MODULAR SET UP

The WriteBackExtreme extension supports three basic types of write back mechanisms. You can choose the module(s) you need to solve your use cases, and expand when you have the urge for other modules. The basic write back scenario’s are DATA HELPER, ADD DATA and DATA CORRECTION with a brief description below. The WBE extension also uses Templates based on one of these basic modules. Templates are presets that are designed for a specific use case laike Collaboration / Annotation.

Add Data

Tableau by default does not allow you to add data. The Write Back Extreme extension Add Data allows you to add or change data that is connected to the visualisations present in your dashboard. You can see the changes and experience the impact the data has directly on your dashboard. The data is safely stored in your database.

Use cases

Possible use cases of the Add Data module are:

  • Collaborate (see Collaboration)
  • Forecast on aggregated measures like Profit Ratio per country
  • Add targets to countries per year and category
  • Add data to any summarized data point

Data management

After any save, the data will be written back to the database. The Add Data module maintains a connection between the added data and the data that is present in your dashboard. Your datasource data is not changed or overwritten, but stored in a separate table with mapping to the selected dimensions or keys in your dashboard. The Add Data module works great with the new Tableau Relationships. Of course you can also use blending and joining to display the Added data in your Tableau Dashboards.

  • The data is linked to marks on your dashboard. The links are stored in a table called _mapping.
  • The added data will be stored in a table in a database that is connected to your schema.

Configuration

We will discuss the usage of the Add Data extension and assume you already know how to configure a dashboard that uses Add Data. If you don’t know how to do this, you can take a look at the documentation for the Management Console (backend) or the Dashboard setup (frontend).

You can follow along using the Add Data dashboard in the demo workbook for WriteBackExtreme. This is the dashboard we will be using in the documentation examples below.

Instruction

Add data

In this example we will adjust a forecast. By selecting a mark on the table, a “+” button appears in the extension container. Clicking this button will allow you to add data; a forecast amount in this case. The data can be added by filling in the form. This form was designed for this use case with the Form Builder. The fields can be adjusted in the Management Console and layout-setting in the configuration of the extension.

Edit data

All of the added records are presented as a list in the extension container. If you want to edit any data, you can use this list. Just click on the pencil icon and you will be presented witch a form that allows you to alter the data. In addition to clicking the pencil icon, you can also click the “meatballs icon” (three dots) next to it and select “Edit…”.

Remove data

When you want to delete any data, you can use the same list view. Instead of clicking the pencil icon to edit the data, click te “meatballs icon” next to it and choose “Remove” from the drop down. A prompt will ask you to confirm your choice.

Ability to toggle the mark selection to include/exclude worksheet name

Use the Add Data module to add comments linked to a dimension within your worksheet, if that dimension is available on multiple worksheets the comment will be shown within WriteBackExtreme. For example if you add a comment to the dimension ‘Subject’ when clicking on ‘Subject’ on any other worksheet, your added comment will be visible within the WriteBackExtreme extension. A great way to stay in the flow. To set this up head to our BLOG

WriteBackExtreme

Data Correction

The Data Correction module of WriteBackExtreme supports you in changing existing data directly from your Tableau dashboard. Your dashboard users can perform data corrections directly from the dashboards where they detect the inconsistencies. With the full audit trails of the extension your changes to the data are secure and governed.

Use cases

A possible use case for the Data Correction module is working with sensor data. When using sensor data, you often don’t have a source system to edit or correct existing data. The Data Correction module lets you change/correct data directly from your Tableau dashboards.

You can use Data Corrections for a lot of use cases like:

  • Correcting wrong or missing sensor data
  • Typo corrections in a dimension
  • Any other data quality related challenges

Data Management

Please take note of the fact that the Data Correction module will overwrite the existing data. The module will maintain an audit trail of all changes.

Configuration

We will discuss the usage of the Data Correction extension and assume you already know how to configure a dashboard that uses Data Correction. If you don’t know how to do this, you can take a look at the documentation for the Management Console (backend) or the Dashboard setup (frontend).

You can follow along using the Data Correction dashboard in the demo workbook for Write Back Extreme. This is the dashboard we will be using in the documentation examples below.

Instruction

Correct data

To correct data, select the marks on your dashboard you want to alter. In the example below, we select a row from a table containing sensor data. The row is missing a value for the column “water”. When we click on the row, the Data Correction extension container displays a form which allows us to edit the data; in this case add a value for “water”. We can also add a reason for the correction. The changes will overwrite the existing datasource. Any changes made by a user will be stored in the audit datasource.

Bulk edit

If you want to edit multiple records at once, you can drag to select multiple fields. The Data Correction extension container will show all of the selected rows and allows you to edit them. In our example, we use this feature to select three empty “gas” fields and add the missing data for all three fields to the datasource in one action.

Bulk edit using calculations

You can also edit multiple values at one using a calculation. Simply click on the calculator icon above a column and select “Bulk Edit”. A number of calculation options can be performed on the data. Select the operator and enter a value. When you hit “Update” the calculation will be performed and the values can be previewed. When you’re happy with the result, hit “Save”. The datasource data will be updated to reflect your calculations.

Interpolation

Sometimes you want to fill in the missing data points automatically, based on related data. This is something the build-in interpolation function can help you with. Interpolation is a method of constructing new datapoints within the range of a set of known datapoints.

We use linear interpolation method of curve fitting using linear polynomials to construct new data points within the range of a discrete set of known data points.

WriteBackExtreme Interpolation

To use the interpolation function of the Data Correction module, select multiple fields. You must provide data that can be used to interpolate, i.e. the datapoint prior and the datapoint latter to the missing datapoints. When you selected the correct datapoints, you can use the calculator icon above the column and select “Interpolate” to fill in the missing datapoints.

Add data through the Data Correction module

It’s now possible to add data for non-existing rules with data-correct. Connect your Data Correct schema to your partially filled table, linking the field product_name from your schema to another database with the same product_name field for example.

Add data through the data correction module

New template: Vertical Layout

This can be super handy if you want to do easy 1 – 1 edits like a correct form for a certain row. The default form will be displayed horizontally but if your use case best suits a vertical form layout, then here we have you covered. Open the configure screen within WriteBackExtreme to change, open the ‘Worksheet schema’ tab you will see ‘Use vertical layout’ turn this to on and save. 

Vertical Layout WriteBackExtreme

Follow our demonstration to see the change in action.

WriteBackExtreme Vertical Layout

 

Collaboration

The Collaboration template is a part of the Add Data module of WriteBackExtreme. It allows you to create annotations and comments on marks in your visualisations from within your dashboard. This improves the collaboration in dashboards in a highly efficient way. Keep track of your expert annotations and conversations on your most valuable assets.

Use cases

General use cases for this module are:

  • Create and manage annotations on marks in your visualisations
  • Assign annotations to other users
  • Reply on annotations/comments to start the dialog
  • Collaborate to the full extend

Data management

The annotations are connected to the marks in your dashboard and stored in a separate table in a database. This allows you to use the annotations table as a new datasource and report on the annotations in a separate dashboard.

Configuration

We will discuss the usage of the Collaboration module and assume you already know how to configure a dashboard that uses Collaboration. If you don’t know how to do this, you can take a look at the documentation for the Management Console (backend) or the Dashboard setup (frontend).

You can follow along using the Collaboration dashboard in the demo workbook for WriteBackExtreme. This is the dashboard we will be using in the documentation examples below.

Instruction

Add an annotation

Annotations are connected to marks on your dashboard. To add an annotation, simply select a mark on the dashboard you want to annotate. A “+” button will appear in the Collaboration extension container. Clicking the button displays a form containing all the necessary fields to fill in the annotation. Hitting “save” ads your annotation to the annotations table and links it to the selected mark.

Dynamic populated dropdowns

In the example above, a state is selected from a dropdown which contains all states in the datasource. Another possible way to link the state to the annotation is to select a state (or multiple states) on the map before selecting a subcategory. When adding an annotation, the dropdown will now show only the selected states (see example below). We call this dynamic populated dropdowns.

View an annotation

All the annotations that are added by you or one of your colleagues will be presented in a list view in the Collaboration extension container. The most important information can be seen here at a glance. However, if you’d like to look at an annotation in more detail, click the “kebab menu” icon (the three vertical dots) in the top right corner of the annotation and select “View details…” (see below). Notice that the dashboards updates with the detailed view to highlight marks related to the annotation. From the detail view, it is also possible to edit an annotation.

Edit an annotation

To edit an annotation, click the “kebab menu” icon in the top right corner of the annotation and select “Edit…”. Alternatively, you can select “View details…” and choose edit from the detail view. In edit view, it is also possible to delete the annotation.

Add and view replies

One of the features of annotations in the Collaboration module is to start a conversation. Colleagues can leave comments and reply to comments, all from within the dashboard. To add a reply, hit the “reply” button (the curly arrow) in the bottom right corner of the annotation and leave your comment. If the annotation contains any comments already, a “replies” button (speech bubble icon) is displayed next to the reply button. When you click this, the complete discussion for that annotation is shown. Note that you can also use the “kebab menu” to leave or view replies. Replies can also be edited or deleted by clicking the “kebab menu” in the top right corner of the reply.

Data Helper

With Data Helper you can create a custom table from within your Tableau dashboard to store data and join it back in your Tableau dataset or use it in a different process. Use this module to eliminate Excel based workflows and sheets floating around in your organisation.

Use cases

The Data Helper allows you to create, edit and delete records from your custom table, without changing existing data. This module has a lot of practical use cases. For example:

  • Creating and managing a To Do list
  • Create and manage a “Tracker”
  • Conducting small surveys

In fact, it can be used for any other use case where you need an extra manageable table in your dashboard.

Data management

With the Add Data extension, you create an extra table that you can use in your dashboard. This table is stored in your database and can, but doesn’t have to be linked to your datasource data. A link with your datasource will be on the lowest level (primary key).

Configuration

We will discuss the usage of the Data Helper extension and assume you already know how to configure a dashboard that uses Data Helper. If you don’t know how to do this, you can take a look at the documentation for the Management Console (backend) or the Dashboard setup (frontend). You can follow along using the Data Helper dashboard in the demo workbook for Write Back Extreme. This is the dashboard we will be using in the documentation examples below.

Instruction

Add rows

To add rows to the custom table, hit the “+” button in the top right corner of the extension. Fill in the necessary fields and hit “save”. Write Back Extreme creates the new record and automatically refreshes the datasource(s).

Edit rows

Rows can be edited by clicking on the row in the dashboard. The Write Back Extreme extension will display the contents of this row in a form. Adjust the information in the form and hit “save”. The record will be updated.

Configure the form

We will now briefly discuss the configuration options of the form. This can be done directly from within the dashboard. For a more in-depth look at configuring the extension, take a look at this part of the documentation. You can configure which data can be entered when adding a new row. To do this, click on the cog button in the top right corner, right next to the “+” button. Choose “configure extension” and navigate to “worksheet-schema” in the top bar. From here, you can choose “field formatting” and “form builder” to adjust the form to your needs.

You can also adjust the general form settings here, such as user authentication, popups and use of color and typography.

Shared Features

Roll Back

Roll Back allows users to roll back to a change in their data set. All changes that have been made using WriteBackExtreme are stored in an audit table. Simply click on the mark connected to your WriteBackExtreme extension, hit the history button, find the data point you wish to revert to and click that roll back button. The data point will now show that value. Roll Back is available in all modules of WriteBackExtreme. Whether you would like to use this option to take one step back or way back, all is possible.

Set the permissions

Dashboard creators may wish to give more freedom to their users by allowing RollBack when adding data through WriteBackExtreme. In the management console, go to the schema tab. Use the ‘…’ menu alongside your schema to open the permissions of that particular schema.

WriteBackExtreme Management Console

Permissions can be set for everyone using the extension or per group. Decide which users should have the ability to Roll Back their data. Once saved, reload the extension for the changes to take place.

Using Roll Back in the extension

Now you’re all set up and would like to roll back to a data point. You will see the Roll Back button in the overview of the extension.

Clicking the Roll Back button will show you the history of all changes created within the extension. Each data point will have their own drop down menu to show all changes that have been made to that data point. They will all show at what time the data was added and by which user, alongside the exact changes made at that time. When opening changes on one data point you will be able to hit the Roll Back button alongside the data you wish to revert back to, this will then render your dashboard to show this value.

WriteBackExtreme History Rollback

Roll Back per data point

On the overview screen, you will see your most recent additions. Alongside the pencil you will see a ‘…’ menu. This will give you a list of options including ‘history’ which we need here. You will see the entire history of changes to that one particular mark, where you can roll back.

WriteBackExtreme History per comment

Bulk edit your data

We all know the powerful bulk edit features of DATA Correction and got a lot of requests to also support bulk edits for the ADD DATA and DATA HELPER module, well it’s here and it’s going to save you plenty of valuable time. Bulk editing your data allows you to change multiple values at once.

Set your permissions

It may not be necessary for all of your users to have the ability to use the bulk edit feature. In the management console, head to the schema(s) under the actions tab click the ‘…’ menu to see the permissions of the schema. See GIF where we turn on this permission. Have full control of which features your users have access to. Reload WriteBackExtreme to implement changes.

 

WriteBackExtreme Bulk Edit Permission

In our example below our values should all be the same and changed to 1000, the bulk edit feature allows us to select them and edit all our values in one instance. This can also be used for times such as changing a status of an entry to ‘completed’ highlight all your records, open the actions button to edit your status.

More time saved whilst staying in Tableau. 

WriteBackExtreme Bulk Edit

Bulk import data

Import bulk data from Excel! It’s now possible to import from Excel by coping and pasting directly in to WriteBackExtreme. An example is a list of missing orders, a simple copy and paste later and they’re on our dashboard! By clicking on the bulk import button you can simply paste copied data and your records to be imported will be shown. All data is now clear on your dashboard for your colleagues to see, analyze and investigate on.

Prepare your schema

Create your schema in the management console using the same column headers that are present in the data you wish to import. The data you import will be able to be edited within WriteBackExtreme, so important the data is clean and in the correct column. Ensure you respect the data types when creating the schema such as a number in a number column. Double check the columns are in the right order too. Good housekeeping is a must here!

Set your permissions

It may not be necessary for all of your users to have the ability to use the bulk import feature. In the management console, head to the schema(s) under the actions tab click the ‘…’ menu to see the permissions of the schema. See GIF where we turn on this permission. Have full control of which features your users have access to. Reload WriteBackExtreme to implement changes.

WriteBackExtreme Bulk Add Permissions

Import your data from excel

Copy your data to the clipboard from your excel table. NOTE: Copy just the data, not the headers. The headers of the connected schema will be shown in view. Ensure everything tallies up. In your WriteBackExtreme extension you will see the new icon sitting nicely alongside the add and rollback buttons. This is the bulk edit button, clicking here you will be presented with a brief description above where your copied data needs to go. Paste your data in to the text box. Click the columns you wish to use for mapping, go ahead and import that data.

Importing differences per module

DATA Correction you do not need to import the Mapping fields (because the module will automatically generate the Primary key). The mapping fields are the connecting fields that link the schema to the dashboard. IE Month – Month. ADD data module it’s necessary to import the mapping field, this will allow you to click on a mark to add data to. Click the ‘use for mapping’ checkbox on your connecting field once imported. Data Helper there’s no mapping field as we are not connecting to a separate worksheet.

WriteBackExtreme Bulk import data

Duplicate Rows in Data Helper and Add Data modules

Sometimes you want to add an extra annotation and only change a small portion of your comment. Creating a new record and filling the entire form is time consuming and might lead to entry errors. WriteBackExtreme now assist your users to be more efficient and prevent them from erroneous entries. You can now Duplicate an existing record in Add DATA and DATA Helper in just one click.

Adding a further mark on a data point with only one field changes has never been easier. When duplicating a record you will save time and prevents you from having to start from scratch each time.

Your new record will be presented prefilled for you, ready to edit the values you wish.