15 Best JavaScript Charting Libraries for Building Beautiful Dashboards

Interactive dashboards with insightful charts and graphs help businesses visualize data to uncover key insights and make data-driven decisions. As a result, charting has become an indispensable aspect of application development.

If you‘re looking to build stunning, functional dashboards, using a robust JavaScript charting library can make the process easier. The right library allows you to create elegant visualizations with rich features like real-time updates, drill downs, animation effects and more.

In this comprehensive guide, we explore the top 15 JavaScript charting libraries:

1. FusionCharts

FusionCharts enables you to create 90+ chart types and over 2000 maps for your dashboards and apps. With interactive features like zooming, panning, trackballs, and crosshairs, FusionCharts makes data visualization engaging.

Key Highlights:

  • 90+ chart types including statistical, financial, geographical maps etc.
  • Interactive features like drill-down, slicing, trackballs etc.
  • Supports real-time updates for IoT, live dashboards
  • Integrates with popular frameworks like React, Angular, Vue etc.
  • Can be customized using themes, APIs and plugins
  • Detailed documentation and API references

Use Cases: Financial dashboards, election data maps, network monitoring dashboards, cryptocurrency platforms etc.

FusionCharts Dashboard

2. Chart.js

Chart.js is an easy yet flexible HTML5 charting library for developers. It supports 8 chart types with a common API and documentation for all.

Key Features:

  • Lightweight, easy integration
  • 8 basic chart types – line, bar, radar etc.
  • Extensive customization options
  • Canvas-based, good performance
  • Great for simple use cases
  • Open-source and free

Use Cases: Analytics dashboards, health trackers, weather data apps etc.

ChartJS Sample

3. Highcharts

Highcharts allows you to develop interactive JavaScript charts in your web and mobile apps. It supports advanced features like drill-down charts, Pareto charts, box plots and more.

Why Choose Highcharts?

  • 100% JavaScript charting library
  • Broad range of ~70 chart types
  • High performance across devices
  • Client-side and server-side rendering
  • Supports exporting charts as images/PDFs
  • Integrates with React, Angular, jQuery etc.
  • Great documentation and active community

Use Cases: Financial analysis, network monitoring, survey result analysis etc.

Highcharts Drill Down Chart

4. CanvasJS

CanvasJS is a lightweight HTML5 charting library with great performance across browsers. It offers 30+ chart types, supports huge datasets, and has a simple API.

Why Choose CanvasJS?

  • Lightning fast performance
  • Supports large data volumes
  • Real-time bi-directional chart updates
  • Works across devices and browsers
  • Friendly API and great documentation

Use Cases: Cryptocurrency price tracker, social media analytics, financial analysis etc.

CanvasJS Charts

5. D3.js

D3.js is an advanced data visualization library used widely by data scientists and analysts. It offers enormous charting capabilities through a complex yet complete API.

Key Benefits

  • Highly customizable, interactive visualizations
  • Integrates complex datasets
  • Advanced animations and transitions
  • Supports dynamic data visualizations
  • Reusable charts and components

Use Cases: Statistical analysis, network topology analysis, scientific data visualization etc.

D3JS Sample Chart

6. Chartkick

Chartkick is a simple, Ruby-based charting library built on top of Chart.js. It Prioritizes speed, simplicity and great visualizations.

Why Use Chartkick?

  • Super easy integration
  • Clean, automatically updated charts
  • Limited but useful customization options
  • Light-weight alternative to complex libraries
  • Integrates well with Ruby on Rails apps

Use Cases: Activity trackers, support ticket analysis, weather apps etc.

Chartkick Sample

7. ApexCharts

ApexCharts offers modern, interactive JavaScript charts for web apps and dashboards. It‘s a new generation charting library with a responsive UI and theming support.

Why Choose ApexCharts

  • Modern, animated charts
  • React, Angular, Vue integrations
  • 35+ unique chart types
  • Responsive across devices
  • Custom color palettes
  • Suitable for hi-tech web apps

Use Cases: Cryptocurrency dashboard, web analytics platform, survey reports etc.

ApexCharts Sample

8. Chartist.js

Chartist renders responsive charts with animation using SVG. It offers CSS/Sass styling while handling events and drawing with JavaScript.

Key Benefits

  • Lightweight, simple setup
  • SVG-based, resolution independent
  • Custom animations and interactions
  • Media queries for responsiveness
  • Strong community and documentation

Use Cases: Analytics dashboard, health apps, financial data tracking etc.

ChartistJS Sample

9. Chartify

Chartify is a React charting library built with Victory and Styled Components. It simplifies building custom charts with Victory‘s modular approach.

Why Use Chartify?

  • Simplifies Victory‘s complex customization
  • Standard color scheme and layouts
  • Chart gallery showcases configurations
  • Fit charts fluidly using CSS
  • Open-source library

Use Cases: Data analytics platform, survey data analysis etc.

Chartify Demo

10. Visx

Visx is a JavaScript visualization library with charts, plots, networks and maps. It focuses on speed, size and ease-of-use over complex features.

Key Features

  • Small size, lightweight footprint
  • Fast performance across browsers
  • Clean plots and networks diagrams
  • Basic maps withTopoJSON support
  • Scales, legends and tooltip helpers
  • React and Angular components

Use Cases: Real-time network diagrams, genomic visualizations etc.

VisX Sample

11. Victory

Victory offers ready-to-use, composable React components for building interactive data visualizations.

Why Use Victory?

  • Customizable charts and graphs
  • Smooth transitions and animations
  • Supports brushing, zooming etc.
  • Modular approach – mix components
  • Integrates datasets from API calls
  • Detailed developer guides

Use Cases: Cryptocurrency price graph, health metrics visualizer etc.

VictoryJS Sample

12. Plotly

Plotly enables users to develop publication-quality graphs online or embed them in R Shiny, Dash and web apps.

Why Choose Plotly?

  • Interactive graphs for dashboards
  • Jupyter notebook support
  • Offline chart exports as PNG/SVG
  • 9 chart types with customization
  • statistical analysis (line of best fit etc.)
  • Dashboard and apps gallery
  • Community support and tutorials

Use Cases: Data analytics platform, investment analysis tools etc.

Plotly Charts

13. Nivo

Nivo provides a rich charting and data viz library for React and React Native apps. It renders SVG visualizations with advanced animations.

Key Benefits

  • Isomorphic visualizations
  • Interactive charts and graphs
  • Supports large datasets
  • Integrates charts with mapping
  • Custom themes and annotations
  • React native integration
  • Superb documentation

Use Cases: Crypto mining stats, healthcare analytics, network topology etc.

Nivo Charts

14. Recharts

As a composable React charting library, Recharts leverages SVG and Canvas elements with minimum dependencies.

Why Recharts Stands Out

  • Decent variety of charts – pie, radial, treemap etc.
  • Isomorphic chart components
  • Integrates well with React stack
  • Custom components development
  • Supports responsiveness
  • Good performance

Use Cases: Web analytics dashboard, supply chain analysis etc.

Recharts Demo

15. Billboard.js

Billboard offers easy-to-use D3-based reusable charts for visualization. It simplifies working with the D3 library.

Key Features

  • Streamlined chart customization
  • animations and color themes
  • Supports large datasets
  • Integrates well with React
  • Area, bar, line and combo charts
  • timescale, regions and zooming

Use Cases: Energy consumption tracker, weather apps etc.

Billboard Charts

Summing Up

While all these libraries have something unique to offer, your specific application scenario should drive your decision.

Analyze options on parameters like choice of charts, interactivity, performance, learning curve, documentation etc. For instance, Chart.js and Chartkick are great for simple use cases given their ease-of-use while D3 and Nivo work best for complex, custom visualizations.

I hope this guide gives you clarity in choosing a suitable library to turn your raw data into engaging visual stories!