A Declarative Specification for Authoring Metrics Dashboards

Picture of Allison Whilden
Allison Whilden
Picture of Fan Du
Fan Du
Picture of Justin Talbot
Justin Talbot
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Despite their ubiquity, authoring dashboards for metrics reporting in modern data analysis tools remains a manual, time-consuming process. Rather than focusing on interesting combinations of their data, users have to spend time creating each chart in a dashboard one by one. This makes dashboard creation slow and tedious. We conducted a review of production metrics dashboards and found that many dashboards contain a common structure: breaking down one or more metrics by different dimensions. In response, we developed a high-level specification for describing dashboards as sections of metrics repeated across the same dimensions and a graphical interface, Quick Dashboard, for authoring dashboards based on this specification. We present several usage examples that demonstrate the flexibility of this specification to create various kinds of dashboards and support a data-first approach to dashboard authoring.