Sending Text Messages Directly from Tableau Using URL Action

This month is "Action Month" at Tableau, so here is a little Tableau viz that uses a URL action to send text messages directly from Tableau. In this viz I use 3 parameters. One for the phone number, one for the message and one for the API Key needed to send messages. I then combine the 3 parameters together into a URL with a dashboard action. This viz requires an API Key from ClockworkSMS.com. The cost to send a text is 3 cents in the U.S., but they also offer text messaging in other countries at different price points. You can sign up for free and get a 50 cent credit to try this out. They also have 2 additional features that could be very useful, one to allow "long texts" and another to limit the texting capabilities to specific IP Addresses (set on their website). The later could be very useful as a control so that the API Key could be published with the viz.

Note that the parameters could also be calculated fields, making the phone number and text message driven by the data and the API Key could be hard-coded into a calculated field. This could be useful as an "alert" button to send a text alert (but still requiring someone to execute an action). As an example, maybe a report is updated for a user and then a button is clicked to "Notify User" via text message that the report is ready.

Detailed instructions on how to build this Tableau workbook are available here.

Have fun texting! If you have any questions feel free to email me at Jeff@DataPlusScience.com

Jeffrey A. Shaffer
Follow on Twitter @HighVizAbility