Explore and Visualize Data with Arcadia Instant

Published on August 24, 2016

Arcadia Instant is a free downloadable visual analytics tool developed by Arcadia Data that allows you to visualize and gather insights from your data. In this article, we’ll walk-through a couple of applications to learn how powerful our platform can be.

Arcadia Data is a completely web-based application, which means it doesn’t need any local client, like many traditional BI tools, or data deposition tools. Nor does it require a desktop client for creating reports or visuals. It doesn’t need another client for doing a universal semantic layer either. With Arcadia Data, everything is done through a simple web-based user interface.

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To the left you can see the login page for Arcadia Instant. It’s very simple and clean with the next generation’s built-in HTML 5, CSS 3. It’s a very easy to use interface. It supports single sign-on, which means you can simply leverage your central authentication system to log in to Arcadia. If you log in as an admin user you’ll have permission to view everything.

Once you login, below is the default home page for Arcadia Instant. Again you see it is cleanly designed and gives a quick glance of some of the existing applications that are a part of the user interface. You’ve also got quick links to look at the documentation and a link to connect and explore the data that you can fetch from HDFS or various other sources.

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You can also configure the default home page to a specific visual or application. In Arcadia, your applications are synonymous to your dashboards. So, you can change the home page for a user to a specific visual or application that they’re more interested in or that they want to look at every day when they log in.

When you click on the Apps button at the top of the screen, it takes you to the Apps menu. This is where the majority of the business users would be spending their time and this is where they would be consuming reports they’ve already created.

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You can see on the left hand side all of the short cuts that give you a list of all applications.

There’s a search bar on top where you can do a quick search based on the application name. Let’s say, you enter “state” and hit Search, all the visuals with State in their name will show.

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Or, if you want to look for all the visuals that have bar charts, you can enter “bar chart” and hit Search. It will use a filter on the visual type and show all the visuals with bar charts.

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You can also add these visuals to your favorites by clicking on the checkmark that appears on the top right of a thumbnail when you hover over it as seen below.

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When you click on the checkmark, it turns green. That means it’s been added to your favorites. When you add an app or a visual to your favorites, it will show under My Favorites on the left navigation bar.

Arcadia Data also recognizes and keeps track of how users are interacting with these visuals and then constantly updates the most popular 30 visuals. So, as a user you can see some of the visuals the other users in the same system are viewing. This allows users to benefit from what their colleagues are doing within Arcadia Data.

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On the left navigation bar, under the Popular apps/visuals, there are shortcuts to the applications that you’ve created. You can simply click on it to see them.

Let’s say you click on Use Case Demonstrations.

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This is a pre-built application within Arcadia. Once you select it, you can click on the View Standalone App link.

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The app loads in a new tab. See details below. This is how a typical end user will be consuming an Arcadia application.  On the left-hand side, there is a navigation menu, which is a really nice way to organize your information. This way you are not throwing dozens of visuals within one single dashboard. So, you can quickly organize it for the users to easily consume your company’s data visuals.

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This is an example of advanced analytics. It’s called the Funnel Analysis that essentially gives you a breakdown, in this case, of how users are interacting on a mobile application. The blue bar on the extreme left is the point where they downloaded the mobile application and then this comprehensive correlation chart shows all of the different actions that the users have performed. You can see how the user interaction is changing with different actions that they have performed. For example, you can see that 50% of the users just don’t do anything after they download the application. That is actionable information to give your development team. This is a really useful visual overview, which is hard to do in a tabular form or in a cross tab.

Now, let’s have a quick overview of another app, this time about sales.

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This one is more like your traditional BI report where you have KPI information at the very top, giving you a sales trend analysis for the last month, three months, and six months. Below that is a Cross Tabulation Chart showing a breakdown of the performance of the brand. The one next to it is a Line Chart showing the sales trend over a year. It also has a regression line to show clear trending. At the bottom, you have an example of trellising. The Trellising Line Chart is based on the brand selected and changes according to what is selected.

The next application you can take a look at is the Airbnb app.

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This is an example of an advanced application within Arcadia Data, which is also a bit extended. As you can see in the image, the background is changed. So, you can customize the background to change the look and feel and add your branding. This is an example where you have filters on top and you have the Airbnb listings in the middle of the screen. Let’s say you want to change the minimum review overall rating filter to look at the reviews, which are over 98. You can click on the filter drop-down and just scroll down to 98.

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When you select it, Arcadia will visually refresh all the applications here and you can see that the graph is updated.

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You can go to the map and zoom in on a particular area by clicking on it as you can see in the image above.

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You can further zoom in and view the listings on the map.

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Below the map, you see the actual listings and you can drill down to a particular listing by clicking on it. Let’s say you select a listing with 447 reviews on it.

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Once you select a listing, you can see the raw comments on the bottom right and a word cloud summarizing things on the bottom left. This shows how powerful Arcadia Instant is; you went all the way from a geographical listing of the apps to the raw data, in this case comments, that are residing in your HDFS.

These were just a couple applications to give you an idea of how you can explore and visualize data with Arcadia Instant. You may want to give it a shot; go ahead and download Arcadia Instant for free here.