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Looker
Scheduling Email Deliveries

Looker lets you schedule periodic email delivery of a user-defined dashboard, a Look’s visualization, or a Look’s data. You can send the information to one or more email addresses.

Starting a Schedule

There are several ways to create a schedule for your content:

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

First, you can click Browse to find the content (dashboard or Look) you want to schedule. Then click the item's gear 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):

The second option is to create a schedule for a Look or dashboard while you're viewing it. Click the gear menu in the upper right and choose Schedule:

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

Finally, if you are on an Explore page you can click Save & Schedule to save your choices as a Look and then schedule that Look.

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.

Creating and Editing Schedules

After starting a schedule, Looker displays a window with your scheduling choices.

The screen below shows an example Schedule window for a dashboard.

If this is the first schedule you're creating for this content, the left pane shows and highlights the title of the schedule you are creating. On the right side, there are 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 left pane shows those schedules. One of the schedules will be highlighted and the right pane displays its saved scheduling settings. Then:

The following sections explain each scheduling setting.

Naming Your Schedule

Give the schedule a unique title in the Give your schedule a name section. This title will appear in the left pane after you save this schedule, and differentiates this schedule from other saved schedules.

Sending to Email

In the Where should this data go section, choose Email. Your data or visualization will be delivered to a list of email addresses you specify.

To learn more about other types of data delivery, see the page for each destination option: Amazon S3 bucket, SFTP, applications using a webhook, or one of several integrated services.

Choosing Recipients

In the Who should it be emailed to section, enter the email addresses of the recipients. Enter a single email address, or multiple addresses separated by commas, and click Add. The domain of those emails must be allowed by your Looker admins. If the recipient is another Looker user, that person will have the option to link back to the Look or dashboard from the email.

Click Include a custom message to add a customized message in the body of the email.

Additionally, if your Looker admin has enabled the Run schedule as recipient feature in Looker Labs, you can set the data delivery to run as if you ran the query yourself. If you are a Looker admin, you can set the data delivery to run for each recipient as if they ran the query themselves. You can set this in the Advanced options section as described on the Managing Business User Features documentation page.

Formatting the Data

In Format data as, choose the format for the data in your delivery.

For dashboards, you can choose:

For Looks, you can choose:

When scheduling delivery of images or visualizations, the Easy to Read Email Images Labs feature allows your email client to determine the optimal image size for easier readability. If images appear distorted, your email client may be incompatible with this feature. Contact your Looker admin to disable the Labs feature.

Triggering Delivery

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

Click here to read more about Trigger options

You have two options to trigger deliveries.

  • Repeating interval: Select this option to use the delivery schedule you set in the Timing the Schedule section.
  • Datagroup update: If you have configured datagroups, you can schedule delivery to occur after a datagroup has been triggered, managed the cache, and rebuilt relevant PDTs.

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:

Looker lists all datagroups defined in the models included in the given look or dashboard, even if they 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, as described later in this page.

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

Applying Filters

If you are scheduling a Look or dashboard and it has filters, you can specify the filters for each scheduled delivery, which lets you customize the results for 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 that schedule.

To make customized 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 out customized results with only one schedule. You can read more about user attributes here.

Using Advanced Options

The Advanced options section provides additional customizations for your schedule. Click the arrow next to Advanced options to expand this menu.

Scheduling Conditions

For all Look formats other than Visualization, you can add conditions for when the data will be delivered:

Scheduling Limits

When sending Looks, you can limit the size of your email to stay within your email server's message size limitations. Select one of the following limit options for your data:

To verify that you are within the row or data limit for scheduled emails, you can enter your own email address as the recipient and click Send Test to send the data to yourself immediately. If you do not receive the email, it is likely that you have reached the row limit or the data limit for emails.

Limit options are not available when you send a dashboard. Dashboard query limits depend on the data delivery format:

Email Options

Run Schedule as Recipient

You see this option only if your Looker admin has enabled the Run schedule as recipient Labs feature. If you are not a Looker admin and you enter an email address other than your own, this option is unavailable. You can, however, enter your own email address and the data delivery you will receive will be the same as if you ran the query yourself.

If you are a Looker admin, see the Managing Business User Features documentation page for more information.

Include Links

By default, email data deliveries include a link that reads "View this data in Looker":

This link lets the email recipients further explore the data on your Looker instance. If you want to remove this link from your data delivery emails, un-check the Include Links checkbox.

Format Options

Apply Visualization Options

For Looks and the CSV format of dashboards, you can configure whether you want the data delivery to use the same options as your visualization:

Formatted Data Values

For Looks and the CSV format of dashboards, you can configure the data's formatting:

Single Column Layout

For dashboard deliveries in PDF or Visualization format, you have the option to print your PDF in a single column layout, which displays dashboard tiles in a single vertical column. Check the Use single column layout box to use this option, or leave the box unchecked to show the tiles as they are arranged in the dashboard.

Timezone

By default, Looker will use the time zone associated with your account to determine when to send your data delivery. If you don't have a time zone associated with your account, Looker will use your Application time zone. If you want to specify a different time zone, select Use custom timezone. The time zone you select does not affect the data in your Look or dashboard, just the timing of the delivery.

Paper Size

New in Looker 6.2, data deliveries have options for customizing PDF page size and orientation.

You have the option to specify the optimal size and orientation of dashboard PDFs by selecting from the Paper size drop-down menu. Large visualizations or groups of overlapping dashboard tiles may need to be resized to fit cleanly on a PDF page. If you do not see the Paper size option, talk to your Looker admin about enabling the Enhanced Rendering Labs feature and installing Chromium or PhantomJS for your Looker instance.

Testing Your Schedule

Click the Send Test button to send a one-time test. Looker will send a test email to each email address listed in the Who should it be emailed to section.

Creating Additional Schedules

If you want to create another schedule for the same content, click New +, optionally change the new schedule's default name, and specify its scheduling options. Your schedules are listed by title in the left pane of the window.

Alternatively, you can click the Duplicate icon to the right of a schedule to create a copy of that schedule. The Duplicate icon appears when you hover over the title of the schedule.

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 Spaces, 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.

There are a few other challenges that can arise:

  1. If your company has set up its own email settings in the Admin section of Looker, your Looker admins will need to make sure they are correct, and that your email provider is functioning properly.
  2. Depending on the Limit setting, the data delivery will either be limited to 5,000 rows or a maximum file size of 15 MB. Emails with more rows or data than these limits will not be sent.
  3. If an email does not send at the expected time — but does eventually arrive — it is likely because you're competing with other Looker tasks. These tasks can include other scheduled emails, many people exploring data at the same time, or persistent derived tables being built. If this occurs check with your Looker admins about competing tasks.
  4. If a specific email keeps disappearing from your distribution list, it's likely because a user is unsubscribing from that scheduled email. This can be a particular challenge if you use a group email alias to send to multiple people, because any individual recipient can unsubscribe that entire email alias. If you need to understand un-subscriptions check out this Community topic.

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