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Visualizing Your Data: The Essentials

What is the Visualizer?

The Visualizer is a web tool that enables users to discover and share insights related to data within your organization’s index. Project teams use the Visualizer to share progress on data understanding initiatives with stakeholders. Leadership can also leverage Visualizer outputs to demonstrate progress towards achieving business outcomes.

What visualizations are possible?

A large variety of visualizations are possible. These visualizations can be grouped into two categories: exploratory and explanatory. 

Exploratory visualizations

Exploratory visualizations help teams and organizations better understand their data. They are used to explore the content within the organization’s index. These visualizations rely on the Discover and Visualize areas of the Visualizer. Base - Metadata is an example of a standard dashboard focused on exploratory visualizations. 

Explanatory visualizations

Explanatory visualizations enable teams to share findings related to a specific subject or focus area based on a synthesis of exploratory visualizations. They are used to explain specific results from the organization’s index discovered during exploration. These visualizations rely on the Visualize and Dashboard areas of the Visualizer. A dashboard demonstrating a need to initiate content cleanup activities at an organization would rely on a combination of explanatory visualizations. 

Search vs. Filter

Visualizations may use search queries, filters, or both. Search queries can be used to create visualizations and return results based on an Elasticsearch® relevance score. Less complex, filters are a true/false Boolean that can be pinned for use across visualizations and dashboards.

Visualizer Overview

The most commonly used areas within the Visualizer are: Discover, Visualize, and Dashboard. 


The Discover area is where users can search the index and filter results to begin to understand their data. Available fields display what data was extracted from each file and added to the index. Individual search results can be expanded to view the field details within.


The Visualize area is where users can create visualizations that explore or explain index results. Sometimes referred to as gadgets or widgets, these visualizations can be combined into dashboards in the Dashboard area of the Visualizer. Some of the most commonly used visualization types include area charts, data tables, horizontal bar charts, line charts, and pie charts. Splits can be added to provide multiple insights within a single visualization.


The Dashboard area is where users combine multiple visualizations for a specific exploratory or explanatory purpose. Dashboards can be searched or filters applied to further refine the results. Base - Metadata is an example of a dashboard that comes standard with the Visualizer.

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