Interactive Knowledge Visualization | GoodData


Knowledge visualization is the method of making a visible illustration of knowledge. For hundreds of years, individuals have been utilizing static information visualizations — the map being among the many oldest and most well-known examples. Each facet of information evaluation has developed with technological developments, together with information visualization.

Interactive information visualizations have turn out to be a standard a part of most stories and dashboards. They permit customers to have interaction with the info and simply discover solutions to their particular queries.

What Is an Interactive Knowledge Visualization?

Interactive information visualization, equivalent to insights and dashboards, goals to symbolize information graphically. In comparison with non-interactive visualization, consumer engagement is required, equivalent to clicking a button or transferring a slider. The core of the visualization is motion and response, particularly human enter and fast visible output.

Non-interactive vs. Interactive Knowledge Visualization

Non-interactive information visualization is static and easy. It could actually embody kinds equivalent to graphs, warmth maps, and numerous varieties of charts (e.g., pie, bar, or line). For instance, think about a chart created in Excel. It’s straightforward to shortly create for easy information queries. Typically, non-interactive visualization is extra appropriate for much less advanced information tales by which you solely carry out one or a number of queries. Additionally it is the optimum format for printing and sharing stories by way of e mail, as the data is static in time and straightforward to view.

Alternatively, interactive visualizations are excellent for giant quantities of information when you’ve gotten extra questions and a pattern to research. Interactive information visualizations allow you to fluidly reply questions and journey from one visualization to a different. It shows information in context, permitting you to simply discover solutions to your questions or hypotheses.

Interactive visualizations are sometimes utilized in dashboards and enterprise intelligence (BI) stories. It offers a straightforward method to perceive insights and is extra sensible and time-saving than utilizing lengthy tables of numbers as within the case of static stories.

Options of Interactive Visualizations

The purpose of interactive visualization is to draw customers’ consideration. When utilizing interactive information visualization, the info you show is all as much as you and your curiosity.

The next are typical options of interactive visualizations.

  • Filtering permits you to cut back or specify the info that’s displayed within the visualization.
  • Drilling permits you to transfer from one visualization to a different. It additionally permits you to ship an motion from the dashboard.
  • Zooming and panning is helpful if you wish to see a selected element. You’ll be able to zoom in and see solely a selected a part of the visualization with out getting distracted or needing to  create a brand new perception.

Let’s take a better have a look at the options of non-interactive and interactive visualizations. The insights under look at the info from Lenstore’s “Wholesome Way of life Cities Report 2021.” The dataset comprises particulars about elements of the life of a few of the world’s cities, equivalent to degree of happiness, life expectancy, sunshine hours, and annual common working hours.

We are going to give attention to the extent of happiness and attempt to reply the next query: What’s the degree of happiness in Helsinki? How does the extent of happiness on this metropolis evaluate to different cities?

First, we’ll verify the non-interactive information visualization.

Graph displaying levels of happiness in the world
Stage of happiness in numerous cities across the globe

You’ll be able to see that the extent of happiness in Helsinki is comparatively excessive, as it’s greater than different cities and even greater than the typical world’s happiness degree. You would possibly surprise what causes the distinction in ranges of happiness and lift one other query: Is there any connection between the happiness degree and the annual common working hours? If we verify the primary graph once more, we gained’t discover the required information there.

Nonetheless, if we seek the advice of the interactive information visualization under, we are going to discover the reply.

Same graph, with the cursor hovering over Helsinki to reveal more information.
Hover over a selected metropolis to view its degree of happiness.

First, you possibly can zoom in and see the info about Helsinki up-close.

Same graph, now zoomed in to see Helsinki up-close.
Zoom in for a better have a look at a selected metropolis.

After that, you possibly can drill in and verify the annual common working hours in Helsinki and evaluate them with the world’s common. Moreover, you possibly can verify the life expectancy within the metropolis and drill into one other perception (dashboard).

Cursor hovers over Helsinki with the option to select annual average working hours or life expectancy to drill into.
Drill in for extra info.

Annual average working hours of Helsinki isolated.
View the info you drilled into.

Moreover, you possibly can filter the visualization to match Helsinki with different European cities solely.

Levels of happiness chart filtered to European cities.
Filter to view solely particular areas.

Customized Construct Functions

Typically, there are two potential methods to create interactive information visualizations: Finish customers can use predefined choices, together with drag-and-drop, whereas builders can outline the enterprise semantics on high of the info in order that non-technical individuals can work with analytics and know what they’re dragging and dropping. Nonetheless, interactivity isn’t restricted to dashboard visualizations. It could actually additionally apply to constructing functions on high of information. These functions embody numerous codecs of interactivity, equivalent to new visualizations, chatbots, pure language processing, and in-game analytics.

Knowledge is a part of many different functions that firms work with and supply to their prospects. As such, working with information and its visualizations must transcend the scope of conventional BI instruments. The idea of headless BI allows the connection of any utility, information platform, or visualization instrument to the semantic layer. In comparison with conventional BI instruments, with headless BI, the semantic mannequin is decoupled from the BI elements and uncovered as a shared service by way of APIs and customary interfaces. In easy phrases, the analytical backend is separated from the consumption layer to be able to use APIs to entry and current information from the semantic layer and visualize them in any utility.

Set side-by-side with conventional analytical platforms, within the headless BI platform, every part you construct is each human- and machine-readable so you possibly can handle your analytics as a code. Headless BI allows entry to information for finish customers as equally as IT or different technical house owners. The platform is versatile and would not restrict the consumer. Interactivity might be understood as a method to decide on how you can show the info.

As an example, chatbot is an utility constructed on high of GoodData Python SDK and Pandas DataFrame. In chatbot, you possibly can handle your information utilizing code with a view to create a visualization and work together with it.

One other utility constructed on high of the GoodData platform is Pure Language Question (NLQ). It permits you to seek for info in conversational language. The NLQ server communicates immediately with the GoodData semantic layer and is ready to create an perception primarily based in your request.

Let’s revisit the extent of happiness on the planet and what can have an effect on it. Now we are going to give attention to the quantity of sunshine hours within the metropolis per yr. Utilizing NLQ, we are able to request a column chart displaying the specified info.

The text give me sunshine hours by city as column chart is in the search bar of the NLQuery. A chart is populated below with the requested information.
Pull information utilizing conversational language with NLQ.

Advantages of Interactive Knowledge Visualizations

Simplify Advanced Knowledge

Interactive dashboards can symbolize a posh information story clearly. Integrated options equivalent to filtering and zooming may also help make the info extra manageable. Interacting with massive datasets and utilizing visualization facets helps customers to shortly perceive the story of the info.

With interactive information visualization, you possibly can simply determine traits and relationships between information. Moreover, with the flexibility to watch how information adjustments over time, you possibly can determine neglected cause-and-effect relationships. Therefore, you possibly can develop enterprise insights that assist assess KPIs’ statuses and result in data-driven choices.

In accordance with Seyens, half of the human mind is immediately or not directly linked to visible processing. Moreover, at the least 65% of individuals are visible learners. Interactivity primarily based on visualization quite than easy charts allows customers to course of info simpler, as people naturally interpret visible info higher than numbers.

Increase Engagement and Productiveness

Interactive insights and dashboards allow you to have interaction with information in methods which are not possible with non-interactive dashboards. Interacting with information by using dynamic charts, incorporating shapes, or altering colours can increase customers’ productiveness.

The customers get management over what they see, having the chance to regulate the visualization based on their wants primarily based on location, age, job, or another issue. The consumer turns into an energetic participant as a substitute of a viewer alone. Diving deeper into the info might increase additional questions. Nonetheless, compared to utilizing static visualization, customers can discover the solutions they want with out distractions or needing to create a brand new chart.

Enhance Flexibility

A direct connection between the consumer and the info is a large profit. The power to customise and alter the attitude of a visualization relying on what the consumer wants is the results of personalization of BI. Interactive visualizations supply the flexibleness to decide on whether or not to create visualizations immediately within the analytics platform or to construct your personal utility on high of the platform. All the things you construct is human- and machine-readable, so the info is as approachable for enterprise customers as it’s for technical customers.


Should you try to construct a knowledge tradition that ingrains information in all processes, merchandise, and other people, it’s essential give attention to the interplay of information, not simply pure consumption. With GoodData, you possibly can work with predefined interactive dashboards or create your personal interactive utility and handle your analytics as a code. To get began at the moment, merely request a demo.

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