Trigger is set to Repeating interval.

Applying Filters to the Delivery

If you are delivering a Look or dashboard that has filters, you can filter the results delivered to each set of recipients. For example, you might send regional teams results that are filtered for their states of interest:

Click Filters to see and modify the filters associated with this Look or dashboard for your data delivery. Changing these filter options in the Send or Schedule window does not change the filters in your Look or dashboard.

If you change field names that serve as filters in your Looks or dashboards, be sure to review the Filters section of your scheduled Looks and dashboards and update the filters as needed to reflect your changes. If a scheduled content delivery includes filters that no longer function (for example, if the referenced field has changed), the scheduled delivery could expose unfiltered data.

To make custom deliveries even easier, you can use the matches a user attribute filter option if your Looker admins have configured user-specific values called user attributes. Setting a filter to one of these attributes automatically customizes the results for each user, meaning that you can send customized results to many users even if you select Send only once. You can read more about user attributes here.

Using Advanced Delivery Options

The Advanced options section provides additional customization for your schedule. Click the arrow next to Advanced options to expand this menu. Not all advanced options for scheduling Looks and dashboards are available for each destination. See each destination’s documentation page for the options available for that destination.

Testing Your Schedule

Click the Send Test button to send a one-time test delivery to the specified destination.

Managing Schedules

Each saved Look or dashboard can have multiple schedules, and each user of that data has their own set of schedules. If a user edits or deletes one of their schedules, only their recipients will be impacted; other users might have other schedules related to that data.

Data formats available for scheduling will differ depending on whether you are scheduling delivery of a Look or a dashboard.

Creating Additional Schedules

If you want to create another schedule for the same content, click New +, change the new schedule’s default name if you want, and specify its scheduling options. Your schedules are listed by title in the left panel of the schedule dialog box.

Saving Your Schedule

When you are finished creating schedules for this content, click the Save All button to save your schedule and close the window.

As you navigate through folders, the listing for each Look and dashboard indicates whether you have scheduled that content.

Scheduling Challenges

At times a scheduled delivery could fail to reach one or more of its recipients. This could happen if the underlying model has an error, if the recipient does not have access to the data, or if there are rendering problems or page errors. The data destination will report an error if it is unable to connect to the specified endpoint. If such issues occur, Looker will send an email to notify the person who set up the schedule. The email will include a link to the scheduled content, a list of the recipients it failed to reach, and more information, if available, about the problem encountered when trying to reach the recipient.

For Admins: Enabling Scheduling for Your Looker Instance

For deliveries of large Excel files, see this documentation page if you encounter any problems.

Certain scheduling options require that admins of customer-hosted Looker deployments have installed the Chromium renderer for their Looker instance. Admins can read more about rendering image-based data formats when sending and scheduling dashboards, Looks, or Explores on this documentation page.