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Interactive Information Visualization | GoodData

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

Interactive knowledge visualizations have develop into a typical 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 Information Visualization?

Interactive knowledge visualization, corresponding to insights and dashboards, goals to characterize knowledge graphically. In comparison with non-interactive visualization, consumer engagement is required, corresponding 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 Information Visualization

Non-interactive knowledge visualization is static and easy. It could actually embrace types corresponding to graphs, warmth maps, and varied kinds of charts (e.g., pie, bar, or line). For instance, think about a chart created in Excel. It’s simple to rapidly create for easy knowledge queries. Usually, non-interactive visualization is extra appropriate for much less complicated knowledge tales through which you solely carry out one or a number of queries. It’s also 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 good for big quantities of knowledge when you might have extra questions and a development to research. Interactive knowledge visualizations allow you to fluidly reply questions and journey from one visualization to a different. It shows knowledge 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 simple 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 aim of interactive visualization is to draw customers’ consideration. When utilizing interactive knowledge 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 scale 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 particular element. You possibly can 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 take 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 parts of the life of a few of the world’s cities, corresponding to stage 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 stage of happiness in Helsinki? How does the extent of happiness on this metropolis evaluate to different cities?

First, we’ll examine the non-interactive knowledge visualization.

Graph displaying levels of happiness in the world
Degree of happiness in varied cities across the globe

You possibly can see that the extent of happiness in Helsinki is comparatively excessive, as it’s larger than different cities and even larger than the typical world’s happiness stage. You would possibly surprise what causes the distinction in ranges of happiness and lift one other query: Is there any connection between the happiness stage and the annual common working hours? If we examine the primary graph once more, we received’t discover the mandatory knowledge there.

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

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

First, you may 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 take a look at a particular metropolis.

After that, you may drill in and examine the annual common working hours in Helsinki and evaluate them with the world’s common. Moreover, you may examine 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 added info.

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

Moreover, you may filter the visualization to check Helsinki with different European cities solely.

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

Customized Construct Functions

Usually, there are two doable methods to create interactive knowledge 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. Nevertheless, interactivity isn’t restricted to dashboard visualizations. It could actually additionally apply to constructing functions on high of knowledge. These functions embrace varied codecs of interactivity, corresponding to new visualizations, chatbots, pure language processing, and in-game analytics.

Information is a part of many different functions that corporations work with and provide to their clients. As such, working with knowledge and its visualizations must transcend the scope of conventional BI instruments. The idea of headless BI allows the connection of any utility, knowledge platform, or visualization device to the semantic layer. In comparison with conventional BI instruments, with headless BI, the semantic mannequin is decoupled from the BI parts 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 so to use APIs to entry and current knowledge 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 may handle your analytics as a code. Headless BI allows entry to knowledge for finish customers as equally as IT or different technical homeowners. The platform is versatile and would not restrict the consumer. Interactivity might be understood as a method to decide on learn how to show the info.

For example, chatbot is an utility constructed on high of GoodData Python SDK and Pandas DataFrame. In chatbot, you may handle your knowledge utilizing code as a way 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 based mostly 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 12 months. 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 knowledge utilizing conversational language with NLQ.

Advantages of Interactive Information Visualizations

Simplify Advanced Information

Interactive dashboards can characterize a fancy knowledge story clearly. Included options corresponding to filtering and zooming can assist make the info extra manageable. Interacting with massive datasets and utilizing visualization elements helps customers to rapidly perceive the story of the info.

With interactive knowledge visualization, you may simply establish developments and relationships between knowledge. Moreover, with the flexibility to watch how knowledge adjustments over time, you may establish ignored cause-and-effect relationships. Therefore, you may develop enterprise insights that assist assess KPIs’ statuses and result in data-driven choices.

In response to Seyens, half of the human mind is immediately or not directly related to visible processing. Moreover, at the very least 65% of individuals are visible learners. Interactivity based mostly 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 knowledge in methods which can be not possible with non-interactive dashboards. Interacting with knowledge 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 in line with their wants based mostly on location, age, job, or every other issue. The consumer turns into an energetic participant as an alternative of a viewer alone. Diving deeper into the info might elevate additional questions. Nevertheless, compared to utilizing static visualization, customers can discover the solutions they want with out distractions or needing to create a brand new chart.

Improve Flexibility

A direct connection between the consumer and the info is a big profit. The flexibility to customise and alter the attitude of a visualization relying on what the consumer wants is the results of personalization of BI. Interactive visualizations provide the pliability 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. Every thing you construct is human- and machine-readable, so the info is as approachable for enterprise customers as it’s for technical customers.


In case you try to construct an information tradition that ingrains knowledge in all processes, merchandise, and folks, you could give attention to the interplay of knowledge, not simply pure consumption. With GoodData, you may work with predefined interactive dashboards or create your personal interactive utility and handle your analytics as a code. To get began at this time, merely request a demo.



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