Chartbrew as a Chartio alternative
7 min read

Chartbrew as a Chartio alternative

Learn how Chartbrew works as an alternative to Chartio. In this blog post, you can check all the differences, pros, and cons in transitioning to Chartbrew.
Chartbrew as a Chartio alternative

As Chartio is joining Atlassian, they will shut down their service on the 1st of March. I think there will be some businesses looking at Chartbrew as an alternative, so this blog post will go through some of the main feature-sets and how you can replicate your Chartio dashboards in Chartbrew.

Data integrations

The first thing to note is that Chartbrew supports slightly different data sources than Chartio. Currently, Chartbrew supports:

  • MySQL
  • PostgreSQL
  • Google Analytics
  • Firestore
  • MongoDB
  • REST APIs

Some of the other integrations that are not available in Chartbrew can still be accessible through the REST API option. This integration allows users to connect to any service that makes the API accessible. Some examples here are Stripe, Customer.io, Shopify, WooCommerce, Mailgun, etc.

How datasets work in Chartbrew

When creating a new chart in Chartbrew, you have the option to add as many datasets as you want to the chart. For example, you could have two datasets connecting to different data sources and display the data in the same table or chart.

Adding multiple datasets in Chartbrew charts

The equivalents of "Measures" and "Dimensions" from Chartio are the "X-Axis" and "Y-Axis", or "Segment" and "Data" in Chartbrew. Instead of a drag&drop experience, Chartbrew has a search and select type of UI, mainly because Chartbrew can deal with deeply nested objects as well. You can see below how you would select a field in the interface.

Selecting a chart field in Chartbrew

How to request data in Chartbrew

Requesting data from your data sources can be done in different ways and it all depends on the integration type. This section will show a small sample for each integration, but I will include links to more thorough tutorials to see a more complete example.

MySQL & PostgreSQL

In Chartbrew, you can request data from MySQL and PostgreSQL using the native SQL syntax. Chartbrew does not have a visual SQL builder yet. It is possible to save the queries for later use and they can be replicated across different datasets and charts.

MySQL and PosgreSQL query in Chartbrew

The left side is where the queries can be written and managed. The right side shows the result in a JSON format. To see a more detailed example of how to create a chart from a query, have a look at this Supabase.io tutorial.

Google Analytics

The Google Analytics integration uses a no-code interface to choose from which property and view to pull data. Then you can select from the entire list of available metrics and dimensions available in your Google Analytics account.

Getting Google Analytics data in Chartbrew

For more details on the Google Analytics integration and how to create charts from the data, you can check the full tutorial here.

Firestore

The Firestore integration is hard to find in other BI software. Chartbrew went above and beyond to support as many querying features as possible. Chartbrew can also cache the data once the first request is made to avoid extra data read costs on the Firebase side.

Firestore query interface in Chartbrew

For a more detailed tutorial on creating a dashboard from Firestore data, check the full tutorial here.

MongoDB

Similar to MySQL and PostgreSQL, the MongoDB integration works with native queries. Queries can be saved for later use as well.

MongoDB data queries in Chartbrew

Check out the full MongoDB tutorial on how to query data and create charts.

REST APIs

The level of customizability for API requests makes Chartbrew the ideal candidate for creating dashboards from API data. With this integration, you have access to the following API features:

  • Basic and Bearer Token authentication
  • Custom routes for any API host
  • GET, POST, PUT, DELETE, OPTIONS request methods
  • Custom headers
  • Custom body
  • 5 pagination types so Chartbrew can automatically paginate your requests
  • Custom variables
REST API request in Chartbrew

Check the following tutorials for more in-depth examples of API usage.

Data filtering and formatting

The data that is fetched from the sources can be further filtered and different kinds of formulas and operations can be done on top of it. This is a high-level view of the possible operations:

  • Dimension operations: Count, Average, Sum, Min, Max
  • Custom formulas that can be applied to the Dimension field (can append or prepend strings as well)
  • Filters applied to any of the fields available in the data that was fetched from the source
  • Global date range filtering (can filter all the datasets with the same date range)
Dataset operations in Chartbrew
Single dataset operations
Date range filtering for the charts in Chartbrew
Global date filtering affecting all datasets

These filtering types are all applied in the chart editor, meaning they are preserved for everyone that views the charts. The dataset filters can also be exposed to visitors so that everyone can filter based on the filters you make available. Exposed filters are changing data only for the current viewer.

Entire dashboards can be filtered as well. If charts share the same fields, Chartbrew will recognize them and will be able to filter the data from the dashboard view. You can see the screenshot below for an example:

Dashboard filters in Chartbrew

Chartbrew keeps your data updated

A dashboards needs to show up-to-date data and the main use-case for Chartbrew is for the platform itself to take care of that. To enable an updated schedule it is just a matter of adjusting this in the chart settings.

Auto-update data with a schedule in Chartbrew

Exporting data out of Chartbrew

Chart and dashboard data can be exported to spreadsheets. This can be done for individual charts or for the entire dashboard, which will create a workbook with multiple sheets.

You can check different use-cases for the export feature in this blog post:

Export dashboards to Excel sheets
This post will show you how you can connect to multiple data sources and export the data to excel sheets. Supports APIs, databases, Firestore, and more.

Bring your team to Chartbrew with granular permissions

Like Chartio, Chartbrew lets you bring your team on board and team members can have granular access to the dashboards. Roles in Chartbrew are split into two sections. The main roles dictate what actions can be performed by the team member and these are viewer, editor, admin, owner. What makes Chartbrew great with working with a larger team or even with clients, is that you can assign these roles on individual dashboards.

Assigning granular permissions for the team in Chartbrew
Granular permissions for projects within a team

Sharing your dashboards by creating reports

Each dashboard in Chartbrew has a report view that can be customized with a logo, colors, title, description, custom CSS, URL, and public/private access. To get a better idea of how the reports work, have a look at this more in-depth blog post.

How to create and customize client reports
When creating client reports, it’s important to apply a brand so the stakeholders know what the stats are for. This tutorial will show you how to do that.
Custom branded dashboard reports in Chartbrew
Branded dashboard report

Sharing and embedding charts

Instead of sharing and embedding a full report, you can also do the same with individual charts. For example, you can add charts to your dashboard outside Chartbrew or add charts to your blog posts. Check the chart below to see how it works:

Create templates from your dashboards

The templates are a powerful feature in Chartbrew. With templates, you can re-create entire dashboards with just a few clicks. This is super useful when you want to see the metrics of multiple projects or if you are working with multiple clients and want to quickly spin up dashboards for them. Check how the templates work in the blog post below:

How to create custom dashboard templates in Chartbrew
Replicating a dashboard for different clients has never been easier. This tutorial will walk you through how to use the new template feature to replicate dashboards or individual charts across your projects.

Chartbrew is 100% open source

Unlike Chartio, Chartbrew is 100% open source. This means you can self-host it for free on your server and you will get all the features that the platform has to offer. There are instructions on how to set it up and deploy it and this process gets easier and easier. The most common way now is to deploy the Docker image that's made available to everybody.

Check out the documentation at: https://docs.chartbrew.com/

You can find the repository here: https://github.com/chartbrew/chartbrew

Conclusion

Chartbrew can be the perfect alternative for Chartio if you are looking for a simple visualization platform for multiple projects and clients. With Chartbrew you can quickly spin up multiple dashboards, and thanks to the granular permissions and easy sharing features, you can keep your stakeholder always up-to-date.

If you are looking to dig deeper into your data, the more advanced data drilling features that Chartio has might be missing from Chartbrew. Also, due to the datasets being managed differently, it might be a bit of a learning curve to re-create complex charts in Chartbrew.

Regardless, Chartbrew offers a 14-day free trial that you can use to see how it works for your use case. You can sign up for an account any time you want. If you have any questions you can also reach me on my Twitter @razvanilin or email me at [email protected]