The beauty of Visualization

I’m going to just touch this huge topic. I may post many other detailed posts about specific visualization techniques. This is just a brief introduction to get the feeling of how visualization can help a DBA in his daily activities.

Let us start by example:

If you want to query the database about how many archivelogs were generated/hour along the day across the previous month?

Fine, it is simple. Let us count the number of log switches in the alert.log!

Or let us write a couple of queries, that each one answer one part of our question and then merge all the results together.

But, what if we can answer the above question with a simple heat map graph like the following one?:


So, for each hour across the day/across the month I can easily see how many archive logs were generated with different colors based on the number of archive logs.

{ Most of the number are zeros as I run this report against my laptop’s database which has no load , but if you run it against a production database, you will feel the difference!}

{Credit to this type of heat map graphs goes to David Mann}

Same, if we need to know how much archive logs (in GB) were generated:


What if you want to see the DB workload profile along the day and across one month, see the following graph nice high level graph, from which you can easily pinpoint the peak times:


{The above graph was generated against one live database, which has a real performance issues}

What if you want to see some performance statistics about the current database performance?


There is a lot that we can say about how visualization can simplify our life.

We may need a separate post for each one of the above graphs to explain how we can generate it and the different tools that we may use, so stay tuned for my coming posts!

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