Elements for Tableau

Enterprise-ready write-back and collaboration platform

At the core of every data-driven organization is the ability to make data easy to access, share, discuss and act on. This data democratization improves the decision-making ability across every function of the organization. No longer is the data needed to make informed decisions buried in email chains or multiple versions of Excel workbooks or long slide decks. It is readily accessible — in a single version — and visualized to make insights easy to grasp. Elements for Tableau enables Tableau users to comment on the data directly from the dashboards. This further accelerates communication around the data and leads to faster and more informed decisions.


User Experience

  • Annotate complex aggregated and raw data along with its dimensions.
  • Managed data source option available for easy deployment and maintenance.
  • Easy-to-use form builder with multiple input field types: text box (including rich text), radio button, checkbox, drop-down list, number field, sliders, autocomplete field, etc.
  • Commenting via modal windows for efficient user experience.
  • Excel integration enables exporting and importing formatted tables for bulk editing and more.
  • Dashboard attachments introduce file manager functionality to Tableau.

Security and Compliance

  • Best-in-class features promote compliance with enterprise data security regulations and protocols.
  • A single external database records comments and annotations — your data never leaves your premises.
  • Secure approval workflow supporting multiple approvers is integrated into the commenting process.
  • Enterprise-grade access management with full control over user and group permissions.
  • Authenticate users through preferred methods including AD, SAML, OAuth and Okta.
  • Multitenant architecture provides isolated workspaces for departments, divisions or teams.
  • Fully audit-compliant with a complete history of comments and user activity.
Elements for Tableau

Transform Tableau dashboards into a collaboration hub

With Elements for Tableau, your team can gain faster and better insights by transforming dashboards from a data-consumer experience into a hub of actionable collaboration. You can eliminate the traditional, inefficient and difficult to manage data review and communication process. Whether it's Tableau Server or Tableau Desktop, you can analyze, discuss and enrich data together, directly in the Tableau experience, rather than resorting to emails or another collaboration tool.

Elements for Tableau

Simple yet powerful access management

Elements for Tableau integrates with MS Active Directory and supports SAML, OAuth, Okta and custom authentication methods — including Single Sign-On. This provides easy and quick access to powerful access management tools.

System Administrators can assign different levels of permissions to users and groups, precisely controlling who can annotate data, approve a comment or even configure the system. Multitenancy is ensured by workspaces, which encapsulate database configurations, users and annotations, perfectly isolating the work and data of the different departments in the company. Additionally, Elements for Tableau can be configured to record and store a complete audit trail of user activity so you can always see who did what. Thanks to these features, Elements readily meets compliance requirements in the most demanding industries

Elements for Tableau

Data annotations with full storage control

There are two different ways data annotations can be used on a Tableau dashboard. Most commonly, they are displayed as additional data next to the raw and aggregated data, but they can also replace the original data virtually overwriting it on the dashboard. Elements also supports exporting tables from Tableau to bulk edit them in Excel and load them back through the extension to have all their newly-added annotations/edits available in Tableau.

Either way, data annotations are always stored in a separate auditable database and can be reverted anytime. By default, Elements for Tableau supports connecting to MSSQL, PostgreSQL, Teradata, MySQL and Snowflake databases, but the generic architecture allows us to extend the system with other types of databases. Using your own database gives you full storage control and ensures that no data — even annotations and comments — leaves your premises.

Elements for Tableau

The right commenting tool for any use case

The complexity of data annotations can be tailored to any use case, from a single note to a sophisticated survey form.

Using the extension's handy form builder, administrators can create custom UIs from atomic building blocks — text fields, checkboxes, drop-down lists, etc. — and set defaults, minimum or maximum values, enable autocomplete, set validation criteria and order the elements on the form. For added data accuracy and security, an approval workflow can be integrated into the commenting process that ensures that new comments are reviewed by one or more approvers before they are published to the dashboard.

Elements for Tableau

Tag and notify users

Elements for Tableau features a flexible tagging and notification system to ensure that users never miss an important message, update or task.

Tags can include individual users or groups, and you can control who can be tagged on a particular dashboard to promote effective workspace separation. Notifications readily support email, Teams and Slack, and their channel and content can be customized for each data point, e.g. with a link to the relevant dashboard. In addition to tags, notifications also support instances where annotations under a data point require approval before going live to automatically notify users when a request is made, approved or rejected.

Elements for Tableau

Customize It

Every company has specific challenges which require specific solutions. Elements for Tableau is highly customizable to meet the unique needs of your organization.

Whether you’d like to integrate a new type of database or authentication method, apply custom branding and localization, add new input methods or even add a completely new feature, our Tableau developers and software engineers will deliver fast effective solutions.

Ask the Expert

Soma Osvay

Lead Software Architect

Soma Osvay is a lead software architect at Starschema and a master of Tableau APIs, extensions, customizations and undocumented features. Drawing on his deep expertise in Tableau Server related solutions, Soma has created numerous applications that tightly integrate with Tableau. Soma's passion extends beyond software development to IT security and has frequently helped improve Tableau features by auditing the security of sandboxed extensions and reporting security bugs to Tableau. He believes in the power of community, frequently creates libraries that help other Tableau developers, attends Tableau hackathons and he maintains a close working relationship with other Tableau developers around the globe.

Soma Osvay
Manager for Tableau

Manager is a powerful and flexible Tableau Server extension that enables administrators to automate repetitive license and content management tasks by defining rule-based jobs with triggers and conditions that execute actions based on events or run periodically.

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