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Dashboard Basics

Types of dashboards and dashboard groups

Dashboards are groupings of charts and visualizations of metrics. SignalFx has three types of dashboards and dashboard groups: built-in, custom, and user. All dashboards, irrespective of type, belong to a dashboard group, and the groups are displayed when you go to the Dashboards page. To see what dashboards are inside each group, you can click Expand all to the right of the search box, or you can click on the name of the dashboard group to reveal its dashboards. For more information on accessing different dashboards and dashboard groups, see Viewing dashboards and dashboard groups.

Built-in dashboard groups

Built-in dashboard groups are provided by SignalFx to give you immediate visibility into the technologies and services being used in your environment. The dashboards in these groups are automatically created for you if you use integrations that send in metrics that SignalFx recognizes. Most of the collectd plugins that we support come with built-in dashboard groups, as do many AWS and GCP services.

Built-in dashboards are meant to behave like templates, so to make use of them in any way beyond simple viewing, for example by adding or modifying charts, you will first need to use Save as from the dashboard’s Actions menu to save a copy of the dashboard. For more information on built-in dashboards, see Built-In Dashboards and Charts.

Custom dashboard groups

Custom dashboard groups are created when you create a new dashboard group (for example, by using the Create menu) or when you are creating a dashboard and create a new dashboard group in which to save it. (You cannot add dashboards to a built-in dashboard group.)

Custom dashboards are meant to be used by multiple people, and usually represent the curated set of charts that you want to be accessed by a broad cross-section of your organization. They are typically organized by service, team or environment.

User dashboard groups

Every SignalFx user who has set a password and logged in at least once gets a user dashboard group, identified via their e-mail address. (Depending on when a user was created, the dashboard group may also contain a large number of demo data dashboards.)

Your user dashboard group is meant to serve as your individual workspace within SignalFx. To access your user dashboard group, hover over Dashboards on the navigation bar and select All Dashboards. At the top of the page, you will see your favorite dashboards, your recently accessed dashboards, and the dashboards in your user dashboard group.

Tip

The only difference between custom and user dashboards is where they are stored and how you access them. All custom and user dashboards are available to all users in your organization.

Viewing dashboards and dashboard groups

If you are not on the Dashboards page, hover over Dashboards in the navigation bar and select All dashboards.

The Dashboards page displays built-in, custom, and user dashboard groups (see Types of dashboards and dashboard groups). At the top of the page you can see a list of your favorite dashboards, your recently visited dashboards (including an Unsaved dashboard, if you have one), and the dashboards in your user dashboard group. If you have joined teams in your organization, a tab for each team is also displayed.

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Choosing dashboards to view on the Dashboards page

  • To see the dashboards inside a specific dashboard group, click the dashboard group name.
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  • To see the dashboards inside every group, click Expand all groups to the right of the search box.
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  • To see all the dashboard groups of a particular type, scroll down to the dashboard group section and expand it, or click the dashboard group navigation link in the upper right of the screen.
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Viewing dashboards in fullscreen mode

SignalFx offers a fullscreen mode for dashboards, which is a space-optimized display for displaying your metric data on a TV or other device. To access fullscreen mode, select View Fullscreen from a dashboard’s Actions menu.

While in fullscreen mode, the application will resize available dashboard charts in an attempt to fill the screen, based on the maximum number of rows in the dashboard being viewed. It will also remove any extraneous whitespace and controls typically not needed when the dashboard is passively viewed.

The minimum size allowed for a chart is 160 pixels vertically. For common resolutions this means the following when in fullscreen mode:

Resolution Maximum Rows
3840 x 2160 13
2560 x 1600 9
2560 x 1440 8
1920 x 1080 6
1440 x 900 5
1280 x 720 4


To exit fullscreen mode, press the Escape key.

Working with charts on a dashboard

Click and drag the corners or the left, right, and bottom edges of a chart to resize it, or click and drag along the top edge to move it (shown below).

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Note

If you don’t have write permissions for the dashboard you are viewing, or you are in a built-in dashboard, you will have to use Save as to save a copy of the dashboard before you can move or resize its charts.

You can display the Detector menu (bell icon) to subscribe to alerts for related detectors or create a detector based on the chart.

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From the chart’s Actions menu, you can make a copy of the chart, share a chart with others, view information about the chart, download an image (screenshot) of the chart, or export the chart contents to a CSV file. (Not all actions are available for all chart types.) When exporting as CSV, the most recent 100 datapoints will be exported, along with the values of the dimensions associated with them.

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For event feed charts, you have the option to export the contents to a JSON file.

Viewing detailed information for a chart

If you hover over a datapoint on a chart in a dashboard, information about the point is displayed.

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If there are event markers, you can hover over a marker to see the event count in that time window, grouped by severity.

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When you click on a point in a chart, information related to metrics is shown on the Data Table tab. If you hover over different areas of the chart, the values in the Value column are updated to reflect the values for the datapoint over which the mouse is hovering. This lets you compare those values against the pinned values.

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Tip

If you edited a plot name or specified display units in the Chart Builder, this information is displayed when you hover over the chart and in the data table. For example, instead of seeing 250 as a value, you might see 250 ms (where you specified ms as a suffix) or $250/hour (where you specified $ as a prefix and /hour as a suffix).

As you hover over dimensions in the data table, an Actions menu icon is displayed. Menu options let you add a filter to the chart’s overrides bar based on the value of the dimension (see Filtering from the data table) or manage data links.

Information about nearby events is shown on the Events tab.

You can export data from the Data Table tab to a CSV file; select Export as CSV from the tab’s Actions menu.

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You can also add an event from the event tab’s Actions menu; see Manually adding custom events.

Using a favorites list to quickly switch among dashboards

Having a list of favorite dashboards lets you quickly switch among dashboards you tend to use most often. The list of your favorite dashboards is shown at the top of the Dashboards page, as well as when you hover over the word Dashboards in the navigation bar.

Favorite dashboards are indicated by a blue star to the left of the dashboard name on the Dashboards page and in dashboard tabs (visible when you are viewing a dashboard).

To add a dashboard to your favorites list, hover over the name of the dashboard and then click the hollow grey star that appears to its left. The illustration below shows how you would do this on the Dashboards page. To remove a dashboard from the favorites list, click the solid blue star.

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