Learn how to use dashboards and charts with sample data.

Want to learn some tips and tricks for exploring your data in dashboards?

This tutorial uses our sample data to get you started. To complete the tasks, you need Access to a product instance. If your company doesn’t have one, sign up for a free trial.

The focus in tutorial is on exploration, so you don’t need any permissions to go through these tasks.

Task 1: Find a Sample Dashboard in the Dashboards Browser

Tanzu Observability (formerly known as VMware Aria Operations for Applications) includes pre-built tutorial and tour integrations with dashboards that show how to use the product with sample metrics. Let’s explore a tour dashboard, which contains sample data.

  1. Log in to your service instance.
  2. Select Dashboards > All Dashboards.
  3. In the search bar, enter Tour and select Name Contains: Tour
  4. Scroll through the list of dashboards and select Tour: Cluster Metrics Exploration.
type tour and select Tour Pro

The result looks similar to the following screenshot:

click chart title to select a chart

Task 2: Explore the Dashboard

By default, the Tour: Cluster Metrics Exploration dashboard shows live (sample) data. Let’s change the time window and explore other dashboard customization options.

1. To change the time window, click the time selector and select, for example, Last 12 hours. All charts in the dashboard are updated to the new time window. Time selector screenshots
2. Notice the options below the time selector, and select Jump To > Processes to show the Processes section. Below the time selector, you see:
  • The lock icon, which shows that you cannot save this system dashboard.
  • The Favorite (star) icon, which you click to make this a favorite dashboard.
  • The Jump To menu.
  • The Filter field.
Jump To menu shows sections
3. To filter data, type az = us-west-2 in the filter field. All charts in the dashboard are updated to show only data from the us-west-2 availability zone.

When you select one filter, other filters become available below. Explore how you could also set the environment to production, dev, or both.
Filter us-west-2 selected
4. Finally, explore time selection and time sync across charts.
  • Drag-select a short time window on one of the charts, for example Latency Statistics to zoom in.
  • Click Sync Time to update all charts in the dashboard.
  • Click Reset to undo.
Latency selector chart with sync/reset option top right

Task 3: Drill Down Into Charts

To edit dashboards and charts, you need Dashboards permission. But even without those permissions, you can learn a lot from drilling down into a chart.

1. Let's start with viewing events for system alerts.
  • In the Latency by AZ Test chart, hover over one of the dots at the bottom. Each dot represents an event.
  • Examine one or two events more closely. The events in this sample dashboard are system events that are triggered by alerts.
Hover menu of event shows Info: Alert Recovered.
2. Move to the right and explore changing the time window.

3. Next, select Edit from the ellipsis menu.

You can instead click the name of the chart to put it in edit mode.
Screenshot with time selectors and open ellipsis menu that shows Edit and Export CSV
4. Select the chart type drop-down, which shows Line Plot initially, and select Stacked Area.

If the filter is still set to us-west-2, consider removing it for a more interesting chart.
Chart type menu, with Stacked Area selected
5. Next, explore the chart options to examine how you can adjust the view of your data.

Each chart type has chart-specific options. See Chart Reference for details.

6. Finally, click Back to return to the dashboard to continue exploring.

Because this Tour dashboard is a system dashboard, you cannot save changes even if you have Dashboards permissions. Clone the dashboard if you want to make a copy and save changes there.
Screenshot of chart options, with Legend selected.

Learn More

  • Even if you don’t have Dashboards permissions, you can do an in-depth analysis of your data.
  • If you have permission to edit and save dashboards and charts, you can do more: