Good looking dashboards tickle my brain cells. While dashboards are supposed to give a superior representation of data, with some good looks sprinkled in, it is somehow a more satisfying experience. And when I stumbled upon the Federal IT dashboard, it made me smirk.
The Federal IT dashboard keeps track of almost 600 billion dollars of people’s money, shows the progress of 7000 projects — what the heck, it keeps track of the entire IT spending of the US government. In spite of all that, it looks oh so cute! And then to find out that it uses my favorite charting tool, FusionCharts was quite a feel-good factor.
I have been using FusionCharts for quite some time now. While that doesn’t make me their official spokesperson, I wouldn’t be too bad a person either to introduce you to this little gem. When we as PHP developers think charting, we straightaway think of image-based charts. Yes, they are good but it’s not the 90s anymore. What the web needs now is a more interactive, a more engaging experience. And that is exactly what FusionCharts provides.
With FusionCharts, you get animated and interactive charts. And when I say interactive, I mean some really useful options like drill-down and tooltips. These help reduce the clutter on screen when you need to show a lot of info on the chart. FusionCharts also enables you to export the chart as PNG, JPEG, PDF or CSV with only a single click. With all of these, it fits in really well with most of the things you might need from a dashboard charting tool.
But dashboards are not the only place where you can use FusionCharts. It can be used equally well for creating sales reports, website analytics and surveys. What comes in really handy here is the fact that it works with any database. And to give you a better hang of things, their website provides a number of blueprint applications and code samples. You can play around with these samples to understand things better or simply copy-paste them to the needs of your application and get running.
Now that I have introduced you to a charting tool for PHP, show me some eye candy. Keep me tickled.