React is one of the most popular open-source Javascript libraries for building user interfaces. It is an excellent candidate for handling the view layer of any modern web or mobile application. The best part is that React is easily integrated with other frameworks and technologies to address many front-end development requirements. React enables developers to create interactive interfaces without the need to reload the page. This feature is the key to creating beautiful, intuitive, performance-centric interfaces. However, Graphs and charts are one UI component that can be complex to implement correctly with React. In this post, let’s look at some facts about React charts that you might not know.

React not having a Native Charting Feature is not a problem

You do not have to create charting functionality from scratch in React, even if it does not have a built-in feature to create complex graphs and charts. React can be combined with a large number of third-party data visualization libraries to create the necessary UI elements for graphs and charts. When it comes to generating chart libraries, a developer has different considerations depending on their exact development requirements. A charting library like react-chartjs-2 will suffice if you want to simply generate a chart. React-chartjs-2 is a wrapper for the popular Chart.js library that you can easily integrate with React. All the features of that library can be used with React components. Libraries like D3 allow developers to bind arbitrary data to a Document Object Model (DOM) and apply different transformations. This library is truly unique because it allows developers to easily support modern web standards without needing to rely on a specific framework or library. It is ideal if you need to create custom visualizations. Some charting libraries themselves use D3 as the base to facilitate their functionalities.

Charts can be Generated Server-Side

You can generate charts on both the front and back ends. Some libraries like Nivo support generating charts on the server-side. This method involves sending a POST request to the server (backend) of the application with the required data set. It then creates the chart and returns the chart URL. You can further manipulate this response to customize how the chart displays.

Manage the Underlying Data Set

When trying to generate charts, most developers forget that the underlying data set plays an important part in how the visualization works. Data determines how the visualization presents and directly impacts the performance and usability of the entire user interface. In an underlying data set, data format, individual fields, and their data types, combined with the overall size of the data set, directly affect the user experience. Always ensure you properly format your data set and it is lightweight enough to render quickly and clearly regardless of how you query data. It doesn’t matter whether you query a simple JSON file or a database, before generating a chart or graph. Therefore, data clearing and transformation beforehand are essential for a better charting experience.

Apply Prototyping Tools to Charts

You do not need to play around directly in your development environment to test a visualization. Tools like React Cosmos provide developers with a sandbox for developing and testing UI components in isolation. They allow users to play around with different components and conveniently create high-quality reusable UI components. Thus, you can easily create a standardized chart component you can use across multiple projects with different data sets.

Interactivity is Crucial for Best User Experience

Simply creating and presenting a chart is not adequate for modern websites. Interactivity plays a key part in capturing the attention of users. In addition, interactivity is key to providing dynamic charts and graphs. Charts have evolved from simple bar or pie charts into much more complex charts like heat maps, spider charts, sankey diagrams, chord diagrams, and maps. The more options a developer has, the better the visualizations they create accurately describe underlying data. However, creating interactive charts and providing users options such as sorting, filtering, zooming, and drill-downs to further customize the chart output can be a complex process. Another factor to consider is the ability to export data. The ability to export data can be a make or break feature for some users and adds another dimension to the available capabilities of the application. So, selecting a library that provides all these features is key to simplifying the development.

Charting Library to Satisfy all Charting Needs

Is there a single charting library you can use to satisfy all your charting requirements and easily use across any project by facilitating any use case? Most developers are unaware that there is a library that satisfies all these needs and much more. FusionCharts is fully compatible with React. Its collection includes more than 100 charts and 2000 plus map types. It simplifies the creation of responsive and interactive charts with its developer-first mindset. Moreover, developers can be confident that their visualizations will work on mobile and web since all chart components are mobile-first by default. FusionCharts also comes with event support for mouse, touch, and keyboard. This allows developers to add in runtime at any phase of the application. Additionally, you can use FusionCharts to process millions of data points without sacrificing performance and reducing the need for separate performance optimizations. You may want to create a simple chart to display sales statistics of your e-commerce app or a complete dashboard for a SaaS application. FusionCharts is equally capable of providing all the necessary components and features to satisfy any development need.  

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