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Introducing Kibana Lens: an Easy, Intuitive Way to Explore Data

Elastic Introduces a Simple and Flexible Way to Build Data Visualizations in Kibana

Elastic N.V. , the company behind Elasticsearch and the Elastic Stack, is excited to announce the arrival of Kibana Lens, a significant step forward in making data visualization and exploration with the Elastic Stack even easier and more intuitive.

Millions of people already use Kibana to visualize and interact with data in real time. With the initial beta launch of Kibana Lens, Elastic is introducing an easy and intuitive way to rapidly gain insight into Elasticsearch data. Lens is focused on ease of use, visualization best practices, and flexibility. Users can build a visualization simply by dragging and dropping a data field into a window, and the smart suggestions built into Lens provide new ways of visualizing data — all while giving users the flexibility to change their mind and quickly switch between chart types and index patterns. With Lens, slicing and dicing through data in Kibana has never been simpler or more fun.

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Kibana was originally built by engineers for engineers, getting its start as a UI for Elasticsearch developers. Soon, developers began using Kibana instead of the command line as a convenient way to view and search Elasticsearch data. Not long after that, Elastic added visualizations and charts to Kibana, allowing users to aggregate and display data visually. Kibana quickly became popular with Elastic customers like Netflix, Uber, and Walmart for data visualization and exploration. Over the years, Elastic has been inspired by the community to come up with more and more capabilities around data visualizations, focusing on the fundamental challenge of visualizing large amounts of data at scale.

As people started adopting Elasticsearch and Kibana for more and more use cases, Kibana has been introduced to new types of users, including engineers, developers, analysts, executives, and data scientists, many of whom are using Kibana on a daily basis. This is Elastic’s next area of focus — making Kibana easier to use for a broader audience.

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Around two years ago, Elastic started looking into how to help more users explore their data. The company realized they needed to apply the years of knowledge they had gained working on data visualizations and talking to users to build something new and do it right. This project needed to allow the company to move faster, support more chart types, and combine data from multiple index patterns in a single visualization, all while providing an elevated user experience.

While building this completely new infrastructure, Elastic spent a year exploring many of the data visualization challenges that users face, as well as the solutions that are out there. Elastic interviewed dozens of companies that are using Kibana and other tools for a wide range of scenarios to identify the ways these companies are using their data and the challenges they are facing.

Kibana Lens is the next step on this journey: a completely new user experience that is simple and intuitive while still allowing users to perform powerful analyses on huge data volumes in real time.

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