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5 Awesome jQuery­-based Interactive Data Visualization Tools


Presented in this post are five great interactive data visualization libraries for jQuery.



Olivia Young, Satellite Broadband ISP.

It can be a difficult task to wade through the stats and numbers to arrive at meaningful conclusions. On the contrary, with graphical representation, it is possible to uncover patterns and trends that wouldn't be apparent from looking at the rows of numbers alone. That's where visualization comes into the picture.

Graphical data visualization has enabled us to harness data in lending impactful insights. Visualization helps to communicate information clearly and efficiently, allowing the decision makers derive meaningful conclusions and actionable insights.

Advancements in browser technologies have paved the way for developers to spice up the graphical representation of data with visual effects. There are several web technologies that can be used to create interactive charts and graphs, but nothing does it better than jQuery. Here's a list of 5 awesome jQuery tools that can make interactive data visualization a real breeze.

1. HighCharts

Highcharts

HighCharts is a charting library written in pure JavaScript, which can be used to create intuitive, interactive and visually appealing graphical charts on websites and web applications.

HighCharts supports numerous chart types including line, spline, area, areaspline, column, bar, pie, scatter, angular gauges, arearange, columnrange and polar charts. It also offers an API to add, remove and modify series and data points at any time. Other notable features include multi-axes support, tooltip labels, dynamic charts with real-time data updates. With the in-built exporting module, you can export the chart to PNG, JPG, PDF or SVG format at the click of a button.

HighCharts is compatible with all modern web browsers including the older ones like IE6 and Opera Mini. It is mobile friendly and supports touch/swipe functionalities. HighCharts is free for non-commercial use, but for commercial purpose, you are required to purchase the commercial license.

One of the standout features of HighCharts is that you are allowed to download the source code and make your own customization. For the developers with jQuery certification or expert level knowledge, it's a great flexibility to modify or expand the capabilities of this amazing charting tool.

2. Flot

Flot

Flot is actually a Danish word which means elegant and impressive - and that's precisely what this amazing jQuery tool does! It is an open-source JavaScript plotting library for jQuery that can be freely downloaded from its official website and GitHub.

The Flot library is primarily focused on creating easy-to-use interactive charts and graphs from a given set of data. With its fully interactive interface, the users can easily switch on or off specific set of values, series and axes. It supports a variety of user defined inputs like panning, zooming, stacked charts and axes changes.

Flot is compatible with all popular web browser programs including Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Opera. It works well with both older (pre 1.4.x) and newer (1.9.x+) versions of jQuery.

3. Chart.JS

Chart.JS is an open-source jQuery-based charting library. It is light-weight, yet loaded with many exciting features. It allows you to visualize data in 8 different chart types. Chart.JS allows you to plot complex, sparse datasets on date time, logarithmic or even entirely custom scales.

With the ability to re-scale based on the width of the device, it offers a fully responsive user experience. It uses HTML5 'canvas' element for rendering, which translates to blazing fast chart display across all modern browsers. It has been extensively tested for cross-browser compatibility and works well with almost any web browsing program.

4. FusionCharts

If you are looking to transform bland data into delightful visualizations in your business dashboards, then FusionCharts can be the perfect tool to opt for. Released in 2002, it is one of the oldest jQuery-based charting libraries out there, which is still going strong in the market.

FusionCharts boasts of exceptional cross-browser compatibility, including mobile browsers. It supports real-time data updates, interactive zooming, drill-down and scrolling functionalities. Charts are rendered through HTML5/SVG and VML for better portability and compatibility. It also allows you to export the charts in JPEG, PNG, or PDF formats.

5. Easy Pie Chart

If simplicity and ease of use are your top priorities, then it's worth taking a look at Easy Pie Chart. This light-weight jQuery plugin is a simple and efficient tool to create elegant data visualization presentations. This tool is compatible with all modern browsers that support HTML5. It is an open-source project released under the MIT license.

Easy Pie Chart uses the HTML5 'canvas' element to render the charts. The charts created with this tool are highly customizable. The best part of this jQuery plugin is that it offers complete responsiveness. The charts scale according to the display resolution to provide seamless viewing experience. It is also possible to animate the charts with smooth transition effects.

Bio: Olivia Young, a tech enthusiast, geek and writer. She is particularly interested in the proliferation of Big Data tips and tricks around the web. She holds the position of consultant writer at Satellite Broadband ISP, a resource site to help people living in rural areas find high speed satellite Internet service providers in their area such as Wilblue Exede and HughesNet Gen4. Follow Olivia on Google plus.

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