Introduction

Highcharts is useful for fresh graduates, IT professionals, and deep tech enthusiasts looking to step into the world of business and economics and learn about in-demand skills and methods to showcase data in a user-friendly way. Highcharts is a library written purely in JavaScript used to enhance web applications by inserting charts capable of interaction. The highcharts library offers a wide variety of charts, and users can choose any based on their requirements. 

You can choose highchart pie charts, highchart line charts, spline charts, area charts, highchart bar charts, etc., to represent your data. Software professionals and business analysts use highcharts to make their plans more immersive. Before you learn more about how highcharts can be implemented across web applications, you must know JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and text editors. These coding languages will help you insert a highchart in your application. 

Today, we will discuss different types of highcharts and their uses. Also included are a few examples of how highcharts have provided better statistical data readability to users. 

  1. What Are Highcharts?
  2. Usage Of Highcharts With Live Examples
  3. Features of Highcharts
  4. Types of Highcharts With Code

1) What Are Highcharts?

Highchart is a complex word for charts inserted by developers in the development stage while developing a web application. Highcharts is a modern SVG-based multi-platform library that brings different charts in one place. Thus, making it easy for developers to add interactive charts to their mobile and web applications. Highcharts were introduced in 2009, and since then, the library has been growing and helping developers realize their concepts. 

Due to their robustness and easy adaptability, highcharts are all-time favorites of developers and business minds. Several tutorials are available on the internet, and the developer community is always one step ahead of the problem, trying to solve it as soon as possible. 

2) Usage Of Highcharts With Live Examples

No product or service will stay in the market for a long time until it is irreplaceable. Highcharts, since its inception, is used widely to showcase data and stats in web applications, but why are developers not looking for an alternative? Well, because of the infinite possibilities highcharts offer. Given below are a few highcharts examples you must know about before you start practicing it. These examples will help you understand how highcharts can be optimized and used efficiently. 

Used By Eoda

Eoda, a data science platform, uses highcharts for its insights platform. Using its features, Eoda’s customers can create customized dashboards with different widgets. For their chart unit that showcases the user data, the company uses all the other highchart functions from their library. The developers could use the highcharts line chart by using highcharts js library files to create a well-documented and consistent API. As a result, the company offered customization in the portal for a specific configuration interface, allowing users of the portal to take advantage of arranging and adjusting charts using tools. 

Blackboard Ally Using Highcharts To Understand The Digital Accessibility Issues 

Using different forms of customization in the highcharts bar chart, Blackboard Ally asks universities to visualize and learn more about the daily accessibility barriers that students navigate to get to the digital content – lectures and assignments. Blackboard aims to help educational institutions build their digital course content, making it more accessible to everyone, including the differently-abled. The data that the company collects through research is converted to data insights, making it easier for administrators to study. With the use of highcharts, people who needed their campus’s accessibility details could access the required data, make better decisions, and create benchmarks. 

On the other hand, Blackboard Ally uses highcharts to make course accessibility reports for instructors to find their courses’ accessibility scores and analyze the different sections provided in the course as digital content. In 2020, Blackboard’s course accessibility report was launched around 40,000 times by instructors worldwide to find out how accessible their digital content was and how they could improve the content to make it more accessible to students. 

Visualizing Data From Basic HTML Tables 

With highcharts, users can easily create an interactive chart that uses the data from the HTML tables and presents it more appealingly. This can be done using the highcharts data module, which requires a straightforward process to load an HTML table as the primary source for fetching data. All a user has to do is copy the HTML source code of the table from the website using the browser’s developer tools. Once the code is copied, you need to ensure that the data is clean and easily converted to highcharts.

Users can apply any method to make cleaner data, and the final step would be to paste the HTML code into the HTML section. The data is now ready to be fetched, using highcharts to fetch and visualize. For this, you need to link the table to the JS code. Add the different columns to the code you want to show in the chart, save the code, and run it. 

3) Features of Highcharts

Now that we have discussed the different uses of highcharts, let’s look at the features and see what makes highcharts a tempting chart library for developers and business analysts. 

Compatibility 

When you develop a web application, you want to be compatible with most web systems, whether it is a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop, or a desktop. As a developer, the priority is to make the application as compatible as possible. Highcharts is compatible with all modern mobile phones’ screen resolutions, and it optimizes itself with different notches used. The charts created using highcharts are expected to run smoothly on iPads, iPhones, and IE6 (Internet Explorer 6). Even in legacy systems such as IE, highcharts can use VML to draw the chart’s structure and present it to the online user. 

Free To Use For Non-commercial Purposes

If someone wants to present data on their website for non-profit causes, they can get it for free. As a user of a non-profit organization, you do not need permission from the author to use the highcharts library. For commercial use, one needs to check licensing and pricing. 

Source Code Is Free To Download 

Whether you have a free license or a paid version, the source code of different charts is available in the public repository for download and edits. As a result, this leads to higher personalization and modification, resulting in flexible chart representations. 

Purely JavaScript 

There are no plugins when developers download highcharts during the development process. It solely runs on native browser technologies. On the other hand, there is no need to install anything on the server either. The charts from the highcharts library require only a single file to run the visual and graphical code files. 

Uses Typescript

The highchart comes with typescript declarations, a package where NPM gives developers a type checking for most of the highcharts options and their functions. It includes the auto-complete code. 

Multiple Axis 

In some cases, developers want to show a specific variable not present on the x-axis or the y-axis. A good example of this type is when someone wants to see the temperature in the rainfall and air pressure chart. Highcharts gives developers the option of assigning a y-axis or an x-axis when comparing data sets with other categories. 

Polar Charts 

Users can convert different chart types like line, area, spline, and area spline into a polar or radial chart with just one simple click. 

Great Responsiveness 

Everyone wants to see a dynamic chart that goes beyond fitting a chart with the given data and displaying it on the screen. Intelligent responsiveness makes the chart come alive. It makes it possible for the user to place the non-graph elements like labels, legends, etc., along with the heading in the best location possible during chart visualization. 

Biggest Community 

A free tool needs an active community that assists fellow developers. Highcharts has one of the largest communities of developers who can advise fellow developers on the platform-specific implementation and give insights and new perspectives on chart representation. On the other hand, the company has dedicated support engineers to solve any issue that may arise during the implementation of these charts. 

Chart Types 

Everyone likes to have options to choose from, and highcharts have options in bulk. The developer can select from bar chart highcharts, highcharts column chart, highcharts donut chart. These three are most commonly used, and the developer is free to edit them to suit his requirements. On the other hand, there are line, spline, area, scatter, angular gauges, polar charts in jquery. 

4) Types of Highcharts With Code

Highcharts are divided into three main subparts, which are highcharts stock, highcharts maps, highcharts Gantt. Other than these three main subparts, highcharts have different series types. Both will be discussed in this section. As there are more than 20 different chart formats, it is not possible to cover all in this post. We will focus on the top 5. 

  • Highcharts Stock

The highcharts stock uses all the core functionality of highcharts with added features that better represent the information. There are four main components of the highcharts stock in addition to the support of candlestick and OHLC charts. 

Navigator:- With this, a user can fine-tune the range of the chart.

Range Selector: This gives users the option to select a particular range on the chart or specify the exact interval they wish to show. 

Scrollbar: This provides freedom of scrolling through the data. 

Crosshair: The crosshair can be found in the tooltip. It helps show the tooltip of a chart to make better search results on the x-axis. 

To load the highcharts stock bundle, a user needs to load the following JavaScript file first. 

<script src=”https://code.highcharts.com/indicators/indicators-all.js“></script>

  • Highcharts Maps 

It is a function of highcharts used to represent geo maps. In most cases, these are choropleth maps, where the color intensity changes based on some value of measurement of a geographical area. Also, highcharts can provide data for lines, such as roads, rivers, etc., and users can put points like cities, points of interest, etc. There are two ways a developer can integrate highcharts maps during development. The first one is through a standalone JavaScript file, and the second is getting a plugin for highcharts.

The framework’s basic installation is identical to other installations. To load highcharts as a standalone product, developers do not need a license. All they have to do is include the script tag given below. 

<script src=”https://code.highcharts.com/maps/highmaps.js“></script>

If a developer already has highcharts installed, he needs to run the highcharts maps plugin using the script tag given below.

<script src=”https://code.highcharts.com/maps/modules/map.js“></script>

  • Highcharts Gantt

This form of highcharts is used to break down the structure for the projects. It helps visualize the time intervals of the project tasks and their dependencies. The vertical axis describes the breakdown of the tasks, and the horizontal axis represents the duration of the tasks. 

If there is no other use of highcharts, developers can load a single library of highcharts Gantt using the following script for a webpage. 

<script src=”https://code.highcharts.com/gantt/highcharts-gantt.js“></script>

On the other hand, if the project needs both highcharts functionality and Gantt, the developer needs to place the script tag or import the statement after loading the main library. 

<script src=”https://code.highcharts.com/highcharts.js“></script>

<script src=”https://code.highcharts.com/gantt/modules/gantt.js“></script>

  • Highcharts Column Chart 

The highcharts column charts are one of the most popular ways to represent data in the form of charts. The column chart gives developers the advantage of comparing different data. It is quite similar to bar charts, but the main difference is that bar charts have a horizontal representation, and in column charts, all the bars are vertical. 

The column charts also come as a series, and they can be used to construct histogram charts by allowing the padding between points and groups to 0. Developers can also create a stacked column chart. 

To create a histogram, a highcharts column chart developer needs to use the code given below. 

plotOptions: {

    column: {

        pointPadding: 0,

        borderWidth: 0,

        groupPadding: 0,

        shadow: false

    }

}

  • Bar Chart Highcharts 

The bar charts visualize data precisely the same way as column charts. The only difference here is the x-axis and y-axis are interchanged. Bar charts have horizontal columns, and it is a great way to represent data when the screen aspect ratio is small. As the user can scroll through the data vertically, it also makes the axis labels easy to read. On the other hand, the bar chart also comes with the same set of options that you find in the series. Developers can put several bar charts to form a grid and create trellis charts using bar charts highcharts. 

Given below is the code for a highcharts dynamic data example that uses the basic bar chart.

document.addEventListener(‘DOMContentLoaded’, function () {

        const chart = Highcharts.chart(‘container’, {

            chart: {

                type: ‘bar’

            },

            title: {

                text: ‘Fruit Consumption’

            },

            xAxis: {

                categories: [‘Apples’, ‘Bananas’, ‘Oranges’]

            },

            yAxis: {

                title: {

                    text: ‘Fruit eaten’

                }

            },

            series: [{

                name: ‘Jane’,

                data: [1, 0, 4]

            }, {

                name: ‘John’,

                data: [5, 7, 3]

            }]

        });

    });

Conclusion 

These were just a few advantages of implementing highcharts for data representation on a web page or web application. There are more than 30 different chart types that developers can use to visualize the required data. The learning curve of highcharts isn’t very steep, and with a little bit of practice, you can quickly master it.

Highcharts is the future of data representation in an approachable way. Even a non-specialist can easily understand it. We have seen highcharts depict various information during the COVD-19 pandemic. This shows how tools like highcharts are relevant to the world today. In the upcoming decade, the use of highcharts is bound to show an uptick, and web developers must learn about Highcharts and how to insert them in their projects to make the data more presentable.

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