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There’s great news from the DataLion software development department: We have just released the next software version 1.4.2 for all users. With our new deployment setup we were able to manage the update during live operation without needing a maintenance pause. During the last weeks, we have implemented the following software optimizations and new features.

The most important software features at a glance

  1. More performance: DataLion now also supports Apache Drill as data backend for large data visualizations and analyses in the gigabyte range. We are now able to offer our users even faster sophisticated analyzes of large amounts of data to tackle the growing demands of the Big Data world.
  2. Saving your time: Traditional data analysis is a time-consuming and difficult process. In order to make it easier for you to work with your data, we have developed the following feature: With one click, you can now visualize several questions or variables at once. To do this, just drag and drop a category from the navigation onto the work area of ​​the dashboard.
  3. Improved intuitive target group editor: To make creating target groups easier for you, we’ve optimized the filter and target group editor. As soon as you have selected a chart, a “Create target group” button will appear above the diagram. Clicking this button will take you to the target group editor. From the filter navigation drag the relevant variables and features to the editor. When adding a new feature, parentheses are added automatically. The editor automatically sets AND as well as OR combinations, but you can also change them by clicking on them. All your custom filters and variables are stored as usual in the “my variables / filters” section. Of course, you can also edit them later with the filter and target group editor or visualize them as charts.

Can’t wait to try these new features? Register for a new demo account or access your projects and dashboards here.

We are looking forward to your feedback on the new features!

We are counting the hours right now for SXSW (South-by-Southwest) Interactive, the world’s largest digital media event taking place in Austin, Texas with over 30.000 visitors and hundrets of discussions and workshops.



Google self-driving car by smoothgroover22


Google glass by Michael Praetorius

Topics are diverse, among them will be big data, the rise of wearables, health and medtech, the impact of humanoid-machines, artificial intelligence, and deep learning on tomorrow’s world, virtual reality and augmented reality,  self-driving cars and even more futuristic systems (such as the Hyperloop)…and that’s not even all. Even the president of the United States of America, Barack Obama, will be among the Keynote speakers, proving that geek-inspired disruption has real-world policy implications .


sxsw-2016-platinumlogoDataLion is part of the German delegation, overall including 700 delegates and 50 from Bavaria. As one of the accelerator alternates, we will get on this giant stage and pitch our tool, that enables everyone to easily create stunning and meaningful dashboards with your own or provided data, as well as our vision in front of thousands of creative idea generators, developers, decision-makers and experts. This is gonna be awesome!!! Additionally visitors will be able to find us at the German Haus for discussions, panels, networking opportunities and a lot more. You can also find us here:

  • Sunday 03-13, 12AM – 2PM Small Lunch Big Data, German Haus
  • Sunday 03-13, 3:10PM SXSW Trade Show #1119, German Booth
  • Sunday 03-13, 7:30PM SXSW Accelerator Award Ceremony
  • Monday 03-14, 11:40AM Elevator Pitch, Trade Show, Int’l Innovation Europe


Save the dates and cheer on DataLion at SXSW 2016! We’re looking forward to meet you there!

accelerator-2016-color-pageWe’re very happy that DataLion has been chosen by the SXSW Accelerator jury to participate at the world’s largest digital media event as an accelerator alternate in the category enterprise and smart data. It looks like we’re the only European company in this category. Looking forward to meeting you – either at our One Minute Pitch at the accelerator award ceremony, at the German house or at the trade-fair booth. We’ll keep you posted.

And by the way, we’re in the final tests of our next software update (version 1.1) with many usability improvements and new features that help you to create and share beautiful interactive data reports. You can register for a free trial here and we’ll pre-load your account with a demo data-base for testing.

We are very excited about pitching our visualization and analysis software at the Munich TechDay conference on Monday 19 Oct. The conference is focussing on cybersecurity technology and software and among the keynote speakers are government representatives as well as CEOs of large security companies.


DataLion will be one of thirty startup companies pitching on the main stage of the Tonhalle between 14:10 and 14:50. But we’ll be around the whole day, so if you’d like to learn more about data visualization for security (or other) applications, we’ll be happy to meet you!

Here’s the whole conference agenda in PDF format.

The idea of money and currencies as flows in networks is not new. German sociologist Georg Simmel put forth similar ideas in his Philosophy of Money. With Bitcoin we finally have a currency that not only links people (or: nodes) together in financial transactions, but the network is transparent. But experts argue that the currency is just one of many applications that can be built on the Blockchain algorithm and database powering Bitcoin. This way of linking nodes can be used to weave authentification layers in all sorts of networked applications e.g. the Internet of Things.

This combination of open and transparent data available through various interfaces or APIs in combination with a networked data structure should be a jackpot for data visualizers and information designers. So we took a look around to find the most impressive ways of visualizing the Bitcoin transaction flows. Some of the following visualizations even come with recipes.

1. The first visualization “Bitnodes” by Addy Yeow shows the distribution of Bitcoin nodes across the globe. It uses a Bitcoin crawler implemented in Python that is also available on Github:


Even more impressive is this visualization by the same author of all the Bitcoin nodes and the node density. Although the network structure is not clearly visible, it really suggests that there is a new “universe” evolving in finance:


2. The following visualization uses the Open Source vivagraph.js library to display the networked nature of Bitcoin. You can see Bitcoin transaction happening in real-time and the evolving hubs of the Bitcoin network.


3. This one by luchendricks goes in the same direction – it is also a visualization of live Bitcoin transaction. Here the size of the nodes represents the volume of the transaction. Every node also carries a link to all information on the transaction on


4. To show the global nature of Bitcoin, the following live-map by Wizbit not only displays the transactions but also the latest discovered Bitcoin blocks (wow, someone in the USA just found a block of 2479 Bitcoins which is worth about 580,000 USD). The WebGL globe visualization is also available on Github.


5. This visualization “The Bitcoin Big Bang” by Elliptic is one of the most beautiful visualizations of Bitcoin history at the moment:


6. Blockseer is more of a visual research tool than a creative visualization of the Bitcoin universe. You can visualize transactions and blocks in a detailed tree diagram:


7. For those of you that want to try creating your own visualizations with the public Bitcoin APIs, here’s a very interesting interactive notebook “Follow the Cryptocurrency” by Dato that shows all the different steps of accessing, analyzing and interpreting Bitcoin data.

Finally, here’s some examples we did at DataLion to query and visualize the blockchain with R:


Did we miss some of your favorite Bitoin visualizations? Looking forward to your comments to this post.

Wordclouds and Tagclouds have been a very beautiful way of visualizing textual information. The relation between the measured quantity – the number of occurrences of a tag, word or phrase – and the font size is very straightforward and intuitive.

We have just implemented an easy word cloud generator in our DataLion dashboard software. An exciting feature is that it can automatically detect the data format and choose the best visualization style for you: It detects whether the data is raw text which is then split into single words and displayed according to the number of occurences. Of course you can also apply stop word lists to exclude common words like “is”, “are” or “and”.

If you try to apply a word cloud to processed data where the raw text already has been coded by researchers the software will not split the data but simply count the number of cases behind a single phrase and word and use this measure for choosing the font size.

Here’s an example of the same variable – respondents’ use of popular beauty brands taken from the market media study best for planning 2014 – in five different chart types, each one telling a slightly different story:



The same color scheme – either one of the 40+ predefined sets or your own corporate color set – will be applied to all charts in the dashboard to create a consistent visual impression. Happy experimenting with our wordclouds and tagclouds!

“Data-driven Business Day” has become an institution in the conference program at Strata + Hadoop World by O’Reilly and Cloudera. In 14 very diverse presentations, Big Data experts from all over the world and from different industries show, how they have solved various Big Data challenges.


DataLion CEO Benedikt Koehler will give a presentation on the topic “Data Science as Art: Visual Storytelling with Smartphone Tracking Data” in the afternoon of the first day of the conference. He will demonstrate how visualizations, that almost resemble artworks, can be created from millions of data points collected by smartphone sensors.


We are very excited to learn that DataLion was chosen, by a jury of Big Data experts, to be among the 11 finalists at the Startup Showcase at this year’s Strata + Hadoop World conference in London. The competition between the most exciting Data Startups – including a public vote – will take place in the evening of May 5  on the first day of conference. Strata + Hadoop World is one of the most important and innovative events within the Big Data industry founded by O’Reilly Media.


This nomination gives us as a young startup a great opportunity to show the data science community how to use our web-based technology, which enables users to visualize large and complex studies or data sources in an innovative, exciting and effective way.

Welcome to the Data Jungle! In this brand-new company blog, we will explore the insightful, creative and often entertaining world of data visualization and storytelling. While my other personal blog Beautiful Data is focused more on the developers perspective and features many hands-on tutorials using tools like R, Python and Hadoop for data analysis, this blog is all about business applications for data science and visualization in research, media and marketing.

You’ll encounter one or two infographics on this blog as well as practical advice on how to leverage Big Data and Data Science for your business objectives. Of course, we’re always open for suggestions for topics to cover in this blog, so please feel free to contact us with your ideas.

Photo by Tambako The Jaguar CC-BY-ND

Photo by Tambako The Jaguar CC-BY-ND

A short remark on lions and their natural environment: Ok, strictly speaking, lions do not live in the jungle. But then again, we really like the metaphor. If you’re working with data and especially Big Data on a daily basis, it really feels like a jungle sometimes. And creative data visualization often can help find a way through the jungle and literally help see the forest (i.e. the big picture). On the other hand, data visualization often means data storytelling. And the story of the lion king sleeping in the mighty jungle definitely is a great story.

Welcome to this blog!