Eurovision for nerds: How fun it would be to make a Kibana dashboard of the winners

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The purpose of this article is to layout a fun idea I have, which I hope will help me with my eventual goal of becoming an Elastic Certified Engineer.

What’s in it for you, dear reader?

If you would like to follow along how to make fun and informative visualisations of data, even if you have never heard of Kibana before, and even if you have no data, then this is for you.


What is Kibana, anyway?

Kibana is a window into the Elastic Stack. It enables visual exploration and real-time analysis of your data in Elasticsearch… [enabling] data exploration, visualization, and dashboarding.

What is Eurovision, anyway?

Just in case we don’t share the same hobbies, the Eurovision Song Contest is an annual international song competition, primarily for European countries. It is colourful, kitch, and classy all wrapped in one giant live TV spectacle, and past winners include ABBA (1974) and Celine Dion (1988), with the favourite being awarded the now famous douze points (twelve points) from enough other countries to make them the winner.

Eurovision has been broadcasting since 1956, making it one of the world’s longest-running television programmes, with audience figures of between 100 million and 600 million internationally.

How on earth will I do this?

Things might change as I go, though for now I have outlined the following phases of the project. I have tried to make each phase as realistic as possible, for someone who has never done this before.

Phase 1

  • Create a raw data file
    • …perhaps in a google drive spreadsheet that can be exported as a .csv file, for the past 10 years of Eurovision winners. Do some copy/paste manually from sites such as Wikipedia, if I am not able to find some database with this already. Don’t try to make a data scraper or automate this, at this stage
    • store this in source control, eg github
  • Install elastic locally on my computer
    • …at home, and on my laptop, depending on where I am working from. Do not try to create a docker image or store this in source control at this point

Phase 2

  • Import this data file to Kibana
  • Create some visualisations
  • I will probably want to do some data enhancements at this point, such as adding more data, or converting the .csv to SQL or a more viable database solution

Phase 3

… in order to have a package that can be stored in the cloud, and thus used and run by anyone.


Blog, book, and do. Repeat.

I hope to blog, write and actually do this project at the same time, updating and revising the steps as I go. I hope anyone with an interest in this will be able to follow the steps.

I will write this up in detail on leanpub as I go:

FANTASTIC ELASTIC Book cover, by Anita Lipsky
FANTASTIC ELASTIC: My Journey to Visualise Eurovision winners using Kibana dashboards

One more thing…

It would be amazing to get feedback along the way, so that I can make the steps as clear and as helpful as possible, for all dear readers. So please reach out and send any feedback or questions you might have.

After all, Elastic IS fantastic, just like the Eurovision song contest, and I think you will have fun with me on this journey!

Thanks for reading, and until next time!