Which charts and graphs should be used in your web dashboard?

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It is impossible to think of any dashboard without charts or graphs. Charts present any complex statics rapidly and successfully. Similarly, a good graph can develop your overall design of your websites. You should know that if you want to create data visualization you will need enough time in building a serious application. You must have the clear knowledge of what DataViz you want to achieve, or how much time you will need to build the application, or the knowledge of devices and where these are used. Thus, you should have the clear idea about the application. If you go the JavaScript Chart library you will get enough information regarding this and this information will help you to build the application.


Which charts and graphs should be used in your web dashboard?


Cross browser compatibility

What type of charting library of JavaScript Chart you want depends on upon your target audience. You may search for modern browsers or browsers that are compatible depend on your audience. Suppose you are building the charting library for a government you will need a type of browser or if you are building for enterprise clients then you will need another type of browser. Often it is found that they are using the older version of IE, then this charting library will be of no use because this charting library works with modern browsers. This may not be a good choice. It is not easy to handle these cross-browser compatibility issues, so the library that you choose will do for you. The libraries that work on modern browsers are D3. JS, Chart js and Chartist.js. The libraries that work in all the browsers are Fusion Charts, amCharts, and Highcharts


Cross-device compatibility

You should keep in mind that JavaScript Chart or Charting library is for large screen viewing because the charting libraries work for the dataviz component. If you want to experience hand-held devices then the charting library that you have chosen will do the work for you, or the charting library will be responsive. So you should not use the application on your desktop or in mobile. It is becoming important as the users are changing their habits in recent times.
If your application is for mobile then you will need the different size of the library. The library is needed in a different size because the browsing speed in the smartphone is different and the smartphone has the lower processing. For the smartphone, you can use a library with lower footprint. You should not bother for cross-device compatibility because your application will run on one device and that may be your desktop or on your mobile.


Input data format

JavaScript Object Notation has become a standard format especially when you are using it in JavaScript Chart or charting libraries. In other cases, you have to deal with XML data for the data viz, and you have to know whether your charting library will support it or not. You have to load the data from a database server like MySQL, Oracle, and SQL Server. In this case, you will take into account the format whether it is acceptable to your library or to other parts of the application. You can load your data in other ways are HTML tables and CSV, text. You will need to write the convert data to custom data into the format and that should be accepted y the library that you have chosen.



Before customizing your application you should ensure whether the charting library is flexible enough so that you can do what you like, or will it just work well on defaults? There are so many things that you can play around like configuring legends, adding custom shapes, attaching event handles such as hover, click, key press etc, managing chart lifecycle, leveraging drill down of data, and applying themes. Thus, if you like to create the beautiful design, it would be better that you have the library which is easily customizable and you can give shape it according to the design of the application. It is also true that with great customizability you will have great complexities. You can take D3.js for example because it allows the elements to configure on the chart but doing so its effort becomes intensive. You have FusionCharts library and Highcharts library which makes a perfect balance between these two. You can get a lot of freedom for customizing the chart which requires minimum effort on your side.


Range of available charts

In this application, you can create any visualization but it should be the part of the library. There are different types of charting libraries which have collective packages in which different charts are grouped like, widgets, stock charts, and maps. Depending on the use-case you can select a package or you can select the complete bundle. You should always think for your future needs and select the package in which you will get the chart and that chart you may require in future so you should keep this in your mind.


Learning curve

D3.js data visualization has a steep learning curve which is very powerful. If you are using the charting library for the first time or you are running on the deadline then it will be hard to use it. If you have enough time for experimentation and you have just started DataViz you can try libraries then you can get the result in a satisfactory way but sometimes it needs some investment. If you want to depend completely on the application that you have built or you want a small part for application of charting or visualizing, or you just need simple charts, then you can go for libraries that will be easy to use and will give support to various chart types out of the box like FusionCharts or Chart.js.



The performance is dependent on various factors like the size of the library, rendering, and re-rendering, memory usage, a number of browser repaint cycle, garbage collection etc. Suppose you have built a dashboard which is used in local internet, in that case, using a library will be meaningless as the smallest package size makes no sense here. You can choose the library that is based on other factors will be suitable for you.

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Gagandeep Sethi

Project Manager

With an ability to learn and apply, passion for coding and development, Gagandeep Sethi has made his way from a trainee to Tech Lead at Promatics. He stands at the forefront of the fatest moving technology industry trend: hybrid mobility solutions. He has good understanding of analyzing technical needs of clients and proposing the best solutions. Having demonstrated experience in building hybroid apps using Phonegap and Ionic, his work is well appreciated by his clients. Gagandeep holds master’s degree in Computer Application. When he is not at work, he loves to listen to music and hang out with friends.

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