Interactive Information Visualization | GoodData


Information visualization is the method of making a visible illustration of data. For hundreds of years, individuals have been utilizing static information 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 information visualization.

Interactive information visualizations have change into a standard a part of most reviews 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 information visualization, comparable to insights and dashboards, goals to symbolize information graphically. In comparison with non-interactive visualization, person engagement is required, comparable to clicking a button or shifting 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 information visualization is static and easy. It could possibly embody types comparable 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 shortly create for easy information queries. Normally, non-interactive visualization is extra appropriate for much less complicated information tales through which you solely carry out one or a number of queries. It’s also the optimum format for printing and sharing reviews through e-mail, as the data is static in time and straightforward to view.

Alternatively, interactive visualizations are excellent for giant quantities of knowledge 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) reviews. It supplies 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 reviews.

Options of Interactive Visualizations

The objective 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 means that you can scale back or specify the info that’s displayed within the visualization.
  • Drilling means that you can transfer from one visualization to a different. It additionally means that you can ship an motion from the dashboard.
  • Zooming and panning is beneficial if you wish to see a selected 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 Life-style Cities Report 2021.” The dataset comprises particulars about elements of the existence of a few of the world’s cities, comparable to degree of happiness, life expectancy, sunshine hours, and annual common working hours.

We are going to concentrate on 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 varied cities across the globe

You possibly can 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 may marvel 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 mandatory 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 take 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 added info.

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

Moreover, you possibly can 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 Purposes

Normally, there are two attainable 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 prime 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 possibly additionally apply to constructing functions on prime of knowledge. These functions embody varied codecs of interactivity, comparable 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 information and its visualizations must transcend the scope of conventional BI instruments. The idea of headless BI permits 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 through APIs and normal interfaces. In easy phrases, the analytical backend is separated from the consumption layer in an effort 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, the whole lot you construct is each human- and machine-readable so you possibly can handle your analytics as a code. Headless BI permits entry to information for finish customers as equally as IT or different technical house owners. The platform is versatile and would not restrict the person. Interactivity could be understood as a means to decide on methods to show the info.

As an illustration, chatbot is an utility constructed on prime 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 prime of the GoodData platform is Pure Language Question (NLQ). It means that you can seek for info in conversational language. The NLQ server communicates instantly 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 concentrate on the quantity of sunshine hours within the metropolis per yr. Utilizing NLQ, we will 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 Information Visualizations

Simplify Complicated Information

Interactive dashboards can symbolize a posh information story clearly. Integrated options comparable to filtering and zooming might help make the info extra manageable. Interacting with giant datasets and utilizing visualization points helps customers to shortly perceive the story of the info.

With interactive information visualization, you possibly can simply establish tendencies and relationships between information. Moreover, with the flexibility to watch how information modifications over time, you possibly can establish missed cause-and-effect relationships. Therefore, you possibly can develop enterprise insights that assist assess KPIs’ statuses and result in data-driven selections.

In keeping with Seyens, half of the human mind is instantly or not directly linked to visible processing. Moreover, not less than 65% of individuals are visible learners. Interactivity based mostly on visualization reasonably than easy charts permits customers to course of info simpler, as people naturally interpret visible info higher than numbers.

Enhance Engagement and Productiveness

Interactive insights and dashboards allow you to have interaction with information in methods which are inconceivable with non-interactive dashboards. Interacting with information by using dynamic charts, incorporating shapes, or altering colours can enhance 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 person turns into an energetic participant as an alternative of a viewer alone. Diving deeper into the info could 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 person and the info is a large profit. The flexibility to customise and alter the angle of a visualization relying on what the person wants is the results of personalization of BI. Interactive visualizations provide the pliability to decide on whether or not to create visualizations instantly within the analytics platform or to construct your personal utility on prime of the platform. All the pieces 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 information in all processes, merchandise, and folks, it’s essential concentrate on the interplay of knowledge, 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 present, merely request a demo.


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