Creating Custom Metrics and Tags with DataDog


DataDog allows you to go beyond standard monitoring metrics by creating custom metrics and tags. By creating custom metrics, you can track and analyze specific aspects of your applications and infrastructure that are unique to your business needs. Tags, on the other hand, enable you to add metadata to your metrics for better organization and filtering. This tutorial will guide you through the steps of creating custom metrics and tags in DataDog.

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Step 1: Define Custom Metrics

To create custom metrics in DataDog:

  1. Access your DataDog account and navigate to the Metrics section.
  2. Click on "Create Metric" to define a new custom metric.
  3. Specify the metric name, type (gauge, counter, or rate), and any additional properties.
  4. Save the custom metric definition.
  5. Start sending data to the custom metric using DataDog APIs or client libraries.

For example, you can create a custom metric called "orders.processed" to track the number of orders processed by your application.

Step 2: Add Tags to Metrics

To add tags to metrics in DataDog:

  1. Access the Metrics section in your DataDog account.
  2. Choose the metric to which you want to add tags.
  3. Click on "Edit Tags" and specify the relevant tags for the metric.
  4. Save the changes.

Tags provide additional context to your metrics and allow you to group, filter, and analyze data based on different dimensions. For example, you can add tags like "environment:production" or "region:us-west" to differentiate metrics based on different environments or geographical locations.

Common Mistakes

  • Creating too many custom metrics without a clear purpose or understanding of their impact on monitoring and resource consumption.
  • Using inconsistent or overlapping tags, resulting in difficulties in data analysis and aggregation.
  • Not properly instrumenting applications or infrastructure components to send data to custom metrics, leading to missing or incomplete monitoring data.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can I create custom metrics for non-numeric data?

    Yes, DataDog supports custom metrics for non-numeric data. You can use the gauge type to represent non-numeric values or create custom events to track specific occurrences.

  2. How can I view and analyze metrics with tags?

    DataDog provides various options to view and analyze metrics with tags. You can use the Metrics Explorer, create custom dashboards, or use the query language to filter and aggregate metrics based on tags.

  3. Can I create tags dynamically or modify them at runtime?

    Yes, DataDog allows you to create tags dynamically or modify them at runtime by including them in the data you send. This flexibility enables you to add contextual information based on changing conditions or events.

  4. Is there a limit on the number of tags I can add to a metric?

    DataDog imposes a limit on the number of tags you can add to a metric. The exact limit depends on your DataDog subscription plan. You can check the DataDog documentation or consult with DataDog support for more information.

  5. Can I create alerts based on custom metrics?

    Yes, you can create alerts based on custom metrics in DataDog. By defining alert rules for your custom metrics, you can set thresholds and conditions to trigger notifications when specific metrics exceed or fall below predefined values.


Congratulations! You have learned how to create custom metrics and tags in DataDog. By defining custom metrics, you can track and analyze specific aspects of your applications and infrastructure. Adding tags to your metrics provides additional context and allows for better organization and analysis. Remember to carefully consider the purpose and impact of custom metrics and tags to optimize your monitoring and gain valuable insights into your systems.