How to Choose the Best Angular Chart for Your Project

Jason Beres [Infragistics] / Friday, October 1, 2021

Angular charts let you build rich data visualizations with complete touch and interactivity. But with so many chart types available in modern charting libraries, do you really know which one will best show your data, fit your goals, and deliver the results you aim for?

To help you decide which chart is the right one for your Angular project, let us quickly guide you through the following sections and topics:

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How to choose the best Angular chart for your project

Chart comparison tool inspired from Andrew Abela.

What Are Angular Charts and Graphs?

Angular charts are graphical representations of data that can be visualized in the form of pie slices, lines, bars, symbols, collection of points and others. To guarantee high performance and great user experience, all charts and graphs are responsive, very informative, yet not that complicated, and support plenty of features which allow for further visual and performance customizations and styling.

This matters because the human brain can't deal with lots of text all at once, but with images, it's faster than instant!

Vizual statistical graphic with icons showing that 65% of people are visual learners

Also, by focusing the user effectively on the piece of information you want them to see, it helps you outperform competitors. and guides the reader into what exactly should be perceived​. But keep in mind that apart from the Angular chart types that we are going to discuss further, there are 4 basic chart categories which differ in terms of how they can tell your data-driven story — in an explanatory or an exploratory way; comparatively or collectively​ - and here they are:

  • Comparison chart
  • Relationship chart
  • Distribution chart
  • Composition chart

For users to extract the most from your chart, first consider several key factors (which we will outline in the following section) before you start building any data visualization. This will, in fact, help you select the most appropriate Angular chart type for your business or project specifically.

Why and When Businesses Use Angular Charts?

Companies have become increasingly data-driven and their market success now depends largely on the ways they monitor, manage, understand, and represent data. Angular charts are critical in helping them to achieve these goals.

Here are the most vital reasons WHY companies should choose Angular charts:

  • They provide a great mobile-first approach for building beautiful interactive charts and dashboards with a single code base.
  • The charts can be quickly made to look informative enough and feel good, while interacting with them.
  • They can easily be designed with a responsive architecture that works great on every modern browser and device.
  • There are tons of features to choose from and apply to your chart.

The last point is important because chart features can enhance any Angular project and data. With the use of customizable elements and styles, businesses can transform boring graphs and charts into interactive data-rich insights, containing just the right dose of animations and appearance customizations. Interactions such as annotations allow for easy call-out of important details and deeper data analysis within the chart.

So, if you manage a finance business and need to display high-volume data, you need to look at chart performance which renders millions of data points and updates them every few milliseconds. You might also be a retailer and want to compare and distinguish between two or more categories of products to see which sells better. In this case you can implement the highlighting feature.

Other features include: gridlines, layouts, synchronization, zoom slider, axis, markers, navigation, overlays, performance, tooltips, and trendlines.

And here are examples as to WHEN businesses should use Angular Charts:

  • Taking complicated data (often KPIs) and make it consumable​, convey information and make sense of data.
  • For comparing products and services.
  • To show team progress, market growth, sales, marketing advantages.
  • To visualize scenarios, results, and even specific processes and phases like in the “product-market-fit” process.

And, of course, since charts are such a cool way to manipulate the brain, businesses and companies use charts to help customers/users/team members make informative decisions by telling a story in an explanatory or an exploratory way.

How to Choose the Right Chart for Your Angular Project: Best Practices Outlined!

The digital-driven business world performs in super-fast speed that requires from everyone to think, act, and grasp information, trends, and changes even faster. This is where the right chart steps in to let you spread your message or data story in the most appropriate and results-driven way.

To help you select the chart type that best fits your goals as a creator as well as the needs for your target audience, we highlighted the following best practices:

  1. Determine what kind of information you want to communicate with your Angular chart.
    • Is it quantitative or qualitative?
    • Are you measuring performance?
    •  Do you have 1, 2, 3 or many variables?​
    •  Is your data time based or geospatial?
    • Are you comparing different categories of data?
    •  Or do you need to explain distribution of data?
    • Are there possible trends you need to analyze for?
  2. Define the primary goal of your business chart or graph.
  3. Avoid using complicated data or too many statistics. Combine visuals, context, analysis.
  4. Use cognitive & visual attributes to drive visual attention – position, size, colors, fronts, length, forms.
  5. Apply Angular charts features, but don’t overuse them.
  6. Use human factors – 2D position, length, angle & added marks.
  7. Use Bar charts for comparisons​, Line charts for trends​, Scatter charts for relationships and distributions​, Pie charts for simple compositions.

Following these best practices, you will find it easier to define the Angular chart type that matches your objectives, your project, and whether you need a comparison, relationship, distribution, or a composition chart.

What Are Comparison Charts?

What is comparison chart

As the name suggests, a comparison chart is used for visualizing a comparison between two or more variables across time. You may use it to show different parameters of items, draw similarities and differences between them, evaluate products or services, and present any type of data in a comprehensible format.

Here are the best chart types to use for comparing data:

  • Bar charts
  • Column Charts
  • Line Charts
  • Spline Charts
  • Combo Charts
  • Radial Graph
  • Spline Area Chart
  • OCHL Chart
  • Candlestick

Because they are easy to make, comparison charts are great for educational purposes or when you want to facilitate data-driven decision making.

What Are Relationship Charts?

What is relationship chart

A relationship chart depicts a correlation between two or more variables through the data you pull together. This can be used to show a positive or a negative effect which those variables exert on each other, plot scientific data, highlight the difference of collected data from predicted results, and organize data chronologically.

The listed charts below are the most suitable ones when you work with two or more variables:

  • Scatter charts
  • Bubble charts

What Are Distribution Charts?

What is distribution chart

A distribution chart shows how a set of continuous quantitative values are distributed over a period of time. It is often used to show trends, show proportions of results that fall into certain category, perform comparative analysis and view intersections, and identify key outliers in your data.

The best charts for distribution data are:

  • Scatter charts
  • Bubble charts
  • Combo charts
  • Line charts
  • Histogram charts

What Are Composition Charts?

Image of angular composition chart

A composition chart is used for showing how individual variables and categories are combined and how they represent part of a whole. You can either show the relationship of these variables as a time-series data or represent it as a static sum.

The best charts you can use for tracking changes of variables over time are:

  • Stacked Column
  • Stacked Area

The best charts for measuring static relationships of variables are:

  • Pie Chart
  • Donut Chart
  • Treemaps
  • Funnel

Here is a piece of advice from us to keep in mind when using these charts:

  1. Try to keep your variables under 6.
  2. Use only positive values
  3. Avoid 3D charts

Most Popular Angular Chart Types & Best Ways to Use Them

Pie Charts are appropriate for projects dealing with small data sets (less than 6 to 8 segments of data) as they are easy to read at a glance.

Best practices for a Pie Chart:

  • Comparing slices or segments as percentage values in proportion to a total value or whole.
  • Arranging the order of data from largest (highest) to smallest (least).
  • Avoiding positioning multiple pie charts next to each other for comparative analysis.

Don’t use a Pie Chart when:

  • Comparing change over time —use a Bar, Line or Area chart.
  • Requiring precise data comparison —use a Bar, Line or Area chart.

The Line Chart is another preferable Angular chart type which can handle large, high-volume data sets and is often used to show trends and perform comparative analysis over a period of time. 

Best practices:

  • Always start the Y-Axis (left or right axis) at 0 so data comparison is accurate.
  • Order time-series data from left to right.
  • Use visual attributes like solid lines to show a series of data.

Don’t use a Line Chart when:

  • You have many (rule of thumb: more than 7) series of data. Remember your goal is to ensure the chart is readable.

Angular Bar Chart is used to depict trends over time, analyze multiple data points, and quickly display comparisons between different categories of data and renders them as horizontal bars or rectangles.

Best practices:

  • Start you numeric Axis at 0.
  • Use a single color for the bars.
  • Be sure ranking or comparing items is sorted in increasing or decreasing order.

Don’t use a Bar Chart when:

  • You have too much data so the Y-Axis can't fit in the space or is not legible.
  • You need a detailed Time-Series analysis – better use Line Chart with a Time-Series

The Financial/Stock Chart is suitable when businesses want to perform technical analysis and illustrate the price/stock ranges of a financial instrument in a time-series display. 

Best practices:

  • Show company information like Open Price, High Price, Low Price and Close Price (OHLC)
  • The data source must be an array or a list of data items.
  • The data source must contain at least one data item.

7 Article Takeaways

  1. With Angular charts you can visualize and deliver graphical representations of data in concise and easy-to-understand ways.
  2. Use charts to compare products/services, track business/market growth, showcase or establish practices, and help users to reach decisions.
  3. Know your data first to know what type of Angular chart is most appropriate for your project/business.
  4. Determine the goal and key points of your chart.
  5. Use cognitive attributes to drive visual attention – position, size, length, volume of key data points; forms; appearance attributes; attributes of change/motion, attributes of quantity.
  6. Focus on using the correct visual representation of your data as the wrong choice can confuse the viewer or misrepresent data.
  7. Use Bar charts for comparisons​, Line charts for trends​, Scatter charts for relationships and distributions​, and Pie charts for simple compositions.

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