5 Data Visualization Widgets for Modern JavaScirpt Libraries by@natashatsybliyenko

5 Data Visualization Widgets for Modern JavaScirpt Libraries

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Visualization is the key. We are dealing with tons of files every day. The volume of information is constantly growing. The more information we need to process, the easier and more logically it should be arranged. That's why charts, diagrams, and graphs catch our attention. The information there is well-structured and understandable which leads to faster analysis, comprehension, and decision-making.

JavaScript serves the purposes of data visualization and sites interactivity the best. Nowadays, numerous JS libraries are used to facilitate the processes of data visualization. In this overview, we have gathered the widgets to arm developers with the best modern practices. First, we will review the most popular types of visualization widgets. Second, we will look through the modern JS libraries offering those features.

Charts and diagrams represent the data graphically. The information provided in a chart can be shown as bars, lines, slices, or a sequence of connected pictures. Any visual aid that includes pictures and words indicating them can be called a chart. For example, they can be safety instructions on board a plane, a bar graph indicating world population, or a family tree.

Maps can be divided into roadmaps, satellite maps, terrain, and hybrid ones. The main purpose is usually to show the location of something or to navigate.

Video widgets help to embed video files into applications. They usually support various file types.

Those were the most commonly used visualization features. For more specific applications developers can use gauge components, barcodes, organograms. There are thousands of various ways to grab the attention of the users and to let them perceive the data in the most effective way.

Now let's focus on the most complete and appealing sets of visualization widgets of the modern JS libraries.

1. D3.js

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This is probably the most well-known library among developers when it comes to data visualization. The library includes means for animation, data analysis, data utilities, DOM utilities, and geodata. The library is overwhelming and all-mighty, which has its flip side. It is quite difficult to learn, the documentation is confusing and outdated. The API often exposes direct access to the DOM, which steps in contradiction with how modern frontend frameworks like React or Vue work. However, in most cases, the issues can be walked around.

2. Webix JavaScript Charts

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Webix is a well-developed JS library with ready-made widgets that can be used independently as SPA applications or built into any other environment. The library contains some of the most common data visualization widgets. They are all easy to maintain as they are written with a few lines of code, the documentation is detailed, and the support is responsive. The choice is quite limited, however, the available widgets close the most typical needs of the developers. There are Charts, Bullet graph widget, Barcode, Excel viewer, Maps, Template widget, and so on. So, there are ideal solutions if you are looking for something smart but not too sophisticated.

3. Chart.js

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With this library, we come to open-source resources. It is a simple and lightweight solution. Developers won't find a wide variety of chart types and individual settings here, however, it perfectly copes with basic requirements. A nice feature is that you can combine different datasets and mix line and bar charts, for your visualization to look unique and informative. The library offers 8 types of graphs and diagrams. All types of graphs can be customized and animated, and they are all adaptive when working online. The functionality can be extended through the use of plugins.

4. ZoomCharts

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This is a visualization tool, which claims to be the world’s most interactive JS charts library. It's reactive, it’s concentrated mostly on multi-touch gestures and a native feel across all kinds of devices. The solution undertakes to provide customers with beautiful visualizations that have little code and can be easily exploited in any product. Zoomcharts are Canvas-based, and with default settings, the library works up to twenty times faster than its SVG-based competitors using the same data and settings. Though the library is reviewed as expensive, its fascinating interactivity, multi-touch gestures, and high-calibre customer support are worth the money.

5. amCharts

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This is a nice solution for large companies. The fee is fixed, but the features are extensive. Among the customers, there are such names as Apple, NASA, Amazon. There are many types of graphs, including interactive maps and Gantt charts. The feature of data analysis is included, as well as other well-developed interactive options. The library is integrated with React, Angular, Vue, Ember, etc. It also has a ready-made plugin for WordPress and a possibility to export graphs to an image or PDF file.

Conclusion

The libraries are different in their features, size, and speed. But the ideal option is always the one that meets all the requirements of the current project. That's why the first and foremost is to carefully study the customers' demands, to compare the available options on the market, and finally to start the process of visualization.

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