How to get started with Kibana

Kibana is a powerful tool for visualizing data in Elasticsearch. Here’s how to start exploring your Elasticsearch data

How to get started with Kibana
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Kibana is an open source analytics and visualization tool that makes it easy to search, visualize, and explore large volumes of data through a browser-based interface. Alongside Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Beats, Kibana is a core part of the Elastic Stack (formerly known as the ELK Stack). 

Elasticsearch, the search engine at the heart of the Elastic Stack, is one of the most popular open source projects for search and analytics. Elasticsearch is what searches, stores, and analyzes the data that you explore in Kibana—it’s really a search engine, a data store, and an analytical engine all in one.

Elasticsearch allows users to perform Google-style searches on their data, or ask questions like “What countries are the visitors to my website coming from?” It’s also extremely fast and distributed, which allows users to scale to larger data sets. Now take this power and combine it with the rich user interface that Kibana provides, and you have a real-time solution to explore your data.

With Elasticsearch and Kibana, you can explore practically any type of data, from text documents to machine logs, application metrics, ecommerce traffic, sensor telemetry, or your company’s business KPIs. Once the data is in Elasticsearch, you can explore and interact with it in Kibana; you can search through the data using the Kibana search bar, visualize the data using various chart types, and play around with the visualizations using real-time dashboards. You can also display dashboards on a large screen providing visibility across your entire company or office.

In this article, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know in order to start exploring your data in Kibana and create useful visualizations. We’ll look at how to get data into Kibana, how to use Kibana to explore your data, and how to use Kibana to create visualizations and dashboards.

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