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. For more information, refer to the Explore topic.
Export/Import dashboard Grafana includes the ability to export your dashboards to a file containing JSON. Community members sometimes share their created dashboards on the Grafana Dashboards page. Dashboards previously exported or found on this site may be imported by other users.
Exporter An exporter translates data that comes out of a data source into a format that Prometheus can digest.
Integration (Grafana Cloud) Each Integration in Grafana Cloud uses the cloud agent to connect your data source to Grafana Cloud for visualizing. Note: Prometheus uses the word “integrations” to refer to software that exposes Prometheus metrics without needing an exporter, which is a different use of the same word we use here.
Graph A commonly-used visualization that displays data as points, lines, or bars.
Mixin A mixin is a set of Grafana dashboards and Prometheus rules and alerts, written in Jsonnet and packaged together in a bundle.
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. For more information, refer to the Transformations overview topic.
Visualization A graphical representation of query results.