Variables that persist between dashboards

In my organization we’ve been happily using Grafana for a few years now, but we have one frustration which has been growing. I’m wondering if anyone has faced a similar issue and has worked around it.

We have a variety of dashboards that use the same two variables at the top–essentially allowing us to select a particular customer. When we switch between dashboards, the variables aren’t connected in Grafana, and so they are reset to the last values at which someone saved that particular dashboard. Of course, this means a costly wait while the “wrong” data is loaded, before we can then reset the customer choice to the one we were viewing on the first dashboard. Sometimes we get confused after forgetting to make the customer choice.

What we’d like instead is a way to choose a customer setting that persists even as we switch dashboards. I could imagine this being solved by some kind of uber-variable feature in Grafana itself, or perhaps some plugin or other cobbled-up technique could do the trick.

Anyone have a solution for this situation?

We found a workaround to this by using the “Dashboard Links” feature. The workaround gives us links between dashboards that preserve variables, which is good; the only downside is that we have to nominate a small number of dashboards to include in the set of Dashboard Links, rather than allow movement among the full set of dashboards. But the result is a lot better than what we had before and reduces the dashboard-loading delays by a lot.