Quick Start

New to Chartio? We know the documentation can be a bit daunting at first, so we've highlighted some topics to help you get started.


  • Access to a data source in Chartio
    To check for access, go to Settings > Data Sources from the top menu bar and check whether any data sources are listed. If not, ask an account Admin to grant you access or follow our instructions for connecting a data source.

  • Basic knowledge of database terminology
    Though not strictly required, having a basic understanding of what a database is and its structure will be beneficial when using Chartio. We recommend reviewing Data Storage Basics in our Bootcamp tutorials.

Create a Chart

We'll start with a quick example.

Creating a basic chart

From the top navigation, click Explore to open the Data Explorer.

The other path to the Data Explorer is through an existing Dashboard. From the Dashboards dropdown in the top navigation, select + New Dashboard or select an existing Dashboard. From the Dashboard sidebar, click Add Chart.

  1. Select data source from dropdown
  2. Drag a Dimension (such as Date or Category) to Dimensions
  3. Drag a Measure (such as ID or Payments) to Measures
  4. Click Run Query
  5. Change chart type (optional)
  6. Add chart title (optional)
  7. Click Save to Dashboard and choose a Dashboard or create one

The Data Explorer

The Data Explorer's basic functionality is labeled below.

Learn more about the Data Explorer

Click to expand.

Measures and Dimensions

Charts are made up of Measures and Dimensions. Dimensions are the grouped value, such as Category or Date. Measures are the aggregated value, such as Count of ID or Sum of Payments.

Learn more about Measures and Dimensions


Datasets are where you build your queries. They let you select and modify the data you wish to visualize. To combine data from multiple data sources, query each data source in a separate dataset in the same chart.

Learn more about Datasets

Learn more about joining Datasets

Data Pipeline

If you need to make any changes to your data results before you put them into a chart, the Data Pipeline can be incredibly useful. Filter or group your data, add calculated columns, and more.

To view a list of available Data Pipeline steps and instructions for how to add them, see our Data Pipeline documentation.

Learn more about the Data Pipeline

Chart Types

Chartio offers many useful chart types. Some chart types require specific column formatting and data types. To view our chart types and the format required for each, please see our Chart Type documentation.

Learn more about Chart Types


Foreign Keys

If you'd like to make a chart with data from multiple tables in a database, you'll need foreign keys in your schema. Foreign keys tell Chartio how to combine multiple tables together in one query (dataset). When building your query, you'll know if foreign keys are not set up when a table you want to use is disabled in Interactive Mode.

Learn more about Foreign Keys

Dashboard Variables

Dashboard variables allow you to dynamically filter multiple charts at a time using a dashboard widget such as a dropdown or a text input.

Learn more about Dashboard Variables


Chartio's Drilldown functionality allows you to click an area on a chart to update a Dashboard Variable value. The Dashboard Variable then updates any charts that are connected to it.

Learn more about Drilldowns