Data visualization with D3, benefits and comparison with Google Charts.
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on May 2nd,2017

Data visualization plays a very important role for any business to have a proper matrix in place, and more accurate if they are provided with real time.

Data driven Documents aka D3 is a java script library for producing interactive and dynamic data visualization in web browser.

D3 allows you to bind arbitrary data to a Document object model (DOM) and then applying data driven transformation to the document. D3 is a non-monolithic framework that tends to provide every conceivable feature. Efficient manipulation of documents based on data is solved by D3. D3 seeks to expose the full capabilities of web standards such as HTML, SVG and CSS by providing extraordinary flexibility and avoiding proprietary representation. With minimal overhead, D3 is extremely fast, supporting large datasets and dynamic behaviors for interaction and animation. D3’s functional style allows code reuse through a diverse collection of components and plugins.

Transformation, not Representation

D3 does not introduce a new visual representation. Unlike Processing, Raphaël, or Protovis, D3’s vocabulary of graphical marks comes directly from web standards: HTML, SVG, and CSS. For example, you can create SVG elements using D3 and style them with external stylesheets. You can use composite filter effects, dashed strokes and clipping. If browser vendors introduce new features tomorrow, you’ll be able to use them immediately—no toolkit update required. And, if you decide in the future to use a toolkit other than D3, you can take your knowledge of standards with you!

Best of all, D3 is easy to debug using the browser’s built-in element inspector: the nodes that you manipulate with D3 are exactly those that the browser understands natively.

Advantages of D3.js over Google Charts
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One of the major points in favor of D3.js is that you can make your visualizations the way you want. This is not possible in Google Charts, where you can only create frequently used charts like bar, line, column, etc.

While some of the Google Charts do not support a large amount of data and have some limit, D3.js can be used for data ranging from bits to gigabits and it will still go strong.

Even with the general graphs, you can add many other DOM functions in D3.js like zoom or click functions for any graph you want, which is not quite possible for all the Google Charts.

Major users of D3 are NYTimes, Uber and Weather.com
To know more on how we can help you address your challenges for Data visualization, contact us at marketing@minddeft.com
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