The Ultimate Guide to Automate Daily Grafana Reports
Businesses not only use Grafana to monitor traditional IT infrastructure data but also report much-needed operational data that various business teams use to get information on the day-to-day health of the business. Grafana’s dashboards help deliver relevant insights about business’ data in a beautiful, easy to read format.
With Grafana reporting, you can organize metrics and trends from dashboards and share them with your stakeholders or with your internal teams, who need them for making data-driven operational decisions in their everyday work.
Different teams use different names for metrics, so it is often necessary to handcraft the metrics for each project. So there are numerous steps involved if you want to see all of your metrics in one place. Creating multiple reports and sharing them regularly with your team/stakeholder is a tedious and time-consuming process.
There are better things to do than spending hours in front of the computer going through multiple data sources, looking up relevant data, combining it, updating, and then distributing that report to stakeholders. The major reason that companies choose to automate reports is to save time.
There are mainly 2 options when it comes to automating daily Grafana reporting –
- Grafana Enterprise Reporting
- Skedler Reports
In this article, we will deep dive into both of these options and go through their pros and cons.
All About Grafana Reports
Can Grafana generate reports?
Yes, but not in the open-source version. You can only generate reports if you have Grafana Cloud Pro or Advanced or in Grafana Enterprise versions.
How do I export a Grafana report? How often is a report generated in Grafana?
Grafana allows you to generate PDF reports from your dashboards and email them to stakeholders on a schedule. Scheduled reports can be sent once on an hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly basis, or even at custom intervals. you can configure company-wide report settings in the Settings tab on the reporting page. Grafana also lets you customise your reports
How do I get a Grafana Report?
3 major components of grafana will help you implement and understand metrics: panels, dashboards, and reports.
The panel is the first and most important component in Grafana that represents data visualization. With a panel, you can create a graph/plot that visualizes the given metric or several metrics.
The dashboard is just a collection of different panels. Having a collection of different panels on a single dashboard will help you analyze related metrics together and understand how the business is doing.
You can then generate reports of these dashboards and share them with your stakeholders in a pdf format. This facility is available only in Grafana Cloud Pro and Advanced and in Grafana Enterprise.
You can configure template variables for the dashboard on the report page for each report. But this is only available in Grafana Enterprise version 7.5+. You can also include dynamic dashboards with panels or rows, set to repeat by a variable, into reports which are only available from Grafana Enterprise version 8.0+.
You can also attach a CSV file along with the PDF report email for the selected dashboard but this feature is available on Grafana Enterprise version 8.0+ provided you have installed an image rendering plugin.
- To Send reports using Grafana, you must first configure your SMTP
- You must also install the image rendering plugin
- As a default, reports use the time range of the dashboard. You can change the time range of the report by saving a modified time range to the dashboard or by setting a time range via the Time range field in the report form.
If you want to skip the Grafana Enterprise features and go straight to Skedler reports, click here
Can Grafana send Email Reports?
Only available in Grafana Enterprise version 7.2+, you can send your customised email reports to all your stakeholders. You can have your company logo displayed on the report pdf. You can also brand your reports email with your company logo in the header and add custom URL links to the header and footer.
Limitations of Grafana Reporting
While Grafana Enterprise offers some great benefits, it has a few limitations:
- The report layouts are limited to 4 different types – 1. Simple Portrait, Simple Landscape, Grid Portrait and Grid Landscape.
- Notification is limited to email SMTP channel
- Limited report settings – The customisation options for your reports is pretty basic
- Grafana variables are supported in Enterprise version 7.5+. It will allow you to override the dashboard variables with custom values.
- It does not support burst reports i.e you can’t generate multiple personalized reports for recipients from a single dashboard
- Scheduling capability is basic. You can’t schedule reports only on workdays or yearly reports etc.
- Error handling is missing. If a report fails to generate for some reason, there is no notification or error message to understand the root cause.
- Last, but not least, the cost of a Grafana Enterprise Stack license to get reporting is at least $3,500 per month which is quite steep.
Check out these 3 best Grafana reporting tools here
Create, Generate, and Schedule a Grafana Dashboard Report using Skedler
Skedler helps you automate the process of generating professional quality reports and distribution to your stakeholders. You can use Skedler to generate multiple reports, customise each report with all the metrics you want to monitor and track and schedule to send these reports to stakeholders/team as per your requirement.
Let’s start from the beginning. You can download Skedler from here. Skedler is easy to install and configure in VM or containers. You can find the step by step instructions to install Skedler here.
Next, we will take you through the process of configuring and generating reports with Skedler. The Grafana dashboard forms the basis of the scheduled report. Skedler will automatically discover all the existing Grafana dashboards for you. You just need to select one dashboard for your report.
- Fill in your Grafana URL and authentication data to connect Skedler to your Grafana.
- Create report by clicking the top right button in the main dashboard and select Visual Report to create PDF reports
- Drag and drop a chart, the size that the chart/graph pops up in what we call “True Size”, the size of the chart in Grafana dashboard. You can easily move and resize them as well.
- Schedule your report
You can schedule your reports to get generated daily, weekly or monthly or even for a custom time frame as per your requirement. You can also choose from a variety of report formats right from PDF, CSV to PNG or HTML
- The next step is to distribute your reports to your stakeholders. Choose if you want to create an email notification channel or Slack notification channel.
Fill in the respective information for the email channel or slack channel, and click save on the bottom right corner. You can customize who receives the report, subject, and message that accompanies the report.
The Advantages of Skedler Reports
- Skedler is quick to install and configure
- It works with all versions of Grafana
- Skedler supports all formats like PDF, Excel/CSV/HTML and even PNG reports
- Layouts can be customized with rich templates to drive the value of data.
- You can add your branding to all the reports you generate
- You can send personalized reports to different recipients from a single dashboard
- Flexibility in scheduling and distribution
- Multiple deployment options such as docker are supported
- It works with Grafana On-Prem and Grafana Cloud as well
- It has Role-based access control (RBAC), so you can monitor who has access to what
- Robust error handling and notification mechanisms
- Subscription starts at $149 per month for 250 reports when paid annually. Also available at 500/1000/Unlimited report options. Allows you to start small and pay as you grow.
To know more about Grafana reporting using Skedler, check this reporting guide
In this article, we have demonstrated how Grafana could be used for visualizing and tracking your organisation metrics. Grafana allows you to generate PDF reports from your dashboards and email them to stakeholders on a schedule. Grafana also lets you customise your reports. And although Grafana does reporting, it supports it only in enterprise versions and it is not very affordable.
Skedler on the other hand along with the flexibility in its reporting and many features like burst reporting, different distribution channels and error handling capabilities will help you create customized reports within a few clicks. It is easy, efficient and will not burn a hole in your pocket!
Try our new and improved Skedler for custom generated Grafana reports for free!