Flash charts – what, when, why, where, how?

Creating flash charts for one of my previous posts - What was hot in IT World 2008 - gave me an idea to write about flash charts. I thinks their use is not so wide as they deserve. Flash charts are really great for visualizing whatever data. So, read my What When Why Where and How of flash charts.

What is a flash chart or flash graph?

Chart or graph is data represented in a pictorial form. Flash chart is usually created to be published to the web – that’s why it’s also called web chart. Web chart is data represented in a form of flash “movie” (.swf file) that allows not only representing data as a drawing but also adding various animation effects, interactivity and other functions. Swf file format is ideal for flash graphing because it’s intended to be small enough for publishing to the web and it allows graph animation.

When do you need to use flash charts or flash graphs?

When you have a large amount of numeric data to publish to the web, chart in flash is perfect for its representation. When you need to enhance your site with an eye candy and give some information at the same time, bright animated flash chart is exactly what you need. When your data is dynamic and should be changed from time to time, live flash chart is the best solution because it allows to change data without changing anything in your web page.

Why do you need flash chart or flash graph to represent your data?

Charts are comprehended by the reader over 80 times faster than data. Chart makes relationship between different parts of the data obvious from the first sight. Flash charts are colorful and eye-catching while data represented as a plain text or data table is rather boring. Flash chart attracts your visitors while text data frightens them off.

Where are flash charts or flash graphs used?

Flash graphs are used everywhere where statistical data needs to be represented in the most comprehensible way. For example, web charts are perfect for:

  • financial reports and business monitoring;
  • network monitoring;
  • surveys, polls, elections results;
  • scientific data;
  • any statistical views.

It's impossible to outline the boundaries of using flash charts. They can be used for displaying anything from network traffic to fluctuation in air temperature, from stock prices to rate of population growth.

How to create and publish flash chart or flash graph?

To create flash graph without wasting time for coding, you need a special graph making software. Such a utility allows to make a graph without any programming skills and publish it to website with ease. Try Animated Chart software for chart making. This flash charting component will help you to create a flash chart of any type, customize every chart item with some mouse clicks, save chart as swf, html or image file and even create a real time web chart based on live data from any source. To publish your flash chart to a web page, you need only to upload swf to your server and paste html code into the code of your web page. Animated Chart generates web ready flash graphs and gives you both swf chart and html code to be inserted into your page. To learn more about the software, to see chart examples or to read tutorials and tips for making flash charts and graphs, visit Animated Chart website.

Happy chart making! :)