Data Visualization on Websites

If you operate a website you might want to present data to your visitors in the most user friendly way. A good visualization and presentation of data on your website can help you to improve the success of your website. Charts for instance can help to visualize data quickly to a user which can lead to a better user experience, hence more page views and ultimately more sales and profit. There are different possibilities to present data on a website, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. In this section we would like to discuss various options to present and visualize data on websites.

To give you some example I would like to look at the continents by population, data is taken from Wikipedia on 07/08/2020.

Presenting Data on a Website through Text

This is the simplest approach towards communicating data with your site visitors. You write a text that contains the data. For the population per continent it could look like the following extract:

Asia is the continent with the largest population, around 4.5 billion people live there. The second largest continent is Africa with around 1.2 billion people. Next Europe with 0.7 billion people, North America with 0.6 billion people, South America with 0.4 billion people and Oceania with 38 million people. The continent with the smallest population is Antarctica with around 1000 people.

You might agree that in many cases a lengthy text with lots of numbers is not easy to read and it takes some time to fully understand the data. However, presenting data through text has also advantages: One benefit is that a search engine, such as Google for instance, can easily parse the information presented on the website which can then help with better rankings.

Please read our article on presenting data through text if you would like to learn more about this option to present data on a website.

Presenting Data with a HTML Table

Going back to our example a table with the population per continent, the corresponding table could look like the following:

Rank Continent Population in Millions
1 Asia 4,582
2 Africa 1,216
3 Europe 739
4 North America 579
5 South America 423
6 Oceania 38
7 Antarctica 0.001

You will find that it takes less time to understand the table compared to reading the text. If the table is properly ordered, you can also quickly understand what the continents with the largest or smallest population are. Again, there are a couple of advantages and disadvantages for using a table on a website. Tables are easy to integrate, can still be parsed by a search engine crawler but it still takes a bit of time to understand the content of a HTML table.

If you would like to learn more about presenting data in a HTML table, please read our article on presenting data through tables.

Visualize Data with a Static Image of a Chart

Let's assume that you have the data in some kind of spreadsheet such as Excel or Google Sheets. With a few clicks you could create a chart with the population by continent and take a screenshot of it that looks like the following.

Chart as a Screenshot

Visualize Data with an Interactive Chart

Another option to present data to a website user is through a JavaScript-based chart. This means that the chart is rendered in the user's browser which also allows for more flexibility such as user interaction or chart animation. Typically it requires some time to learn the API of a charting library but you could also use our chart maker to create a JavaScript chart without any coding skills. Please note that it is more interactive compared to the previous chart image. As a user it is possible to hover the bars and read the actual values of the cart:

A JavaScript based web chart has multiple advantages such as being interactive.

What is the Best Way to Present Data on a Website?

There are multiple options to present data on a website such as describing it in text, using tables or creating charts. Typically charts are most appealing as information can be quickly grasped by the user which really helps with user experience.

If you would like to present data on your website then please have a look at our chart configuration tool which makes it really easy to create interactive charts and integrate it into your blog or website.