Best JavaScript Libraries for Interactive Data Visualisations in 2022

Best JavaScript Libraries for Interactive Data Visualisations in 2022
Photo by Markus Winkler / Unsplash

In a separate blog post, we talked about the need for building highly interactive data visualisations which you can show off to others.

That's great if you would prefer to create visualisations without the stress of having to write any code. That being said, you may find yourself in a situation where you need to build something from scratch using web-based technologies such as JavaScipt.

Thankfully, there are many JavaScript libraries out there which can be used to create some amazing visualisations on the web. In this blog post, we mention three of the most well-known and widely used libraries used in 2022.

D3.js

The industry standard

It's fair to say that D3 is considered the industry standard and is the most dominant JavaScipt library for any kind of data visualisation. There is a strong chance that you may have heard of this before if you work in the data science industry. D3 is perhaps the most popular choice when it comes to building interactive visualisations as it is incredibly versatile and can be used to build almost anything. Check out the list here.

Pros

  • Well supported and has a strong community backing
  • Can be used to visualise almost anything
  • Very customisable

Cons

  • Can be a little daunting to use for beginners
  • Documentation could be improved
  • Overly complicated for simple tasks.

Apache ECharts

Ideal for beginners

The creators of Apache Superset bring ECharts, a JavaScript library similar to that of D3 designed to create intuitive and highly-customisable charts across modern web browsers. Much like D3, ECharts supports many different type of visualsation however, ECharts has its own highly-configurable online builder and theme designer for creating simple charts to better suit your needs.

Pros

  • Easy to get things started from scratch
  • Well documented with clear examples
  • Visually pleaseing and well-designed

Cons

  • Not as well known or supported
  • Not as versatile
  • Not as well supported compared to other libraries

Charts.js

Great for simple projects

Charts JS is a great light weight alternative to the JavaScript giants such as D3. Charts JS is much simpler in design and is mainly used for creating simple yet quick data visualisations that could be used in things like blog posts. However, the documentation provides very few examples beyond creating simple charts such as the classic line chart.

Pros

  • Uses very minimal code for simple charts
  • Incredibly easy to use
  • Very simple and quick to implement.

Cons

  • Limited in use and lacks extendibility
  • Documentation and JavaScript examples could be improved
  • Not designed for larger projects/applications

Conclusions

While this blog post just provides three examples of what JavaScript library is to use, it is important to acknowledge that there are many other alternative solutions which serve as potential candidates. This blog post focuses on the most popular libraries which can be used on anything from simple blog posts to commercial software depending on your needs.