Grafana Explore is where you can research the data available in your Prometheus metrics account and discover the metadata (tags, dimensions, or fields) associated with each metric from the services in your environment.

It’s a bit like Kibana Discover, in that it is optimized for quickly searching the data in preparation for creating dashboards.

Whether you just started sending metrics for the first time, or you want to check that your metrics arrived as expected, Grafana’s Explore mode is the best way to do it. It’s also great if you’re a long-time user and want to examine the structure of your metrics to create a new monitoring dashboard.

To go to Grafana’s Explore, click the Explore icon in the left menu.

Exploring your metrics

To determine which metrics exist in your metrics account and then discover the associated metadata (tags, dimensions, or fields) sent by the services in your environment, use the Metrics list or an autocomplete query.

  • Metrics list: Use the metrics dropdown to the left of the query bar to get a full picture of all of the metrics sent to your account. The metrics are grouped by name.

    In the image below, the Kubernetes metrics start with the term kube.

  • Query autocomplete: Use the query autocomplete option to explore the available metrics name suggestions. For example, if you’re monitoring Kubernetes and looking for a specific pod metric, start typing the term pod to see which results come up, then click the desired metric name.

Not all metrics from a specific service start with the same word.
For example, the metrics grouped by the term container are also Kubernetes metrics.

Prometheus metrics metadata labels

Each metric includes metadata - one or more labels that are associated with the metric and which provide additional information about it. These labels are either automatically attached and sent with the metric, or can also be attached manually by the sender: It depends on the monitored service or application.

Metrics metadata labels are useful for creating meaningful visualizations and for gaining insights about the monitored data. When choosing a metric to focus on, you can see each metric’s labels (and label values) attached to it below the graph visualization.

In the image below, the metric kube_deployment_status_replicas_available includes the labels deployment and namespace .

P8s metric metadata labels

Split and sync Explore screens

You can split your Explore mode screen to work faster and make quick comparisons. You can split the screen to work with two views side-by-side, whether Metrics-Metrics, Logs-Logs, or Logs-Metrics.

Splitting the screen is especially effective for checking how queries behave in different time ranges and even for different data sources (in the Logz.io world, a data source = a different metrics or logs account or subaccount).

To split the screen, click the Split button. If you want to sync both views so they both cover the same time range, click the button to link the views.