Designing dashboards for
performance
Reference deck
Mrunal Shridhar
Senior Product Consultant, EMEA
BASIC PRINCIPLES
1. Everything in moderation
2. If it isn’t fast in database, it won’t be fast in Tableau
3. If it isn’t f...
DATA SOURCES
File-based data sources
Relational data sources
OLAP data sources
Web-based data sources
©2012 Tableau Softwa...
Import into Tableau’s fast data engine
Microsoft JET driver
– 255 columns, 255 characters
– No COUNT DISTINCT or MEDIAN
– ...
Indexes
– On all columns part of table JOINs
– On any column used in FILTER
Referential integrity
– Primary and foreign ke...
NULLs
– Define dimension as NOT NULL
– Increase effectiveness of indexes
Calculations
– Very complex calculations in a vie...
OLAP data sources
– Underlying language differences
• Metadata definition
• Filtering
• Totals and aggregations
• Data ble...
QUERIES
Understanding the query
Multiple tables vs. custom SQL
Blending vs. joining
©2012 Tableau Software Inc. All rights...
Slow-running visualisation
– Time it takes to query
– Time to stream records back
Number of records
– Large number vs. sma...
Multiple tables
– Dynamically create SQL based on fields
– Join culling to drop unused dimension tables
• Referential inte...
More than one data source
– Blend data or federated database system
Join is better on same data source
– Improve performan...
EXTRACTS
Creating extracts
Aggregated extracts
Optimizing extracts
Extracts vs. live connections
©2012 Tableau Software In...
Factors
– Database technology
– Network speed
– Data volumes
– Workstation specs
• Fast CPU with multiple cores
• Lots of ...
Helps improve performance
– Aggregate to summary level
– Filter unnecessary values
– Hide all unused fields
Multiple level...
Optimize deterministic calculations
– String manipulations and concatenations
– Groups and sets
Non-deterministic calculat...
Speed of data engine is relative
Data engine is faster than
– Non-optimized data base
– File-based data source
Data engine...
FILTERING
Filtering categorical dimensions
Filtering dates
Context filters
Quick filters
User filters
©2012 Tableau Softwa...
Discrete filters can be slower
– Keep only and exclude perform poor
• Complex WHERE clause
• Join on a temp table
Ranged f...
Discrete dates or date levels
– Can result in poor query execution
• Tables not partitioned on DATEPART
– Data extract can...
All filters are computed independently
Set one or more filters as context filters
– Any other filters are defined as depen...
Too many quick filters will slow you down
– ‘Only Relevant Values’
– Lots of discrete lists
Try guided analytics over many...
Enumerated quick filters can be slow
– Requires a query for all potential field values
• Multiple value list
• Single valu...
Show potential values in 3 different ways
– All values in database
• No need to re-query when other filters changed
– All ...
Create a parameter and filter based on users’ selection
– PROS
• Do not require a query before rendering
• Parameters + ca...
Use filter actions between views
– PROS
• Supports multi-value selection
• Evaluated at run-time to show a dynamic list
• ...
More data source I/O
– Need to ask exact same query again
More cache space required
– Each user session creates own query ...
CALCULATIONS
Basic and aggregate vs. table calculations
Calculations vs. native features
Performance techniques
©2012 Tabl...
Basic and aggregate calculations
– Expressed as part of the query sent to data source
– Calculated by the database
– Basic...
Native features often more efficient than a manual calculation
– Grouping dimension members together
• Consider using grou...
Data type used has a significant impact on performance
– Integers are faster than Booleans
– Both are faster than Strings
...
Parameters for conditional calculations
– Take advantage of ‘display as’
• Integer values for calculation logic
Performanc...
Date conversion
– Numeric field to a string to a date is inefficient
• Bad
– DATE(LEFT(STR([YYYYMMDD]),4) + “-“ + MID(STR(...
Logic statements
– ELSEIF != ELSE IF
IF [REGION] = "EAST" AND [CUSTOMER SEGMENT] = "CONSUMER"
THEN "EAST-CONSUMER"
ELSE IF...
Separate basic and aggregate calculations
– When using extracts and custom aggregations
• Divide calculations into multipl...
PRESENTATION
Views
Dashboards
©2012 Tableau Software Inc. All rights reserved.
Only fetch and draw what you need
– Remove unnecessary fields from level of detail
Charts vs. crosstabs
– Marks display fa...
Blending vs. custom geographic roles
– Custom geocoding embeds entire GEOCODING.FDB
• Significant increase in TWBX file si...
Less views, less quick filters
– Each view requires at least one query
– Each quick filter requires at least one query
– C...
“Exclude all values”
– Avoids expensive query of asking for all data
Fixed size dashboards
– Different window sizes mean v...
TOOLS TO ANALYZE PERFORMANCE
Tableau desktop messages
Log files
Database performance monitors
Tableau 8 performance metric...
Executing query
– Process
• Execute a query to return records for the view
– Investigate
• Review log file to see queries ...
Computing View Layout
– Process
• Tableau rendering display on all data received
– Investigate
• Slow-running table calcul...
Computing quick filters
– Process
• Tableau is processing quick filters for view(s)
– Investigate
• Long time rendering an...
Understand where bottlenecks are occurring
– Information on what Tableau is doing
– Tableau communication with the data so...
Database performance monitors
– Insight on queries hitting your DB
– Understand how database processes them
– Advice on ad...
Interpret performance recording
– Timeline
• Workbook, dashboard, worksheet
– Events
• Event nature and duration
– Query
•...
Computing layouts
– If layouts are taking too long, consider simplifying your workbook.
Connecting to data source
– Slow c...
TABLEAU SERVER
General performance guidelines
Caching
©2012 Tableau Software Inc. All rights reserved.
General guidelines
– Use 64-bit Tableau
• Processes have access to more memory
– Add more cores and memory
Configuration
–...
Maximise cache use
–Reuse image tile and model caches
– Set dashboard size rule to ‘exact size’
Tuning caches
–Tableau ser...
FINISH
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TCC14 tour hague optimising workbooks

  1. 1. Designing dashboards for performance Reference deck Mrunal Shridhar Senior Product Consultant, EMEA
  2. 2. BASIC PRINCIPLES 1. Everything in moderation 2. If it isn’t fast in database, it won’t be fast in Tableau 3. If it isn’t fast in desktop, it won’t be fast in server ©2012 Tableau Software Inc. All rights reserved.
  3. 3. DATA SOURCES File-based data sources Relational data sources OLAP data sources Web-based data sources ©2012 Tableau Software Inc. All rights reserved.
  4. 4. Import into Tableau’s fast data engine Microsoft JET driver – 255 columns, 255 characters – No COUNT DISTINCT or MEDIAN – Files greater than 4GB in size Tableau text parser – Used when no data modelled File-based data sources
  5. 5. Indexes – On all columns part of table JOINs – On any column used in FILTER Referential integrity – Primary and foreign key explicitly defined • Helps bypass integrity checks – Join culling Partitioning – Split larger table into smaller, individual tables – Partition across dimension Relational data sources
  6. 6. NULLs – Define dimension as NOT NULL – Increase effectiveness of indexes Calculations – Very complex calculations in a view or function within DB – Create a custom SQL Summary tables – Summarize data to higher level of aggregation Relational data sources
  7. 7. OLAP data sources – Underlying language differences • Metadata definition • Filtering • Totals and aggregations • Data blending Web-based data sources – “Connect live” not an option – Extracts can be refreshed • Automated and scheduled Other data sources
  8. 8. QUERIES Understanding the query Multiple tables vs. custom SQL Blending vs. joining ©2012 Tableau Software Inc. All rights reserved.
  9. 9. Slow-running visualisation – Time it takes to query – Time to stream records back Number of records – Large number vs. smaller number of aggregated records Desktop log files Performance Recorder Understanding the query
  10. 10. Multiple tables – Dynamically create SQL based on fields – Join culling to drop unused dimension tables • Referential integrity Custom SQL – Never deconstructed, and executed atomically – Use in conjunction with Tableau’s data engine – Context filters materialise results in a temp table – Include parameters in SQL statements Multiple tables vs. custom SQL
  11. 11. More than one data source – Blend data or federated database system Join is better on same data source – Improve performance – Improve filtering control Blend is better across data sources – Too many records for a join to be practical – Display summary and details at the same time Blending vs. joining
  12. 12. EXTRACTS Creating extracts Aggregated extracts Optimizing extracts Extracts vs. live connections ©2012 Tableau Software Inc. All rights reserved.
  13. 13. Factors – Database technology – Network speed – Data volumes – Workstation specs • Fast CPU with multiple cores • Lots of RAM • Fast I/O Creation requires temp disk space – Up to square of the size of resulting extract file Create extract on workstation, populate on server Creating extracts
  14. 14. Helps improve performance – Aggregate to summary level – Filter unnecessary values – Hide all unused fields Multiple level of detail across extracts – Querying from higher aggregation to detail Aggregated extracts
  15. 15. Optimize deterministic calculations – String manipulations and concatenations – Groups and sets Non-deterministic calculations not stored Cheaper to store data than recalculate Optimizing extracts
  16. 16. Speed of data engine is relative Data engine is faster than – Non-optimized data base – File-based data source Data engine probably slower than – Big cluster of fast machines Aggregate extracts to offload summary-style analysis – Detailed source data in data warehouse Extracts vs. live connections
  17. 17. FILTERING Filtering categorical dimensions Filtering dates Context filters Quick filters User filters ©2012 Tableau Software Inc. All rights reserved.
  18. 18. Discrete filters can be slower – Keep only and exclude perform poor • Complex WHERE clause • Join on a temp table Ranged filters can be faster – Faster than large itemised list of discrete values – Faster when increasing dimensions cardinality Indexes impact efficiency of filters Filtering categorical dimensions
  19. 19. Discrete dates or date levels – Can result in poor query execution • Tables not partitioned on DATEPART – Data extract can optimise performance • DATEPART materialised in extract Range of contiguous dates – Very efficient for query optimisers • Leverage indexes and partitions Relative to a specific date – Uses ranged date filter Filtering dates
  20. 20. All filters are computed independently Set one or more filters as context filters – Any other filters are defined as dependent filters – Writes filter result set to temp table • Subsequent filters and queries on smaller dataset Creation of temp table expensive activity – Context filters not frequently changed by user Custom SQL statements can be optimised Context filters
  21. 21. Too many quick filters will slow you down – ‘Only Relevant Values’ – Lots of discrete lists Try guided analytics over many quick filters – Multiple dashboards with different levels – Action filters within a dashboard Quick filters
  22. 22. Enumerated quick filters can be slow – Requires a query for all potential field values • Multiple value list • Single value list • Compact list • Slider • Measure filters • Ranged date filters Non-enumerated quick filters can be helpful – Do not require field values • Custom value list • Wildcard match • Relative date filters • Browse period date filters Performance at the expense of visual context for end user Quick filters
  23. 23. Show potential values in 3 different ways – All values in database • No need to re-query when other filters changed – All values in context • Temp table regardless of other filters – Only relevant values • Other filters are considered Quick filters
  24. 24. Create a parameter and filter based on users’ selection – PROS • Do not require a query before rendering • Parameters + calculated fields = complex logic • Can be used to filter across data sources – CONS • Single-value selection only • Selection list cannot be dynamic Quick filter alternatives
  25. 25. Use filter actions between views – PROS • Supports multi-value selection • Evaluated at run-time to show a dynamic list • Can be used to filter across data sources – CONS • Filter actions are more complex to set up • Not the same UI as parameters or quick filters • Source sheet still needs to query the data source Quick filter alternatives
  26. 26. More data source I/O – Need to ask exact same query again More cache space required – Each user session creates own query results and model cache Caches being cleared can result in more I/O User filters
  27. 27. CALCULATIONS Basic and aggregate vs. table calculations Calculations vs. native features Performance techniques ©2012 Tableau Software Inc. All rights reserved.
  28. 28. Basic and aggregate calculations – Expressed as part of the query sent to data source – Calculated by the database – Basic calculations scale very well • Tuning techniques can improve performance Table calculations – Calculated locally on query results returned • Generally done over a smaller set of records – If performance is slow… • Then push calculations to data source layer • Consider aggregated data extracts Basic and aggregate calculations
  29. 29. Native features often more efficient than a manual calculation – Grouping dimension members together • Consider using groups – Grouping measure values together into ‘bins’ • Consider using bins – Changing displayed values for dimension members • Consider using aliases Calculations vs. native features
  30. 30. Data type used has a significant impact on performance – Integers are faster than Booleans – Both are faster than Strings Use Booleans for basic logic calculations – Bad • IF [DATE]= TODAY() THEN “TODAY” ELSE “NOT TODAY” END – Good • [DATE]=TODAY() String searches – FIND() slower than CONTAINS() – CONTAINS() slower than wildcard match quick filter Performance techniques
  31. 31. Parameters for conditional calculations – Take advantage of ‘display as’ • Integer values for calculation logic Performance techniques VALUE DISPLAY AS YEAR YEAR QUARTER QUARTER MONTH MONTH WEEK WEEK DAY DAY   VALUE DISPLAY AS 1 YEAR 2 QUARTER 3 MONTH 4 WEEK 5 DAY  
  32. 32. Date conversion – Numeric field to a string to a date is inefficient • Bad – DATE(LEFT(STR([YYYYMMDD]),4) + “-“ + MID(STR([YYYYMMDD]),4,2) + “-“ + RIGHT(STR([YYYYMMDD]),2)) – Keep numeric field and use DATEADD() • Good – DATEADD(‘DAY’, [YYYYMMDD]%100-1, DATEADD(‘MONTH’, INT(([YYYYMMDD]%10000)/100)-1, DATEADD(‘YEAR’, INT([YYYYMMDD]/10000)-1900, #1900-01-01#))) Date functions – NOW() for time stamp – TODAY() for date level Performance techniques
  33. 33. Logic statements – ELSEIF != ELSE IF IF [REGION] = "EAST" AND [CUSTOMER SEGMENT] = "CONSUMER" THEN "EAST-CONSUMER" ELSE IF [REGION] = "EAST" AND CUSTOMER SEGMENT] <>"CONSUMER" THEN "EAST-ALL OTHERS" END END – would run much faster as: IF [REGION] = "EAST" AND [CUSTOMER SEGMENT] = "CONSUMER" THEN "EAST-CONSUMER" ELSEIF [REGION] = "EAST" AND [CUSTOMER SEGMENT] <>"CONSUMER" THEN "EAST-ALL OTHERS" END – but this is faster still: IF [REGION] = "EAST" THEN IF [CUSTOMER SEGMENT] = "CONSUMER" THEN "EAST-CONSUMER" ELSE "EAST-ALL OTHERS" END END Performance techniques
  34. 34. Separate basic and aggregate calculations – When using extracts and custom aggregations • Divide calculations into multiple parts – Row level calculations on one calculated field – Aggregated calculations on second calculated field Performance techniques
  35. 35. PRESENTATION Views Dashboards ©2012 Tableau Software Inc. All rights reserved.
  36. 36. Only fetch and draw what you need – Remove unnecessary fields from level of detail Charts vs. crosstabs – Marks display faster than a tabular report • Rendering a text table consumes more memory – Tableau is not a back door data extract process • Leverage aggregate to detail action filters Removing unnecessary geographic roles – Save time to lookup generated latitudes & longitudes Views
  37. 37. Blending vs. custom geographic roles – Custom geocoding embeds entire GEOCODING.FDB • Significant increase in TWBX file size – Joining or blending geographic data is smaller size • Save only relevant custom geographic data Views
  38. 38. Less views, less quick filters – Each view requires at least one query – Each quick filter requires at least one query – Can result into a lot of I/O before rendering – Dashboards process views from same data source in a serial fashion Turn off tabs – Must process every view in every tab • Need to understand structure of tabs for actions or filters – Reducing tabs improves performance • Try ‘:tabs=no’ Dashboards
  39. 39. “Exclude all values” – Avoids expensive query of asking for all data Fixed size dashboards – Different window sizes mean views are drawn differently • VizQL server must render view separately for each user – “Automatic (Fit To Window)” has low cache hit rate Container considerations • Consider reducing excessive usage of containers Dashboards
  40. 40. TOOLS TO ANALYZE PERFORMANCE Tableau desktop messages Log files Database performance monitors Tableau 8 performance metrics ©2012 Tableau Software Inc. All rights reserved.
  41. 41. Executing query – Process • Execute a query to return records for the view – Investigate • Review log file to see queries taking long time – Possible solution • Consider calculation, query and filter techniques Tableau desktop messages
  42. 42. Computing View Layout – Process • Tableau rendering display on all data received – Investigate • Slow-running table calculations • Very large crosstab • Lots of marks rendered – Possible solution • Review techniques for calculation optimisation and view design Tableau desktop messages
  43. 43. Computing quick filters – Process • Tableau is processing quick filters for view(s) – Investigate • Long time rendering and refreshing quick filters – Possible solution • Consider not using ‘show relevant values’ • Consider not using enumerated quick filters • Review techniques for filter performance and view design Tableau desktop messages
  44. 44. Understand where bottlenecks are occurring – Information on what Tableau is doing – Tableau communication with the data source – Time taken by each Tableau step For Tableau Desktop – C:UsersusernameDocumentsMy Tableau RepositoryLogs For Tableau Server, the VizQL log file: – C:ProgramDataTableauTableau ServerdatatabsvcvizqlserverLogs Log files
  45. 45. Database performance monitors – Insight on queries hitting your DB – Understand how database processes them – Advice on additional tuning Tableau 8 performance metrics – Turn on to record metrics Database performance monitors
  46. 46. Interpret performance recording – Timeline • Workbook, dashboard, worksheet – Events • Event nature and duration – Query • Executing query in either timeline or events Performance metrics V8
  47. 47. Computing layouts – If layouts are taking too long, consider simplifying your workbook. Connecting to data source – Slow connections could be due to network issues or issues with the database server. Executing query – If queries are taking too long, consult your database server’s documentation. Generating extract – To speed up extract generation, consider only importing some data from the original data source. Geocoding – To speed up geocoding performance, try using less data or filtering out data. Blending data – To speed up data blending, try using less data or filtering out data. Server rendering – You can speed up server rendering by running additional VizQL Server processes on additional machines. Performance metrics events
  48. 48. TABLEAU SERVER General performance guidelines Caching ©2012 Tableau Software Inc. All rights reserved.
  49. 49. General guidelines – Use 64-bit Tableau • Processes have access to more memory – Add more cores and memory Configuration – Schedule extract refreshes for off-peak hours – Check the VizQL session timeout limit • Default is 30 minutes – Idle session still consumes memory • Change using tabadmin – vizqlserver.session.expiry.timeout.setting – Assess your process configuration General guidelines
  50. 50. Maximise cache use –Reuse image tile and model caches – Set dashboard size rule to ‘exact size’ Tuning caches –Tableau server configuration utility – Minimise queries – Balanced – Most up-to-date » “:refresh=yes” to view URL –Tabadmin – Model cache » vizqlserver.modelcachesize:30 – Query cache » vizqlserver.querycachesize:64 Caching
  51. 51. FINISH
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