Data visualization is all these days – no matter what kind of information you want to present, either for school, work, or high-level corporate demos, it’s always important to present data in a very visual way.
In that sense, designing an animated bar chart race can be one of your best assets when presenting numbers. They are captivating and present statitical information in an interesting way.
Here are some solutions that you can use to create a bar chart race with or without pre-knowledge of coding.
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FabDev is a bar chart race generator that is pretty straightforward. All you need to do is upload a CSV file with all of the information you need, add the duration in seconds and the number of bars you would like to display. Once done, simply click on the “Generate Bar Chart Race” button and you’ll immediately see a preview.
The only downside is that FabDev is a very simple GitHub code without much support and there is no customization in terms of font, labels, colors, images. Also, you will have to record your screen to make a GIF or movie file out of it while it’s playing.
But if you have some programming know-how, you can download the code for free and improve upon it. So, if you are a learner who loves to tinker around code, this is the best one for you. Since the possibilities are endless, you can fully customize it.
However, if you’re a casual user, check out the other options below that might suit your needs better.
Flourish.studio is an entire suite of visualization tools, and of course it also has bar chart race and column chart race templates that you can fully customize.
You can do a lot of stuff even on the free version, except perhaps to publish it as an HTML file. But that said, if you just want to embed it to your website, then that is entirely possible. Just click on Export & Publish and copy the embed code provided.
In fact, as I mentioned above, aside from having a bar chart race, you can also try making a column chart race. The only difference is that instead of the chart moving from left to right, the chart will move vertically.
3. Zoho Sheets
Zoho Sheets is pretty much like Google Sheets, but with extra features that you can’t find on free solutions. One of which is adding animated race charts for easy data visualization.
It’s pretty much simple to use if you are familiar with spreadsheets like Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel. It is also very flexible when it comes to customizing how it looks, how it acts, and the like. The best part is it’s free, and you can publish and share it as an embed in any website.
Zoho is quite feature-rich when it comes to spreadsheets and charts, even moore than Google Sheets ven though the later is more popular.
LivingCharts’ bar race chart generator is pretty straightforward. You import your data file, customize the looks, check the preview if everything looks right, and then simply export it as an MP4 or as an embedded code that you can place right on your website.
The free tier only allows for a demo so you won’t be able to export it, but you can explore around and see if the tool’s customization lives up to your standards. For the free plan, you can only store up to 5 projects, and the projects and data are available to the public.
But for the Pro plan, which costs $19 per month, you can pretty much do everything you need, and you can keep your data and charts privately, plus you can create up to 25 charts.
Animated Bar Chart Race made by Wishyoulization is specific only to Windows users, and another restriction is you can only use it if you have either a school or work email, meaning if you have a generic Yahoo or Gmail addresses, then you won’t have access to it.
On the plus side, it’s free and very easy to use. If you are familiar with Microsoft Power BI, a visualization tool made by Microsoft, then you won’t have a problem working with this extension.
Both Power BI and this extension are free, and there is a guide that you can check out too to learn how to make things work. Changing colors, adding labels, graphics, animation,and the like are supported.
But when should you opt for a bar chart race? Generally, this chart is used to visually emphasize the changes over time. For example, since the start of the pandemic up to the present date, which countries moved up to the top 10 – the chart will visually display the movement of numbers over time, in an animated way.
However, if you are dealing with data that have fixed scales, or you really don’t need to emphasize how the numbers moved overtime, you should opt out of bar chart races.