Getting startedGlossary

This topic lists words and abbreviations that are commonly used in the Grafana documentation and community.

Dashboard A set of one or more panels, organized and arranged into one or more rows, that provide an at-a-glance view of related information.
Data source A file, database, or service providing the data. Grafana supports a several data sources by default, and can be extended to support additional data sources through plugins.
Exemplar An exemplar is any data that serves as a detailed example of one of the observations aggregated into a metric. An exemplar contains the observed value together with an optional timestamp and arbitrary labels, which are typically used to reference a trace.
Explore Explore allows a user to focus on a building a query. User can refine the query to return the expected metrics before building a dashboard.
Graph A commonly-used visualization that displays data as points, lines, or bars.
Panel Basic building block in Grafana, composed by a query and a visualization. Can be moved and resized within a dashboard.
Plugin An extension of Grafana that allows users to provide additional functionality to enhance their experience. The types of plugins currently supported are:
  • App plugin: Extends Grafana with a customized experience. It includes a set of panel and data source plugins, as well as custom pages.
  • Data source plugin: Extends Grafana with support for additional data sources.
  • Panel plugin: Extends Grafana with additional visualization options.
Query Used to request data from a data source. The structure and format of the query depend on the specific data source.
Time series A series of measurements, ordered by time. Time series are stored in data sources and returned as the result of a query.
Trace An observed execution path of a request through a distributed system. For more information, refer to [What is Distributed Tracing?](
Transformation Transformations process the result set of a query before it’s passed on for visualization.
Visualization A graphical representation of query results.