Interactive charts are becoming increasingly meaningful for organizations everywhere. They allow companies to process and analyze large data sets quickly.
These data visualizations benefit from the brain’s capability to capture visual information. Then, they display them for readers to draw accurate conclusions and make reliable decisions.
Animation is a fundamental element for any interactive chart. It enables users to play an active part and perform a more in-depth analysis of the data displayed. Filters and effects like tooltips also boost engagement.
So what animated and interactive elements could you add to your charts? And how can you ensure your interactive graphs are valuable and engaging?
In this article, find essential techniques to improve your data visualizations while keeping your readers in mind. Understand which chart types and elements to focus on according to your project. Then, learn how wpDataTables allows you to build top-quality charts in nine easy steps.
Finally, check out the best interactive maps published to find excellent ideas for creating unique maps. But first, look into what an interactive chart is.
What is an Interactive Chart?
As their name implies, interactive graphs have elements that respond to user actions. They deliver more engaging and insightful experiences. They also adopt many features from tech devices, such as tablets and smartphones.
This way, users can interact with the charts in familiar ways. These interactive maps turn data analysis into a discovery journey controlled by viewers. They can look into the outline of the data or perform an in-depth examination of it.
Static Charts vs. Interactive Charts
Static charts are categorized as data visualization. They help organize information and simplify its interpretation. As such, they complement printed documents, like business reports.
Still, these maps lack movement and interaction possibilities. Their characteristics make them best suited for smaller and less complex data.
Contrarily, their interactive counterparts portray complex data, often streamlining it in a dashboard. Interactive elements enable you to represent different categories and variables in one chart. They help provide a more comprehensive context of the dataset displayed.
Techniques to Improve Interactive Data Visualization
Now that you have a better understanding of interactive graphs, look at the top techniques for creating engaging charts. Use them according to your visualization goals and needs and your audience’s preferences.
Upgrade Your Static Charts
You can animate your standard pie charts, line charts, or bar charts to improve engagement. Adding animated elements, regardless of the chart type, is essential for a better user experience. Here are two example possibilities:
- Interactive Decision Tree: You have probably worked with flowcharts before. They help break up complex processes into stages. Decision Trees serve the same purpose, adding interactiveness.
You can create Interactive Decision Trees to fit various situations and projects. For example, add one to your website to facilitate visitor navigation.
- Sankey Chart: Sankey Charts or diagrams enable you to portray flows between sets of values through arrows. You can create a chart for each variable or have a single map to display all the different options within the main topic.
The lowest values make for thinner arrows, while more significant flows create wider ones. These indicators then direct away or cross paths according to the situation and your chosen format.
Add Tools For Viewers
You can identify a data point in any chart via shapes or objects placed within it. These points respond to mouse movements or clicks by expanding to reveal extra information.
For example, a line chart might include dots to mark its main points. On the contrary, each column might make up for a data point in a column chart. Either way, these markers allow users to dig deeper into the values depicted.
Drill-Down and Hierarchical Navigation
Drill-down is a technique to include different layers of information in a chart. Thus, the user analyzes data values at various levels of complexity, starting at the outline and moving into further detail.
Hierarchical navigation is another way to structure your chart. You can use them for geographic or managerial maps.
Filtering and Selection Options
Filtering and selection are some of the most basic visualization add-ons. With them, users can focus on different types of information according to their search needs. You can incorporate a menu or sidebar checklist to enable a customized image.
After creating a data point on your graph, you can make it hovering-responsive. Then, attach an insightful tooltip to provide extra information. These tooltips can comprise detailed descriptions or tags or show precise values.
Animations triggered by scrolling or any other user action make the user experience more engaging. They can help reveal more data or highlight a line or point in your visualization.
On a different type of animation, animation makers can be used to create a variety of animated content, including explainer videos, product demos, and marketing videos.
Zoom and Pan
All visualizations should enable zooming. This way, users can click on the image to enlarge it, which accounts for a better understanding of the data.
They should also get to change their perspective throughout the analysis or pan the visualization. Still, you can only allow panning in axis graphs, like a box plot or a bar chart.
Create Interactive Charts with wpDataTables
Boom! Charts. They’re everywhere. Pie charts. Bar charts. Fancy line graphs with all those squiggly lines.
We love ’em, we hate ’em. But let’s be real here – we need ’em.
Why? Because without charts, all those juicy numbers and data are just, well, numbers. But with charts? Magic happens. Patterns emerge. Complex information transforms into bite-sized, understandable pieces.
You’ve got a website. It’s sleek, it’s shiny. But it’s missing that magic touch – interactive charts. You want your audience to engage. You want them to explore the data. You want to show them you’re not just a pretty face, but a brainy bunch, too.
And you’ve been hunting high and low, scanning the web’s far corners for a tool that can nail this for you.
With wpDataTables, you’re not just adding charts. You’re adding interactive charts. Fancy, modern, swipe-left-or-right kinda charts. A chart for every occasion, every type of data, and – the cherry on top – it’s so easy to use.
So why wait? Join the wpDataTables revolution now and take your website from blah to blazing. Give your audience the interactive chart experience they didn’t know they needed.
9 Steps to Build Interactive Visualizations Using wpDataTables
Follow these steps to create your interactive visualizations with wpDataTables:
- The first step is to install wpDataTables and start it on your WordPress website.
- On the plugin, click Create a Chart, write a title for your chart, and select your preferred rendering engine. It can be Google Charts, Highcharts, Chart.js, or ApexCharts.js.
- Choose your desired format from a selection of chart-type options. This selection varies according to your choice of rendering engine.
- Pick a data source. You can use a table you already created or build a new one. In this case, upload data from other sources, like Excel, CSV, JSON files, Google Sheets, or MySQL.
- Select which data will feature in your graph. You can specify the rows and columns you wish to feature in the final visualization. wpDataTables also has filtering and grouping options to facilitate the process.
- After defining the data range for your chart, click Next to move on to Formatting and Preview. In this step, you can see your chart rendered on the right side of your screen. Additionally, whatever changes you make are instantly visible.
- Move from each category to the next to make the needed customizations to your chart. There are numerous tailoring options. With the live preview feature, you can see the final look of your chart and change it according to your needs.
- Once the chart meets your requirements and personalization preferences, you can click Save. Afterward, wpDataTables saves your visualization on your WordPress database. It also emits a shortcode for it.
- All you have to do now is select Copy to copy the shortcode to your clipboard.
Impressive Interactive Chart Examples
Here are some outstanding interactive charts you can explore:
2018 FIFA World Cup Ratings
Directed toward soccer fans, this Tableau merges FIFA 18-player ratings with 2018 World Cup rosters. You will find a representation of player positions on the field and a scatter plot representative of their rating and value.
There is also a heatmap to compare the players in each country to the rest. This type of map is common in sports analytics. This visualization set by Scott Teal shows how to portray complex data in an understandable format.
Four Ways to Slice Obama’s 2013 Budget Proposal
In this example, a responsive bubble chart by Shan Carter with The New York Times represents Obama’s 2013 Budget Proposal.
It has hovering-responsive tooltips, tags, and colors to indicate changes in fund allocation. The bubble size varies with the amount of proposed expenses. Thus, the largest value will correspond to the biggest bubble.
How State Populations Have Shifted
This article by The Washington Post focuses on the evolution of US state populations in the last one hundred years. It has animations activated upon scrolling and timely notes explaining the changes depicted.
The map highlights each state’s position in 1920 and highlights its growth or decline through colored lines. This way, you can isolate and understand their trajectory.
Interactive Visualization Of The Exponential Spread Of COVID-19
Here, you will find four interactive charts that depict the global spread of COVID-19. The project emphasizes reliable data. Its sources are the Johns Hopkins University, Oxford University, or The Atlantic (COVID Tracking Project).
You can pick between a log or linear scale, filter data by country or US state, and create detailed reports. The maps are also responsive. You can hover over any point to discover more information, add extra highlights, or include additional data.
The graphics are downloadable, and users can animate them to see the development of its data appear naturally. This way, users can understand the evolution of COVID-19’s spread despite the large number of figures and records available.
Pinellas County’s Public School Inequalities For Black Students
Here is a powerful presentation by Tampa Bay Times staff writer Nathaniel Lash. It explores the effects of segregation in Pinellas County’s public schools. As such, the charts emphasize student and school results in several states and other Florida counties.
As a user, you can understand the impact of each graphic and its information. The straightforward descriptions pass on a clear and precise message.
The animations and transitions trigger upon clicking or scrolling. They might reveal the following chart or extra details. This feature is practical for viewing on mobile devices. Besides, it is already familiar to most users because of its applications in social media.
Supporting scrolling is an excellent form of ensuring readers stay engaged for longer. They also capture information better, as the charts and data become their principal focus.
The Sustainability Advantage
This example is an interactive report by Workflow. It centers on how Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) links with business strategy. You will discover insightful charts that portray supporting data and track crucial metrics.
It highlights the advantages of companies adopting environmental best practices. Then, it also points out the disadvantages of not doing so. The presentation divides into three sections to approach trust, leadership, and measurement.
It has many scroll-triggered transitions and animations, including parallax and fading effects. Despite having more text than other visualizations, this example features backing testimonials. It also provides context for users to understand the current situation and trends.
The Tobacco Atlas
The Tobacco Atlas helps raise awareness of the danger of tobacco usage and addiction. Despite the decline in consumption, this problem continues to impact millions worldwide. The visualization is impactful.
It employs charts, illustrations, and effects to highlight the data and conclusions. Developing along a vertical layout, users must click on specific points to access more information.
There are many opportunities for user interaction, with a horizontal slide gallery and an interactive world map.
The Largest Vocabulary in Hip Hop
In this visualization, The Pudding presents rappers ranked by the number of unique words used in their lyrics. The first graph is responsive and gathers artists along a single line to define the variety of their vocabulary.
The following chart divides rappers by two variables: their era and a specific unique word interval. And the last one compares the lyrical diversity of rap with other music genres. This way, the presentation provides valuable information and context.
World’s Biggest Data Breaches and Hacks
Information is Beautiful is a data visualization reference. This example shows how picking the proper chart helps structure and emphasize relevant facts. This bubble chart highlights the most significant data breaches and hacks that happened all over the world since 2004.
The size of the bubbles varies according to the impact of the attack. Besides, all bubbles are hovering responsive. They link to external pages that provide further details about each situation.
Worldshapin is an informative chart that relates human development to sustainability. It collects data about the population, education, living standards, CO2 emissions, workplace equality, and health.
Its information comes from the Human Development Report 2011 and relies on the Human Development Index (HDI). Then, it forms a unique shape that depicts the situation of the world and each country.
This method facilitates comparisons and evaluations. If you select a specific country, another chart appears to specify its values on the criteria.
FAQ on Interactive Charts
What’s an interactive chart?
An interactive chart is like a live, touchable picture of data. It’s different from the regular static graphs we’re used to because you can actually play with it.
Hover over it, click on things, see more info. You get to interact with the data and see it from different angles, almost like you’re holding it in your hand.
Why should I use interactive charts?
Interactive charts make data more engaging and understandable. They’re like a playground for your brain.
It can be pretty boring to look at numbers in a table, right?
But when you see those numbers move and change in front of you, it becomes a lot more interesting. Plus, it’s a great way to make complex data easy to understand.
How do I create interactive charts?
You’ve got a couple of options. If you’re into coding, you can use libraries like D3.js or Chart.js. If you’re more of a drag-and-drop person, wpDataTables is your best friend. The choice really depends on how much control you want over the design and how tech-savvy you are.
Can I customize my interactive charts?
Absolutely! With interactive charts, you’re the boss. You can choose the colors, the size, the labels, everything.
Think of it like painting a picture, but instead of using brushes and paint, you’re using data. You have all the freedom to make your data look the way you want.
What kind of data can I use for interactive charts?
You can use pretty much any kind of data for interactive charts. Sales numbers, weather data, sports stats, you name it.
As long as you have a set of data points that relate to each other in some way, you can create an interactive chart.
How do I choose the right type of interactive chart?
Think about the story your data tells. Are you comparing different things? Go for a bar chart. Showing a trend over time? Line chart’s your guy.
Once you understand the story, picking the right chart is like choosing the right pair of shoes to match your outfit.
What are tooltips in interactive charts?
Tooltips are like secret notes in your chart. When you hover over a data point, a little box pops up with more information.
It’s a great way to pack in extra details without making your chart look messy.
Kind of like having a whispering sidekick who’s feeding you insider info.
How do I make my interactive charts mobile-friendly?
Well, it’s a bit tricky, but totally doable. You need to ensure your charts scale well and are touch-friendly. Some tools do this automatically, but if you’re coding it yourself, you’ll need to pay extra attention.
Just remember: what looks good on a big screen might not work on a small one.
What’s the deal with animated interactive charts?
Animated charts are like interactive charts on steroids. They don’t just sit there, they move, showing changes in data over time. Imagine watching a race where each runner is a different data point.
It’s a fun, dynamic way to bring your data to life.
Can I share my interactive charts?
Yes, you can! Sharing is a big part of why interactive charts are so cool. You can embed them on your website, share them on social media, or even include them in presentations.
Just remember to check the sharing settings on whatever tool you’re using.
Conclusion on Interactive Charts
Interactive charts are a staple of data visualization for individuals and organizations alike. They gather significant information sets and provide consistent experiences on different devices.
You can turn your standard static charts into engaging and animated diagrams. These maps are responsive to user actions and provide multiple levels of information. Thus, they foster a deep understanding of data and support more informed and trustworthy decisions.
Through this article, you have explored what an interactive chart is. You also discovered the best techniques to make your graphs more immersive and valuable. The examples above can give you outstanding ideas to apply to your projects.
Plus, you now know how to use the best-selling plugin wpDataTables to form various charts. With this tool, you can save space, time, and money while delivering the latest data and empowering users to navigate it.
If you liked this article about interactive charts, you should check out this article about financial charts and graphs.