Blog MongoDB Charts: What It Is, How It Works, And What It’s Used For

MongoDB Charts: What It Is, How It Works, And What It’s Used For

Introduction to MongoDB Charts

MongoDB Charts is a solution to visually represent MongoDB data, offering an intuitive interface for creating, sharing, and embedding visualizations. In today’s data-driven world, the ability to transform raw data into actionable insights is essential for decision-making for businesses at every level. MongoDB, a popular NoSQL database, has revolutionized data storage and retrieval. However, the need for effective data visualization tools to make sense of the vast amounts of data stored in MongoDB databases is ever-increasing. In this article, we’ll delve into MongoDB Charts, its features, and its limitations, and explore alternatives such as Knowi, for organizations seeking more comprehensive MongoDB data visualization and analytics.

What is MongoDB Charts?

MongoDB Charts is a native data visualization tool designed specifically for MongoDB, allowing users to create, share, and embed visual representations of their data. One of its key strengths lies in its seamless integration with MongoDB, ensuring real-time data visualization as changes occur in your databases.

How Does MongoDB Charts Work?

MongoDB Charts simplifies the process of data visualization through its user-friendly interface:

Prerequisites: In order to get started with MongoDB Charts for a given project, you need a MongoDB Atlas account with any project role outside of ‘Project Read Only’. 

Data Source Configuration: Users can effortlessly connect to MongoDB collections and views. One thing to note is that it is not straightforward to analyze data across collections and requires additional querying to do so.

Chart Building: The tool offers a drag-and-drop interface for chart creation, capable of handling various data types and structures, including nested arrays and documents.

Dashboard Creation: Users can combine multiple charts into interactive dashboards, allowing for real-time data updates and interactivity features.

Sharing and Embedding: MongoDB Charts provides options to securely share dashboards with team members and embed charts in applications, websites, and other platforms. It also ensures data security with role-based access controls and data aggregation to protect individual document values.

What is MongoDB Charts Used For?

MongoDB Charts finds applications across various industries and use cases, including:

1. Application Analytics: Monitoring user interactions, feature usage, and performance metrics.

2. E-commerce: Tracking sales, customer behavior, and inventory levels.

3. IoT Analytics: Visualizing data from connected devices in real-time.

4. Financial Analysis: Monitoring transactions, portfolio performances, and market trends.

5. Operational Monitoring: Keeping an eye on system health, user activities, and potential issues.

Ultimately, any data that you have stored within your MongoDB can be visualized with a variety of chart and graph types.

MongoDB Charts Limitations

While MongoDB Charts is a powerful tool, it does have limitations:

1. Single Collection Constraint: MongoDB Charts, despite being integrated with MongoDB Atlas, can only display data from a single collection or data source. This constraint poses challenges for organizations with diverse data storage needs. You can combine collections using a view, but this poses additional challenges such as the requirement to refresh your data.

2. Data Diversity: Modern data is a mix of structured and unstructured variations, often stored across disparate data sources (relational, non-relational, API data). MongoDB Charts does not support connecting into external data sources natively. It requires additional connector tools to do this. To be a truly data-driven organization, a more advanced BI solution might be necessary.

Alternatives to MongoDB Charts for MongoDB Data Visualization and Analytics

Several alternatives exist for MongoDB data visualization and analytics, such as Tableau, Qlik, Looker, and Knowi. Let’s briefly summarize their pros and cons based on the insights from this blog post on different MongoDB reporting tools

MongoDB Charts Alternative 1: Tableau

Known for its powerful visualization capabilities and user-friendly interface, Tableau provides excellent flexibility but requires additional connectors for MongoDB integration. Tableau is a BI tool that typically sits on top of a data warehouse, various connectors, and ETL/ELT tools.

MongoDB Charts Alternative 2: Qlik

Qlik offers strong data exploration and associative analytics but may involve a steeper learning curve and require data preprocessing. Like Tableau, Qlik typically sits on top of a data warehouse and requires various connectors and ETL/ELT tools.

MongoDB Charts Alternative 3: Looker

Looker stands out with its data modeling capabilities and data governance features, but it might necessitate complex configurations. Looker requires learning their in-house query syntax LookML, and also requires various connectors and ETL/ELT tools.

You can find an in-depth review of the tools listed above alongside Knowi here.

Why is Knowi the Best MongoDB Charts Alternative?

Knowi is a BI tool that natively integrates with MongoDB, leveraging the speed, flexibility, and scalability of MongoDB for analytics. What sets Knowi apart from other alternatives is:


Knowi delivers truly native MongoDB visualization and reporting. It also allows for joining data across disparate data sources, breaking the constraints of single-source analytics.

With Knowi, there’s no need to move data or install drivers, ensuring seamless integration with MongoDB. Its advanced analytics capabilities further empower organizations to extract valuable insights from their MongoDB data effortlessly.

Knowi In Depth

As we explore Knowi in more detail, it becomes evident why it stands out as an exceptional alternative for MongoDB data visualization and analytics:

Native Integration

Knowi is purpose-built for MongoDB, offering a seamless and native integration. This means there’s no need to move your data or install complex drivers or connectors. It leverages the full capabilities of MongoDB, ensuring that you can harness the speed, flexibility, and scalability of the database for analytics.

Joining Data Across Sources

Unlike many other tools, Knowi enables you to join and analyze data from disparate sources. In the modern data landscape, information is often scattered across various databases and platforms. Knowi’s ability to natively connect, combine, and visualize data from multiple sources empowers organizations to gain a comprehensive view of their data ecosystem. Regardless of whether your data is structured or unstructured, Knowi can pull from as well as join between all data sources seamlessly.

Advanced Analytics Capabilities

Knowi goes beyond basic visualization. It offers advanced analytics capabilities, including predictive analytics and machine learning integrations. This means you can visualize your data as well as uncover predictive insights that drive better decision-making.

Cloud-Native and Scalable

Knowi is designed for the cloud era. It’s cloud-native, meaning it can seamlessly scale with your organization’s growth. Whether you’re dealing with a small dataset or a massive data lake, Knowi can handle it.

User-Friendly Interface

Just like MongoDB Charts, Knowi provides a user-friendly interface for building charts and dashboards. From our drag and drop interface to our analytics search bar, business users can become empowered with access to their data. Business users can get started with minimal training, reducing the burden on your IT and data teams.

Real-time Data Processing

Knowi supports real-time data processing, which is crucial for organizations that require up-to-the-second insights from their MongoDB data. It can process and visualize streaming data, making it an ideal choice for IoT applications, real-time monitoring, and more.

Predictive Analytics and Machine Learning

Knowi’s integration with machine learning and predictive analytics libraries allows organizations to not only visualize data but also make data-driven predictions and optimize decision-making processes.

Scalability and Performance

Knowi is designed for high performance and scalability, making it suitable for organizations of all sizes. With features such as runtime token parameters, indexing, and caching, there won’t be an issue with handling large volumes of data.


In conclusion, MongoDB Charts serves as a valuable native visualization tool for MongoDB data, enabling organizations to harness the potential of their databases. However, it does have limitations that might not align with the diverse needs of certain organizations. It’s crucial to explore various tools based on your specific requirements, and for organizations seeking advanced analytics capabilities and flexibility, Knowi emerges as a compelling alternative. Ultimately, the choice of a MongoDB data visualization and analytics tool should be driven by the unique needs and objectives of your organization. As the data landscape continues to evolve, having the right tools in place can make all the difference in turning data into actionable insights.

For those seeking more than just basic visualizations, Knowi represents a forward-thinking choice that aligns with the demands of today’s data-driven organizations. As you embark on your journey to transform data into actionable insights, consider Knowi as your partner in achieving advanced MongoDB data visualization and analytics.

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