Data visualization is the process of taking raw (usually numerical) data and converting them into a visual presentation. Techniques for converting raw data have existed for many decades already. However, we have only seen such a steady influx of functional data visualization tools, libraries, and WordPress plugins in the last five years. That humans learn better through visual data is a known fact, but that’s not the only reason why data visualization works. For example, when we analyze the performance of two websites where their analytics data are involved, it is easier to understand all large data sets through visual portraits than it is to read every single statistic through text.
Big data continues to expand as machine learning becomes a real tangible thing even for those inexperienced with deep data learning. It comes down to the fact that humans are better at processing visual data than they are at reading data reports or spreadsheets scattered with complex patterns. With data visualization, it’s possible to display and communicate the data in a traditional manner. There are available countless examples of how data visualization helps in different fields, like science, biotech, health, and artificial intelligence. A little bit of research will reveal many such uses and examples. Many universities and online schools are now educating their students about data visualization. Many courses are accessible for free in the digital environment.
WordPress bloggers can now enjoy using data visualization charts and graphs on their own blogs with the addition of plugins. We know that there are 100+ reliable tools out there that do data visualization really well. Some are truly complex for the most complex of tasks, but we’ve decided to stick to the basics and cover the areas of data visualization that you’d typically see in journalism, writing, and blogging. If you’re concluding your own research, it will be most helpful to rely on any of the following plugins to help you display your data through visual concepts.
Infogram probably didn’t expect to explode with popularity the way it did, but we have to give credit where it’s due. With nearly five million infographics already built, Infogram has shaped the presentation of content in more ways than one. Infogram has a selection of 30+ unique charts: bars, columns, pie, lines, multiple axes, areas, scattered, bubbles, pictorial, hierarchy, tables, gauges, word clouds, treemaps, financial reports, timers, and facts.
Import your data from CSV, XLS, and XLSX. Direct data copy and paste. Use Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, JSON feeds, and Google Analytics. Even tap into a global pool of data sets. The intuitive infographic management interface lets you control all the aspects of your infographic. It also renews a sense of freedom for building your custom content.
Infographics have a solid foundation as a means of explaining raw data in a visual format. Venngage provides set-in-stone features that enable anyone with data to create an interactive infographic. You can choose from one of the many Venngage templates for multiple interactive web elements like charts, visuals, and data exposures.
Also, finalize your work by changing the fonts, colors, and sizes of your elements. It’s those last touches that tend to make infographics stand out. The WP plugin of Venngage adds a custom button to your post editor. It opens a new window where you can select to create an infographic, a data report, a poster, a promotional flyer, or a social media post.
Inline Google Spreadsheet Viewer
Google Spreadsheets is the Excel for the web. Until now, there wasn’t a clear way of embedding your Google Spreadsheets into WordPress content posts. Now, you can, thanks to Meitar, who put in the effort to create a WordPress module (plugin) that would render the Spreadsheet’s content in your posts. With an automated updating engine, your spreadsheets that have been embedded into posts will automatically refresh whenever the data for those spreadsheets change.
There are quite a few uses for Google Spreadsheets, including creating beautiful charts and graphs and visualizations of your data. Getting the spreadsheet to embed in your posts couldn’t be easier. After you install the plugin, all you have to do is copy and paste the spreadsheet URL in one of your posts. The shortcode support is handy when you need to customize the data for your spreadsheets. An example is if you want to use different titles in your blog posts and such.
Snowball is definitely much more than a data visualization plugin. This is a powerhouse for writers, journalists, and bloggers who are serious about rendering well-articulated content from top to bottom. You will find similarities with Snowball and other WordPress page builder plugins, particularly those with drag-and-drop features.
Snowball’s goal is to enable WP users to have access to a smooth UI that could help with structuring informative articles one block at a time. This means that you get to structure your posts from the very headings to the very bottom. Each unique block can be configured with its own style choices and custom settings. So, if you’re writing a long story with extensive research, you can divide your posts to be as informative as possible. You can opt between table data, bar graphs, scatter plots, and choropleth graph styles that would add data visualization features to your content. These are all very useful things when considering the importance of high-quality content production.
Factmint Charts has two things going for it—simplicity and modern features. Its simple shortcode approach makes Factmint an easy choice for doing quick renderings of visual data charts. It covers pie charts, doughnut charts, lines, area stacks, scatter graphs, bubble charts, and bars. Pick the preferred shortcode, and plug your data into it straight from the post editor. No files are necessary, just raw data. This could potentially be problematic for large data sets, but that’s why you have other plugins to choose from.
Data Tables Generator by Supsystic
Data Table Generator really gives you the tools to display your data without prior experience in data management. Create charts, graphs, and data diagrams all from a single plugin. Manage your date entries to make them easier to understand for your readers. Search engines won’t have a problem picking up your data either. Everything has been taken care of. You can plug your Google Charts data into this plugin, too, for that extra diversity.
Data come in unique shapes and forms. A traditional approach of data output happens through data sets that are usually in the CSV or XML format. However, there are more data out there than we can grasp. What about public transport? If you’re a writer or a business that operates in the public transport market, you could benefit greatly from TransitArt’s algorithm for displaying transit timetables. The timetable widget gives users a chance to select destinations and time slots to see if there are any available public transport routes available.
WP Beautiful Charts
What do you wish to share with your readers? A pie chart, a bar graph? Perhaps a line chart to showcase your latest earnings reports? For simple tasks such as those, you won’t need more than WP Beautiful Charts. It’s a data visualization plugin that gets straight to the point.
The issues with plugins for specific niches is that they tend to repeat themselves over time. There are some slight differences here and there, but the function usually remains the same. Blazing Charts gets the sentiment. Instead of giving you a solid charting and graphing plugin where you can just plug your data into, you can enjoy using the world’s most sought-after charting libraries built by famous companies and developers. These libraries include HighCharts, Morris, ZingChart, Chart.js, Google Charts, D3.js, Chartist, Smoothie Charts, and Flot Charts. Put together, the combined power of these libraries is unmatched. D3, Chart.js, and even Google Charts are frequently present in both journalism and data science. So, you’re getting a fairly good deal here. This one plugin has more than a dozen charting libraries.
The setup, in case you are wondering, is quite straightforward. All the charts libraries are built-in in Blazing Charts itself. So, you can access them all through a shortcode and manage your data that way. You can also set specific data sources and manage titles, headings, etc.
WordPress Charts and Graphs
Thousands of WP bloggers trust CodeInWP’s data visualization plugin to create highly dynamic, interactively versatile, and statically beautiful charts, graphs, and data visualizations that represent your sets of data that you are trying to visualize. Choose from any of the nine charts provided in the plugin’s core: line charts, bar charts, columns, pie’s, geographical charts, and a few more.
The technology used for rendering the charts is a combination of SVG and HTML5. Therefore, you’re shooting two rabbits for the price of one. HTML5 represents the latest browser technology, while SVG represents the best vector graphics format for the web. You might have a heavy set of data to work with, but the SVG output is going to surprise you with its tiny size. Choose where you want to upload your charts data from the web or your own computer. Customize font types, titles, tooltips, and general chart settings to make each set of data unique.
DW Chart has surprisingly been overlooked by many WP bloggers, which could be attributed to the fact that DW Charts integrates Google Charts, but of course with a set of great extensions. It starts with a responsive design integration, that keeps your charts beautifully allocated even on tiny device screens. Then, you have the full library of the Google Charts types. Just plug in your data, and you’re set! You can select between 3D and 2D chart displays and add a little flavor to your content. Further, charts can be included in your posts through the post editor.
Visual Table Formatting
Visual Table Formatting has had a much better fate in that regard. This plugin comes from devs at WP Melon—an attractive WP plugin for doing table management with data. The flexible UI has made sure that no one would experience problems with creating their beautiful tables, you don’t even need to know HTML! Typography, colors, and fonts can be adjusted as you like. You can put in visuals and custom links for table data to make it more research-friendly, or use that feature for attributing credit to authors. The theme selection is vast, more than 10+ unique themes.
Want to use Chart.js with WordPress but don’t know how? Responsive Charts got your back! HTML5 friendly and animation-powered charts for all! Select the chart type from a dropdown, specify the width and title, and customize colors any way you like. Because of Canvas (HTML5), the charts come out really well rounded and function equally smooth on any device type or size.
wpDataTables—Tables and Charts Manager for WordPress
We save the best goodies for last! wpDataTables is a comprehensive plugin for visual data management in WordPress blogs. Fetch your existing Google or Excel Spreadsheets, and import them into WordPress. If that doesn’t work, plug your MySQL data directly into a data spread. You won’t even need to know MySQL queries, plugin supports query building with an intuitive interface. Administrators can edit visual data directly from the post page (front-end), or managing it from the dashboard (back-end). It has been called a very secure plugin, and it should be. You’re working with sensitive data, so you wouldn’t want others to play with it or access it even.