Documentation and Best Practices

Learn how to use Cloudability and get the most out of our cloud cost management tool.

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Dashboards Walkthrough

Cloudability Dashboards enable highly customizable views of your most important KPIs and datasets. Each Cloudability user can create and share as many Dashboards as they need to, and each Dashboard can house as many unique Widgets as required. 

In this article, we'll cover:

  1. Things you should know about Widgets
  2. Creating or editing a Widget
  3. Things you should know about Dashboards
  4. Creating or editing a Dashboard
  5. Sharing a Dashboard
  6. Adding an Annotation

Here's a sample Dashboard from our demo account:

1. Things you should know about Widgets

  • A Dashboard contains multiple Widgets.
  • Widgets can be drilled into by clicking any data point in the series twice. The first click will highlight the y-axis metric pinned to the x-axis value at the point of click, and the second click will load an Analytics report with additional data around the data layer. 
  • Widgets can be moved and sized within a set grid. The grid is 4 columns wide and can be extended down the page as far as needed to support the Widgets on the page.
  • Hovering over the title of a Widget reveals additional controls, and also allows you to move the widget to other locations on the page (it will snap to the grid).
  • The bottom right corner of each widget has an arrow that allows you to resize the widget; it will snap to the grid after sizing.

2. Creating and editing Widgets

From one of your Cloudability Dashboards, click the yellow plus (+) button:

There are several Widget types to choose from, each of which has a unique set of options to customize the data displayed on your Dashboard. For example Chart Widgets can include multiple layers of data, and be displayed as lines or bars. On the other hand, the Estimate Widget has a single purpose - to calculate your estimated monthly costs:

Next, select the time period to display in the Widget. If a dynamic date range is selected, the Widget will update daily as fresh data is processed.

Note: all times are listed in UTC.

A Time Period Comparison can also be selected in order to analyze two discrete periods of time:

Next, choose your x-axis dimension. It can be either a 'Cost' dimension (from vendor billing files) or a 'Utilization' dimension (from an API like CloudWatch). This dimension serves as the x-axis for every layer of data you add to the Widget:

Then, select a metric for the y-axis of your first chart layer (data series). The drop-down will be limited to metrics associated with the dimension you chose earlier (e.g. you'll only see Cost metrics, if you chose a Cost dimension earlier):

You also can configure a number of advanced options for the layer:

Above you can see the following options, some of which are unique to the Chart Widget type:
  • Group By - add a secondary dimension to dive deeper into the data
  • Series Name - add a prefix to the series name on the chart to help differentiate it from other chart layers you create
  • Display As - choose between line, area, vertical column, and horizontal bar charts
  • Start Scale At - adjust the bottom bound of your chart
  • Sort By - ascending or descending, based on the Y-axis total
  • Limit Results to - only show the top (or bottom, depending on the sort) N number of items
  • Hide Scale - hide it from the chart axis
  • Show Trendline - show a line representing the aggregate trajectory of the data across the series
  • Hide Legend - remove it from the chart display

Note: if you add a secondary dimension to a widget (Group By), the Trendline and Limit options are disabled.

You can also add one or more filters to a chart layer, to hone in on the specific data points you are after. Filters can be added based on tags, account groups, products, and many other cost and usage dimensions and metrics. You can select from a variety of operators as well:

You can also add more layers to the Widget, to overlay additional metrics on the chart. You can use a compatible Cost or Utilization metric depending on the original X-axis you chose at the beginning of the process:

Finally, save your new customized Widget to your Dashboard!

 

3. Things you should know about Dashboards

  • You can create multiple Dashboards in addition to your default dashboard. For example you could create a Dashboard for your Operations team, a dashboard for your Finance team, and one to track Reservations.
  • Starred dashboards appear in the sidebar for quick access.
  • You can share Dashboards with other users in your organization (more on that below).

4. Creating and editing Dashboards

You can create a new Dashboard through the 'Dashboards' menu bar or the drop down next to the Dashboard title:

5. Sharing a Dashboard

You can share Dashboards with other users in your company's Cloudability account -- or the entire organization all at once.

There are also settings to choose between Editable or View-only permissions for your shared Dashboard, depending on the level of collaboration you'd like to provide for your team:

Also, each Dashboard has a unique URL (e.g. app.cloudability.com/#/dashboard/12345) that can be shared with other Cloudability users in your account, for easy pasting into emails or messaging tools. 

 

6. Adding Annotations

You can create an annotation for a specific date, to more easily remember events that impacted your data. These annotations will show up on any Dashboard Widget that shows that specific date in the chart. Annotations are currently user specific. 

For more information on the Dashboard, check out these resources:

Introduction to enterprise management tools

 

 

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