Data Viz Done Right

July 31, 2013

Caution: When hiding the tooltip, Tableau doesn’t always hide the tooltip


UPDATE 8/9/2016: This issue has been fixed and release in version 9. No more ubertips if you turn off tooltips for a worksheet!!

While working on a project this past week, I noticed a bug in Tableau with tooltips when there are dimensions in the rows or columns. Consider a dashboard that looks something like this:

Now, perhaps I don’t want to show the tooltip on the bar chart (e.g., maybe it’s sensitive data or something). I highlight the sheet, choose Worksheet => Tooltip from the menu and I clear everything from the tooltip and uncheck the “Include command buttons” option.

Great! I’ve removed the tooltip. When I hover over one of the bar, I don’t see anything. But now comes the bug.

Perhaps I want to use this sheet as a filter, so I turn that on. Now I click on one of the rows, like Coffee in the South because it’s behind budget. Low and behold, I see a tooltip.


And worse yet, I can see the underlying data (notice the table icon). Try it yourself. Go ahead and click on one of the rows.

Before you completely freak out that your sensitive data is now available to everyone, I tested this on Tableau Server and if you deny the View Summary Data and View Underlying Data options, the table icon that we see in the tooltip does not appear. However, the Include and Exclude options DO still appear. An astute interactor can probably figure out a way to drill down until they see something they shouldn’t.

I submitted a bug for this, but have not received confirmation or a ticket number yet. Hopefully this gets fixed immediately. After all, when you hide the tooltip, you expect to hide the tooltip.

UPDATE 7/31/2013:

It's completely ridiculous in my opinion that neither (1) the ubertip doesn't work with the regular tooltip nor (2) you have no control over the ubertip at all. This needs to be voted up in the ideas queue.

From Tableau Support:
"I understand that the tooltip command buttons have been disabled in a view. When clicking on a mark or data item in the view, the buttons do not appear, but when clicking on a column or row header (dimension) the buttons do appear.

This functionality is expected when clicking on row or column headers. These tooltips are called ubertips and are different from the tooltips displayed when clicking on a data mark. This functionality is the same in Tableau Desktop 7.0 and 8.0. At this time the ability to disable the command buttons on ubertips is not functionality built into the product."

July 11, 2013

Tableau Tip: If you can’t open a Tableau workbook because of the space on your hard drive, Tableau itself may very well be at fault.


The other day I was working on a re-design of a dashboard, taking it from using extracts to using a live connection and making some other design changes that would speed the dashboard up.  Naturally I wanted both workbooks open at the same time so that I could work on the new one while maintaining all of the design of the first one.

The packaged workbook is 1.4GB, which basically never finishes downloading from Tableau Server, so you have to get the original author to give it to you on a memory stick.  That’s another problem for another day.  I opened the workbook and saved it under another name so that I would have two copies.  Great!

Then I need to open the original workbook again so that I could see them together.  Then…POOF!…Tableau couldn’t open the workbook because it said I didn’t have enough space on my hard drive.  Huh?  How can I not have enough space if I was able to save the workbook and I clearly have space on my hard drive?

With a bit of research, I was able to locate a TableauTemp folder I never knew existed. It’s located here: C:\Users\<your_name>\AppData\Local\Temp\TableauTemp

Low and behold, there are tons and tons of folders and files in the folder, which totaled over 16GB.  Seriously!  Go ahead, check yours.