This article is the final in our Elasticsearch + Kibana blog series. Now with the data extracted, transformed, and loaded into Elasticsearch, the final step in our series is to use the data and round out our unified, user-positive experience. This can take the form of visualizations to create an almost real-time, interactive report, custom integrations with other applications, or proactive alerting based on consumed data.
The go-to for quickly creating great looking, interactive visualizations is to utilize Kibana, the “K” in the ELK stack. Kibana is a data visualization and exploration tool built and maintained by Elastic. Just like Logstash, it comes with solid out of the box Elasticsearch support and a large library of resources. From running one-off queries to explore the dataset, creating visualizations, dashboards, and enterprise level machine learning operations, Kibana is a great starting point for all Elasticsearch deployments.
Another common example is to move the data from Elasticsearch into a custom dashboard application or to integrate the data into a different common platform, such as an EHR. With the data stored in Elasticsearch as JSON, requests completed over HTTP, and many client libraries available, we should be able to enjoy a very flexible user-positive experience that delivers exactly what is needed.
Visualizations and integrated user interfaces should be supplemented by proactive alerts when the data comes in. For example, if a metric threshold is specified in the system, an alert can be triggered and delivered to the right person ahead of time to reduce the delay in response. This will be of considerable valuable in the event there is an abnormal reading from an Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) device or any other source.
If data is extracted, transformed, and loaded into an Elasticsearch cluster but not provided to end users in a way that creates value, the process is incomplete. This final, yet crucial, step brings the solution full circle. From small, experimental, set-ups to review data, or large enterprise scale ecosystems creating a complete picture, a properly developed, unified, user-positive search and analytics system is a must-have feature.