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Grafana

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Grafana vs Tableau: What are the differences?

What is Grafana? Open source Graphite & InfluxDB Dashboard and Graph Editor. Grafana is a general purpose dashboard and graph composer. It's focused on providing rich ways to visualize time series metrics, mainly though graphs but supports other ways to visualize data through a pluggable panel architecture. It currently has rich support for for Graphite, InfluxDB and OpenTSDB. But supports other data sources via plugins.

What is Tableau? Tableau helps people see and understand data. Tableau can help anyone see and understand their data. Connect to almost any database, drag and drop to create visualizations, and share with a click.

Grafana can be classified as a tool in the "Monitoring Tools" category, while Tableau is grouped under "Business Intelligence".

Some of the features offered by Grafana are:

  • Create, edit, save & search dashboards
  • Change column spans and row heights
  • Drag and drop panels to rearrange

On the other hand, Tableau provides the following key features:

  • Connect to data on prem or in the cloud—whether it’s big data, a SQL database, a spreadsheet, or cloud apps like Google Analytics and Salesforce. Access and combine disparate data without writing code. Power users can pivot, split, and manage metadata to optimize data sources. Analysis begins with data. Get more from yours with Tableau.
  • Exceptional analytics demand more than a pretty dashboard. Quickly build powerful calculations from existing data, drag and drop reference lines and forecasts, and review statistical summaries. Make your point with trend analyses, regressions, and correlations for tried and true statistical understanding. Ask new questions, spot trends, identify opportunities, and make data-driven decisions with confidence.
  • Answer the “where” as well as the “why.” Create interactive maps automatically. Built-in postal codes mean lightning-fast mapping for more than 50 countries worldwide. Use custom geocodes and territories for personalized regions, like sales areas. We designed Tableau maps specifically to help your data stand out.

Grafana is an open source tool with 29.7K GitHub stars and 5.64K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Grafana's open source repository on GitHub.

Uber Technologies, DigitalOcean, and 9GAG are some of the popular companies that use Grafana, whereas Tableau is used by Avocode, Zumba, and SoFi. Grafana has a broader approval, being mentioned in 579 company stacks & 325 developers stacks; compared to Tableau, which is listed in 67 company stacks and 38 developer stacks.

Advice on Grafana and Tableau
Susmita Meher
Senior SRE at African Bank · | 4 upvotes · 381.7K views
Needs advice
on
Prometheus
Graphite
and
Grafana

Looking for a tool which can be used for mainly dashboard purposes, but here are the main requirements:

  • Must be able to get custom data from AS400,
  • Able to display automation test results,
  • System monitoring / Nginx API,
  • Able to get data from 3rd parties DB.

Grafana is almost solving all the problems, except AS400 and no database to get automation test results.

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Replies (1)
Sakti Behera
Technical Specialist, Software Engineering at AT&T · | 3 upvotes · 180.6K views

You can look out for Prometheus Instrumentation (https://prometheus.io/docs/practices/instrumentation/) Client Library available in various languages https://prometheus.io/docs/instrumenting/clientlibs/ to create the custom metric you need for AS4000 and then Grafana can query the newly instrumented metric to show on the dashboard.

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Mat Jovanovic
Head of Cloud at Mats Cloud · | 3 upvotes · 338.7K views
Needs advice
on
Datadog
Grafana
and
Prometheus

We're looking for a Monitoring and Logging tool. It has to support AWS (mostly 100% serverless, Lambdas, SNS, SQS, API GW, CloudFront, Autora, etc.), as well as Azure and GCP (for now mostly used as pure IaaS, with a lot of cognitive services, and mostly managed DB). Hopefully, something not as expensive as Datadog or New relic, as our SRE team could support the tool inhouse. At the moment, we primarily use CloudWatch for AWS and Pandora for most on-prem.

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Replies (2)
Recommends
Datadog

I worked with Datadog at least one year and my position is that commercial tools like Datadog are the best option to consolidate and analyze your metrics. Obviously, if you can't pay the tool, the best free options are the mix of Prometheus with their Alert Manager and Grafana to visualize (that are complementary not substitutable). But I think that no use a good tool it's finally more expensive that use a not really good implementation of free tools and you will pay also to maintain its.

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Lucas Rincon
Recommends
Instana

this is quite affordable and provides what you seem to be looking for. you can see a whole thing about the APM space here https://www.apmexperts.com/observability/ranking-the-observability-offerings/

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Needs advice
on
Grafana
and
Kibana

From a StackShare Community member: “We need better analytics & insights into our Elasticsearch cluster. Grafana, which ships with advanced support for Elasticsearch, looks great but isn’t officially supported/endorsed by Elastic. Kibana, on the other hand, is made and supported by Elastic. I’m wondering what people suggest in this situation."

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Replies (7)
Recommends
Grafana
at

For our Predictive Analytics platform, we have used both Grafana and Kibana

Kibana has predictions and ML algorithms support, so if you need them, you may be better off with Kibana . The multi-variate analysis features it provide are very unique (not available in Grafana).

For everything else, definitely Grafana . Especially the number of supported data sources, and plugins clearly makes Grafana a winner (in just visualization and reporting sense). Creating your own plugin is also very easy. The top pros of Grafana (which it does better than Kibana ) are:

  • Creating and organizing visualization panels
  • Templating the panels on dashboards for repetetive tasks
  • Realtime monitoring, filtering of charts based on conditions and variables
  • Export / Import in JSON format (that allows you to version and save your dashboard as part of git)
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Recommends
Kibana

I use both Kibana and Grafana on my workplace: Kibana for logging and Grafana for monitoring. Since you already work with Elasticsearch, I think Kibana is the safest choice in terms of ease of use and variety of messages it can manage, while Grafana has still (in my opinion) a strong link to metrics

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Bram Verdonck
Recommends
Grafana
at

After looking for a way to monitor or at least get a better overview of our infrastructure, we found out that Grafana (which I previously only used in ELK stacks) has a plugin available to fully integrate with Amazon CloudWatch . Which makes it way better for our use-case than the offer of the different competitors (most of them are even paid). There is also a CloudFlare plugin available, the platform we use to serve our DNS requests. Although we are a big fan of https://smashing.github.io/ (previously dashing), for now we are starting with Grafana .

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Recommends
Kibana

I use Kibana because it ships with the ELK stack. I don't find it as powerful as Splunk however it is light years above grepping through log files. We previously used Grafana but found it to be annoying to maintain a separate tool outside of the ELK stack. We were able to get everything we needed from Kibana.

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Recommends
Kibana

Kibana should be sufficient in this architecture for decent analytics, if stronger metrics is needed then combine with Grafana. Datadog also offers nice overview but there's no need for it in this case unless you need more monitoring and alerting (and more technicalities).

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Recommends
Grafana

I use Grafana because it is without a doubt the best way to visualize metrics

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Povilas Brilius
PHP Web Developer at GroundIn Software · | 0 upvotes · 296.8K views
Recommends
Kibana
at

@Kibana, of course, because @Grafana looks like amateur sort of solution, crammed with query builder grouping aggregates, but in essence, as recommended by CERN - KIbana is the corporate (startup vectored) decision.

Furthermore, @Kibana comes with complexity adhering ELK stack, whereas @InfluxDB + @Grafana & co. recently have become sophisticated development conglomerate instead of advancing towards a understandable installation step by step inheritance.

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Decisions about Grafana and Tableau

Very easy-to-use UI. Good way to make data available inside the company for analysis.

Has some built-in visualizations and can be easily integrated with other JS visualization libraries such as D3.

Can be embedded into product to provide reporting functions.

Support team are helpful.

The only complain I have is lack of API support. Hard to track changes as codes and automate report deployment.

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Vojtech Kopal
Head of Data at Mews Systems · | 3 upvotes · 156.6K views

Power BI is really easy to start with. If you have just several Excel sheets or CSV files, or you build your first automated pipeline, it is actually quite intuitive to build your first reports.

And as we have kept growing, all the additional features and tools were just there within the Azure platform and/or Office 365.

Since we started building Mews, we have already passed several milestones in becoming start up, later also a scale up company and now getting ready to grow even further, and during all these phases Power BI was just the right tool for us.

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Pros of Grafana
Pros of Tableau
  • 84
    Beautiful
  • 67
    Graphs are interactive
  • 56
    Free
  • 55
    Easy
  • 33
    Nicer than the Graphite web interface
  • 24
    Many integrations
  • 16
    Can build dashboards
  • 10
    Easy to specify time window
  • 9
    Dashboards contain number tiles
  • 8
    Can collaborate on dashboards
  • 5
    Integration with InfluxDB
  • 5
    Click and drag to zoom in
  • 5
    Open Source
  • 4
    Authentification and users management
  • 4
    Threshold limits in graphs
  • 3
    It is open to cloud watch and many database
  • 2
    You can visualize real time data to put alerts
  • 2
    Great community support
  • 2
    Alerts
  • 2
    Simple and native support to Prometheus
  • 2
    You can use this for development to check memcache
  • 0
    Plugin visualizationa
  • 0
    Grapsh as code
  • 3
    Capable of visualising billions of rows
  • 1
    Responsive

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- No public GitHub repository available -

What is Grafana?

Grafana is a general purpose dashboard and graph composer. It's focused on providing rich ways to visualize time series metrics, mainly though graphs but supports other ways to visualize data through a pluggable panel architecture. It currently has rich support for for Graphite, InfluxDB and OpenTSDB. But supports other data sources via plugins.

What is Tableau?

Tableau can help anyone see and understand their data. Connect to almost any database, drag and drop to create visualizations, and share with a click.

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What are some alternatives to Grafana and Tableau?
Datadog
Datadog is the leading service for cloud-scale monitoring. It is used by IT, operations, and development teams who build and operate applications that run on dynamic or hybrid cloud infrastructure. Start monitoring in minutes with Datadog!
Kibana
Kibana is an open source (Apache Licensed), browser based analytics and search dashboard for Elasticsearch. Kibana is a snap to setup and start using. Kibana strives to be easy to get started with, while also being flexible and powerful, just like Elasticsearch.
Prometheus
Prometheus is a systems and service monitoring system. It collects metrics from configured targets at given intervals, evaluates rule expressions, displays the results, and can trigger alerts if some condition is observed to be true.
Graphite
Graphite does two things: 1) Store numeric time-series data and 2) Render graphs of this data on demand
Splunk
It provides the leading platform for Operational Intelligence. Customers use it to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine data.
See all alternatives