Business operational dashboards Use cases for Grafana

Wondering why Grafana is promoted mostly for observability dashboards. Can it (or has it been) used for business metrics dashboards ?

You can use Grafana to display any data which you can collect into a supported
back-end data store, and represent using the available panels.

Whether this data represents network operations, business metrics, or the bids
you’re receiving for items for sale on eBay (etc) is immaterial.


Thanks Antony for confirming this view. Hence the Question :: Wondering why Grafana is promoted mostly for observability dashboards. Can it (or has it been) used for business metrics dashboards ? :slight_smile:

Short answer. Because of the Data Modeling feature of the other BI tools.

Long answer.
We use Metabase for business metrics. I believe that Grafana is more like an operator level tool. Which you can act immediately based on the data. Whereas with Metabase or some other BI tools, you model your data (Like sales orders, stock levels, clients, …) then end-user can create dashboards, filter data, create daily reports. They can surf in the data because of the models behind the scenes. So it is more like a management tool.

Grafana is more like last millisecond reporting and alerting tool. Hence it is an operator tool. But it does its job exceptionally well.

For instance, you can create a chart to show which items sold in the last week with both tools. But you can click one of the items and Metabase can ask you “Warehouse, Sales Person, Customer”. When you click to Sales Person, Metabase shows the Sales Person data of that item. Then you can click on of the Sales Person and Metabase asks for “Warehouse, Client, Item” and so on. You can surf on any data as you wish. Then you can find out “Most of the returns are coming from the Europe region” (without touching SQL).

Another example might be refresh times. Metabase can refresh dashboards at 5 minutes minimum rate while Grafana usually refreshes 1 sec. You can get the idea now. With Metabase we compare last 10 years data.

Grafana is exceptionally well written software. We sometimes just use its alerting features. But Grafana is developed for completely another domain.

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Thank you turkertunali for sharing your view point - very insightful !

However I have been able to achieve the Q&A format too using Grafana with some customization - hence we call it - not just dash-boarding but interactive platform .
It has dash-boarding, monitoring and alerting capabilities.Rich plugin eco-system and extensibility features. Hence was confused …

Metabase i had tried long back -found it good but at the same time was not sure of its extensibility and plugin capabilities.

Grafana’s plugin architecture is really weell so I forget to mention that someone in the community can build something like that. And some of my clients mention that Grafana’s UI is richer than Metabase.
But you can create queries (Questions to be specific) on the fly with the Metabase. You can easily create questions like “How well was my sales team’s performance last week?” without touching SQL.

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