Build a candlestick chart in Grafana

Candlestick charts show the opening, closing, high, and low prices of financial assets, such as stocks, currencies, and securities. They are mainly used in technical analysis, to predict how prices will change.

They can answer questions like:

  • What are the open, close, high, and low prices of an asset on this day?
  • What is the spread between opening and closing prices over this time?
  • How is the price of this asset changing over time?
  • Is this asset entering bearish or bullish territory?

The figure above shows the structure of a candlestick. A candlestick covers a specific time interval, for example 5 minutes, 10 minutes, or 1 hour. For this period, it plots four values:

  • Open: The starting price
  • Close: The closing price
  • High: The highest price
  • Low: The lowest price

A candlestick chart can show many candlesticks over time. This helps you see patterns in the changing price of an asset. For example, you can tell whether an asset is entering bullish or bearish territory, or whether its market activity is topping or bottoming out.

This tutorial shows you how to:

Prerequisites

Before you begin, make sure you have:

If you are new to Grafana, see the Grafana tutorials to get familiar with creating your first dashboard and visualizations. Also see this tutorial on adding variables to Grafana.

The examples in this section use these variables and Grafana functions:

  • $symbol: a variable used to filter results by stock symbols.
  • $__timeFrom()::timestamptz & $__timeTo()::timestamptz: Grafana variables. You change the values of these variables by using the dashboard's date chooser when viewing your graph.
  • $bucket_interval: the interval size to pass to the time_bucket function when aggregating data.

Check out this video for a step-by-step walk-through on creating candlestick visualizations in Grafana:

Create a candlestick with raw data

Create a candlestick visualization using the raw data in the table stocks_real_time.

Creating a candlestick with raw data

  1. In the query editor, use this SQL to query a Candlestick dataset. Use the variable $bucket interval for the time period covered by each candlestick.

    SELECT
    time_bucket('$bucket_interval', time) AS time,
    symbol,
    FIRST(price, time) AS "open",
    MAX(price) AS high,
    MIN(price) AS low,
    LAST(price, time) AS "close"
    FROM stocks_real_time
    WHERE symbol IN ($symbol)
    AND time > $__timeFrom()::timestamptz and time < $__timeTo()::timestamptz
    GROUP BY time_bucket('$bucket_interval', time), symbol;
  2. Click outside of the query editor, or click the refresh icon to update the Grafana chart.

  3. Select candlestick as your visualization type:

  4. Grafana turns the query into a candlestick chart that looks like this:

    In this first example, with the $bucket_interval set to 1 minute, you can see the price of AMZN ranges between $2120 and $2200. This chart uses hyperfunctions to query the stock_real_time table, with a bucket interval of 1 minute.

Retrieving this data took about 7+ seconds, over two weeks of data which is probably slower than most users would expect when analyzing data. This is where continuous aggregates are particularly useful for data-intensive, time-series applications.

When you use the $bucket_interval variable, you can switch intervals. For example, switching to a 15 minute bucket interval gives you this data.

  1. Switch your bucket interval to 15-min from the dropdown

  2. Refresh the dashboard to get the updated chart

The query execution took more than 6 seconds. To decrease query execution time to sub-seconds, use continuous aggregates. See the how-to guide on continuous aggregrates to learn more.

Show transaction volumes in a candlestick plot

In addition to looking at the price changes for each stock, you can look at its traded volumes. This shows you how much the stock is being traded during the bucket interval.

The stock_real_time hypertable contains a column with the daily cumulative traded volume. You can use this to calculate the volume of data for each bucket.

First, find the maximum day_volume value for a symbol within a bucket. Then, subtract each maximum from the previous bucket's maximum. The difference gives the traded volume for that bucket.

Showing transaction volumes in a candlestick plot

  1. Create a new candlestick panel with the following query:

    SELECT
    time_bucket('$bucket_interval', time) AS time,
    symbol,
    FIRST(price, time) AS "open",
    MAX(price) AS high,
    MIN(price) AS low,
    LAST(price, time) AS "close",
    MAX(day_volume) - LAG(max(day_volume), 1) OVER(
    PARTITION BY symbol
    ORDER BY time_bucket('$bucket_interval', time)
    ) AS bucket_volume
    FROM stocks_real_time
    WHERE symbol IN ($symbol)
    AND time > $__timeFrom()::timestamptz AND time < $__timeTo()::timestamptz
    GROUP BY time_bucket('$bucket_interval', time), symbol;
  2. Refresh the dashboard to get the updated chart.

    At the bottom of the plot, you see the trade volume for each time bucket.

In conclusion, candlestick charts are a great way to visualize financial data. This tutorial shows you how to use TimescaleDB to generate candlestick values that includes open, high, low, and close, from raw data in a hypertable. It also shows you how to query the traded volume for each time interval.

To see other examples of how you can use TimescaleDB and Grafana, check out all the Grafana tutorials.

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