Interactive Data Visualization

What it means, best practices, and examples. This guide provides examples and practical advice to help you create best-in-class interactive visualizations of your own.

Screenshots demonstrating a rich Qlik Sense dashboard on both desktop and mobile devices.

What is Interactive Data Visualization?

Interactive data visualization is the use of tools and processes to produce a visual representation of data which can be explored and analyzed directly within the visualization itself. This interaction can help uncover insights which lead to better, data-driven decisions.

Modern Data Visualization

A laptop and a mobile phone showing a Qlik Sense dashboard with callouts of top features, such as key metrics, interactive charts, and built for mobile

Today’s interactive visualizations and dashboards let you do the following:

  • Combine data from all your sources

  • Dig into visualizations and dashboards

  • Get AI-generated insights

  • Have a fully functional mobile experience

See how to explore information and quickly gain insights.

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Interactive Data Visualization Benefits

Ultimately, interactive data visualization helps turn raw data into business insights and value.

Diagram depicting turning raw data from a data integration platform into insights and value in a modern analytics platform

This transformation requires a world class BI tool which provides both a data integration platform and a modern data analytics platform. Once this system is in place, below are three specific benefits that come out.

Make smarter, faster decisions. Interacting with large data sets in a visual format helps users quickly understand the story of their data and develop business insights that lead to data-driven decisions.

Do more analysis and exploration. Interactive visualizations allow and encourage all users to conduct deep analysis without requiring IT support every time they have a new question to explore.

Stay on top of your business. Simple visualizations in dashboards help users track key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics. Real-time alerts help users take timely action.

BARC’s BI & Analytics Survey 23: Qlik Highlights

In BARC’s survey of real BI users, Qlik Sense ranked #1 in critical KPIs including Performance Satisfaction, Dashboards, and Project Length in its peer groups.

Compare top data visualization tools

How to Create Interactive Data Visualizations

There are four key steps in creating a world-class interactive data visualization.

  1. Data integration. Collect raw data and turn it into clean, analytics-ready information by performing data replication, ingestion and transformation. Then store it in a data lake or data warehouse.

  2. Goal definition. Define the business objective you’re trying to achieve and the data insights you seek. For example, are you trying to optimize a production process or track the ROI of your marketing efforts.

  3. Visualization design. Design begins with selecting KPIs and types of graphs, charts, and maps that best tell your story. Keeping your visualizations clean and simple will help users understand and work with the data.

  4. Collaboration and sharing. Allow all approved users to explore the data freely to uncover their own insights. Your software should allow users to embed your visualizations in other applications and to engage with them on their mobile devices.

A 14X Magic Quadrant Leader

See why Qlik is recognized again as a Leader in the 2024 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms.

See interactive dashboards in action