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 already 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.

Choosing Your Scheduling Options

After choosing Schedule, you see all of your scheduling choices:

The screen below shows an example Schedule window for a Look, with Email selected for the destination option.

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, the fields show the scheduling settings and 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. Next:

Title

Give the content a unique title in the Title row. This title will appear in the left hand pane after you save this schedule, and is used to differentiate this schedule from other saved schedules.

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:

When on the scheduling window, click Filters to see 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.

Trigger Options (For Developers and Admins)

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

For the Datagroups trigger, choose the source datagroup from the Datagroup pulldown:

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 timing options that you see will change depending upon what you choose in the Delivery dropdown menu, which specifies how frequently the delivery will be sent.

Destination

In Destination, choose Email. The data or visualization is 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 server, applications using a webhook, or integrators managed by Segment.

Recipients

In the Recipients field, enter the email addresses for data delivery. 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 administrators. If the recipient is another Looker user, they will have the option to link back to the Look or dashboard from the email. Looker shows the number of email recipients in parentheses next to the field name.

If you are a Looker admin and have enabled the Run schedule as recipient feature in Looker Labs, you can check the Run schedule as recipient box to send data to multiple Looker users, each receiving the data they would see if they ran the query. This means that each users' access filters and user attributes will be applied to the data included in each email. See this discourse article for more information about turning on and using this feature. This option is grayed out and unavailable if an admin sender adds an email without a Looker account or if a non-admin sender schedules data to anyone other than themselves.

Message

Use the Message field to add a customized text message that will appear in the body of the email message.

Format

Dashboard tiles based on merged query results do not support scheduling in the CSV format.

In Format, choose the format of the data in your delivery.

For dashboards, you can choose:

For Looks, you can choose:

Apply Visualization Options

For Looks, you can configure if you want the data delivery to use the same options as your visualization:

Formatted Data Values

For Looks, you can configure the content's formatting:

Sending Alerts: Result-based Options

You can add conditions to whether or not the data is delivered:

Limit Options

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:

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, set Include Links to No.

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 Recipients field.

Creating Additional Schedules for the Content

If you want to create another schedule for the same content, click Create New Schedule, possibly change the copy'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 copy icon to the right of a schedule to create a copy of that 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 you're using Looker's default email configuration, things should work ok. However, 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 have a maximum row limit of 5000, or a maximum file size of 7.5 MB. Emails with more rows or data than these limits will not send correctly.
  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 Discourse article.

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