Show Explanation Diagnostics

Published: 01 May 2020
Last Modified Date: 30 May 2020


How to use the Show Explanation Diagnostics command available in the Tableau Desktop help menu.


How to use a URL to access Explain Data Diagnostics info in the web authoring UI.


  • Tableau Desktop
  • Tableau Online (web authoring)
  • Tableau Server (web authoring) versions 2019.3 and later


Show Explanation Diagnostics is a tool for Tableau users to look at scoring details for potential explanations to occurring issues. This information is useful for debugging purposes. Explanation Diagnostics are not useful and should not be used in the context of data exploration. For more information, see Requirements and Considerations for Using Explain Data.

When Show Explanation Diagnostics is turned on, Explain Data displays additional information for each explanation. All possible explanations are displayed, including explanations that are not considered useful or informative. Any explanations that are displayed as a result of Show Explanation Diagnostics being selected should be ignored (unless an explanation also appears when Show Explanation Diagnostics is turned off). For more information, see Inspect a View using Explain Data.

Tableau Desktop

To access the Show Explanation Diagnostics setting, follow these steps:
  1. Go to the Help menu
  2. Choose Settings and Performance
  3. Then click Show Explanation Diagnostics 
  4. A small connection configuration pop up window appears. Fill it out as needed, usually Localhost is what you want to select for your server.
Choosing to turn on this setting, allows Tableau to collect internal diagnostics about explanations for use by Tableau.
Note: This setting is not intended to be used for viewing explanations in Explain Data.

To send diagnostics information to Tableau, follow these steps:
  1. Go to the Help menu
  2. Choose Settings and Performance
  3. Then click Show Explanation Diagnostics
  4. When you select a mark and run Explain Data, you can then click the Download button in the explanations window to download the resulting JSON file.

Tableau Online or Tableau Server in web authoring mode

Use the following URL parameter:

Follow this pattern:
http://[hostname]/authoring/[workbook]/[worksheet | dashboard | storyboard]#[clientNumber]&showExplanationDiagnostics=y

Example: http://myCompanySite/authoring/Sales2018/RegionalPerformance/mySheet#1&showExplanationDiagnostics=y
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