Creating Dashboards

Dashboards are a convenient way to visualize important data in one place. Observe provides a quick and easy method of creating Dashboards from your datasets.

Dashboard Listing

Logging into Observe, and clicking Dashboards, displays a list of all available Dashboards on your instance. Recently viewed dashboards are listed at the top, and common filters are on the left. In the Search bar, you can enter filters to narrow your search to a specific dashboard or dashboards.

Creating a New Dashboard

There are several ways to create a new dashboard:

  • Use the New dashboard button on the Listing page

  • Duplicate an existing dashboard

  • Open an existing dashboard and click Save as New

  • From a Worksheet or Explorer, use Add to Dashboard and select New

Using Weather Tutorial data

For example, create a new Dashboard for the Dataset, Resource Set, and Metrics that you created as part of the Weather Tutorial. You created a Dataset, Weather Events, a Resource Set, Locations, and a Metrics set, Weather Metrics which you can add to a central Dashboard. Use the following steps to create your Weather Dashboard:

  1. From the Dashboards interface, click New Dashboard.

  2. Click Add Card, and then select Dataset Visualization.

  3. Select Weather Events from the list of Event Streams.

Now you can edit the card to improve the presentation.

  1. Click the Pencil icon on the card to edit the visualization.

  2. On the Expression Builder tab, in the where field, select country ~ ***, Plot = over time using function = Average of temp by city.

Improving Weather Events Visualization

You can now click Back to Dashboard to view your dashboard, and add more cards.

To learn more about the types of visualizations supported in Observe, see the Visualization Types Reference.

Adding Filtering Options to your Dashboard

There are two main ways to add filtering to your dashboard.

  • Dashboard Filtered Panel - Enables easy filtering of dashboard based on a selected dataset.

  • Parameter - A form field that allows filtering on charts and tables, or can filter on other parameters.

Adding a Dashboard Filter Panel

The Dashboard Filter Panel allows you to set a single Dataset as a filtering panel on a dashboard. The columns of the filtered dataset can be used as parameters to filter the cards on the dashboard. This is functionally identical to using the Filter bar, but can be used without a keyboard. When a Dashboard Filter Panel is in use, you can use the panel on the left to select values from columns in the data as filters for any column in the chosen dataset. Filtration done with the left panel is added to the Filter bar, where it can be edited. For instance, you can use the Filter bar to apply operations such as ~ or !~ which can’t be applied via the filter panel.

To add a Dashboard Filter Panel, edit the dashboard. Select Add to Dashboard, Parameters and Filters, and then Filtered Dataset. Select a dataset from the list. A dataset that is a source to cards in the dashboard can have filtration automatically applied to those cards; alternatively, you can select which cards and columns you want to filter with this dataset. Resource datasets that are linked from the data in dashboard cards are also eligible for automatic filtration.

To edit the filtered dataset used by an existing Dashboard Filter Panel, edit the Dashboard. Open the filtered dataset panel (if it is collapsed) by clicking the caret button on the top left beneath the Dashboard name. Click the pencil icon beneath “Filter dashboard using” and select a Dataset from the list. A dataset that is a source to cards in the dashboard can automatically be linked.


Once a Filtered Dataset is added to a Dashboard, it can be used as an input to cards in that Dashboard.

Using Filter Panel

Adding a Parameter

A Dashboard Parameter lets you use common patterns like drop downs and text fields to filter data for more complex use cases. For instance if you want to filter a dashboard that uses many datasets and many panels (such as metrics, traces, and logs) by terms in a separate dataset (such as customer project names), you would use a Parameter to identify the customer project. Parameters support advanced features like mapping from names to IDs, multi-selection, All Values, and free form text entry.

To add a Parameter, edit the dashboard. Select Add to Dashboard, Parameters and Filters, and then Parameter. The following choices must be made:

  • Type - select from the following types of Parameters:

    • Single-select dropdown. This parameter type allows the user to pick one item from a list. For instance, you might use User Names, and select Alice from a list of Alice, Bob, and Charlotte.

    • Multi-select dropdown. This parameter type allows the user to pick multiple items from a list. For instance, you might use Project Names, and select Alpha and Delta from a list of Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta.

    • Text Input. This parameter allows free-form entry of a text string.

    • Number Input. This parameter allows free-form entry of a number.

    • Resource Instance Menu. This parameter type allows the user to pick one resource from a resource dataset. All Parameter types need a user-facing Display Name (the name of the parameter in the dashboard) and an internal OPAL Token name (the variable used to test the parameter’s value in OPAL).

Adding the Parameter Type

Single and Multi Select parameters can be populated in three ways: a Dataset, a Card from the dashboard, or a Custom list. This allows the user to select one or more parameters from a dynamic list to filter selected Cards in the dashboard. If the parameter is set to null or the “All Values” selection, no filtering is done in the selected Cards.

The Resource Instance parameter dropdown’s list of options can only be populated with the primary key of a resource dataset. For instance you might use Cluster Name, and populate the drop down with resources from your Kubernetes Clusters resource set. You may optionally allow a Null resource, which effectively means no filtering is done in the selected Cards.

After selecting a default value in the parameter builder, click Next to select dashboard cards that should be filtered by the parameter. On this screen you will map the parameter filter value to columns on the filtered cards. Your options will be limited by the data types involved. For instance a Number Input parameter can only be used to filter numeric columns, such as int64.

Click Apply to add the new Parameter to the Dashboard, then use your mouse to drag it to the correct section, position, and size. Click Save to test the parameter filtered dashboard.

Filtration Example

The Dashboard editor will make suggestions when you are configuring Filtered Datasets and Parameters. For example, we might make a new dashboard, add a card for Container Logs, add a card for Container Resources, and add a card for an unrelated dataset such as AWS ELB Active Connections metrics. When adding a Filtered Dataset to this dashboard, Kubernetes container relevant datasets are suggested as the best options to use.

Automatically Suggested Datasets for the Filtered Dataset Panel

After selecting a column and clicking Next, the selected column name is used to automatically suggest linkages in the relevant cards.

Automatically Suggested Card Linkages for the Filtered Dataset Panel


The same suggestion capabilities are used for Dashboard Parameters.

Using Dashboards

To learn about presenting, sharing, and drilling down from dashboards, see Using Dashboards.