The Tableau Performance Checklist: Local Computations – Server Performance

Data

The Tableau Performance Checklist: Local Computations – Server Performance

The Tableau Performance Checklist series is designed to help you streamline your dashboard performance and Tableau Server configuration. Each post expands upon one item listed in the master Tableau Performance Checklist.

Here’s the first guideline from the Local Computations category:

“Even if a workbook is published to Tableau Server, local computations still impact performance. Leverage the power of Tableau Server whenever possible by limiting local computations such as groups, hierarchies, reference lines, table calculations and blending.”

Let’s get started!

Computation vs. Calculation

Perhaps it is best to start with the difference between a computation and a calculation. Though they may seem to be perfectly synonymous, there is, in fact, a little bit of a difference. A calculation involves pure arithmetic, such as calculating the interest due on a loan. A computation is instead applying a series of rules, like an algorithm, to derive an answer. An example of a computation might be assessing the FICO score of a potential borrower.

Local computations are not limited just to Tableau calculations, such as table calculations; they also include a whole host of additional functionalities.

Blending

Above: Blending can affect performance, do so wisely.

Local Computations on Server

As our guideline stated above, even though it is called a local computation, most of them are actually computed and rendered on Tableau Server. Tableau Server on its default mode uses a Threshold Calculation to determine the complexity of a dashboard. This threshold is 100 for PCs and 20 for tablets. If the dashboard of visualization exceeds this amount, then most of the rendering will be server-side rather than client-side. This is beneficial because the resources on the machine running Tableau Server are normally far more powerful and can tackle complex dashboard with greater ease.

The problem with server-side rendering is that a particularly heavy visualization or dashboard still requires the resources on Tableau server rather than off-loading it to the report consumer’s local machine. Unnecessary or excessive computations will drag down the resources on Tableau Server, slowing down everything.

It is evident that with hundreds or perhaps even thousands of users accessing this report, the strain on you Tableau Server can grow excessive and can impact performance. The best way to tackle this problem is to use the underlying database to do the calculations there and then use that in your visualization.

Mastering Best Practices

If you’re interested in becoming a Tableau Server guru, then learning these performance best practices is essential. Check back frequently as we add new posts and dive deeper into each point in the Tableau Performance Checklist.

Another great way to identify best practices is to leverage the insights offered by our Performance Analyzer, part of Workbook Tools for Tableau. It will examine all of your workbooks, worksheets, dashboards and data sources against a list of best practices to ensure that you’re using all the tips and tricks to guarantee your visualizations are moving at light speed.

As always, feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions regarding performance or anything Tableau related! We’d be happy to help.

Contact Us!

Want More The Tableau Performance Checklist

  1. The Tableau Performance Checklist
  2. The Tableau Performance Checklist: Data – Keep Analysis Simple
  3. The Tableau Performance Checklist: Data – Bring in Only Needed Data
  4. The Tableau Performance Checklist: Data – Use ‘Describe’ to Explore
  5. The Tableau Performance Checklist: Data – Remove Unused Columns from Extracts
  6. The Tableau Performance Checklist: Data – Use One TDS File
  7. The Tableau Performance Checklist: Data – Use Extracts
  8. The Tableau Performance Checklist: Filtering – Minimize Quick Filters
  9. The Tableau Performance Checklist: Filtering – Avoid ‘Only Relevant Values’ in Quick Filters
  10. The Tableau Performance Checklist: Filtering – Avoid High-Cardinality Quick Filters
  11. The Tableau Performance Checklist: Filtering – Avoid Quick Filters That Drive Context Filters
  12. The Tableau Performance Checklist: Filtering – Keep Range Quick Filters Simple
  13. The Tableau Performance Checklist: Filtering – Use Dashboard Filter Actions
  14. The Tableau Performance Checklist: Filtering – Don’t Be Lazy with User Filters
  15. The Tableau Performance Checklist: Custom SQL – Limit in Live Connections
  16. The Tableau Performance Checklist: Custom SQL – Avoid Parameters
  17. The Tableau Performance Checklist: Custom SQL – Watch for Useless Clauses
  18. The Tableau Performance Checklist: Calculations – Use Calculated Fields Carefully
  19. The Tableau Performance Checklist: Calculations – Limit Blended Calculations
  20. The Tableau Performance Checklist: Calculations – Avoid Row-Level Calculations Involving Parameters
  21. The Tableau Performance Checklist: Rendering – Avoid High Mark Counts
  22. The Tableau Performance Checklist: Rendering – Limit Text Tables With Lots of Marks
  23. The Tableau Performance Checklist: Rendering – Minimize Image & Shape File Sizes
  24. The Tableau Performance Checklist: Rendering – Use Transparent Background PNGs
  25. The Tableau Performance Checklist: Local Computations – Server Performance
  26. The Tableau Performance Checklist: Local Computations – Table Calculations
  27. The Tableau Performance Checklist: Dashboard Layout – Limit Number of Worksheets
  28. The Tableau Performance Checklist: Dashboard Layout – Fix Dashboard Size

More About the Author

Derrick Austin

Solutions Architect | Integration Practice Lead
A Quick Overview of Embedded Analytics in Portals for Tableau At InterWorks, we live and breathe Tableau. It is an awesome product that helps us to analyse data, draw insights and share them across ...
Portals for Tableau: The Year’s Biggest Features 2017 was without a doubt the year of embedded analytics. So, we wanted to emphasize the year’s biggest wins for our version of embedded ...

See more from this author →

Subscribe to our newsletter

  • I understand that InterWorks will use the data provided for the purpose of communication and the administration my request. InterWorks will never disclose or sell any personal data except where required to do so by law. Finally, I understand that future communications related topics and events may be sent from InterWorks, but I can opt-out at any time.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

InterWorks uses cookies to allow us to better understand how the site is used. By continuing to use this site, you consent to this policy. Review Policy OK

×

Interworks GmbH
Ratinger Straße 9
40213 Düsseldorf
Germany
Geschäftsführer: Mel Stephenson

Kontaktaufnahme: markus@interworks.eu
Telefon: +49 (0)211 5408 5301

Amtsgericht Düsseldorf HRB 79752
UstldNr: DE 313 353 072