Download visualization table column names to Excel

  • 24 October 2016
  • 9 replies

I have a Table Visualization, which I specifically crafted to name the series something clear for the context of the particular Look.

When I download as .xlsx or .csv, the column names are from the raw data. Is there any way to prevent this? This is a chart I’d like to be able to send to customers periodically, but I can’t have the raw names in there. At the very least, it’d help if the view name prefix could be removed. I see that’s possible with show_view_names: false on programmatic dashboards, but I don’t see anything that allows download to be tweaked similarly.

Is this just a missing feature? How do other people handle the need to get the beautifully formatted results from Looker out to unsophisticated stakeholders as an attachment?

9 replies

Userlevel 3

Think this is a really valuable feature, we have the same requirement.

Userlevel 5

Hi @wkoffel and @Alex_Hancock, this is a feature that we are currently working on and are hoping to release by the end of the year. Thanks for sharing your use case!

Userlevel 3

Great news thanks Sam

@wkoffel: Not sure if you still need this, but I think I was trying to do the same thing and solved it by using the view_label parameter of a dimension ( and exploiting what seems to be a bug/hidden feature related to it.

E.g. I have a dimension called table_name.member_id, which I need to appear as MemberID* and without the view name for my partner xxx. I created a new dimension for this, looking like this:

dimension: member_id_xxx {
label: "MemberID*"
type: string
sql: ${member_id} ;;
view_label: ""
group_label: "DO NOT USE!"
description: "For xxx Data Feed"

Now, this measure will not appear in Explore, because of the view_label. However you can temporarily comment out this line, save, add the dimension to your visualization, comment the line back in, and save again. The dimension will stay part of your explore/look, even though it will disappear again in the left-hand-side navigation of your Explore window. At least for me the look will keep working even after saving it, merging the code, and leaving the dev branch.

I’d be interested in this functionality as well for the “Download Data” action to match the visualization column names, without the hack but good find.

Even better trick I found was to add this globally in the Looker Model file

explore: explore_name {
label: "ColumnPrefixColumnPrefix"
view_label: "" # this should hide the column prefix as part of your Excel data download

I’ve pinged customer support on this issue, since the “by the end of the year” obviously didn’t materialize.

The other place I’m encountering a similar issue (blocking a separate workflow I’d like to implement) is with the API. I’d like be able to specify that the run_look API results respect visualization labels. Right now, they use the raw field names, not friendly names. This makes it hard to do API driven Look downloads for external stakeholders for whom the internal fields names aren’t appropriate.

Hi @wkoffel! Thanks for checking in with us and for your patience with this feature.

The ability to change column names on downloaded data tables is scheduled to release in 4.16. We appreciate the feedback and look forward to seeing it in action!

Userlevel 2

Is this alteady implemented in 4.16? As our users are asking for this feature and we are on 4.14.

Userlevel 3

Hi @kshah7,

You can see all of the features in Looker 4.16 in the release notes.

This feature is now available via the “apply visualization settings” option in Looker 4.16.