Data visualization is the process of taking raw (usually numerical) data and converting it into a visual presentation, such techniques for converting raw data have existed for many decades already, but only in the last 5 years it’s that we have seen such a steady influx of healthy, usable, and functional data visualization tools, libraries, and now also WordPress plugins. The fact that humans learn better through visual data has been a known fact for years, but that’s not the only reason why data visualization works. For example, when we analyze things like the performance of two individual websites where their analytics data is involved, it’s easier to understand all of that large data set 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 pattern. With data visualization it’s possible to display and communicate the lessons of data in traditional manner. There are already available countless examples of how data visualization is helping in fields like science, biotech, health, and artificial intelligence — a little bit of research will reveal many such uses and examples. Many Universities and indeed online schools are now educating their students about data visualization, and many of those 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 these wonderful plugins. We know that there are 100+ reliable tools out there that do data visualization really well, and 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 these 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 these guys credit where it’s due. With nearly 5 million infographics already built, Infogram has shaped the existence of content in just more ways than one; a whopping 5 million ways if we think about it! Infogram has a selection of thirty+ unique charts: bars, columns, pie, lines, multiple axes, areas, scattered, bubbles, pictorial, hierarchy, tables, gauges, word clouds, treemaps, financial reports, timers, and facts. You can import your data from CSV, XLS, XLSX, direct data copy and paste, Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, JSON feeds, Google Analytics, and even tap into a global pool of data sets. The intuitive infographic management interface puts you in control of all the aspects of that infographic you’re building, and it renews a sense of freedom for building your custom content.
Infographics have a solid foundation underneath them as means for explaining raw data in visual format. Venngage is one of the many free infographic makers on the market, providing set in stone features that enable anyone with data to create an interactive infographic, according to web standards and all that those standards entail. You can choose from one of the many Venngage templates to put on top of them multiple interactive web elements like charts, visuals, and data exposures. Finalize your work by changing 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 posts editor that you can click on and a new window is going to open where you can select to create: an infographic, a data report, a poster, promotional flyers, and social media posts.
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, but 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 that spreadsheet changes. There are quite a few uses for Google Spreadsheets, which including creating beautiful charts, graphs, and visualizations of your data. And 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 and the plugin will automatically render it. The shortcode support is handy when you need to customize custom data for your spreadsheets — like 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, 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 really divide your post’s 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. 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. The simple shortcode approach to rendering charts — pie charts, doughnut charts, lines, area stacks, scatter graphs, bubble charts, and bars — makes Factmint an easy choice for doing quick renderings of visual data charts. Pick the preferred shortcode and plug data into it straight from the post editor. No files necessary, just raw data. 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 comes in unique shapes and forms. Traditional approach of data output happens through data sets that are usually in CSV or XML format, but there’s 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, 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; a data visualization plugin that gets straight to the point.
The issues with plugins for specific niches is, they tend to repeat themselves over time. Some slight differences here and there, but usually the function remains the same. Blazing Charts gets the sentiment, and instead of giving you a solid charting and graphing plugin that you can just plug data into, you can enjoy using within your WordPress blog — the world’s most sought after charting libraries built by famous companies and developers. Those 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. One plugin, more than a dozen charting libraries. The setup in case you are wondering is quite straightforward. All the charts libraries are in-built in Blazing Charts itself, so you can access them all through a shortcode and manage your data that way. You can set specific data sources and manage titles, headings, etc,.
Want to enjoy using a tradition spreadsheets UI to manage your data sets? M Chart can help! Manage custom data inputs to display them as line charts, spline charts, area charts, columns, and bar charts. Yes — pie charts too! The end result is quite warming. Journalists on media sites could easily gets M Chart’s approved for publication. They can explain company data in user friendly manner, which is what matters the most.
TablePress Extension: Chartist
Chartist brings responsive and SVG charts directly to your door. Immerse in the benefits of this library through TablePress — additional usability option you might be interested in.
POWr is another firm that specializes in niche WordPress plugins. We’ve covered their contact form extension, and also a review plugin — both are used by a decent crowd of WP users. And now, we’re spotlighting their Graphs plugin. An effective solution for integrating charts, graphs and plots into your content. Dynamic control capabilities enable you to manage your data the way you want to control it. Background colors, general data colors, and graph borders are manageable by the admin.
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 — so 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 — from the web, or your own computer. Customize font types, titles, tooltips, and general chart settings to make each set of data unique.
Premiums Plugins for Data Visualization on WordPress
PressStats provides the usual graphing interface, though stands out with its analytics feature that gives you a preview of which pages are attracting the most audience to your graphs, and you can also see the individual countries where your audience is coming from. Check stats on monthly or weekly basis for a thorough analysis.
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 or 2D chart displays — add a little flavor to your content. And charts can be put inside of your posts through the post editor.
Visual Table Formatting
Visual Table Formatting has had a much better fate in that regard. Already at 300+ sales, 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 to pick from.
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, 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 — 6,800 sales and counting! 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). Has been called as a very secure plugin, and it should be — you’re working with sensitive data, you wouldn’t want others to play with it, or access it even.