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Scheduling and sending dashboards

This page describes new Looker dashboards, which are now the default Looker dashboards. For information on legacy dashboards, visit the Sending Data Now and Scheduling Data Deliveries documentation pages.

This page is about scheduling and sending a dashboard. To learn about scheduling legacy dashboards, Looks, or Explores, visit the Scheduling Data Deliveries and Sending Data Now documentation pages.

Looker lets you schedule immediate or recurring delivery of dashboards. Depending on how your Looker admin has set up your permissions for data delivery, you can deliver your content to one of Looker’s native delivery destinations: email, a webhook, an Amazon S3 bucket, or an SFTP server. Depending on your permissions, you can also schedule a data delivery to a third-party service that is integrated with Looker, such as Slack.

If there are valid results in cache, Looker will deliver cached results. If there are no results or if the cached results have expired, Looker will rerun the query and those results will be cached.

In dashboards, you can both schedule recurring dashboard deliveries and send dashboards immediately using the same menu option, Schedule delivery.

Starting a delivery from a dashboard

If you are a Looker developer, you must turn off Development Mode to schedule or send. Deliveries are executed using Production Mode LookML.

Make sure the dashboard is not in edit mode. Click the three-dot menu in the upper right of the dashboard and choose Schedule delivery. If you do not see the Schedule delivery option, talk to your Looker admin about your assigned permissions:

Once you click Schedule delivery, either an existing schedules window appears or a schedule and send window appears, depending on whether or not you have already created existing schedules on the dashboard.

Existing schedules window

If you have already created schedules for this dashboard, an existing schedules window appears that shows the schedules you have set along with some information about each one, such as destination and format. Deliveries using the Send now recurrence and schedules made by other people do not appear in this window.

Click Send now to send an immediate delivery of existing scheduled content without disrupting the scheduled cadence.

Click the three-dot menu to edit, duplicate, or delete a schedule.

Click Done to exit the window.

Click New to open the schedule and send window and create a new schedule or immediately send a new delivery.

Schedule and send window

If you click New from the existing schedules window, or, if you do not have any pre-existing schedules for the dashboard, a schedule and send window opens. This window allows you to customize recurrence, destination, format, filters, and more:

You can also schedule or send a dashboard when viewing it in a folder. Select Add Schedule or Send from the three-dot menu on the right side of that dashboard’s row (in list view) or the three-dot menu at the top right of the tile (in tile view).

The Settings tab in the schedule and send window allows you to customize your delivery’s recurrence, destination, format, and more.

Naming a delivery

The top of the schedule and send window shows the name automatically given to the delivery. The name defaults to the dashboard’s name. To edit the delivery’s name, click the name (indicated by the dotted underscore), and make your edits.

Recurrence

Customize the timing of your delivery in the Recurrence section.

Send now

If you select Send now from the Recurrence drop-down menu, a one-time delivery of the dashboard will be sent once you fill in the required fields and click the Send now button at the bottom of the window.

Time-based and date-based schedules

Select one of the following options from the Recurrence drop-down menu:

The timing options change depending on the option you’ve chosen. For example, here are the setting options when you select Specific months:

Here are the settings when you select Hourly:

The Time, Start, and End fields use a 24-hour clock.

Hourly and Minutes schedules repeat daily within the Start and End timeframe you set. The end time for Hourly and Minutes intervals is not inclusive. The last delivery will be sent at the last selected interval prior to the specified end time. For example, if a dashboard is scheduled Hourly between 12:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m., it will be sent on the hour, every hour, from 12:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Or, if a recurrence is every 30 minutes between 12:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m., the last delivery will be sent at 10:30 p.m.

Schedules triggered by datagroup updates

If your LookML developer has configured datagroups, you can schedule delivery of a dashboard to occur after a datagroup has been triggered, has managed the cache, and has rebuilt relevant PDTs.

Select Datagroup update from the Recurrence drop-down menu. This reveals a Datagroup field with a drop-down menu. Select the datagroup whose update will prompt delivery.

To schedule a dashboard using a datagroup update trigger, the dashboard must contain at least one tile based on a model file that includes a datagroup parameter. The Datagroup drop-down menu lists all datagroups defined in the models included in the dashboard, even if the datagroups are not used to handle caching for queries or PDTs. Even if the datagroup is used in only one tile’s model, the entire dashboard will be sent when the selected datagroup update completes.

Schedules based on datagroups only send once the regeneration process has completed for all PDTs that are persisted with that datagroup parameter, ensuring that your delivery includes the most up-to-date data.

Destination

Depending on how your Looker admin has configured your permissions, some of these destinations may not be visible.

The Destination setting may display several destination options for dashboard deliveries. 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 a webhook URL. See the following sections for information about each destination’s settings.

Email

When Email is selected in the Destination field, a new Email addresses field appears. This is a required field.

Enter the email addresses of the recipients in the Email addresses field. If entering multiple email addresses click the Enter key or add a comma after each address.

Depending on the settings for your Looker instance and on your assigned permissions, you may be able to send emails to email addresses that are unassociated with any user account on your Looker instance. These are classified as external emails. The All and External indicators at the right of the field show the numbers of all email recipients as well as the number of external email recipients. Clicking on each indicator toggles between showing all email recipients and only the external email recipients.

If a recipient is another Looker user, that person will see the option to link back to the Look or dashboard from the email.

Emailed deliveries may not exceed 20 MB (for formats that are delivered in the email body) and 15 MB (for formats that are delivered as an attachment).

Webhook

Webhooks are a modern, increasingly common way to trigger exchanges between internet-based services. With a web service like Zapier, webhooks can let Looker data be delivered to a wide range of applications; for example, you may be able to schedule periodic delivery of a dashboard to a webhook.

To set up a webhook, go to your web service and do the following:

The exact procedure differs depending on what web service and destination application you’re using to deliver the data. See this Community topic for guidelines on setting up another application to receive the webhook data from Looker.

When Webhook is selected in the Destination field, a new Webhook URL field appears. This is a required field.

Enter the URL where Looker should send an HTTPS request for this delivery in the Webhook URL field. You can obtain this URL from the web service you’re using to handle your webhook.

Looker will attempt delivery to a webhook for a maximum of 30 minutes. Ensure that the destination can respond within 30 minutes to the webhook delivery attempt.

Amazon S3

Amazon S3 buckets are a common way to store large amounts of data. You or your company will need to have created an S3 bucket with Amazon before Looker can use it.

When Amazon S3 is selected in the Destination field, several new fields appear and prompt you for information about your Amazon S3 bucket:

Check out this Looker Community topic for more details about delivering data using an Amazon S3 bucket.

SFTP

Sending results to an SFTP server is a good method to use when your data or visualization is too large to send via email.

To receive SFTP deliveries from Looker, be sure your network admin has added Looker’s IP addresses to your SFTP server’s IP allowlist or inbound traffic rules.

When SFTP is selected in the Destination field, several new fields appear and prompt you for information about your Amazon S3 bucket:

SFTP support is limited to username and password credentials. SSH private key credentials are not supported.

Looker stores SFTP fingerprints for your SFTP server. If you encounter errors with your SFTP delivery, it could indicate that the SFTP fingerprints are invalid. In this case, contact your Looker admin.

If you receive the error Java::JavaLang::NullPointerExceptions when delivering data to an SFTP server, see the Help Center article on how to deal with this Java error.

Integrated service destinations

You can schedule or send dashboard deliveries to a service that is integrated with Looker, such as Slack, Dropbox, Google Drive, and others. Integrations must be enabled by your Looker admin. Looker admins must specifically give permissions for users and embed users to send and schedule data to third-party integrations.

When an integrated service is selected in the Destination field, several new fields may appear and prompt you for more information.

See more about delivering data from integrations in the Delivering Dashboard or Query Data section of the Sharing Data Through an Action Hub documentation page.

To see a description of the information each service requires, find your service destination in the list below and click the View Looker article link in the How to Use This Destination column.

Format

The Format field contains a drop-down menu of available formats:

If you have selected email as a destination and your Looker admin has set your Looker instance’s emailed data policy to Send Link Only, the option to select a data format is not available.

Advanced options

The Advanced options section provides additional customization for your schedule. Click the arrow next to Advanced options to expand this menu. The options available depend on the selected destination and format of your delivery.

Custom message

This option is available only for the email destination.

Enter a message you would like included in the body of emails to recipients.

Run schedule as recipient

This option is available only for the email destination.

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 only your own email address, and the data results you receive will be the same as if you had run the query yourself, based on your permissions.

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

Include links

This option is available only for the email destination.

If your Looker admin has set your Looker instance’s emailed data policy to Send Links and Data, the schedule and send window displays the Include links option. Select this option to include in the data delivery emails a View full dashboard link that goes to the dashboard in Looker.

Recipients must log in to Looker and have permissions to access the models on which the delivered dashboard is based to view that content in Looker. If you want to remove this link from your data delivery emails, clear the Include links checkbox.

Results

This field is available only for CSV zip file formats of dashboard deliveries. It contains two options: With visualizations options applied or As displayed in the data table. You can choose one or the other.

Choose the With visualizations options applied option to apply some of the visualization settings from the dashboard tiles to your dashboard delivery. This causes the files in your delivery to appear similar to table charts. Any of the following settings in the Plot, Series, and Formatting menus that are configured for a visualization will be applied to the data delivery:

Choose the As displayed in the data table option to deliver the data as it appears in the data table of each dashboard tile’s Explore from here window.

Values

This field is available only for CSV zip file formats of dashboard deliveries. It contains two options: Formatted or Unformatted. You can choose one or the other.

Expand tables to show all rows

This option is available only for PDF formats of dashboard deliveries.

Select the Expand tables to show all rows box to display all rows of any table visualizations in the dashboard — rather than just those rows that display in the dashboard tile thumbnails.

If you do not see the Expand tables to show all rows option when you’ve chosen PDF in the Format field, talk to your Looker admin about installing the appropriate version of the Chromium renderer for your Looker instance.

Arrange dashboard tiles in a single column

This option is available only for the PDF and PNG visualization formats of dashboard deliveries.

Select the Arrange dashboard tiles in a single column box to format your PDF or your PNG visualization in a single column layout. This layout displays dashboard tiles in a single vertical column. Leave the box unchecked to show the tiles as they are arranged in the dashboard.

Paper size

This option is available only for PDF formats of dashboard deliveries.

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 installing the latest version of the Chromium renderer for your Looker instance.

Table resolution

This option is available only for the PNG visualization format and when the Arrange dashboard tiles in a single column box is checked.

You can customize the width of your visualization by using the Table resolution drop-down menu. Your width options are:

For deliveries to email, if you choose Wide and the visualization width exceeds the limit set by your email client, email delivery recipients may need to scroll horizontally to see the entire visualization.

Delivery timezone

By default, Looker uses 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 uses your Application Time Zone setting.

If you want to specify a different time zone, select the time zone from the drop-down menu. The time zone you select does not affect the data in your Look or dashboard, just the timing of the delivery.

Filters

The Filters tab in the schedule and send window shows any filters applied to the dashboard as well as their values. In this tab, you can edit the values for any existing filters applied to the dashboard and the new values will be applied to the delivery. The dashboard itself will not be affected.

You cannot add filters to your schedule in the Filters tab, only view and edit the values for existing dashboard filters.

For example, you might send regional teams results that are filtered for their states of interest:

If a dashboard filter requires a filter value, you must enter a value in the Filters tab to create or save any edits to the delivery.

When dashboard filters change

Sometimes dashboard filters change after a schedule is created. The table below explains how that affects filters applied to the scheduled deliveries.

Action Effect on Schedule Filter
A schedule is created with a filter. Later, the filter value is changed on the dashboard. No effect on the schedule filter value. It remains the value set in the Filters tab, even if that value is is any value.
A schedule is created with a filter that is later renamed in the dashboard. The filter is removed from the delivered data.
A schedule is created with a filter that is later deleted in the dashboard. The filter is removed from the delivered data.
A schedule is created and a new (non-required or required) filter is later added to the dashboard. The filter is applied to the delivered data, using the filter value set in the Filters tab. If no value is set in the Filters tab, the value is interpreted as is any value, essentially removing the filter.


Dashboard filters that are renamed in or removed from a dashboard are no longer applied to delivered data. Schedule creators should be aware that renaming or removing filters could cause deliveries to expose unfiltered data.

Using user attribute filters

If your Looker admin has configured user-specific values, called user attributes, and you have edit privileges for a dashboard, you can create a dashboard filter that uses the matches a user attribute filter option. A filter of this type automatically customizes the filter value for each dashboard viewer. With this kind of filter, you can deliver customized results to each delivery’s recipients. To read more about user attributes, visit the User Attributes documentation page.

Testing a schedule

If you set the Recurrence field to anything other than Send now, a Test now button appears at the bottom left of the schedule and send window.

Click the Test now button to send a one-time test delivery of the schedule only to yourself. A green checkmark appears to confirm a test has been sent.

Saving a schedule or sending now

If you set the Recurrence field to Send now, click the Send now button at the bottom of the window for a one-time delivery to the listed destination.

If you set the Recurrence field to anything other than Send now, click the Save button to save your schedule and close the window.

Click the Cancel button to exit the window without saving or sending the schedule.

Your saved schedules for a dashboard appear in its existing schedules window. Your saved schedules for all content appear on the Schedules page of your user profile.

Editing a schedule

You can edit only the schedules you have created. To edit a schedule:

  1. Click the three-dot menu at the top right of the dashboard.
  2. Select Schedule delivery from the drop-down menu.
  3. In the existing schedules window, click the three-dot menu that applies to the schedule you would like to edit.
  4. Choose Edit from the drop-down menu.
  5. The schedule and send window appears for that schedule. Make your edits in this window.
  6. Click Save when your edits are complete, or click Cancel to cancel your edits.

Duplicating a schedule

You may want to duplicate a schedule and then edit it. To duplicate a schedule:

  1. Click the three-dot menu at the top right of the dashboard.
  2. Select Schedule delivery from the drop-down menu.
  3. In the existing schedules window, click the three-dot menu that applies to the schedule you would like to edit.
  4. Choose Duplicate from the drop-down menu.
  5. The schedule and send window appears for the duplicate schedule. “Copy” is appended to the schedule name.
  6. Make your edits.
  7. Click Save when your edits are complete, or click Cancel to cancel your edits and delete the duplicated schedule.

The original schedule remains unchanged when you make a duplicate.

The filters in a duplicate schedule will be set to the same values as are present in the Filters tab of the original schedule, although you can edit these values. If any filters have changed since the creation of the original schedule, the filters will be affected as shown in the When dashboard filters change section. If a required filter was later added to the dashboard that the original schedule is based on, you need to select a value for that filter before saving the duplicated schedule.

Deleting a schedule

You can delete only the schedules you have created. To delete a schedule:

  1. Click the three-dot menu at the top right of the dashboard.
  2. Select Schedule delivery from the drop-down menu.
  3. In the existing schedules window, click the three-dot menu that applies to the schedule you would like to edit.
  4. Choose Delete from the drop-down menu.
  5. A new window appears. Click Delete to delete the schedule, or click Cancel to keep the schedule.

You can also delete a schedule from the Schedules page of your user profile.

Scheduling challenges

Looker schedules data deliveries according to the time zone indicated in the Application Time Zone setting on the Admin Settings page, or, if enabled, the schedule creator’s User Specific Time Zone.

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 reports an error if it is unable to connect to the specified endpoint.

If such issues occur, Looker sends an email to notify the schedule’s creator. The email includes a link to the scheduled content, a list of the recipients it failed to reach, and more information, if available, about the problem Looker encountered when trying to reach the recipients.

Delivery considerations for admins

Looker admins can see, edit, reassign, and delete any users’ schedules. Additionally, Looker admins should bear some things in mind when setting up data delivery for their Looker instance and granting users permissions to send or schedule data deliveries. For more information, visit the Admin Settings - Schedules, Admin Settings - Schedule History, Managing Business User Features, and Roles documentation pages.

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