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Basic concepts

Last Updated: Jun 28, 2020

This topic describes the basic concepts, design philosophy, and scenarios of the data visualization feature of Data Management Service (DMS).


DMS provides you with database management capabilities. You can query data directly in the SQLConsole where results are returned in the form of a table. However, when you need to discover business characteristics through data analysis, such as trend analysis and growth comparison, tables cannot meet the requirements. That is where data visualization comes in. DMS provides a data visualization module that allows you to easily gain insights into your business and help you make better business decisions.


The data visualization module provides a three-layer model, including datasets, charts, and dashboards or big screens, for you to present data in various visual forms.
Specifically, you can execute SQL statements in the SQLConsole to obtain datasets and convert the datasets to common charts, such as line charts, pie charts, bar charts, circular charts, table charts, dual Y-axis charts, and funnel charts. Then, on a dashboard or big screen, you can freely combine and lay out these charts based on your analysis logic or methodology to visually present your business data.

For example, you can use indicator cards to display overall metrics, such as transaction volume and unique visitor (UV), of your business. Then, you can use a line chart to present the growth trend of the transaction volume, with a bar chart comparing transaction in all regions. Finally, you can use a table chart with a filter to query region-specific data.

Design philosophy

Two core concepts of data visualization are datasets, which are also called data views, and charts, which are also called visualization components.

  • Datasets represent the structured form of data. Data logic, permissions, and services are all based on this form.
  • Charts represent the visual form of data. Data presentation, interaction, and guidance are all based on this form.

    Datasets and charts complement each other to provide same data in two different forms and help you better understand data.

  • Dashboards or big screens, where you can combine charts as you want, are used for quick data analysis and custom data visualization. This can satisfy the data visualization needs of most users.


Secure self-help data analysis

You can use the security control provided by DMS to make sure that data is authorized before being visualized.

  • You only need to prepare the configurations once to implement the advanced filtering, advanced control, interaction, drilling, download, and sharing of visual components. These features help business staff with quick data analysis and decision-making, including data comparison, analysis of data in different regions, geographic distribution of data, data trends, and cluster analysis.
  • Dashboards, featuring automatic layout, are used for most visual reports that require simple configuration and are easy to be viewed and shared.
  • Big screens, allowing users to customize layouts, are used for visual reports that require specific, additional modifier elements and need to be retained for a long period of time. It usually takes some time and effort to configure a big screen in such scenarios, for example, a big screen for Double 11.

Real-time operations monitoring

In the data factory of DMS, you can synchronize your business data in real time to AnalyticDB or ApsaraDB for RDS where data can be analyzed. Then, you can visualize data that is analyzed in AnalyticDB or ApsaraDB for RDS. In this way, you can monitor the operations of databases in real time, ensure seamless data flows, detect anomalies through data comparison, and handle key-link issues.
Two chart configuration modes are provided, including the pivot-driven mode and chart-driven mode, to meet different requirements in various scenarios.