How Important Data Visualization Is? How You Can Achieve This in WordPress?

An image speaks a thousand words! That is why data visualization is important. People all over the world are trying to figure out the best way to present their data; and it is a proven fact that rather than tables of boring data readers prefer to see visual representation of data.

Visual representation of data can be attractive and informative. There are many ways of presenting data to the readers; even tables are considered as a tool to represent data – but it becomes very difficult to convey any information through chunk of data even if you display it on tables.

On the other hand if you project the same data on charts, graphs or maps – it becomes readable. With the advent of interactive charts and graphs it is easy to represent data graphically with proper notes, legends so that decision making can be easier.

FusionCharts, one of the leading flash charting solutions, supports wide range of scripting languages and platforms. PHP charts, HTML5 charts, JavaScript charts are available for developers. And the good news is: you can use FusionCharts with your WordPress website too.

We will learn how to use Flash charts with WordPress using FusionCharts. The basics of FusionCharts – how it works:

  1. It renders charts in Flash
  2. You have to feed data through XML
  3. Simple copy paste installation
  4. It has a Free version

Let’s see how you can add charts to a WordPress website:

  1. Download the package: FusionCharts offers a free version which is available here. You can download the paid versions also if you want.
  2. Upload the required swf files to the blog server. All the chart swf files are available at Download Package > Charts folder. First, create a folder on the blog server and name it ‘FusionCharts’. Then you can upload all the swf files to that folder OR you can just copy and paste few selected chart types that you need.
  3. Then copy the Javascript files namely FusionCharts.js, FusionCharts.HC.js, FusionCharts.HC.Charts.js and jquery.min.js files from Download Pack > Charts folder and upload them to the ‘FusionCharts’ folder in your server.
  4. Create the Data XML file. FusionCharts takes data from XML file – one can create the XML file programmatically by linking it with the database. Or you can create it on your own by entering the data manually. Here is an easy interface of creating the XML – just enter your data and get the XML content ready.
  5. Here is code snippet to embed the chart in the page or post.
  6. You can modify the width, height of the chart. To change the chart type you have to first make sure that the respective swf file is already uploaded on the server. And then you have to replace the path of the desired chart file in the code:var myChartSWF = ‘/FusionCharts/Column3D.swf,;
  7. There is a detailed documentation available on how to use the charts; you can go through this to know more.
  8. FusionCharts has forums, KB with lots of useful discussions and help articles to get started with.

So what are you waiting for! Get started with charting with WordPress; project your data on charts and let them talk. And yes; do not forget to share your first post with charts with us. Happy charting!

 

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