How to execute Tableau from Alteryx

by Lorna Brown

This weeks project was to build an Alteryx app. When we had the project brief it was mentioned about trying to execute Tableau from Alteryx. I decided to take on this challenge to try and make this execution work.


The first thing you need to do is create a workflow within Alteryx with an excel output.

Sample Workflow

I have chose to demonstrate using the makeover Monday data. I have used the original file as an input, used a filter to find a specific player, then outputted to a test excel file. Run the workflow to save this excel file

Then create a new Tableau workbook using this excel file output.  I duplicated my makeover Monday file and used the new excel workbook as the data source.

Now to the nitty gritty bit as I am sure you all know how to do what I have just explained.

As you can see in the workflow there is a grey tool. This is called run command. This tool needs connecting to the same point from which the output is coming from. When you drag the tool on it comes up with the following configuration box:

Run Command configuration

The way this configuration is set up seems backwards to me. So I will explain the steps I went through in order to have a logical process.

So the first thing you need to do is find the Tableau execution file in the command box. It will be located within your C drive. C:\Program Files\Tableau\Tableau 9.2\bin\tableau.exe

Next you need to locate the Tableau workbook file. This file location then goes into command arguments. When you put the file path in make sure it has speech marks either side. To find the file path using the following steps:

  1. Find the folder you have saved your tableau workbook in
  2. Highlight the tableau workbook file, then right click, properties and then copy the location.
  3. Paste this into command arguments in with speech marks “C:\Users\Lorna Eden\Documents\Makeover Mondays”
  4. This location is just finding the folder not the actual file, at the end you need to put a back slash \ with the name of the Tableau workbook followed by .twb or .twbx. So in my case it would be “C:\Users\Lorna Eden\Documents\Makeover Mondays\Tester.twb”


The next section that needs a file location is being used to change the tableau file. So in this case it is the outputted excel file. Click input, then browse for that file. C:\Users\Lorna Eden\Documents\Makeover Mondays\test.xlsx


Finally you need to write a blank excel workbook for the ‘Write Source [Optional]’. Click output, then create a blank file. C:\Users\Lorna Eden\Documents\Makeover Mondays\help.xlsx|Sheet1


Below is what the configuration should look like.

Full output

Don’t forget you will still have a warning on the command until you click off the tool. This should remove the warning. If it doesn’t go back over the following steps and make sure everything is in the correct place. A common mistake I kept missing out was putting the command arguments location in speech marks. If you miss this step it will still open Tableau but won’t open the specific Tableau file you want.

This shows if you run the workflow it brings up the correct Tableau File and it is filtered by Bryce Harper, which is what is in my filter in the workflow.

Run Workflow GIF


Now if we run this as an app we can see that depending on what player you pick in the filter, is what you will see in the Tableau Viz.

Run App


The only issue is if you move the files you are directing the command to it won’t work. This would require you to change the commands again.


So that’s it. You can now run a Tableau workbook as an output from an app. As long as you set up all the filters and commands correctly this should update every time you run the app.


Have fun trying this cool new tip. Feedback is welcomed.


Tune in soon for my blog on my actual project from this week which includes airline data, hub and spokes in Tableau and this cool new trick