Top 6 React chart libraries to build your dashboard

Annette Chen
April 5, 2022

Discover what react chart libraries are, how they can help you and how to select the best one for your project.

Users of modern SaaS applications demand data visualization tools irrespective of the industry or purpose of the application. With large volumes of all types of data available at everyone's fingertips, users know that data insights can help them improve their operations and services. However, long lists of numbers and figures make it harder to derive actionable insights. Hence, users prefer applications with beautiful data visuals that give them meaningful information at a glance. Strong visuals help users grasp critical information faster, and retain it for longer, improving the overall app experience. React chart libraries are a convenient development tool to quickly build and launch customizable data visuals in your application.

It is important to remember that, there are several different ways to create user dashboards in React. You can try one of three methods outlined in how to build a react dashboard or use one of the top six ready-to-use react dashboard templates. After research, if you choose to go ahead with react chart libraries, then read on to discover the best ones you can integrate into your project today!

What are React chart libraries?

React chart libraries, or React apps, are software development tools web developers use to integrate data visuals in their projects. The libraries manage the data presentation and aesthetics of the visuals so that developers can focus on producing and maintaining the data itself. React chart libraries are versatile and scalable apps that are highly functional and require coding to add to your project.

Benefits of React chart libraries:

  • React chart libraries are a great tool to add interactive charts and support animation.
  • They include built-in support for zooming, panning, exporting charts as images, drill-down data, and real-time updates.
  • Any type of chart is supported from simple bar charts to complex charts like range charts, stock charts, stacked charts, hexagon heat maps, contour plots, scatterplots, hexagon heatmaps, etc.
  • You can add hundreds of thousands of data points into your chart displays to show beautiful summaries of complex data.

Top 6 react chart libraries for your projects

With several react chart libraries to choose from, it can be hard to pick the right one for your project. We present below six react chart libraries and evaluate them on features, customizability, documentation, and community adoption.

Recharts

Recharts react chart library is one of the top-rated libraries available today. One of its biggest benefits is customization. Rechart allows users to edit components and has several unique options. Furthermore, it is massively scalable and presents web developers with dozens of decoupled and reusable components. Recharts is also fairly straightforward to learn and implement.

Even though it may be one of the best react chart libraries on the market, it does have some limitations. For example, it does not offer support for mobile devices, and its drawing capabilities are fairly limited. Even so, Rechart has a clean interface, and fairly intuitive features making it a popular choice among developers.

Key features:

  • Clean user interface with beautiful graphics
  • SVG drawing support
  • Reusable & decoupled charts
  • Fairly painless installation process

Victory

‎Formidable’s Victory is widely regarded as one of the best React chart libraries around, offering convenience and flexibility, as well as a set of strong, dependable features. Engineered as open-source software, a growing community of experienced developers is committed to maintaining and improving this already robust software module. Its core features include complex data visualizations like area charts, Voronoi polygons, and scatter plots. These components are readily available for quick integration on any development project. The majority of data is reusable, and unlike Recharts, it offers support for both Android and iOS devices.

Key features:

  • Voronoi polygons, area charts, and scatter plots
  • Fully reusable elements
  • Can be run natively on Android and iOS platforms
  • Gorgeous animations and graphics
  • Open-source platform that is being constantly refined by a community of professionals

Nivo

‎Nivo’s react chart libraries are outstandingly well-rounded, offering 27 unique chart types, support for multiple formats (most notably SVG, Canvas & HTML), a host of utility functions, and tons of color patterns. Whether the user wants to create a flamboyant visualization of the latest grand news, or something as plain as a pie chart of basic stats, Nivo can tackle both and anything in between. Its UI may be a bit cramped, but that’s mainly due to the fact that it’s as feature-packed as they come. Fortunately, the developers of this software did an amazing job when it comes to categorization; with minimal practice and effort, forming a routine and integrating Nivo’s react chart libraries into daily use should be a breeze.

Key features:

  • 27 chart types
  • Support for multiple chart formats
  • Various templates and color options
  • Server-based rendering

ChartJs

‎Developers searching for versatile and eclectic React chart libraries will find Chart.js meeting all their requirements. It is a well-rounded feature-packed data visualization program. The introduction of mixed chart types is an important distinguishing feature between Chart.js and its contemporaries. Developers can utilize different aesthetics on any single presentation. Aside from stunningly beautiful chart graphics, Chart.js also offers innovative animation presets, as well as the ability to animate ‘static’ elements.

Key features:

  • Scale stacking capabilities
  • 8 chart types
  • Innovative animation presets
  • Mix & Match feature to utilize different types of charts
  • Supports HTML and Canvas charts
  • Open-source software

ReactVis

Streamlined, simple, and flexible in nearly equal measure, React-Vis is among the best beginner-friendly react chart libraries. It offers new web developers an introduction to data visualization and professionals more variety in terms of chart options and templates. A simple installation process coupled with a clean, user-friendly UI forms its core advantages. Offering dozens of modules like treemaps, line, area, pie, donut, and bar charts in different colors, React-Vis is an essential tool for developers that are handling bulk data visualization tasks on a daily basis.

Key features:

  • Straightforward on-site storybook
  • Both simple and advanced chart types
  • Clear and intuitive user interface
  • Shallow learning curve

Highcharts

The Highcharts library includes several tools to create reliable and secure data visualizations. It is a popular choice among the world's top companies with 80 of the top 100 choosing Highcharts as their React chart library of choice. Its ease of use and customization make it the most developer-friendly library. The documentation is well organized and Highcharts also provides a built-in test environment or sandbox for developers to try out new ideas. examples are more than enough to get you started.

Key features:

  • Includes wrappers for popular programming languages and frameworks
  • Flexible, well-designed, and fully customizable API
  • Supports responsive design
  • Includes all basic chart types along with maps, stocks, and Gantt charts

Which is the most used react chart library?

Widely used and acclaimed by professionals and leading industry experts, Recharts react chart library is streamlined, convenient, and versatile. Boasting over 540,000 npm downloads weekly, Recharts leads over its immediate competitors Chartjs-2 (338,760) and Victory (126,898) by a wide margin.

How to choose the right React chart library for your project?

Personal preference, experience, and learning curve are the top factors to consider when choosing the right solution for your project. Some react chart libraries offer dozens of features, chart presets, and templates, but not all web developers need a program to be ‘excessively’ versatile. All projects have different missions and all developers have a different vision. Ultimately, the right react chart library is the one that can organically fit into your project and support your development efforts.

At Explo, we built our initial version on ChartJS before transitioning to Highcharts. ChartJS was a great, lightweight solution to build out the MVP of our product. However, configuration limitations with ChartJS eventually forced us to look elsewhere. Highcharts has been an excellent solution for building a dashboard-builder product because it supports a variety of charts and enables complete granularity of configurations.

Do you have to choose a react chart library?

React chart libraries are not the best solution to building dashboards in your application. You still require extensive development efforts, integrations, and customization to get the library working in your systems. If you want to save time, consider Explo dashboards. Use our drag and drop interface to create beautiful, configurable dashboards that embed directly in your app. We also offer ready-to-go templates for several different industries and categories!

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