Visualization Types Reference#

Observe offers a number of useful ways to visualize your data, which are accessed from workflows in Dashboards and Worksheets.

Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the details of each type of visualization that Observe includes.

It is worth noting that when visualization is added to an existing dataset, the chosen fields are automatically recreated with different names by the Expression Builder so that any visualization specific changes can be done without confusion.

Many visualization types become difficult to parse with large numbers of objects. By default, only the top 100 groups or objects will be visible at once. To adjust this, click Add Function, then TopK, to change the number of objects that will be included.

Line Chart#

The Line chart presents values on an X and Y axis.

The Settings area has two options:

  • X Axis selects the variable that will be used for the horizontal range of the chart. A common option is to set this to a variable representing time, to make a timechart.

  • Y Axis selects the variable that will be used for the vertical range of the chart.

The Axes area has three options:

  • Unit lets you select the base unit type of the Y axis variable. You can select from pre-existing options such as weights, volumes, and data amounts, or enter a custom unit label. Custom units do not perform any math conversions on the data.

  • Show X-Axis toggles the unit legend of the horizontal axis on or off. You can also add a Label string. The range of the X axis can also be adjusted here. Select from Query Window (range is as long as the query) or Fit to Data (range is as long as the amount of data in the query).

  • Show Y-Axis toggles the unit legend of the vertical axis on or off. You can also add a Label string. The minimum and maximum bounds of the Y axis can also be adjusted here if automatic sizing is not working for your use case.

The Color area allows you to manage line colors. If you have a single value, use the Single option and select a color from the palette. If you have multiple fields in a group_by, use the By Value option and name each grouped field, then click the pencil to the left to set its color. If no changes are made in this area, Observe will randomly select colors. The Chart Area Fill Style option in Color allows you to decorate a line chart with a color fill.

The Chart Style area lets you change the shape of the lines.

  • Linear draws straight lines between points

  • Curve uses Bezier curves to smooth the lines between points

  • Step draws a horizontal line to the next point, then steps vertically to that point

Line charts have a legend which names the value being charted and shows its matching color. The Legend area lets you change the position of this legend to any of the four edges of the visualization. You can also change how null legend entries are displayed, which can be useful in sparse datasets.

Line charts also support Thresholds. If you turn this feature on, you can overlay a threshold as a hoizontal line or a shaded area over the chart. This makes it easy to visualize when the data is breaching an intended range.

Line Chart

Figure 1 - Using Line Chart Visualization

Using By Value in a Line Chart

Figure 2 - Using By Value in a Line Chart Visualization

Stacked Area#

The Stacked Area chart is like a line chart, but values are ordered and stacked with smaller values on the top. This is useful for comparing related values in context while preventing some values from being hidden by overlapping.

The Settings area has two options:

  • X Axis selects the variable that will be used for the horizontal range of the chart. A common option is to set this to a variable representing time, to make a timechart.

  • Y Axis selects the variable that will be used for the vertical range of the chart.

The Axes area has three options:

  • Unit lets you select the base unit type of the Y axis variable. You can select from pre-existing options such as weights, volumes, and data amounts, or enter a custom unit label. Custom units do not perform any math conversions on the data.

  • Show X-Axis toggles the unit legend of the horizontal axis on or off. You can also add a Label string. The range of the X axis can also be adjusted here. Select from Query Window (range is as long as the query) or Fit to Data (range is as long as the amount of data in the query).

  • Show Y-Axis toggles the unit legend of the vertical axis on or off. You can also add a Label string. The minimum and maximum bounds of the Y axis can also be adjusted here if automatic sizing is not working for your use case.

The Color area allows you to manage line colors. If you have a single value, use the Single option and select a color from the palette. If you have multiple values in a group_by, use the By Value option and name each grouped field, then click the pencil to the left to set its color. If no changes are made in this area, Observe will randomly select colors. The Chart Area Fill Style option in Color allows you to decorate a line chart with a color fill.

The Chart Style area lets you control how missing data is handled. By default, missing data is left out. Use the Interpolate Missing Data option to fill in missing data with an estimate.

Stacked Area charts have a legend which names the value being charted and shows its matching color. The Legend area lets you change the position of this legend to any of the four edges of the visualization. You can also change how null legend entries are displayed, which can be useful in sparse datasets.

Stacked Area charts also support Thresholds. If you turn this feature on, you can overlay a threshold as a hoizontal line or a shaded area over the chart. This makes it easy to visualize when the data is breaching an intended range.

Stacked Area

Figure 3 - Using Stacked Area Visualization

Stacked Area with Thresholds

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Figure 4 - Using Thresholds with a Stacked Area Visualization

Bar Chart#

The Bar chart presents a histogram of values on an X and Y axis.

The Settings area has two options:

  • X Axis selects the variable that will be used for the horizontal range of the chart. A common option is to set this to a variable representing time, to make a timechart.

  • Y Axis selects the variable that will be used for the vertical range of the chart.

The Axes area has three options:

  • Unit lets you select the base unit type of the Y axis variable. You can select from pre-existing options such as weights, volumes, and data amounts, or enter a custom unit label. Custom units do not perform any math conversions on the data.

  • Show X-Axis toggles the unit legend of the horizontal axis on or off. You can also add a Label string. The range of the X axis can also be adjusted here. Select from Query Window (range is as long as the query) or Fit to Data (range is as long as the amount of data in the query).

  • Show Y-Axis toggles the unit legend of the vertical axis on or off. You can also add a Label string. The minimum and maximum bounds of the Y axis can also be adjusted here if automatic sizing is not working for your use case.

The Color area allows you to manage bar colors. If you have a single value, use the Single option and select a color from the palette. If you have multiple values in a group_by, use the By Value option and name each grouped field, then click the pencil to the left to set its color. If no changes are made in this area, Observe will randomly select colors. The Chart Area Fill Style option in Color allows you to change how the bars on the chart are filled with color.

Bar charts have a legend which names the value being charted and shows its matching color. The Legend area lets you change the position of this legend to any of the four edges of the visualization. You can also change how null legend entries are displayed, which can be useful in sparse datasets.

Bar charts also support Thresholds. If you turn this feature on, you can overlay a threshold as a hoizontal line or a shaded area over the chart. This makes it easy to visualize when the data is breaching an intended range.

Bar Chart

Figure 5 - Using Bar Chart Visualization

Single Stat#

The Single Stat chart presents the latest value for a single field. The field name and an optional label are also displayed.

The Settings area has a single option, for setting the field that will be displayed.

The Single Stat area lets you add a Label to display below the value and select a single value to filter the field by.

  • If the charted field can have multiple values, you may only want to display a single one. Use Field Value to Visualize to select this value. For example, given a field that might have function IDs or the string ERROR, you can put ERROR in this field to create a panel that is blank unless an error is in the data. Under Formatting, uncheck “Show value as is” to enable the Axes section.

The Axes section allows you to select the unit size that is displayed in the single stat chart.

  • Unit lets you set the base unit type of the variable. You can select from pre-existing options such as weights, volumes, and data amounts, or enter a custom unit label. Custom units do not perform any math conversions on the data.

The Color area allows you to manage the chart color.

  • If you always want a single color, use the Single option and select a color from the palette.

  • Match colors to values using the By Value option: for example, a value of Error can have a red color, while a value of Okay can have a green color.

  • The chart color can be set by thresholds in an integer value as well, using the By Threshold option. This makes it easy to visualize when the data is breaching an intended range. If no changes are made in this area, Observe will randomly select colors.

If the input data for a Single Stat chart is time based, a filled line chart will automatically be rendered as the panel background, making it easy to see the recent context of the displayed value.

Single Stat

Figure 6 - Using Single Stat Visualization

Pie Chart#

The Pie Chart visualization is ideal for visualizing datasets that naturally produce a complete whole, such as the number of tasks executed in a time period by a continuously running task engine. Note that Observe’s pie chart is actually rendered as a donut with a shaded center, this a style decision that reduces human estimation errors.

The Settings area has a single option, for setting the field that will be displayed.

The Axes section allows you to select the unit size that is displayed in the pie chart.

  • Unit lets you set the base unit type of the variable. You can select from pre-existing options such as weights, volumes, and data amounts, or enter a custom unit label. Custom units do not perform any math conversions on the data.

Pie charts have a legend which names the value being charted and shows its matching color. The Legend area lets you change the position of this legend to any of the four edges of the visualization. You can also change how null legend entries are displayed, which can be useful in sparse datasets. Pie charts allow multiple legend visualizations:

  • List (default) shows a list of color samples and the associated values

  • Table renders the same list as a table with associated counts added. This option is recommended for the left or right sides of the chart

  • Chart renders the value names at the ends of indicator lines from the chart

Pie Chart

Figure 7 - Using Pie Chart Visualization

List#

The List type presents a single field’s observed values in a list. This can be useful for datasets that do not naturally produce a complete whole, such as the types of errors produced in a time periodby a continuously running task engine (which we hope is not continuously producing errors!).

The Settings area has a single option, for setting the field that will be displayed.

The Chart Style area lets you control how the list is presented. By default, only the observed field values are displayed, with a pill indicating the percentage of the dataset that contains the value. Use the Show Actual Values option to display a count of each value. Use the Show Percentage Values option to display each value’s percentage of the whole (for example, type 1 errors might be 8% and type 2 errors might be 2%, indicating 90% of events in the timeframe have no errors).

List Chart

Figure 8 - Using List Chart Visualization

Value Over Time#

Value Over Time is a simplified variant of the Line chart. Given a single field, it produces a series of swimlane timecharts of that field’s expression in the data (as edited by the Expression Builder).

The Settings area has a single option, for setting the field that will be displayed.

The Axes section allows you to select the unit size that is displayed in the chart.

  • Unit lets you set the base unit type of the variable. You can select from pre-existing options such as weights, volumes, and data amounts, or enter a custom unit label. Custom units do not perform any math conversions on the data.

The Color area allows you to manage line colors. If you have a single value, use the Single option and select a color from the palette. If you have multiple values in a group_by, use the By Value option and name each grouped field, then click the pencil to the left to set its color. If no changes are made in this area, Observe will randomly select colors. The Chart Area Fill Style option in Color allows you to decorate a line chart with a color fill.

Value Over Time

Figure 9 - Using Value Over Time Visualization

Geographic Map#

The Geographic Map visualization helps you visualize data on a map of the world. It requires that you have extracted latitude and longitude values, and can optionally use Country, Region, and City values in enriched tooltips on location dots representing the data.

The Settings area has two options for setting the required fields that are used to position dots on the map.

  • Latitude field is where you set the latitude

  • Longitude field is where you set the longitude

The Geographic Map area has four options for handling non-required fields.

  • The Country field is used in the tooltip display for a rendered location dot.

  • The Region field is used in the tooltip display for a rendered location dot. Region is a normalized standard name for areas that may have different and more familiar names, such as State, Province, Territory, or District.

  • The City field is used in the tooltip display for a rendered location dot.

  • The Tooltip field is used to edit the content of the enrichment tooltip. The default is to show all fields in the data set; use this field to reduce the set. Note that these fields are not used to place dots, only to enrich them.

The Color area allows you to manage dot colors. If you want a single color, use the Single option and select a color from the palette. To set colors by the values in a field, use the By Value option and name each value, then click the pencil to the left to set its color. If no changes are made in this area, Observe will randomly select colors.

Geographic Map charts have a legend which names the value being charted and shows its matching color. The Legend area lets you change the position of this legend to any of the four edges of the visualization. You can also change how null legend entries are displayed, which can be useful in sparse datasets.

Geographic Map

Figure 10 - Using Geographic Map Visualization

By Value in a Geographic Map

Figure 11 - Using By Value in a Geographic Map Visualization

Choropleth Map#

The Choropleth Map visualization helps you visualize data on a map of the world using color fills on political regions. It requires that you have extracted Country and optionally Region values into a group using the Expression Builder. The country field should be a 2-letter country ISO code. You may optionally add a Region name, but only U.S. states are fully supported at this time. Note that spelling can differ from regional expectation and needs to match; use the MapTiler Geocoding control to test strings for locatability.

By default, only the top 100 groups or objects are visible in an Observe visualization, but many choropleths will have more groups than this. For instance, a world map of countries has 198 objects. To properly display this map, click Add Function, then TopK, then set the number of objects that will be included to 200.

The Settings area has a single option for setting the name of the integer field that is used to color the map.

The Axes section allows you to select the unit size that is displayed in the chart.

  • Unit lets you set the base unit type of the variable. You can select from pre-existing options such as weights, volumes, and data amounts, or enter a custom unit label. Custom units do not perform any math conversions on the data.

The Color area allows you to manage fill colors. Choropleths can have one of two types of color scales:

  • Sequential is suitable for “less to more” sequences; for instance if you want to visualize the number of sales per U.S. State.

  • Diverging is suitable for “this vs that” sequences; for instance if you want to compare successful transactions to errored transactions per U.S. State.

Choropleth Map

Figure 12 - Using Choropleth Map Visualization