DevOps and Security Glossary Terms

Glossary Terms
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Real-Time Dashboard - definition & overview

In this article
What is a real-time dashboard?
Real-time dashboards and data velocity
What are the applications of real-time dashboards?
What are the benefits of real-time dashboards?
Sumo Logic supports a feature-rich real-time dashboard
What is a real-time dashboard?
Real-time dashboards and data velocity
What are the applications of real-time dashboards?
What are the benefits of real-time dashboards?
Sumo Logic supports a feature-rich real-time dashboard

What is a real-time dashboard?

A real-time dashboard is a type of graphical user interface that provides simplified, easy-to-review visualizations of key metrics or performance indicators concerning a business objective, function or process in real time. Real-time dashboards provide IT operators and other staff members with the most up-to-date information on various operational, security and business performance metrics.

Key takeaways

  • Real-time dashboards have become increasingly popular since the rise of big data.
  • The most important feature of real-time dashboards is that their contents are time-sensitive.
  • Real-time data enables IT organizations and executives to respond more quickly to business, security, and operational challenges.
  • With Sumo Logic, IT organizations can achieve superior oversight of IT analytics and network security while gathering and leveraging the business intelligence needed to inform decision-making at the highest level.

Real-time dashboards and data velocity

With real-time data, IT organizations and executives can respond more quickly to business, security, and operational challenges. Big Data is commonly described in terms of volume, velocity, and variety. Data volume refers to the increasing amount of computer-generated networks and applications, as well as user actions and behavior. Data variety referenced the idea that our conception of data would extend beyond the spreadsheet to include audio and video metadata, social media engagement data, user behavior, activity data and more.

The idea of increasing data velocity is that data flow increases between the point of generation and the point of use, enabling features such as real-time dashboards. In the past, manually constructed dashboards were based on data batches that captured an organization's performance at a specific time.

Today, having access to real-time data offers a significant competitive advantage, enabling organizations to quickly spot inefficiencies or other anomalies and correct them before they can negatively impact customers. As a result, more organizations have invested in solutions that increase their processing speed for large amounts of data and optimize their ability to create informative real-time dashboards.

What are the applications of real-time dashboards?

Real-time dashboards can be used to display a variety of metrics and key performance indicators in real-time. Even better, dashboards can be customized by users to fit certain roles. For example, an IT operations (ITOps) employee might want to use a customized dashboard that displays operational data. A security analyst would benefit from a real-time dashboard with visualizations of security-related metrics. A CFO or CEO might use real-time dashboards to review key business metrics. Each of these applications can provide unique benefits for the organization.

Operational analytics

Using dashboards to visualize operational data can make it easy for ITOps professionals to quickly identify customer-impacting issues and implement resolutions before they significantly impact revenue. IT operators might use real-time dashboards to create a visualization of real-time log-ins per minute for a cloud-deployed web application. A positive spike in log-in attempts could signify that a malicious actor is trying to overwhelm the server with requests. A sudden drop-off in log-ins could indicate that the service is experiencing unplanned downtime.

Security analytics

An IT security analyst can use a real-time dashboard to monitor potential security threats across the organization's IT environment. Real-time dashboards can be customized to display the most important security data in real-time, including a history of malware scans on the network, lists of banned users or IP addresses, a list of users on the network with administrative powers, listings of trusted devices, events tracked and suspicious activities detected.

Industry-leading security analytics tools offer Complex Event Processing (CEP) as a core feature, often with artificial intelligence or machine learning. These features help to recognize or identify suspicious activities and anomalies that should be presented to analysts immediately via real-time dashboards.

Business analytics

Real-time business intelligence is the most common application for real-time dashboards. C-level executives such as Chief Financial Officers or Chief Executive Officers can benefit significantly from real-time information about sales, revenue, and other profit and performance-related metrics. The best part is that users can customize dashboards based on the available data to visualize only the most contextually important data with the greatest perceived value for informing business decision-making.

What are the benefits of real-time dashboards?

A real-time dashboard impacts how quickly and efficiently an IT organization or business can detect and respond to security threats, customer-impacting operational issues, and new business opportunities. With real-time dashboards, organizations can:

  • Save time by making data-driven decisions on what to focus on

  • Enhance IT efficiency by enabling IT DevSecOps teams to access the most current operational and security data

  • Connect to and combine a variety of data sources into a single visualization

  • Share live dashboards within an organization or between organizations to more easily convey information

  • Decrease costs by optimizing resource allocation

Sumo Logic supports a feature-rich real-time dashboard

Sumo Logic's real-time dashboard functionality makes it easy for IT organizations to:

  • Retroactively search through data to discover when an issue or incident first occurred, streamlining the forensic investigation of security-related issues

  • Understand the historical context and long-term trends, leveraging historical data alongside real-time data for the most accurate representation of a given operational or security problem

  • Toggle between live mode, where dashboards update with live data in real-time, and interactive mode, where users can modify time ranges and filter settings to change the parameters of an investigation

With Sumo Logic, IT organizations can achieve superior oversight of IT analytics and network security while gathering and leveraging the business intelligence needed to inform decision-making at the highest level.

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