Build a Data Dashboard with Streamlit in Python

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Barine Sambaris %
Barine Sambaris

The Streamlit dashboard tutorial teaches efficient data visualization project builds. Streamlit users will find Earthly streamlines app development. Check it out.

Streamlit is an open-source Python framework that lets you turn data scripts into shareable web apps in minutes. Streamlit makes it easy for data scientists and analysts to create and deploy interactive visualizations and dashboards for machine learning models and other Python applications.

You need almost no experience with building front ends to get started with Streamlit. It is designed to do the heavy lifting of generating an intuitive and responsive interface from a simple Python script.

This tutorial will teach you how to build a dashboard for a Github dataset of movie records. You’ll then learn how to deploy the web app and interactively explore the dataset, visualize, and retrieve information from it.

Why Should You Use Streamlit?

There are several reasons to choose Streamlit for data visualization. Some of them include:

Streamlit is written for Python and is compatible with major Python libraries for data analysis and machine learning. The Streamlit interface is intuitive and user-friendly. Streamlit dashboards can be hosted on Streamlit Cloud. You can configure Streamlit to monitor the GitHub repository where the code and data are hosted, and update the web app when changes are made to the repository.

Installing Streamlit

Before we get started, you should know that you need a good understanding of data analysis and visualization in Python. This is because Streamlit only lets you embed your visualization within its framework and display them as web apps; you still need to analyze the data and meaningfully visualize it.

From the command prompt, install Streamlit using pip by running the following command:

pip install streamlit 

To check if the installation worked, create a new Python script in your editor, import streamlit under the alias st, and use the write function to print out some text. The st.write() function is used to display information like text, dataframes, or figures.

import streamlit as st
st.write("Hello World!")
st.write("Hello Streamlit!")

Run the app on your browser (in your command prompt, change the directory to the folder where your file is located) by running this command:

streamlit run

This will automatically open a tab in your browser.

Streamlit Hello World Output

If you get this output, your installation works and you are ready to use Streamlit.

Plotting With Streamlit

You can find the code for this project on Github and the real-time application on Streamlit Cloud.

Adding a Matplotlib Chart

st.pyplot() is the Streamlit function to create figure objects and plots. To create a matplotlib visualization, you have to perform data analysis and then create the visualization. For this section, we will use this movie industry dataset from Github.

This dataset contains over 7000 movie entries—from the period 1986-2016—scraped from IMDb (Internet Movie Database). It lists movies of different genres and countries. I’ll be using this dataset to create different interactive plots for this tutorial.

import streamlit as st
import pandas as pd
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

We use the pandas read_csv() function to read in the data into a dataframe.

#read in the file
movies_data = pd.read_csv("")

To generate a summary of the dataset and check for missing values and duplicates, we’ll use the following functions:
<class 'pandas.core.frame.DataFrame'>
RangeIndex: 7668 entries, 0 to 7667
Data columns (total 15 columns):
 #   Column    Non-Null Count  Dtype  
---  ------    --------------  -----  
 0   name      7668 non-null   object 
 1   rating    7591 non-null   object 
 2   genre     7668 non-null   object 
 3   year      7668 non-null   int64  
 4   released  7666 non-null   object 
 5   score     7665 non-null   float64
 6   votes     7665 non-null   float64
 7   director  7668 non-null   object 
 8   writer    7665 non-null   object 
 9   star      7667 non-null   object 
 10  country   7665 non-null   object 
 11  budget    5497 non-null   float64
 12  gross     7479 non-null   float64
 13  company   7651 non-null   object 
 14  runtime   7664 non-null   float64
dtypes: float64(5), int64(1), object(9)

As seen, gives a quick overview of our dataset. We can see that there are 7668 entries (rows) and a total of 15 columns.

0       False
1       False
2       False
3       False
4       False
7663    False
7664    False
7665    False
7666    False
7667    False
Length: 7668, dtype: bool

The method movies_data.duplicated() checks if there are any duplicates. All rows returned False which means there are no duplicates.

name        7668
rating      7591
genre       7668
year        7668
released    7666
score       7665
votes       7665
director    7668
writer      7665
star        7667
country     7665
budget      5497
gross       7479
company     7651
runtime     7664

Calling the count() method on the dataframe: movies_data.count() returns the sum of all entries in a column. Columns with less than 7668 entries suggest missing values.


We dropped all columns with missing data using movies_data.dropna(). The output is a new dataframe. Next, we’ll create a Matplotlib bar chart that shows the average movie budget of movies in different genres.

Average Movie Budget, Grouped by Genre
avg_budget = movies_data.groupby('genre')['budget'].mean().round()
avg_budget = avg_budget.reset_index()
genre = avg_budget['genre']
avg_bud = avg_budget['budget']

The groupby method groups data by categories using the columns of a dataset and applies a function to it. Here we group by the ‘genre’ and the ‘budget’. And we apply the mean() and the round() functions. The mean() function returns the average of a list of numbers while the round() function rounds up digits and returns a float. The reset_index() method resets the index of an updated dataframe; creating a new row index that starts at 0. Resetting indexes is important so pandas can find the indexes of elements.

fig = plt.figure(figsize = (19, 10)), avg_bud, color = 'maroon')
plt.title('Matplotlib Bar Chart Showing the Average \
Budget of Movies in Each Genre')

Matplotlib has a function called show() that creates a figure object. In Streamlit, this line should be replaced with st.pyplot(variable_name) where variable_name is the variable of visualization.


Matplotlib figure output

Layouts in Streamlit

How the dashboards are structured determines how well they’ll be received by all stakeholders. When a dashboard is messy, it confuses the users.

Streamlit offers a couple of options to lay out elements on a screen. Columns are the most common, but there are other containers like tabs, expanders, and sidebars. For this tutorial, we will focus on columns and sidebars.


Columns in Streamlit operate just as they do in documents and on web pages. They are also highly responsive and automatically resize on different screens.

To create columns, simply assign them to the variables that match the number of columns you need. Here, col1 and col2 are the variable names because we need two columns.

col1, col2 = st.columns(2)
col1.write('# This is Column 1')
col2.write('# This is Column 2')

Streamlit Even Columns

We can as well create columns of different dimensions, where columns are of different sizes.

st.write('### Columns of different sizes')
col1, col2, col3, col4 = st.columns([1,3,1,2])

col1.write('# This is Column 1')
col2.write('# This is Column 2')
col3.write('# This is Column 3')
col4.write('# This is Column 4')

Streamlit Columns of different sizes

Working With Widgets

What Are Widgets?

Widgets are the elements that allow us to interact with data. Streamlit offers different widgets like sidebars, sliders, multiselect, text_input, radio button, and checkbox. Each widget has a different use case.

Why Are Widgets Important?

Widgets are important to interact with the rendered plots and charts. Before starting out, determine which widgets will be best for the project. A couple of steps are needed to make a widget interactive. We’ll look at them as we create widgets.

Here’s an overview of widgets used in this tutorial:

  • Slider: A slider is a widget that accepts numerical, date, or time data as input. It changes information according to the range of values selected.

  • Multiselect: Multiselect accepts strings and creates multiple selections of labels containing selected options. The default is a blank label so it should be assigned a default value.

  • Selectbox: Selectbox displays a select widget with options in a drop-down format.

  • Sidebar: A sidebar creates a sidebar at the left side of the page where other widgets, text, and even plots can reside. It is a very easy way to manage space on the web app .

To link data to a widget, we first convert the needed column to a unique list. This is important so only unique values are selected:

# Creating sidebar widget unique values from our movies dataset
score_rating = movies_data['score'].unique().tolist()
genre_list = movies_data['genre'].unique().tolist()
year_list = movies_data['year'].unique().tolist()

Creating a Sidebar and Adding Other Widgets

Create Layouts Using with Statements

The with statement provides a simpler, more organized way of displaying Streamlit layouts especially if multiple widgets or variables are attached to a layout component. Using with makes the code easier to maintain.

We use the with statement to group all elements of a layout together. We’ve implemented it with a sidebar layout, as shown:

with st.sidebar:
       st.write("Select a range on the slider (it represents movie score) \
       to view the total number of movies in a genre that falls \
       within that range ")
    #create a slider to hold user scores
    new_score_rating = st.slider(label = "Choose a value:",
                                  min_value = 1.0,
                                  max_value = 10.0,
                                 value = (3.0,4.0))

#create a multiselect widget to display genre
new_genre_list = st.multiselect('Choose Genre:',
                                        genre_list, default = ['Animation',\
                                         'Horror',  'Fantasy', 'Romance'])
#create a selectbox option that holds all unique years
year = st.selectbox('Choose a Year',
    year_list, 0)

st.sidebar() is the function to call a sidebar widget. Once this is specified, the sidebar is automatically created. Our sidebar will hold different widgets so we use it in the with statement. st.slider is the function that creates a slider widget. It takes in parameters like label, min_value, max_value, and a value. The min_value is the specified minimum value. The max_value is the specified maximum value. The value is the point where it is rendered. st.multiselect() is the function that creates a multiselect widget. From our tutorial, we created a multiselect widget that displays all unique genres from the ‘genre’ column. We pre-selected ‘Animation’, ‘Horror’, ‘Fantasy’ and ‘Romance’ genres. While interacting with this widget, users can select or deselect as many options as they wish. A selectbox is created by calling the st.selectbox() function. The selectbox represents a drop-down menu that allows only one option to be picked at a time. We linked the ‘year’ column to this widget, so we can only pick one year at a time.

Sidebar Image

To add interactivity among the slider, the selectbox, the multiselect widgets, and the plots on the main page, we need to create filters. We do this by mapping the columns of the dataframe to their unique list and using it in the analysis. By doing so, we can ensure that only the selected widgets affect a plot.

#Configure and filter the slider widget for interactivity
score_info = (movies_data['score'].between(*new_score_rating))

We will be linking the slider widget to the line chart that displays the number of movies in a particular genre that have scores that fall within a specified range. We mapped the ‘score’ column to the slider widget. Therefore, whenever a user interacts with the slider, the line chart changes as well.

#Filter the selectbox and multiselect widget for interactivity
new_genre_year = (movies_data['genre'].isin(new_genre_list)) \
& (movies_data['year'] == year)

We need the multiselect widget and the selectbox that holds genre and year to work together. We will be creating a dataframe that changes movie titles according to the year and genre(s) selected. In our configuration, we mapped the ‘genre’ column to the variable of our multiselect widget and mapped the ‘year’ column to the variable of our selectbox widget and joined them both using ‘and’.

# visualization section
#group the columns needed for visualizations
col1, col2 = st.columns([2,3])
with col1:
    st.write("""#### Lists of movies filtered by year and Genre """)
    dataframe_genre_year = movies_data[new_genre_year]\
    .groupby(['name',  'genre'])['year'].sum()
    dataframe_genre_year = dataframe_genre_year.reset_index()
    st.dataframe(dataframe_genre_year, width = 400)

with col2:
    st.write("""#### User score of movies and their genre """)
    rating_count_year = movies_data[score_info]\
    rating_count_year = rating_count_year.reset_index()
    figpx = px.line(rating_count_year, x = 'genre', y = 'score')

Streamlit Web application


Look at you, you’ve just aced the basics of Streamlit and discovered how to crank up your data visualization with interactive Plotly charts. Why not take it a step further and design a data dashboard with your favorite dataset? Go on, give it a shot!

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Barine Sambaris %
Barine Sambaris
Barine Sambaris is a former web developer, now currently a python developer and data analyst. She's experienced in building interactive dashboards and data visualization projects with Python frameworks and libraries. Barine is also a freelance technical writer and has written articles on HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python and Data Analytics.
Writers at Earthly work closely with our talented editors to help them create high quality content. This article was edited by:
Bala Priya C %

Bala is a technical writer who enjoys creating long-form content. Her areas of interest include math and programming. She shares her learning with the developer community by authoring tutorials, how-to guides, and more.



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