Tableau Thursdays – The Pipe has been ended. Er, what?

A US-based client in the education industry wanted to analyze its learning centres across the USA and improve overall occupancy rates by optimizing number of centres, and increasing conversion rates and retention among high value customers. As part of our investigations, we did Attrition Modelling, Centre Segmentation and Trade Area analysis and Customer Value and Best Customer analysis.

We embedded the Centre Segments (created based on a host of base and derived metrics) within a visual discovery platform for the business users using Tableau. We were pleased with our rapidly prototyped dashboard, having taken a little under 10 hours to clean and massage the data, pull it into Tableau, create derived measures, and set up a dashboard that allowed for overall views and deep-dive data investigations, and a mapping environment with multiple Data Layers (read: Tableau Thursdays – Maps, Data Layers and Geospatial Intelligence on Data Layers in Tableau maps, and how to toggle among multiple data layers in Tableau).

With a couple of hours to go for our client demo, I tried to filter the dashboard using a Quick Filter on one of the Segments we created, and encountered this arcane error message:

“Tableau Data Engine Error: 8: The pipe has been ended.
– IPC_NamedPipe::Recv(ReadFile)”

Pipe has ended - diagram1

Clicking on OK pulled up the prompt below, and subsequent attempts to reconnect to the data extract ‘Final Data’ resulted in the same error. Using the Quick Filter for other fields including State and District resulted in the same error; so did toggling a Parameter that controlled the Measure being displayed in the map.

Pipe has ended - diagram2

The VizQL query did not really lend itself to any understanding of the issue at hand, and I found 2 links upon googling the error message – one that espoused using live connections instead of extracts

http://kb.tableausoftware.com/articles/issue/error-the-pipe-has-been-ended-after-upgrade

and the other using extracts instead of live connections!

http://kb.tableausoftware.com/articles/issue/error-data-engine-error-8-the-pipe-has-been-ended-making-filter-selection

Thankfully, both the Tableau Knowledge Base articles also mentioned upgrading to Tableau Desktop/Reader 8.2.4 or higher as a potential workaround.  With just a few minutes left for the call, we quickly upgraded to Tableau Desktop/Reader 8.3 and voila, everything worked perfectly!

I really can’t comment on what caused the issue, but it suffices to say that it was something that was introduced in Tableau Desktop/Reader 8.2.1 – 8.2.3 and “has been ended” afterward 😉 Comments are welcome!

This blog is written by Farid Jalal, Analytics Project Manager at BRIDGEi2i

About BRIDGEi2i: BRIDGEi2i provides Business Analytics Solutions to enterprises globally, enabling them to achieve accelerated business impact harnessing the power of data. Our analytics services and technology solutions enable business managers to consume more meaningful information from big data, generate actionable insights from complex business problems and make data driven decisions across pan-enterprise processes to create sustainable business impact. To know more visit www.bridgei2i.com

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position or viewpoint of BRIDGEi2i.

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