You can immediately email data directly from an Explore, a Look, or a dashboard using the Send option. This lets you send data right away, without setting up a schedule. In the case of an Explore, you can send a query immediately, without having to save the query to a dashboard or a Look.
After choosing Send from the gear menu, choose Email in the Where should this data go? section to see the email options:
Naming Your Delivery
Give the content a unique title in the Title field. The title is used for the email's subject line, and as part of the filename if you select a format that uses an email attachment.
Delivering 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.
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).
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. Those emails' domains 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.
You can also set the data delivery to run as if you had run the query yourself. If you are a Looker admin, you can set the data delivery to run for each recipient as if they had run 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 the Format data as section of the pop-up, choose the format for the data in your delivery.
The option to select a data format is not available if your Looker admin has set your Looker instance's emailed data policy to Send Link Only.
Formats for Dashboards
- PDF: The dashboard as a PDF attachment. The default layout displays tiles as they are arranged in the dashboard, but other layout and sizing options are available under Advanced Options.
- Visualization: The visualization in the body of the email as a single image. The default layout displays tiles as they are arranged in the dashboard, but other layout options are available under Advanced Options.
- CSV ZIP file: The unformatted data from the dashboard delivered as a collection of comma-separated values (CSV) files in a zipped directory.
Formats for Looks and Explores
- Data Table: The data table in the body of the email in HTML.
- Visualization: The visualization in the body of the email as an image.
- CSV: The data table as a comma-separated text-file attachment.
- XLSX: The data table as an Excel file attachment.
- JSON — Simple: The data table as a JSON file attachment. In this format, Looker uses a dimension or measure’s field name as its rendered value rather than the field’s label.
- Text: The data table as a tab-delimited text-file attachment.
HTML: The data table as an HTML file attachment.
See the Change in JSON Formatting Looker Community topic for more information about how Looker renders fields in JSON format.
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 a dashboard filter requires a filter value and the schedule filter is blank, a schedule will display no results upon delivery.
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 Options for Email
The Advanced options section provides additional customization for your delivery. Click the arrow next to Advanced options to expand this menu.
When sending Looks and Explores, 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:
- Results in Table: Data is sent with a 5,000 row limit. This is the only choice available for emails using the Data Table or Visualization format options. Emails with over 5,000 rows will not be sent.
- All Results: If you are using the Text, CSV, JSON — Simple, XLSX, or HTML format options, you can send all of the rows of the results of a saved Look. This option ignores any limits set on a saved Look or Looker's typical 5,000 row limit. There is, however, a total data limit of 15 MB so that email applications will accept the attachment. Emails over 15 MB with an attachment will not be sent. If you specify a Data Table or Visualization format and then select All Results, Looker automatically changes the format to use a text attachment to support sending all results.
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.
Streaming Query Results
Streaming refers to Looker's ability to process data in chunks, rather than all at once. If Looker can stream a result set, then unlimited downloads are possible and you can send All Results. In addition to the format requirements mentioned above, there are two cases where streaming is not possible:
- Table Calculations: Table calculations cannot be streamed. Therefore, to download unlimited results for a query, you must remove table calculations from the query.
- Database Limitations: Some databases cannot stream if pivots are included in the query. For these databases, you must remove pivots to download unlimited results. Some databases can't stream any results, which means that unlimited downloads are not possible. Below is a list of what databases support streaming, as well as databases that support streaming with pivots applied:
The following options are available when sending data delivery over email.
Run Schedule as Recipient
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 receive will be the same as if you had run the query yourself.
If you are a Looker admin, see the Managing Business User Features documentation page for more information.
If your Looker admin has set your Looker instance's emailed data policy to Send Links and Data, the Send or Schedule pop-up will display an option to Include links. When this option is checked, email data deliveries include a link back to Looker that says "View full report" for delivered Looks and Explores and "View full dashboard" for delivered dashboards.
This link lets the email recipients further explore the data on your Looker instance. Recipients must log in to Looker and have permissions to access the model on which the delivered content is based to view that content in Looker. If you want to remove this link from your data delivery emails, uncheck the Include Links checkbox.
The following options are available when sending data delivery over email.
Apply Visualization Options
For Looks, CSV-formatted dashboards, and Explores (if sending a one-time delivery), you can configure whether you want the data delivery to use the same options as your visualization:
Select Apply visualization options to apply some of the visualization settings to your delivery, causing your delivery to appear similar to a table chart. Any of the following settings in the Plot, Series, and Formatting menus that are configured for the visualization will be applied to the data delivery:
- Show Row Numbers
- Hide Totals
- Hide Row Totals
- Limit Displayed Rows to a maximum of 500 rows shown or hidden
- Show Full Field Name
- Custom labels for each column (the JSON — Detail, Inline format always uses raw field names, not the field label — see the Change in JSON Formatting Looker Community topic for more information about how Looker renders fields in JSON format)
- Conditional Formatting for deliveries of table chart visualizations in Excel format
Conditional formatting will display in Excel deliveries of Looks and Explores with table chart visualizations only if the Along a scale rule is applied.
Unselect Apply visualization options if you do not want these visualization options applied. Looker sends the data as it appears in the Data section of the Look or a dashboard tile's Explore from Here window. JSON — Label uses the field label, even if Apply visualization options is unselected.
Formatted Data Values
For Looks, Explores, and the CSV format of dashboards, you can configure the data's formatting:
- Select Formatted data values if you want the data to appear more similar to the Explore experience in Looker, although some features (such as linking) aren't supported by all file types.
- Unselect Formatted data values if you do not want to apply any special formatting of your query results, such as rounding long numbers or adding special characters your Looker developers may have put in place. This is often preferred when data is being fed into another tool for processing.
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.
Table Resolution for Dashboards
When sending dashboards for email delivery in Visualization format, if you check the Use single column layout option, you can customize the width of your visualization by using the Table resolution drop-down menu. Your width options are:
- Normal: 800 pixels
- Wide: 1680 pixels
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.
To display all rows of a data table — rather than just those rows that display in the dashboard tile thumbnail — in a PDF dashboard delivery or download, check the Expand tables box. If you do not see the Expand tables option, talk to your Looker admin about installing the appropriate version of the Chromium renderer for your Looker instance.
Table Resolution for Looks and Explores
When sending Looks or Explores for email delivery in Visualization format, you can customize the width of your visualization by using the Table resolution drop-down menu. Your width options are:
- Normal: 800 pixels
- Wide: 1680 pixels
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.
Send Your Content
When you have selected all the options for your delivery, click the Send button to send your content.
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:
- 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.
- Depending on the Limit setting, the data delivery will either be limited to 5,000 rows or to a maximum file size of 15 MB for email with attachments and 20 MB for emails with inline content. Emails with more rows or data than these limits will not be sent.
- 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.
- 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 Looker Community topic.