Information silos hurt collaboration and create inefficiencies within organizations. While Grafana dashboards provide real-time information to users such as analysts and engineers, it creates a barrier to non-technical users, operations teams, and stakeholders by requiring them to log in, access, or sit in front of terminals. To truly democratize the information captured in your Grafana platform, you need to break down the information silo created by Grafana dashboards.
Grafana Reporting is your hammer for breaking down the information silos created by Grafana. With Grafana Reporting, you can unlock data that is locked up in dashboards and make it available to a larger audience including operations teams, field personnel, stakeholders, and customers who do not have access to the Grafana platform or might not be inclined to sit in front of Grafana dashboards. With Grafana Reporting, you can pull key metrics and trends out of dashboards and distribute to stakeholders who need them for making data-driven operational decisions in their everyday work.
Let’s dive a little deeper to learn more about Grafana Reporting and the 3 best Grafana Reporting tools.
Grafana Reporting is the process of creating and automating the generation and distribution of PDF, XLS, CSV, HTML Reports from Grafana dashboards. Reports are created by reusing the existing visualizations and data queries in Grafana dashboards without having to recreate them from scratch. Reusing Grafana visualizations saves time and reduces the effort to create reports. You can schedule report generation at a needed frequency such as daily/weekly/monthly. You can automate the distribution of reports to stakeholders via notification channels such as email or slack.
Grafana Reporting is an excellent type of Information Radiator, especially for remote working teams and customers. Similar to a Big Visible Chart that is used in office settings, Grafana Reporting can be used to radiate information to distributed team members via email, slack, etc. Grafana Reporting increases collaboration, transparency, and accountability while enhancing efficiency and visibility to operational metrics and trends.
Grafana Reporting is typically implemented by organizations that have set up dashboards in Grafana and is now looking to distribute the dashboard information to users who are managers, customers or operations teams who do not have access to the dashboards or are often too busy to be sitting in front of dashboards.
Grafana Reporting has become a vital tool since a vast majority of the users in any organization do not have continuous access to Grafana dashboards. It is therefore used by businesses of all sizes to distribute Grafana information to stakeholders both internally within their companies and externally to their clients. By delivering the right information at the right time to the right users, Grafana Reporting helps users(recipients) to make informed decisions and better manage their business operations.
A multitude of features does not necessarily make a great tool, but an effective Grafana Reporting tool must address a set of core requirements. We have compiled these requirements based on years of our team’s experience working with Grafana users.
In addition to the above requirements, there are a few other factors. Cost/budget is often a critical factor in choosing the Grafana Reporting tool that is appropriate for your needs. Organizations that use multiple dashboard tools such as Kibana or multiple instances of Grafana/Kibana might also need a unified reporting tool. Some users might also prefer to generate PDF reports from within the Grafana dashboard, however, it is often not a critical requirement since the recipients of Grafana reports are often not the users of Grafana dashboards.
Now that we have discussed the key requirements for a Grafana Reporting tool, the next question is:
The answer is No. Grafana is a dashboard tool and does not generate reports. The open-source Grafana doesn’t include reporting capability.
Only the proprietary version, Grafana Enterprise Stack, which costs a minimum of $3,500 /mo has basic reporting capabilities. Now let’s look at what are your options for Grafana Reporting.
If you are an operations engineer/manager who has set up a Grafana instance to monitor key operational metrics, chances are high that within a few days your users will badger your team for reports to be delivered to their email inbox or slack. How do you address their needs?
Luckily, you have three(3) choices to get them off your back!
Before we dive deeper into these three tools, let’s address the $1,188 question on your mind.
Unfortunately there are no actively maintained free or opensource Grafana Reporting tools. The main issue is that any open source reporting project needs to keep pace with the rapid and frequent updates to Grafana. When you upgrade to the latest version of Grafana, your reporting setup will break down if the tool fails to keep pace with the new releases of Grafana.
A survey of the available tools showed that the latest update to the Reporter, which is an open source tool, was in November 2019(16 months ago at the time of this publication) when the Grafana 6.5 was released. Since then, there have been 7 new releases of Grafana with the current version being 7.4. Therefore, using an open source tool is not a viable option if you need reliable reporting and want to keep pace with the latest capabilities of Grafana.
The typical cost of Grafana Reporting Tool ranges from $99/mo to $3,500/mo. Obviously it’s a very wide range, so let’s peel the layers a bit. There are two commercially available solutions for Grafana Reporting: Grafana Enterprise Edition and Skedler Reports. Grafana Enterprise Stack starts at $3,500 per month and includes other features beyond just reporting. Skedler Reporting starts at $99 per month and is a pure-play enterprise reporting automation tool.
Grafana Enterprise Stack is a proprietary offering from Grafana that includes a number of enterprise plugins, collaboration features, reporting, enhanced LDAP, enterprise support and services.
Reporting is a feature of Grafana Enterprise Stack. According to the Grafana Enterprise website, two distinct capabilities of reporting are available in the Enterprise Stack.
Reporting in Grafana Enterprise Stack includes the following features:
Let’s look at the pros and cons of the reporting capability in Grafana Enterprise:
While Grafana Enterprise Stack offers some significant benefits, it has a few drawbacks that are outlined below:
Grafana Enterprise Stack Reporting is a good option for your Grafana reporting needs if the following criteria applies to you:
Skedler Reports is an enterprise reporting automation tool for Grafana and Elasticsearch-Kibana. It was originally developed to provide reporting option to Elastic Stack. When customers started asking for Grafana support, the Skedler team added Grafana Reporting to its offering. It was the first reporting tool developed for Elastic Stack and Grafana and is widely used by Grafana users.
Skedler Reports offers the following capabilities:
Now, let’s look at the pros and cons of the Skedler Reports for Grafana:
Skedler Reports for Grafana is a great option for your Grafana reporting needs if the following criteria applies to you:
Reporter is a simple web service that generates PDF reports from Grafana dashboards. It is an open source solution and is a plugin to Grafana. It requires the installation of PDFLatex and is written in goLang.
Reporter offers the following capabilities:
Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of the Reporter:
While the open source aspect of Reporter is attractive, it has several drawbacks.
Reporter is your option for Grafana reporting if the following criteria applies to you:
We think we have built an awesome solution in Skedler Reports for your Grafana Reporting need. And, we would like to get your feedback on it!
Why not dig deeper into Skedler Reports so that you can hammer away the data silos, effortlessly deliver reports to your stakeholders, and chill in the admiration that you receive from your users for your awesomeness!
Check out Skedler Reports today!
If you are looking for a Grafana reporting solution, be sure to test drive Skedler.