Effect of dashboard edits on alerts

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If you have the appropriate user permissions, you can create alerts on query-based or Look-linked tiles on user-defined dashboards or on LookML dashboards that use new or legacy dashboards.

Each alert query captures the dashboard and tile settings at the time an alert is created; however, alerts sync with many of the common types of changes that you or other users make to its underlying dashboard or tile without the need to recreate the alert. This documentation page discusses how different types of dashboard changes affect alerts, including:

For information about editing an alert query, see the Modifying alerts documentation page.

Editing a dashboard or tile

Many of the changes that you or other users make to an alert's underlying dashboard or tile synchronize to the alert settings without the need to recreate the alert. How the alert handles the changes depends on the dashboard type on which the alert is set and whether the change is an edit to:

Editing a dashboard tile

If the tile has at least one alert on it, Looker displays a warning when you hover over the Edit pencil icon (for legacy dashboard tiles) or the Edit option from the dashboard tile's three-dot menu (for dashboards that use Looker's new dashboard experience):

Looker also displays a warning inside the Edit Tile window:

Many of the changes that are made to a dashboard tile will be adopted by the alert on that tile. Some changes, however, may invalidate the intended meaning of the alert query and break the synchronization between the alert and the dashboard tile. See the tables on this page for lists of common dashboard tile changes and how those changes affect any alerts on that tile.

Editing a user-defined or LookML dashboard

This table shows whether alerts remain synchronized for each change a user may make to the tile queries on user-defined dashboards (UDD) or LookML dashboards.

Changes to Dashboard Tile Query Does the Alert Remain Synced to the Dashboard? Owner Resolution
Removing a dimension or custom dimension that is used in the alert query No Edit existing alert conditions.
Adding or removing a dimension or custom dimension that is not used in the alert query Yes
Removing a dimension of type: time that is used in the alert query No Edit existing alert conditions.
Adding a measure or custom measure Yes
Removing a dimension, custom dimension, measure, custom measure, or table calculation that is not used in the alert query Yes
Removing a measure or custom measure that is used in the alert query No Edit existing alert conditions.
Editing an existing table calculation that is not used in the alert query Yes
Editing an existing table calculation that is used in the alert query Yes
Removing a table calculation that is used in the alert query No Edit existing alert conditions.
Adding a table calculation Yes
Hiding a dimension that is not used in the alert query from a visualization Yes
Hiding a dimension that is used in the alert query from a visualization Yes
Hiding a measure that is not used in the alert query from a visualization Yes
Hiding a measure that is used in the alert query from a visualization Yes Edit existing alert conditions.
Changing a visualization type Yes
Changing a query filter Yes Although the changes will sync with the alert, the alert may be invalidated if the alert's trigger values are outside of the data values that are dictated by the updated query filters. You may need to edit the alert trigger values to account for a new range of data values.
Changing the sort order Yes Edit the alert trigger values to account for a new range of data values.
Changing a pivot (unpivot, pivot on a different field) Yes Although the changes will sync with the alert, the alert may be invalidated if the alert's trigger values are outside of the data values that are dictated by the updated pivots. You may need to edit the alert trigger values to account for a new range of data values.
Changing a column limit Yes Although the changes will sync with the alert, the alert may be invalidated if the alert's trigger values are outside of the data values that are dictated by the updated column limit. You may need to edit the alert trigger values to account for a new range of data values.
Changing a row limit Yes Although the changes will sync with the alert, the alert may be invalidated if the alert's trigger values are outside of the data values that are dictated by the updated row limit. You may need to edit the alert trigger values to account for a new range of data values.
Adding or removing subtotals Yes
Adding or removing column or row totals Yes
Filling in missing dates and values Yes Although the changes will sync with the alert, if the fields with missing values are timeframes, filling in those values may affect the tile query results. You may need to edit the alert trigger values to account for a new range of data values.
Reordering fields Yes Although the changes will sync with the alert, if there is a row or column limit on the query, changing the order of fields in the tile query may affect the query results. You may need to edit the alert trigger values to account for a new range of data values.
Reordering dimensions of type: time or custom dimensions Yes Exception: If the first time dimension is different from the time dimension on which the alert is set, the alert becomes unsynced.

Editing LookML dashboards

This table describes how changes made exclusively to LookML dashboards affect any alerts on those tiles.

Changes to LookML Dashboard Tile Query Does the Alert Remain Synced to the Dashboard? Owner Resolution
Changing explore or model parameters (but keeping the same LookML dashboard ID, model::dashboardname) No
  • If you want to retain the original alert settings without undoing the LookML changes, recreate the dashboard element with the original explore or model parameter configuration. Then recreate the alert.
  • Create a new alert that applies to the new element model or explore parameter configuration.

Editing dashboard filters

For new user-defined dashboards, you can choose whether to sync changes made to dashboard filters with all alerts on the dashboard or to sync no dashboard filters changes. You cannot selectively apply changes that are made to dashboard filters to alerts on individual dashboard tiles.

To sync dashboard filter changes with all alerts on the dashboard:

  1. Click the dashboard's three-dot menu.
  2. Select Edit dashboard to enter edit mode.
  3. Click Filters in the top toolbar.
  4. Enable the Apply filter edits to alerts toggle:

Looker will not attempt to synchronize alerts with changes made to LookML dashboard filters or to legacy UDD filters.

This table describes how changes made exclusively to new UDDs affect any alerts on those tiles.

Changes to UDD Permanent Filters (with Alerts Toggle Enabled) Does the Alert Remain Synced to the Dashboard? User Resolution
Adding or removing a dashboard filter Yes Although the changes will sync with the alert, updating dashboard filters may affect the query results. You may need to edit the alert trigger values to account for a new range of data values.
Editing a dashboard filter default value Yes Although the changes will sync with the alert, updating dashboard filters may affect the query results. You may need to edit the alert trigger values to account for a new range of data values.
Editing a dashboard filter's temporary value No Although the changes will sync with the alert, updating dashboard filters may affect the query results. You may need to edit the alert trigger values to account for a new range of data values.
Editing the fields that a dashboard filter applies to Yes Although the changes will sync with the alert, updating dashboard filters may affect the query results. You may need to edit the alert trigger values to account for a new range of data values.

Copying a dashboard

Making a copy of a dashboard does not copy any enhanced alerts on that dashboard.

Deleting a dashboard

Deleting a dashboard immediately disables any alerts on that dashboard.

Checking an alert's synchronization status

You can view the synchronization status of your alert on the Alert Details page, available from the Manage Alerts user page. If you're a Looker admin, the Alert Details page is also available from the Alerts management page.

The synchronization status is displayed on the bottom left of the page:

  • A green encircled check mark indicates that the alert is still synced to its dashboard.
  • A yellow triangular warning symbol indicates that the alert has become unsynced from its dashboard. The status includes a timestamp of when the synchronization was broken. An unsynced alert displays a None value in the Dashboard column of the Manage Alerts user page or the Alerts admin management page.

Resolving an unsynced alert

Even if an alert becomes unsynced from its dashboard, Looker will continue to run alert queries to check the dashboard tile data for the alert conditions. Results of these queries will display in the alert's history, viewable on the Alert Details page on the alert management pages for alert owners and admins and on the Alerts History admin page. However, depending on the reason for the synchronization breakage, it might not be possible for alert conditions to be met.

If an alert that you own has become unsynced from its dashboard, you may need to resolve the behavior by:

  • Editing the original alert conditions
  • Editing the original alert threshold values
  • Recreating the tile's original query and any desired filters

To edit an alert, see the Modifying alerts documentation page.

To recreate the tile query:

  1. Click the Explore from here option from the visualization three-dot menu on the Alert Details page.
  2. Recreate the original query.
  3. Click the Explore gear icon and select Save on the gear menu and then To existing dashboard on the submenu to add the query to the appropriate dashboard.
  4. On the dashboard, apply dashboard filters to the tile as needed.
  5. Set a new alert on that dashboard tile.