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Site Administrator Role and Tasks

This topic describes the typical role of the Tableu Online site administrator, and how it differs from the related data manager role. It then lists the core tasks that the site administrator completes to set up your Tableau Online site. Additional topics in this section provide more information about each of the steps.

How we define the site administrator role

We define the site administrator as the person who is in charge of creating and maintaining the framework that enables Tableau Desktop users in your organization to publish, share, manage, and connect to data sources and workbooks. For example, a site manager works with site users and their permissions, in contrast to working directly with content that is published to the site.

The Tableau Online site administrator is typically part of the IT team at your organization. If your organization doesn’t have a formal IT team, the site administrator might be a savvy Tableau Desktop user who takes on this role (the accidental admin, so to speak).

Tasks that are typically outside the site administrator’s realm

In this documentation, we make a distinction between the roles of site administrator and data manager, which is the role for the person who creates and publishes data sources to Tableau Online. Even so, in your organization, the same person might cover both roles. In practice, you’ll divide these responsibilities in the way that works best in your environment. To learn more about the data manager’s realm, see Publish Data Sources and Workbooks.

Steps for setting up your site

The table below shows a loose sequence of steps for setting up a site. You can complete the steps in any order that makes sense for you. At the bottom of this topic you’ll find a list of links to more resources for each of the steps.

Before you configure the site, we recommend getting acquainted with the site authentication options, users’ site roles, projects, and permissions. Create and document a plan for your projects, groups, and overall permissions strategy. Setting up a test project to experiment with different settings is a good way to iron out these issues. You can change many site settings after your users are working with the site, but try to go in with the intention of minimizing post-production changes.

Upload your logo

This simple first step helps you get familiar with the environment while you incorporate your organization's branding into your site. Sign in, go to the Settings page, and upload your logo where indicated.

Configure site access

If your organization uses single sign-on, you can configure your site to use Google or SAML authentication. Otherwise, you can use the default Tableau ID authentication, where each user signs in using an email address and password that is unique to Tableau Online.

In addition to the authentication type, you can determine whether to allow users to sign in directly from Tableau clients after signing in the first time. This is enabled by default.

Create projects

Projects help you manage users’ access (permissions) to data sources and workbooks that are published to your site. You can set default groups and permissions for all content on the Default project, lock the project, and then use it as a template for additional projects you create.

Projects can also serve as staging environments.

Set up the permissions structure

In Tableau, permissions work with site roles to make up a user’s access to the site and its content.

Add users

Each user who accesses Tableau Online must sign in. Determine the users you want to be able to sign in to the site. If you enabled Google or SAML authentication, determine which of those users will sign in with their single sign-on credentials, and which will use TableauID credentials.

Add or import multiple users at a time based on their authentication type.

Get your data to Tableau Online

We recommend that you designate a Tableau Desktop user who will publish vetted data sources to the site (that is, who will serve in the data manager role mentioned earlier). These will be the shared data sources that other Tableau users can connect to.

As the site administrator, you can centrally manage data source permissions. Other attributes that either you or the data manager can maintain centrally are connection information (credentials, access tokens) and refresh schedules for cloud data sources. For more information, see Keep Data Fresh.

Analyze site usage and performance You can monitor usage of published data sources and workbooks, the success of extract refresh tasks, user activity, and so on.