Elastic's Guide to Data Visualization in Kibana

Elastic's Guide to Data Visualization in Kibana

May 15, 2020

Practitioners the field of data visualizations often talk about 2 types of visualizations: exploratory vs explanatory. To quote Google definitions, “Exploratory data visualizations (EDVs) are the type of visualizations you assemble when you do not have a clue about what information lies within your data. Nov 19, 2018”

Explanatory visualization, by contrast, is defined as “what happens when you have something specific you want to show an audience” (Storytelling with data blog, April 2014)

I think the authors are missing the 3rd type of data visualization: operational. Operational data visualization is collecting and presenting information about the status of the observed system in a way that summarizes status over time and facilitates anomaly detection. It’s the one type of visualization that will keep you from having to work on weekends.

In this virtual meetup, we’ll briefly cover the capabilities of Elastic Stack in all 3 of these areas of data visualization.


Raya Fratkina is a Team Lead at Elastic, focusing on Kibana Data visualization and discovery capabilities. Her early interest in math and logic led her to study Computer Science and AI at OSU and then Stanford. In her professional career she has worked on text and data retrieval algorithms and user interactions in contexts ranging from dialog systems to online shopping.