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OpenSearch Dashboards quickstart guide

This quickstart guide provides tutorials on using OpenSearch Dashboards applications and tools. You can use these tutorials, either in your own environment or on OpenSearch Playground, to learn the following fundamental concepts:

  • Adding sample data: Use preloaded visualizations, dashboards, and other tools to explore OpenSearch Dashboards before adding your own data.
  • Using the Discover application: Analyze your data to gain insights.
  • Using the Dashboards application: Create and store data visualizations.
  • Customizing the appearance theme: Quickly change the OpenSearch Dashboards appearance theme from the home page.

The OpenSearch Dashboards default view is shown in the following image.

OpenSearch Dashboards interface default view

Docking the navigation menu

To dock or undock the navigation menu, select the menu icon icon on the upper-left toolbar and then select Dock navigation or Undock navigation on the lower left of the menu. A docked navigation menu is shown in the preceding image.

Before continuing with the following tutorials, make sure you’ve installed OpenSearch and OpenSearch Dashboards. For information about installation and configuration, see Install and configure OpenSearch and Install and configure OpenSearch Dashboards.

Adding sample data

The following tutorials use the Sample flight data dataset.

To add sample data, follow these steps:

  1. On the OpenSearch Dashboards Home page, choose Add sample data. Alternatively, choose Add data on the upper-right toolbar.
  2. On the Add sample data page, choose the dataset(s) you want to add to Dashboards. The following image shows the available sample datasets.

Adding sample data window

Using the Discover application

With Discover, you can:

  • Choose data for analysis, set a time range for that data, search it using Dashboards Query Language (DQL), and filter the results.
  • Analyze your data by querying and filtering, viewing results in a table, and examining documents.
  • Create histograms to display the distribution of your data.

Follow these steps to use the Discover tool:

  1. From the OpenSearch Dashboards navigation menu, choose Discover.
  2. On the Discover page, choose the index pattern opensearch_dashboards_sample_data_flights from the dropdown menu on the upper left.
  3. Select the calendar icon icon to change the time filter from the default of Last 15 minutes to Last 7 days.
  4. In the DQL search bar, enter FlightDelay:true AND DestCountry: US AND FlightDelayMin >= 60 and select Update. Results are shown for US-bound flights delayed by 60 minutes or more.
  5. Filter data by selecting Add filter from the DQL search bar and then selecting a Field, Operator, and Value from the dropdown lists in the Edit Filter pop-up window. For example, select FlightDelayType, is, and Weather Delay.

The resulting view is shown in the following image.

Discover output of steps 1 through 6

Using the Dashboards application

With Dashboards, you can:

  • Display data in a single view.
  • Build dynamic dashboards.
  • Create and share reports.
  • Embed analytics to differentiate your applications.

The Dashboards application creates and stores visualizations generated from your data. Follow these steps to use the application:

  1. On the OpenSearch Dashboards Home page, choose Dashboards. A list of dashboards generated from the sample data appears.
  2. In the search toolbar, search for and select [Flights] Global Flight Dashboard. You’ll see a dashboard preloaded with visualizations, including charts, maps, and data tables.
  3. To add other panels to the dashboard, select the Edit button and then choose Add from the toolbar. The Add panels window opens.
  4. In the search toolbar in the Add panels window, search for and select the existing panel [Flights] Delay Buckets. A pop-up message confirms that you’ve added the panel.
  5. Select close x to exit the Add panels window.
  6. The newly added panel is now displayed as the last panel on the dashboard.

The resulting view is shown in the following image.

Add panel view

For information about using a specific data visualization type, such as VisBuilder, go to Building data visualizations. For information about using dashboards and visualizations in Observability, go to Observability.

Interacting with data using dashboards

Interactive dashboards allow you to analyze data in more depth and filter it in several ways. With Dashboards, you can use dashboard-level filters to directly interact with data.

Using the [Flights] Global Flight Dashboard dashboard, follow these steps to further analyze and filter the sample flight data:

  1. On the [Flights] Airline Carrier panel, choose OpenSearch-Air. The dashboard updates automatically, adding the filter Carrier: OpenSearch-Air on the upper-left filter bar. The following GIF illustrates this step.
  2. Choose Save to save the dashboard.

Filter data demo

Alternatively, you can use the dashboard toolbar to apply filters by following these steps:

  1. In the dashboard toolbar, choose Add filter.
  2. From the Field, Operator, and Value dropdown lists, choose Carrier, is, and OpenSearch-Air, respectively.
  3. Choose Save. The dashboard updates automatically.

The resulting view is shown in the following image.

Dashboards tutorial panel view

Customizing the appearance theme

Introduced 2.14

Light mode is the default OpenSearch Dashboards appearance theme. You can customize the appearance theme to suit your preferences. The available options include light mode, dark mode, and your browser’s settings.

Enabling the appearance theme setting

The appearance theme setting is enabled or disabled through Advanced Settings and requires admin permissions.

Changing the appearance theme settings

Admins can change the appearance theme for all users of their OpenSearch Dashboards instance through Advanced Settings:

  1. Navigate to Management > Dashboards Management > Advanced Settings.
  2. Scroll to the Appearance section and toggle theme:darkMode on or off.
  3. Select the Save changes button and then the Reload button. The updated theme is applied immediately.

Dark mode view

Next steps