• Zev Isert

5 Best Open Source Dashboarding Tools

In this article we’re going to tell you about the five best open source dashboarding tools and what makes each of them unique. Before we get started it is important to understand what a dashboard is, and why they are useful.

What is a dashboard?

A dashboard is a visual representation of large volumes of data. Using dashboards helps to simplify data, making it more understandable, and easier to use in analytics and decision making.

Dashboards allow users to access useful visualizations and monitoring. For example, a dashboard displaying data on a business’ social media accounts may have graphs and charts representing each post's popularity, user engagement and followers. The dashboard will constantly update throughout the day in order to ensure that users have access to the most accurate information possible right away.

Dashboards are frequently used for social media, financials, KPI’s, sales monitoring, CRM monitoring and web analytics, amongst many others. In today’s data age, it is important that every business has access to dashboarding software. Here we have listed the five best open source dashboarding tools that are constantly improved by the community at large.

Dashboarding Tools

1. Freeboard

Freeboard specializes in creating dashboards for the internet of things (IoT) devices such as sensors and wearables. One benefit of using freeboard is its high customizability. Using its drag and drop approach, you can add widgets, your own branding, and customize the dashboard layout. The software offers a free version, but unfortunately it does not have support for private dashboards, which could be an issue for organizations with highly sensitive data. Premium pricing ranges from $12-$100/month.

2. Grafana

Grafana is arguably the most popular open source graphing software, with behemoths such as Intel and Paypal using its technology. The major benefit that Grafana offers is its high level of compatibility across API’s, databases and operating systems. Although very powerful, with visualization options such as heatmaps, histograms and geomaps, Grafana does require a lot of time and effort to set up, so it may not be the best solution for smaller organizations without the resources for implementation. Grafana offers a free, self-hosted version, and paid, hosted version featuring unlimited dashboard, logs storage and prometheus and graphite metrics. The paid version of Grafana starts at $49/month.

3. Mozaïk

Mozaïk prides itself on being highly customizable and visually appealing, featuring a grid layout, to easily designate spots for each aspect of your dashboard. Additionally, Mozaïk allows its users to have multiple dashboards which is extremely useful for those with a lot of data. Another appealing feature of Mozaïk is its compatibility with widgets, allowing your dashboard to connect to and display information from programs such as Slack, Github or your calendar. Unfortunately if the widget you desire doesn’t exist it’s necessary to build your own, which requires some technical expertise. A demo Mozaïk dashboard can be downloaded for free online, and there is no premium version.

4. Metabase

Metabase is a dashboarding software focused on integration with SQL databases. You can edit SQL code within the program to customize the information your dashboard retrieves and displays. The software focuses specifically on ease of use, with simple language, an easy setup, and the ability to ask questions to retrieve information. The program has a free version if you host it yourself, or paid versions starting at $100/month.

5. Stashboard

Stashboard is a dashboard to visualize API’s, cloud services, phones and software information, providing data on the status of the service and whether it is working properly. The software is ideal for companies who want some basic monitoring and visualization without additional features. Stashboard is free and can be downloaded online. There is no paid version.