29 april 2022Blogg

How to use Tableau Workbook Optimizer to design smarter reports

Tableau version 2022.1 (March 2022) introduces Workbook Optimizer that applies best practices to help creators to improve their workbooks before publishing to Tableau Online or Server.

Why optimize Tableau workbooks?
The new feature has codified Tableau tips and tricks that would take years of working with Tableau to otherwise master. The results can improve performance, reduce complexity, and increase your understanding of how to design effective reports.

How to optimize
The Workbook Optimizer is available for both Tableau Desktop and Web Authoring users. It is available as a link at the bottom of the Publish Workbook dialog.

You can also run it directly from the Server menu in Tableau Desktop and the Publish menu in Web Authoring.

The optimizer currently includes 12 tests that each will render a result of Take action, Needs review or Passed.

There’s a summary of the results at the top and more detailed sections below. Each section can be expanded and contains a list with more information and if necessary, an explanation of what should be done and why.

Take action section lists actions that can improve the workbook without affecting the functionality.

Needs review section lists things that can be changed to follow best practices but that may cause some changes to functionality.

Passed section contains everything that has passed the tests. This list can be useful to browse to better understand how to build more effective workbooks as it offers insights into the optimizers testing procedure.

One important thing to note is that the optimizer strictly offers advice. It will do the workbook analysis, but you still need to take care of the actual changes yourself. 

A good feature in Desktop is that you can keep the Optimizer window open as a to-do list while you make the changes in the workbook. You can rerun the Optimizer whenever you want an updated status report.

It’s useful to go through your workbook before running the Optimizer and remove any unused dashboards and worksheets. This will make sure that you run the checks on the right content and don’t have things left behind from the development process such as duplicate dashboards or sheets.

Future request
The Optimizer is a great improvement to help creators publish better quality workbooks but a further development could be that it also manages the suggested Take action changes since they won’t affect the functionality anyway. A Fix It button next to the item would allow the user to decide if they want the help or not. Just a thought 🤓