Visualize time series with charts

Classic dashboards have their own panels and methods of configuring them. For details on time series charts in classic dashboards, see Classic dashboard panels.

A time series chart visualizes time series data returned by a query. The chart depicts each returned time series as either a line or bar chart representing each data point or interval, with time depicted along the X axis and values along the Y axis. Time series charts are the default panel type when creating new panels in Chronosphere.

Use time series charts to analyze trends and patterns in data over spans of time. For example, you can render time series data about a service's resource consumption to identify points in time where unexpected demand exhausted capacity and reduced the service's performance or availability.

This feature isn't available to all Chronosphere users and might not be visible in your app. For information about enabling this feature in your environment, contact Chronosphere Support.

When combined with other charts in a dashboard, you can focus on that point in time and correlate the event with other time series visualizations. Dashboards also support variables that can dynamically replace values in the panel and its query with those defined by the dashboard's editor and selected by its viewers.

For details about the configuration options common to all panels, see Panels.

Add a time series chart to a dashboard

To add a time series chart panel to a standard dashboard:

  1. Add a panel to a dashboard.

  2. In the Add Panel interface, click the Type dropdown and select Time Series Chart.

  3. Add a query to the panel.

    By default, the panel preview renders the data returned by the query as a line chart.

  4. Click the Add button to add the panel to the dashboard and close the Add Panel interface.

  5. Optional: On the dashboard, click Save to save the new panel to the dashboard.


Queries that return an extremely large number of data points or invalid results can result in panel errors. For example, a query might return an error for exceeding server resource limits, or it might have so many points to render that doing so could degrade your web browser's performance.

Chronosphere reports these errors with an icon that appears in the corner of the Preview pane of the Create Panel or Edit Panel interfaces, or on the panel when viewing it on the dashboard. Hover the cursor over the icon to view the error message.

Use a time series chart's tooltip

When you hover the cursor over a time series's line or bar, Chronosphere displays a tooltip that includes the date and time where the cursor is pointing. The tooltip also displays the value of that series at that point in time. If multiple series are under the cursor, Chronosphere displays the values for each series. Moving the cursor along the series updates the values in the tooltip to the new point in time.

To pin the tooltip to a specific point in time, click the chart. The tooltip remains visible until you click Unpin inside the tooltip.

To configure which series Chronosphere includes in the tooltip, see Modify a time series chart's tooltip.

Configure a time series chart

You can configure a time series chart by modifying its Settings.

Any changes you make in the panel's Settings tab are immediately reflected in the Preview pane but take effect only when you click Apply in the Edit Panel interface and then Save the dashboard.


Chronosphere doesn't fully support directly editing a panel's JSON representation and recommends configuring panels in the user interface. Use the JSON representation only for managing your configuration as code with tools such as Chronoctl and Terraform.

To modify a time series chart's settings using its Settings tab:

  1. Edit the time series chart panel.
  2. In the Edit Panel interface, click the Settings tab.

The tab contains five sections:

  • Legend: Configures an optional legend that describes and helps identify series in the visualized data.
  • Visual: Configures the nature of the visualization, including whether to render the data as a Line chart or a Bar chart.
  • Y Axis: Configures the chart's optional Y axis.
  • Tooltip: Configures the behavior of the tooltip that appears when moving the cursor over or across the chart.
  • Thresholds: Adds, removes, and configures threshold lines on the chart.

To discard and revert all of the panel's settings to their defaults, click Reset To Defaults.

Modify a time series chart's colors

The Advanced tab in a time series chart's Edit Panel interface contains a Color Overrides section where you can add, remove, and configure colors. You can apply color overrides to a specific series or all series that match a regular expression.

Modify a time series chart's legend

The Legend section in a time series chart's Settings tab controls whether to display a legend alongside the chart, and if so it also configures where and how it appears.

  • Show: Toggles whether to display the legend. Defaults to disabled.

  • Position: Selects whether to display the legend Below or to the Right of the chart. Defaults to Below.

  • Mode: Selects whether to display the legend as a List of time series with a color swatch associating it with a line or bar on the chart, or as a Table with a header row. Defaults to List.

  • Size: Defines the legend's size relative to the chart as either Small or Medium. Defaults to Small.

  • Values: Toggles whether to display certain values for each time series, such as its average, minimum, maximum, and total values, in the legend. Defaults to showing no values.

    • Avg: The series' mean value, excluding null values.
    • First: The series' first value.
    • First *: The series' first numeric value.
    • Last: The series' last value.
    • Last *: The series' last numeric value.
    • Min: The series' minimum value.
    • Max: The series' maximum value.
    • Total: The sum of all values in the series.

    Units, abbreviations, and decimal places configured in the Y axis settings also apply here.

Modify a time series chart's visual representation

The Visual section in a time series chart's Settings tab controls how Chronosphere visualizes the query's time series results in the chart.

  • Display: Toggles whether to visualize the data as a Line or Bar chart. Defaults to line.
  • Line Width: Defines the series' width in pixels. In the Settings tab, use the slider to define a value between 0 and 3. Defaults to 1.5.
  • Area Opacity: Defines the opacity of the space beneath each line, from fully transparent (0) to fully opaque (1). The fill color for each series is the same as its line or bar color. Defaults to 0.
  • Stack Series: Determines whether to display each series' value independently of the rest (None) or stacked cumulatively on top of each other (All). Defaults to None.
  • Color Palette: Determines the chart's color palette. The Classic palette uses six colors and prioritizes readability, while the Consistent palette includes more colors and lets you assign a color to a series consistently across multiple panels. Defaults to Classic.
  • Show Points: Determines whether to render data points as dots on the chart. Auto renders data points only if doing so doesn't degrade browser performance. Always and Never respectively render or hide data points regardless of the number of data points. Defaults to Auto.
  • Connect Nulls: Toggles whether to connect points in a line chart even if there are null values between data points. Otherwise, Chronosphere renders disconnected gaps in the series. Since Bar charts ignore null values, you can toggle this setting only if the chart Display type is Line. Defaults to false.

Modify a time series chart's Y axis

The Y axis section in a time series chart's Settings tab controls whether Chronosphere renders a chart's Y axis, and if so what information it includes.

These settings apply to all values on the chart regardless of time series, and includes any values you enabled in the chart's legend.

  • Show: Toggles whether to show the Y axis on the chart. Defaults to true.
  • Abbreviate: Toggles whether to abbreviate units on the Y axis. For example, if you enable Abbreviate, Chronosphere renders a value of 100000000 as 100M. You can toggle this setting only if you set the Unit to Decimal or Bytes; Time units are always abbreviated and Percent values don't require it. Defaults to true.
  • Unit: Defines the unit used to render the Y axis. This has the most significant effect when you enable Abbreviate. Defaults to Decimal.
    • Decimal: Base 10 values. Chronosphere renders a value of 1000000 as 1M.

    • Bytes: As decimal multiple-byte units. Chronosphere renders a value of 1000000 as 1MB.

    • Time: Determines the unit of time that Chronosphere uses to interpret a numeric value. The unit you select isn't necessarily the unit Chronosphere displays.

      For example, if you select Nanoseconds, Chronosphere interprets a numeric value of 120 as 120 nanoseconds and renders it as 120ns. If you select Days, Chronosphere interprets the same value as 120 days and renders it as 4 months.

      The available Time units are Nanoseconds, Microseconds, Milliseconds, Seconds, Minutes, Hours, Days, Weeks, Months, and Years.

    • Percent: Interprets the value as a percentile, representing 0% to 100% on a range of either 0.0 to 1.0 (Percent (0.0-1.0)) or 0 and 100 (Percent (0-100)).

      For example, Chronosphere renders a value of 1.0 in Percent (0.0-1.0) as 100%, and in Percent (0-100) as 1%.

  • Decimals: Defines how many decimal places Chronosphere renders for values. Default renders decimal places only if necessary and rounds to the nearest value. Numeric values from 0 to 4 render the corresponding number of decimal places.
  • Label: Renders the given text vertically next to the Y axis. Defaults to no value.
  • Min and Max: Define the minimum and maximum values, respectively, to render on the chart. Chronosphere doesn't render values smaller than the minimum or larger than the maximum. Defaults to no value, which dynamically changes the axis's range to display all data.

Modify a time series chart's tooltip

The Tooltip section in a time series chart's Settings tab determines whether to render a tooltip when you move the cursor over the chart and which time series it displays.

The Mode toggle has three available states, which you can toggle by clicking them:

OnOffThe tooltip appears only when the cursor is near a charted time series, and it contains only the time series closest to the cursor. Turning Single on also turns Nearby off.
OffOnThe tooltip appears only when the cursor is near a charted time series, and the tooltip contains all nearby time series. This is the default state of a new time series chart. Turning Nearby on also turns Single off.
OffOffThe tooltip appears whenever you move the cursor over the chart and displays all time series with data at the point in time represented under the cursor.

Regardless of this setting's value, the tooltip and chart always highlight the time series that's directly beneath the cursor.

Modify a time series chart's thresholds

The Thresholds section in a time series chart's Settings tab defines values where Chronosphere renders threshold lines over the chart. You can define threshold values as either absolute numeric values or percentiles. Chronosphere renders threshold lines as dashed lines.

The threshold's Mode defines whether all thresholds use Absolute numeric values, which is the default mode, or Percent values. Percent values are relative to the Y axis' minimum and maximum.

To create a new threshold:

  1. Click the plus sign (+) in the Thresholds section header.
  2. In the field that appears, enter a value where you want Chronosphere to render the threshold line.
  3. Optional: Click the color indicator, depicted as a colored circle, to open a color selector and choose a color for the threshold line.

To delete a threshold line, click the Delete icon on its corresponding row of the Thresholds section.