Getting Started with Data Visualizations With D3JS & Why Should You Learn It

Think about the coolest website you know, is it full of moving images and interactive elements? Well, do you want to build similar websites? Do you want your website to do the talking with images, videos, bright colors? Well, D3.JS can help you there!

I know you are probably wondering what D3.JS is, why don’t we delve a little deeper. There is a famous proverb that you’ve probably heard, “a picture is worth a 1000 words”, which is exactly how we get data visualizations. Visuals play a different role altogether on our minds, bringing to life something that might seem very ordinary on paper.

This was it’s original intention when statistician Francis Anscombe demonstrated the importance of graphing data, way back in 1973. His graph showed the difference visual charting made to four sets of similar data. This helped graphs and charts gain importance, to the point where today we use visuals for a lot of things, including content on the internet.

If you want to learn how to get started with D3.js, this is a great Data Visualization course that can help.

What is D3JS?

D3JS, short for Data Driven Documents, is a JavaScript library that helps developers produce dynamic, interactive data visualizations in web browsers. It uses popular and widely implemented standards such as SVG, HTML5 and CSS.

D3.js has been used on thousands of websites including for things such as interactive graphics for online news websites, information dashboards for viewing data, and producing maps from GIS map making data.

The demand for data-driven documents come from the need of interactivity. Where, older websites were static and weren’t as interactive, resulted in users become bored. This prompted developers, researchers and engineers to design tools such as Prefuse, Flare, and Protovis toolkits.

D3 is embedded within an HTML wepage, and uses pre-built JavaScript functions to select elements, create SVG objects, style them, or add transitions, dynamic effects or tooltips to them. All you need is to incorporate the D3 library into your website. You can write the data in different formats, including most commonly JSON, comma-separated values (CSV) or geoJSON, but, if required, JavaScript functions can be written to read other data formats.

Why D3JS & it’s Benefits

The reasons for using D3.js are numerous, especially if you are looking for an easy and simple way to incorporate graphics into your website.

Examples

There are so many people out there who love to share their work, and most of these codes are royalty free, so you can definitely grasp ideas or inspiration from these work. A lot of people have integrated this amazing tool into their documents, which allows newbies to check out new codes, examples and even try to recreate a few codes.

Excellent Support

In addition to the open community of original developers, D3 also comes with a wide community of developers who love to share their code or help out newbies that are learning how to get started. A simple Google search can help you find numerous blog posts or Overstack flows or github repositories that can help you find the help that you need.

Great Opportunities

D3 makes developers more desirable for hiring, as it gives them an added benefit in addition to developing. The added experience of making data more interesting and interactive is always in demand and can be leveraged. Other than great hiring opportunities, D3 also allows developers also have extensive knowledge of JavaScript and HTML, which are definitely required for developers today.

Amazing Features

D3 offers major benefits over other similar technologies such as Google Charts and FusionCharts. D3 offers advantages such as allowing you to create the type of visualizations you want, rather than select from a standard list of present visualizations. It also does not have a support limit, which can be found in Google Charts. This means, you can make your charts or graphs as big and heavy as they want, as well as add more features such as zoom or click functions. Adding and removing data is also easier in D3, rather than other technologies.

These are just a few of the many different benefits that D3 offers and why you should definitely learn how to manipulate your DOM with this amazing technology.