Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Kibana is an open source data visualization and exploration platform from Elastic that is specialized for large volumes of streaming and real-time data. Elastic (formerly Elasticsearch) was founded in 2012 to provide tools and services related to the company’s distributed enterprise search engine, also known as Elasticsearch

Kibana is designed to work in conjunction with Elasticsearch to make huge and complex data streams more quickly and easily understandable through graphic representation. Elasticsearch analytics provide mathematical transformations on data as well as enhanced aggregation. The software generates PDF reports either on demand or on schedule and provides a flexible, dynamic dashboard. Generated reports can represent the data in bar, line, scatter plots or pie chart graph formats with customizable colors and highlighted search results. Kibana also includes sharing tools for visualized data. 

The product is one element of Elastic Stack, a suite of data visualization and analysis tools that also includes Elasticsearch, Logstash and Beats. Security is provided by Kibana's client-server architecture with authentication. Shield, a security tool for Elasticsearch, can be added for data protection.

It may be important to note that for compatibility with current versions, it may be necessary to upgrade Elasticsearch cluster.

See a demo of setting up Elasticsearch and Kibana for data analytics:

This was last updated in September 2016

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What kinds of uses do you see for real-time big data analytics involving IoT data?
For one, medical knowhow and care will never be the same when Big Data and IoT are combined. (And about everything else that interfaces with the real world.) This isn't just a bit of evolution. It's a revolution of information with the power to change everything that comes after.