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This feature is in beta. Contact Datadog support to enable distribution metrics for your account.


Distributions measure the statistical distribution of a set of values across one or more hosts. In this way, Distributions are like a “global” version of Histograms.

Because averages of percentile aggregations are not statistically valid, Distribution metrics work on the raw data across hosts. For each combination of tags, Datadog maintains a timeseries for min, max, sum, average, count, p50, p75, p90, p95, and p99.

For example, a given host Foo reports a metric with the values [1,1,1,2,2,2,3,3], and another host Bar reports the same metric with the values [1,1,2] during a flush interval. Here, the p50 (median) for Foo is 2 and the p50 for Bar is 1. Aggregating by the average value in this case would result in 1.5. In reality, the global p50 (median) is the median of the combined set [1,1,1,1,1,2,2,2,2,3,3]: 2. This is what Distribution would report.

Under this model, the total number of timeseries created is based on the set of tag:values for tags applied to a metric. Since these aggregations are global in nature, by default, Datadog only applies custom metric-level tags to these metrics. This behavior can be modified if you need host-level tags as well.



Method Overview
dog.distribution(…) Track the statistical distribution of a set of values over one or more hosts.
  • Required: metric name and value.
  • Optional: tag(s)


See the DogStatsD-specific documentation for code examples.

Further reading