The Most Versatile JS Solution To Data Visualization – D3.js


With massive amounts of data being generated daily, practical visualization of this accumulated data is critical. Visual representation has always been the most effective consumable format for assimilating information. As a result, the word data visualization was coined as the display of information through visual elements such as charts, graphs, maps, etc. When it comes to helping people understand and interact with complex data sets, data visualization should be the primary approach.

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According to a 2020 report by Fortune Business Insights, the 2019 global data visualization market estimate bordered at $8.85 billion. The revenue is projected to reach $19.20 billion by 2027 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.2% between 2022 and 2027. Thus, the future of data visualization is bright and the demand is high. 

History of Data Visualization

The 17th century saw a shift toward the visual representation of statistical data rather than the usual connotations of mapped areas. With the advent of the 20th century, the need for computational data representation took over the research world. Thus, ticking off the race to visually represent data online. 

Since then, people have been driven by this very need to create a better approach. Despite everything, data visualization in web browsers has always been a rather challenging task.

Since 2005, tool kits such as Prefuse, Flare, and Protovis have been used to bring this view to life. However, D3 came as a caped hero, setting web standards with enhanced performance. Since then several other similar tools have been marketed but D3 is still a favorite because of its many features.

What exactly is D3 or Data-Driven Documents? 

D3.js, or D3 as it is popularly known, short for Data-Driven Documents, is an interactive JavaScript library creating custom dynamic data displays in web browsers using static data or from an external server. It uses web standards such as SVG, CSS, HTML, etc.

Is D3 good for visualization? 

Let’s glimpse through D3 data visualization features.

Data-driven modification of the Document Object Model (DOM) is allowed by D3. Thus, elements are dynamically constructed and styled. With no standard visualization format in D3, it provides the user with the choice to generate anything from a simple HTML table to a dynamic line or bar or pie chart, to a graph, to a 3-D geographic map using the geoJSON and topoJSON formats. 

D3 interpolates values in between to find intermittent states and offers the user complete liberty over the visualization features via the transition() functions. It also provides excellent support for faster and more responsive animation with features like duration(), delay(), and ease().

Key Benefits – Why Use D3 over other visualization tools?

D3 is preferred over other data visualization tools and the key reasons why –

  • Data-focused. Hence, an apt and specialized tool for data visualizations.
  • A JavaScript library. Hence, compatible with all JS frameworks such as Angular.js, React.js, Ember.js, etc.
  • Open-sourced. Hence, users can work with the source code and customize it as per their needs.
  • Works with web standards. Hence, it cancels out the need for-
    • A plugin other than a browser for its usage 
    • New learning or debugging tool
  • No standard visualization format. Hence, gives users the ultimate freedom to customize visualizations at will. This gives D3 an edge over other popular tools such as Chart.JS, Tableau, or QlikView.
  • Fast and works effortlessly with large and complex datasets.

The market is flooded with the demand for data analysts and engineers, and companies are shifting to the modernized almost no physical paperwork rule. This has ensured a drastic shift in the collection, aggregation, analysis, and interpretation of data – all done through online mode. This in turn has increased the need for a better, more efficient approach to data visualization. 

We at TechVariable have worked with multiple clients with needs for a better data management resource. In case you are one with this very wish or know someone who needs an efficient software system for adequate visualization of their multitudes of data to create a better understanding of the aggregate, reach out to us. We are the help you are looking for.

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