Skip to Main Content
AWS Cloudwatch Data

How to build a dashboard for any AWS CloudWatch data

Create free account

Looking to keep an eye on logs and metrics from AWS or CloudWatch? There are several reasons you might want to build a CloudWatch dashboard somewhere outside of the CloudWatch console:

Whatever the reason, we’ve put together a write-up to help you plug into CloudWatch to surface any logs or metrics in one place, for easy alerting and sharing, using SquaredUp.

Getting started with SquaredUp

Creating an account and getting started with SquaredUp is simple. Just head over to squaredup.com/sign-up to register for a free account.

Once you’ve created and verified your account, you’ll be able to quickly connect to any data and start dashboarding! Let’s walk through the process.

Step 1: Connect to AWS Cloudwatch

SquaredUp has more than 60 out-of-the-box plugins (with more on the way) that enable you to connect to a range of cloud platforms, dev tools, databases, service management tools, and more. Feel free to check out our other blog posts to learn more after this walkthrough.

Upon creating your SquaredUp account, you’ll land in an empty workspace where you’re prompted to add a data source. For context, workspaces are where different teams can organize their data and knowledge across the tools they use, so feel free to leverage this organizational feature as you expand your monitoring.

Click ‘add data source’, and choose from over 60 options. You can search a specific data source using the search bar at the top, or browse using the filters on the right hand side.

Once you've selected AWS Cloudwatch, you’ll be prompted to configure your data source by choosing a display name and inputting any other required information (API keys, domain URLs etc). These requirements differ slightly between tools.

To get all available out-of-the-box dashboards automatically loaded up with your live data, simply hit the bottom toggle “Install Sample Dashboards”.

You also have the option to restrict access to your data source, which is available to everyone in your organization by default.

It’s worth noting that SquaredUp doesn’t store your data (i.e., won’t create yet another database). SquaredUp plugins are lightweight connections that leave the data where it is and stream it on demand via API (e.g., when viewing it on a Dashboard).

Step 2: Visualize your data

Once you’ve successfully configured the AWS Cloudwatch data source, we index all of the objects and object types you have access to.

Out-of-the-box dashboards

To get you started, these are the six dashboards we offer out-of-the-box.

Dashboard 1: API Gateway dashboard 

This dashboard shows metrics related to number of requests, total data processed, latency, successful API requests, and unsuccessful API requests.

Dashboard 2: Elastic Load Balancer (ELB) dashboard 

This dashboard shows metrics such as the number of active connections, total processed traffic, unsuccessful requests, and successful requests.  

Dashboard 3: Lambda dashboard 

This dashboard shows metrics such as Lambda logs, duration, errors, and invocations. These metrics are helpful for understanding the amount of traffic being served by Lambda and could also highlight issues if total number of errors is high. 

Dashboard 4: Route 53 dashboard

This dashboard gives engineers an understanding of their configured zones, DNS records, and total queries to these zones. It’s helpful as it could highlight busy periods for the application being routed to.  

Dashboard 5: S3 Dashboard 

This dashboard highlights any created storage buckets in your AWS environment. In addition, metrics are provided on the number of objects and the total storage size.

Dashboard 6: EC2 dashboard 

Step 3: Customize your dashboard

Out-of-the-box dashboards can easily be edited to make them your own. Simply hit the “edit” button in the top right.

Hover over an empty space on your dashboard and hit '+' to add a new data, image or text tile. You can then choose from a selection of pre-defined scopes.

To edit an existing tile, simply click ‘edit’ in the top right to add monitoring, KPIs and more.

Build your own custom dashboards

If you’d like to build your own custom dashboard, our revamped dashboard designer now makes it even easier. Find the metric you're looking for, shape the data, configure your visualization and add monitoring, all in a few clicks.

The tile editor allows you to configure the data from AWS and display it in any way you wish.

Let’s jump right in and build our dashboard.

In the left nav bar, click the ‘+' sign next to the 'Dashboards’ tab.

You can add a title and description for your tile at the top of tile editor.

There are 3 tile types to choose from: Data, Image or Text. For the purpose of this example, let's start with data.

Configure the tiles on your dashboard by choosing the following (steps may vary depending on which data stream you select):

The visualization options are shown on the right of the dashboard designer. Which visualizations are offered to you depends on the data available, for example Line Graph will only be offered if there is time series data.

Customize your tiles even further by sorting, filtering or grouping the data, and setting custom timeframes.

From here, we can continue adding and adjusting tiles until we have created our ideal dashboard.

Of course, each team and organization will want to dashboard different data in different ways. We hope the example above offers some inspiration and insight into the many ways you can visualize different data streams from AWS.

See how SquaredUp Product Manger, Dave Clarke, uses the beautifully simple dashboard designer to create an AWS dashboard in just a few clicks:

Getting more out of your dashboard

Getting a Dashboard up and running is a great start, but it’s just that...a start.

SquaredUp enables you to get so much more mileage out of its native integrations. Here are just a few things you can try:

All the best, and happy dashboarding!

Start building with SquaredUp for free

Related plugins

AWS CloudWatch

Plug directly into AWS CloudWatch for instant dashboards, reports and analytics.

SquaredUp has 60+ pre-built plugins for instant access to data.