Configuring Time Series Builder Visualizations

The Time Series Builder allows you to create different charts, and visualizations from the same monitoring, logs and distributed tracing time series data.

It supports multiple time series on the same visualization panel.

Creating a new Time Series Builder Visualiation

The Time Series Builder is powerful tool to build visualizations that be straight forward and simple to extremely complex.

While the basic process behind the Time Series Builder is straight forward. You choose the data source, the data series you want to display, then choose how you want to display the data with the options available dependent on the visualization selected.

The ability to create a large number of very different visualizations, with very flexible data selection means it can quickly become complex. Its important to focus on the use case and the needs of your auidence.

The Time Series Builder

It supports a range of times series line, area and bar charts, Top N (bar chart), single metric panels, gauges, markdown and data table panels.

For more information on Time Series Builder see Time Series visualizations

Selecting and configuring time series data

To create a single metric time series:

  1. Select the visualization type.

  2. Select the Data Source, and choose either the Logs or Metrics data sources.

    • By default the Metrics data source will be Circonus but it can be configured to use multipe metric data sources.

    • The Logs data source includes both logs and traces.

    Time Series Builder Data Souorce Selection

  3. Define the times series data your interested in.

If you choose the metric you will be presented with the option of selecting Query type or using the Advanced analytics (CAQL). CAQL. CAQL or Circonus Analytics Query Language provides tremendous flexiblity but is recommended for advanced users for more information see CAQL documentation.

Time Series Builder Metrics Data Source Selection

The Metrics Filters allow you to specify a criteria for a series of Time series removing the need to specify each individually. Circonus takes the hard work out of that for you.

A Metrics Filter is a single field, condition and value. If multiple filters are defined, they will be combined in a single logical filter using And

You can choose whether the times series must meet All filters or just matches Any filter.

For example if you specified three filters they would joined together: Overall Filter = Filter1 and Filter2 and Filter3.

To create a filter simply select a field name, select a list operation (is, is not, contains, starts with, ends with) and set a value. The list of operations available will be dependent on the type of field selected.

You can select from a list of Fields such as Metric Name or the orginating Integration Name, Tag, Host and more.

Time Series Builder Metrics Filter

The list is automatically populated based on the field and criteria supplied. You then simply choose the item from the list you display on the chart.

Time Series Builder Logs Data Source Selection

To specify the time series data your interested in the from the logs data source select Options and define the Search criteria using the Dashboards Query Language.

Time Series Builder Logs Data Source Selection

  1. Specify the time series labels and colors.

    • Select Data. If you are using the Table visualization, select Columns.

    • In the Label field, if your using Metrics data source the Label will automatically created for you given the large number of potential time series that Metrics filter can produce.

    For Log metrics you can enter a name for the data series, which is used on legends and titles.

    For series that are grouped by a term, you can specify a mustache variable of {{key}} to substitute the term.

    • If supported by the visualization, click on the color swatch in the top left hand corner of the metrics panel and choose a color for the data series.

    • To add another data series, +, then repeat the steps to specify the labels and colors.

  2. Specify the time series metrics.

    • Select Metrics.
    • From the dropdown lists, choose data source, filter types and queries if relevant.
    • To add another metric, click +, the pages icon to the left allows you to clone the existing series so that you can compare the same time series using time offsets.
  3. Specfiy the formating options for the data. For panel formating or display options see Display options below.

Data formating options include:

  • Data Formatter determines how metrics are displayed supports formating as Bytes, Number, Percent, Duration or Custom format.

  • Template specified in mustache template language. For example: {{field}}.

  • Offset series time by (1m, 1h, 1w, 1d) allows you to compare the same or different time series using a time offset of by a number of minutes (m), an hours (h), a days (d), and weeks (w).

  1. To specify how to group or split the data, choose an option from the Group by drop down list.

    By default, the time series are grouped by everything.

Visualization specific features

Time Series Annotations

If you are using the Time Series visualization, you can annotate the Time series with log entry (called a document). It will appear as a line with an icon at the time interval that event occured in.

Time Series Annotations

  1. Select the Annotations tab.

  2. Click Add data source, then specify the options. You will see which Index pattern, Time field, Icon, Fields and Row template are (required) to use the annotations feature.

  3. Select the Log Index Pattern for the annotations (by default it set to * which means all logs, so you modify the pattern to be more specific).

  4. Set the color for the annotation. Select the color patch to the left of the Index pattern which will display a color picker that allows you to choose the color for the annotation.

  5. Select the Time field, it will provide a drop-down list of valid time fields available in that index.

  6. Enter the Search DQL query string.

  7. Choose whether you want to Ignore global or panel filters by default this set to Yes. Set to No if you wish to use the dashboard filters or the visualization Controls panel.

  8. Select the icon you want to use to annotation the time series. The log entry will display as roll-over on the icon.

    The available icons types are * (asterick), Bell, Bolt (lightening), Comment (bubble), Map Marker, Map Pin, Star, Tag (default), Bomb, Bug, Exclamation circle, Exclamation triangle, Fire, Flag and Heart.

  9. Fields you wish to use in the annotation as a comma separated list.

  10. The Row Template can be specified using the mustache template language. For example: {{field}}.

You can delete Annotations by clicking on the red garbage bin icon in the top right hand corner of the annotations panel.


Time Series Builder Markdown Visualization Edit the source for the Markdown visualization.

  1. Select Markdown.

  2. In the Markdown field, enter enter your Markdown text, then press Enter.

  3. In the editor, enter enter your Markdown text, then press Enter.

  4. To insert the mustache template variable into the editor.

    For example: **{{count.label}}:** {{count.last.raw}} displays as Count: 4979

The Panel options for Markdown differ from the other visualizations as allows you to to use Custom CSS (supports Less formating) to format the markdown panel.

Display options

The Panel options allow you to control the display options the specific Time Series Builder Visualization.

You have two tabs under the Panel Options for most of the visualizations. With the exception of :

Data that dictates how the data is displayed. It allows a custom lable to be applied, the metric selection and formating Options.

Time Series Panel Options

  1. Select Panel options.

  2. Under Style, specify how you want the visualization to look. The style options will differ based on the visualization but support two elements:

  • Style specifies Axis scaling, position, color options, and legend and tool tip options.

    • The Metric, Top N, Gauge visualization support specific color rules (conditional formating) that set the background, text, bar, and gauge color based on the conditions.

    • A Style section is not available for the Markdown or Table visualizations. Markdown does support the use of Custom CSS.

  1. Log and Trace Data Options allow to specify the display options for Logs and Traces.

    • Index pattern selects which indices are used. By default its uses logs-*.

    • Time field allows you to select from the time fields in the time series in the chart.

    • Interval is set auto by default. You can choose a time range (1m, 1h, 7d, 1w, 1y or expressed as condition >=1m) allows you to compare the same or different time series using a time offset of by a number of minutes (m), an hours (h), a days (d), weeks (w), years (y).

    • Enter the Search DQL query string.

    • Choose whether you want to Ignore global or panel filters by default this set to Yes. Set to No if you wish to use the dashboard filters or the visualization Controls panel.

The mustache syntax uses the Handlebar.js processor, which is an extended version of the mustache template language.

Next: Bar, Line and Area Visualizations