I have an existing analysis tool which compares two datasets:

  • An Input message log
  • An output message log

The tool compares the differences between the two sets by looking at:

  • The number of each type of message
  • The time each message came in
  • The payload of each message ( could be discrete or continuous data, often several fields per message such as time-stamp, temperature etc)

There could be close to a million records in each dataset. I want to generate a visualization that focusses on what time a message from one set came in and if the corresponding message in the other set has a matching payload

Currently I display ticks on a timeline for each message type but cannot work out how to compare payloads in the same view. I know I could separate these visualizations, but I already have several others and don't want to clutter my dashboard more than is necessary. I want to give a human analyst as much useful data on screen as possible.

I would like to know if there is a standard accepted way to show this quantity of a mixture of discrete and continuous time series events?


1 Answer 1


If you want to compare a time series where the data is in 2 different units (e.g. ms, cm, degrees) that need to be displayed in the same X axis, you can put one on the left X axis, and another on the right X axis. With clear labeling / chart legend, this should allow users to figure out what is going on.

You can also create multiple charts, one for each unit, and stack them one on top of another so that the timelines are aligned. This will help users to spot time related patterns.

If there is too much information to be able to do the above, then it is a good idea to ask what sorts of things the users want to know when they look at the data. This will help in deciding how to display it.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.