Getting top hits is a frequently asked question for deriving better insights into problem diagnosis. In this article we address questions related to viewing top hits in IBM Operations Analytics – Log Analysis dashboard charts.

An analyst will always face situations where one would want to analyze data from big data sets. One would see a chart similar to the following that renders showing a lot of facets.

Log Analysis Top N Charts with Multiple Facets
Log Analysis Top N Charts with Multiple Facets

Now, this chart does give you some insights about the stockId facets, but what if I tell you that you can drill this down further and modify it to just see top N hits. Lets say top 10 hits for stockId. Wouldn’t that be interesting and helpful to derive better insights from your charts and dashboards?

Different examples could be done to look at the top 5 servers producing the most errors using the top 5 msgclassifiers in your application log. This is an example of what you will end up seeing when you modify it to get top 10 hits for stockId .

Log Analysis Top N Charts with Top Ten Error Category Facets
Log Analysis Top N Charts with Top Ten Error Category Facets

Now this is easier to view and surely something that will interest many customers leading to initial steps in analyzing your application.

The question is how can one achieve this using the existing Log Analysis dashboard views?

In IBM Operations Analytics – Log Analysis we have a very easy way to modify the dashboard chart to show only top N hits. What you need to do is just update the application json to change the facet size.

Application json can be found in the /IBM/ LogAnalysis/AppFramework/Apps directory. Navigate through your application JSON and look for the “facets” key in the “parameters” section. Once you locate the facets JSON you will find a “size” key in it which will have a default value of -1. You need to update this to the desired value. This is the no. of top facets to show in your charts. The following pic shows a sample application JSON file with the “facets” section updated to retrieve the top 10 values.

Highlighted area shows sample modification
Highlighted area shows sample modification

Generating top N charts will help in analyzing top events in many cases. If you want to see “Which are the top exceptions seen in your application?”, “Which are the top response time entries?” etc. this feature will definitely come in handy.

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