Interactive Data Visualization

What it means, best practices, and examples.

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

Interactive Data Visualization Guide

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

  1. What is Interactive Data Visualization?
  2. Interactive Visualization Benefits
  3. Interactive Visualization Examples
  4. How to Create Interactive Visualizations
  5. Analyst Perspectives

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.

Representing data graphically in the form of graphs, charts, and maps helps users quickly spot trends and assess the status of KPIs. Allowing direct interaction helps users dig deeper to identify patterns and find new relationships in their data.

Dashboard with callouts showing KPIs, interactive charts, AI-powered recommendations and fully functional mobile experience.

Key capabilities of modern data visualization tools:

  • Combine data from many sources to surface key operational metrics
  • Interactive charts, tables and data elements
  • AI-powered recommendations to help the user’s exploration
  • Fully functional mobile experience.

More resources:

Interactive Data Visualization Benefits

The principal benefit of interactive data visualization is that it helps turn raw data into business insights and value.

Illustration showing how the Qlik data analytics platform helps you turn raw data into insights by offering data integration to build a business-ready data catalog, and data analytics to explore, analyze and visualize data.

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.

Interactive Data Visualization Examples

Organizations in every industry and teams in every department leverage interactive data visualization to improve their performance. Below are three examples for specific sectors.

  • Screenshot of Qlik Sense Life Sciences dashboard

    Life Sciences

    This example shows how a pharmaceutical company can track the performance of their representatives. The interactive visualizations in this dashboard allow them to freely navigate their CRM data and combine it with Sales data extracted from an on premise database query.
  • Screenshot of a Qlik Sense Manufacturing dashboard

    Manufacturing

    Plant managers need interactive visualizations to quickly compare actuals versus standards for all critical KPIs. This helps them produce operational and supply-chain efficiencies and understand even the small details of their plant operations.
  • creenshot of Qlik Sense Public Sector dashboard

    Public Sector

    Interactive visualizations help leaders better serve citizens and ensure the safety and well-being of all people by bringing together disparate data sets and allowing rapid analysis and forecasting.

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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.

Analyst Perspectives

Here are the latest analyst reports comparing interactive data visualization software.

BARC: The BI & Analytics Survey 2021

See how top visualization and analytics tools stack up in the world’s largest independent survey of BI users.

  • Image displaying the comparative matrix of BI vendors from the BARC BI & Analytics Survey 2021.
    Qlik Sense earned 11 number one category rankings including Dashboards and Customer Experience and 44 leadership positions.
  • Image displaying the comparative ranking of BI vendors for dashboards from the BARC BI & Analytics Survey 2021.
    93% of surveyed users rate Qlik Sense’s functionality for creating dashboards as excellent or good.

Qlik Sense® Self-Service Visualization and Discovery

Take data visualization to a whole new level with Qlik Sense.

A best-in-class, self-service business intelligence architecture is just one way Qlik Sense® sets the benchmark for next-generation data analytics technologies. Our one-of-a-kind associative analytics engine and sophisticated AI empowers people at all skill levels to freely explore data, make bigger discoveries and uncover bolder insights that can’t be obtained using other analytics tools. With Qlik, you can support nearly any use case and massively scale users and data, empowering everyone in your organization to make better decisions every day.

Ready to transform your entire business with data?