As an aspiring developer, you may often need to visualize data in your web or mobile applications in a way that users can understand effortlessly. And you probably want those data visualization dashboards and charts to be clean, clutter-free and interactive, right?
With FusionCharts, you can extract raw data from databases and transform it into clear, actionable insights through interactive visualizations. This allows your users to better understand key metrics and make data-driven decisions quickly.
The Growing Importance of Data Visualization
Before we look at FusionCharts itself, it‘s worth understanding why data visualization has become so critical in modern applications.
According to a Forrester report:
- 76% of enterprises rely more on data visualization for decision-making today compared to 5 years ago.
- Decision makers are 75% more likely to take action when data is visualized rather than presented as reports, tables or text.
This shift is being driven by the rise of big data and the need to understand massive datasets quickly. Visual representations allow us to consume complex insights far faster than plain text.
Data visualization also enables:
Faster insights – Charts and graphs simplify big data into easily understood visuals, saving hours of analyzing raw datasets.
Better storytelling – Visuals help tell a story with data that resonates with users and makes insights memorable.
Improved decision making – With clear data visualization, users can make quick, data-driven decisions for their business.
Enhanced user experience – Interactivity allows users to engage with data visualization to uncover granular insights.
So there are some clear benefits to adding rich data visualizations in your applications!
Next, let‘s look at some popular open source libraries and their limitations when it comes to building robust dashboards and charts.
Limitations of Existing Open Source Libraries
However, while these libraries are great for simple use cases, they have some limitations:
Steep learning curve – Libraries like D3.js have complex APIs and concepts like SVG manipulation which add overhead for beginners.
Compatibility issues – Integrating libraries like Highcharts and Chart.js with React, Angular and other frameworks can be buggy and complex.
Limited chart types – Most open source libraries focus only on basic charts and have few advanced visualizations.
No server-side rendering – This means initial rendering can be slow as charts have to be drawn client-side.
Lack of customization – Tweaking chart types, colors, styles beyond a certain point is difficult in open source libraries.
These limitations increase development effort, cost and delays in shipping performant applications.
Now you‘re probably wondering – is there a better way to build rich, interactive dashboards without these downsides?
Well, I‘m glad you asked! Let‘s look at how FusionCharts solves these problems…
What is FusionCharts and Why It‘s Different
Here are some unique advantages that set FusionCharts apart:
Huge library of charts, maps and widgets
FusionCharts offers over 90+ configurable chart types beyond basic charts – pies, bars and lines. These include advanced visualizations like heat maps, network graphs, sparklines, gauges and more.
There are also over 2000 maps for plotting geo-spatial data.
Works across frameworks and languages
Charts rendered using FusionCharts seamlessly integrate with popular frontend frameworks like React, Vue, Angular, jQuery etc.
FusionCharts also supports backend languages like PHP, Node.js, .NET, Java, Python etc. to connect with various data sources.
This cross-framework compatibility saves enormous developer effort.
High performance rendering
FusionCharts utilizes both SVG and Canvas rendering to provide smooth animations and interactions even with thousands of datapoints.
Certain charts are rendered on the server side to boost initial load time. FusionCharts is also optimized to render charts in under 1/10th of a second.
Fully customizable and interactive
Every element of FusionCharts visualizations like colors, font styles, legend position etc. can be customized via simple configurations.
Charts also come packed with interactive features like drill-down, slicing, tooltip hovers and more to facilitate data exploration.
Integrates with existing tools
FusionCharts provide out-of-the-box support for exporting charts as images or PDFs. It also lets you embed charts in third-party apps using iframes, APIs etc.
There are also plugins for integration with WordPress, Power BI, Tableau and more.
Abundant documentation with live examples and API references guide you through integration and usage. The FusionCharts team is also active in developer forums providing support.
These benefits allow developers to go-to-market faster with robust data visualization apps without the downsides of open source libraries.
Now that you know how FusionCharts overcomes common data visualization challenges, let‘s dig deeper into the various products and components that make up the library.
FusionCharts Suite XT – All Your Charts at One Place
The key components of FusionCharts are bundled together as the FusionCharts Suite XT package. This brings all the chart types, maps, widgets, and tools together in one unified library.
The Suite XT includes:
90+ Charts to Visualize Any Data
FusionCharts XT is the core charting component with over 90+ chart types for any use case – from simple bars and pies to advanced visuals.
Some interesting chart types are:
- Plot charts like spline, area, bar, pie, donut, etc. for basic representations.
- Advanced visuals like pareto, waterfall, heatmaps for more complex data.
- Range charts like sparklines, candlestick, overlapped bars work great for variations over time.
- Relationship charts like node diagram, chord illustrate connections between data points.
You can also pick from four aesthetic chart themes – Fusion, Gammel, Candy and Umber based on your brand style.
And you‘re not just limited to flat charts – FusionCharts lets you render visually appealing 3D charts to showcase important insights.
With so many chart types and customization options, you‘re bound to find the perfect visualizations to represent your data!
Widgets and Gauges for Key Metrics
While charts visualize complex data relationships, FusionWidgets XT focuses on displaying key performance metrics.
Widgets like gauges, spark graphs, bullet graphs and progressbars can highlight essential numbers like KPIs, growth rate, or conversion ratio in dashboards.
Some helpful FusionWidget types are:
- Bulb and Cylinder gauges to show value vs target comparisons.
- Trend-arrows to indicate increases or decreases from prior period.
- Funnels to illustrate stages in a conversion process.
- Pyramids for hierarchical representations like sales team structure.
Widgets enable showcasing important metrics without cluttering the dashboard. You can also configure limits, color ranges and styles for the widgets.
Advanced Visualizations for Domain Data
For specific business verticals, PowerCharts XT provides advanced visualizations tailored to the domain.
Some interesting examples are:
- Pareto charts popular in quality management to identify vital issues.
- Kagi charts used in stock trading to view price fluctuations.
- Radar charts useful in statistical analysis to compare weighted metrics.
- Gantt charts for project planning to view task timelines and schedules.
Whether it‘s sales, operations, IT or marketing – you can find a domain-specific chart type to provide actionable insights.
FusionCharts Suite XT combines basic, advanced, business and domain-specific charts and widgets in one package – making it a one-stop solution for dashboarding and data visualization.
Now that you have a solid understanding of the chart types available, let‘s move on to how FusionCharts simplifies working with geographical data for plotting and analysis.
Visualize Geographical Data using Vector Maps
For global companies, geographical data is often crucial to understand – be it sales by region, customers by country or service reach by state.
FusionMaps XT includes over 2000+ vector maps to plot geo-spatial data and understand behavior across locations.
With interactive zooming and panning, the maps provide insights like:
- View customer distribution across countries.
- Compare regional sales or growth metrics between locations.
- Identify geographic clusters and patterns in data.
Key features of the maps component are:
- 2000+ maps – World maps, continents, countries, states, counties, cities and custom areas.
- Thematic mapping – Color code maps based on configured data ranges to highlight insights.
- Map markers – Pin map locations to denote assets, events or scatter data.
- Heat maps – Visually represent the density of data across geographies using color shades.
With such flexible mapping capabilities, you can easily build location analytics into your applications.
Up next, we‘ll explore how FusionCharts simplifies handling time series data for finance and IoT applications.
Plot Complex Time-Series Charts
For many modern apps like live stock trading, cryptocurrency, IoT and sensors – plotting time-series data is a key requirement.
FusionTime provides flexible time-series charts that can render both streaming real-time and historical time-series data with ease.
Some ways you can apply time-series charts:
- Plot live stock prices using line, area, column and candlestick charts.
- Visualize currency exchange rates over custom intervals.
- View server CPU utilization trends over past hours or days.
- Track website visits or app usage over time.
- Represent data from IoT devices and sensors in real-time.
FusionTime takes care of efficiently handling time-series data at scale, letting you focus on building robust applications for finance, operations, and IoT.
Next up, we‘ll see how FusionCharts allows exporting and embedding visualizations into apps and reports seamlessly.
Export and Embed Interactive Charts
Once you‘ve built the dashboards and visualizations, your users would naturally want to export or embed them for reports, presentations and apps.
This is where FusionExport comes in. It lets you export dashboards and charts in various static formats. You can also generate embed codes to integrate them into websites and apps.
Key features are:
Export as images – Download charts as JPG, PNG, SVG, PDF formats for use across apps.
Scheduled exports – Auto-export dashboards on a daily, weekly or monthly schedule.
Email exports – Directly email chart snapshots from the dashboard itself.
Server-side exporting – Achieves faster export performance compared to client-side.
FusionExport supports interfacing with various programming languages too like Node.js, Java, C# etc. making integration a breeze.
Now that we‘ve looked at the main components of FusionCharts Suite XT, let‘s discuss how FusionCharts helps make visualizations more accessible.
Building Accessible and Interactive Charts
Making dashboards accessible is vital today to support all your users. FusionCharts aims to provide built-in accessibility in upcoming releases.
The FusionCharts Accessibility Extension adds multiple features to make charts more usable for the visually impaired:
Screen reader support – Chart elements are accessible using assistive tools like screen readers.
Keyboard navigation – Users can interact and navigate charts using just a keyboard.
Accessible styling – Charts use sufficient color contrast ratios, focus styles and ARIA attributes.
Interactive drilldowns – Keyboard accessible chart interactivity for drilling down into data.
With an aim to conform to W3C‘s WCAG 2.1 accessibility guidelines, these enhancements make FusionCharts dashboards more usable and engaging for all users.
Integrate FusionCharts via APIs into Apps
I‘ve walked you through the wide range of chart types and components that FusionCharts Suite XT offers. But how do you actually integrate it within your apps?
Well, FusionCharts provides a robust set of APIs to embed and control charts programatically:
- Simple APIs to render charts via JSON and XML data sources.
- Data engine API to pipe in real-time data streams into charts.
- Events API to hook into chart events like dataplotclick, legendclick etc.
- Methods API to update chart data, add data plots, clear chart etc.
- Export API to export charts as images and PDF programmatically.
For backend languages, FusionCharts offers server-side SDKs for:
These APIs and SDKs give you tremendous flexibility to seamlessly integrate visualizations into your application architecture.
The official documentation has great resources explaining the APIs in detail with examples.
Why I Highly Recommend Using FusionCharts
After having explored FusionCharts suite in depth, I hope you‘re convinced that it is the easiest way to build stunning, interactive data visualizations.
Here‘s a quick summary of the key benefits:
- Accelerate development using ready-made, configurable charts.
- Create engaging dashboards with advanced visualizations.
- Add interactivity like drill-downs to uncover insights.
- Simplify integration with framework support and APIs.
- Export and embed charts into apps and reports.
- Reduce accessibility gaps with built-in features.
FusionCharts takes care of the complexity of data visualization – allowing you to focus on building a great product.
The team is also super responsive if you ever need help or support.
It‘s made me way more productive and helped build complex, yet easy to use analytics for my users. I‘m confident it‘ll do the same for you and your projects!
Hope this gives you a great overview of how FusionCharts can level up your data visualization game. Time to go and build that dashboard!