Visualization of data

I know there is the NR Dashboard available but to date I have been experimenting with Grafana. I'm not completely happy with the way data is visualized and thought perhaps I should step back and see if others are using either of these options (or even a 3rd method I haven't considered) and have opinions on pros and cons. If there is already a post discussing this, please point me in that direction (search found nothing related to "visualization" outside of the dashboard sub.

I'm primarily recording sensor data right now (weather, power usage, other temperatures). I was envisioning having some running line graphs for current conditions and perhaps some bar charts for things like monthly rainfall etc. I have been unsuccessful in getting Grafana to use different time ranges for each plot, so my test dashboard looks unattractive and doesn't contain the data I want.

I tried running through a demo of the NR Dashboard and failed so I went to Grafana on day 1. Do users think one is a better interface than the other for sensor type data? I'm not looking to set up controls, so I'm not sure the NR approach is necessary. But, If it's overall a better option, I'm early in the learning of all of these tools so it would be beneficial to focus on a option with a higher success outcome.

It really depends what you are trying to achieve. Grafana makes a great technical dashboard but not generally so good at one that is wife/family friendly in my view. I expect it could be coerced to do that but it isn't what it is really aimed at. Also, Grafana is best at querying data from databases though it is certainly possible to use API's and JSON data - nowhere near as easy though.

Dashboard is great at getting going really quickly, trying out some ideas and is a life-saver if you don't know an html tag from an attribute and don't want to be bothered with learning. It produces pretty good UI's but you are very much constrained by it. If you want a data-driven UI up and running real quick with limited ui options and not too worried about performance - Dashboard is where it is at.

Something like uibuilder sits between these. It can be efficient and is driven direct from Node-RED as easily as Dashboard. But, you have to code the UI. That gives you ultimate flexibility but if coding isn't your thing, uibuilder less likely to be helpful. Though you may be surprised at how little code you need.

Lots of choice :grin:

Personally, I use uibuilder to build a custom interface and Grafana when I need lots of technical information where I've already got it in a database. I only use Dashboard to do a quick proof of concept.

I already have my data feeding into Influxdb now, so it's just visualization that I'm looking for. I have incremental data for rain and power usage that need queries to look at hourly/daily/monthly info. I can do that in Grafana but looking at monthly data appears to require switching the time frame to 1 month. That makes my daily plots useless. I was just hoping to display them on the same page without requiring all kinds of finicky playing. I doubt anyone else will look at the data and as an engineer I really like the capabilities. But, for a clean display it doesn't seem to do everything I wanted.

I'll check out uibuilder and try some demos in Dashboard. Thanks!

You can set some of your panels to have specific timeframes so that you can mix fixed timeframes with variable ones. I have Grafana dashboard with hourly, daily and weekly panels on the same page.

When you start using a tool such as Grafana and you find something that it doesn't do that you think it should do, the best course of action is to assume that it can do it but you don't know how, rather than assume it can't. Google for
grafana different time ranges on panels

I found several guides that show how to do different time ranges on the same panel but when I attempted to implement, I was not able to locate the time field function on all visualizations. Secondly, when I did implement this, it didn't show the data as expected. I believe it is possible to make it work, I just wasn't able to execute the settings in the way tutorials suggested. Applications change over time, so I wasn't sure if Grafana's settings might have changed such that the tutorial was no longer valid.

For example, the data in this image shows instantaneous data for temperature and humidity for a couple sensors. It also shows hourly data for rainfall (it rained a briefly this morning) and daily rain. You can see that the hourly displays for the time frame listed but the panel set to show daily is broken.

To the best of my knowledge, I did implement the time range as per the tutorials I found:

If there's a different place I should have entered the custom time range, I can't find it.

You set it in the query options. Relative time is the key setting.

See Queries | Grafana Labs

I saw that pointed out in one tutorial, but the interval is not editable. I tried setting min interval to 1d so I would get daily sets of data, but it still showed the same "data outside of time range". I'll see if I can find a better tutorial but if you know what the fields should be set to in order to display 1 point/bar per day for say a 7 day range that would help.

After randomly entering values into the different fields, I found that I need to enter the desired range into the "Relative Time" which will also display on the chart the override period.

This looks much closer and works for daily metrics as well. I was trying to use the bar gauge for this and it didn't seem to like this setup but when I went back to the standard graph item it works. Too bad as I think I'd prefer the value displayed over each bar which doesn't appear to be an option with this visualization.

You don't set the interval, you set the relative time.


Set the min interval to something that makes sense to your timescale.

Yup, and it looks ok now.

I'm not sure what the red box is on the daily plot though. I didn't select any options for it so not sure how to delete it.

Have you got a time region specified?

Good call. I still had the time region enabled when I was trying to set the time range. Deleting it eliminated the red zone.

Is there a good place to ask about specific Grafana visualizations? I found a WindRose that looks great but for some reason it doesn't fill up the panel as I'd expect it to. I can create a new thread here, continue in this topic, or maybe just go over to the Grafana community if that would be considered more appropriate.

wide rectangular panel it doesn't use the full height.

Taller panel still doesn't use the whole height but at least it's bigger.

Perhaps I should find a different windrose. This just happens to be the only one listed in the Grafana plugins page.

Best to discuss in the Grafana forum.

There are two generic Plotly packages as well, one of them only exposes a couple of things but the other seems to expose pretty much everything - but is rather more complex to configure. It is possible that you might get a windrose visualisation from that.

Ok, np. I see that one of the Plotly example images appears to show a windrose, so that's a good place to start. I can't think of another better way to display wind magnitude and direction, but perhaps there's other options out there. My accuweather app has one that looks similar to this that's nice, but I don't see any tool that can do direction arrows.


Again, thanks for the help!

I guess that any circular chart could be made to fit the bill. A windrose is a polar or radar chart so you could also look for those. Even a multi-level pie chart might work.

That's true. I looked at the Plotly visualization but the original is years without update and I don't see the polar plot option. The other Plotly Panel probably would work, but boy oh boy does it look complicated since it exposes the code in the panel. I'll go back and see if there's any other chart options with those key words.

Seems to me very much available

Thanks for the link. I've been searching the Grafana community for just such an example!