Sooner or later software developers need to undertake the task of extracting data, transforming it into something useful and loading it into other forms of representation and storage (ETL). During that process we’ll often also need to then present that aggregated or extracted data as a visual representation.
What is data visualization?
Data visualization is the art of making the useful, usable. If we display a torrent of facts and figures such as city populations in the form of a table it is useful – but it’s not very usable or even readily understandable. It’s far easier for us to represent that collection of numbers as a graph; specifically a chart. We humans are very visual and we can absorb and comprehend quite substantial and even complex hordes of figures much more effectively when they are presented visually.
How does TeeChart help with data visualization?
Since the very early versions of the Delphi IDE a version of TeeChart from Steema has shipped as a free add-on. Even today with the far more comprehensive, evolved and advanced RAD Studio Delphi there is a free copy of TeeChart waiting for you to use if you tick the little checkbox during the installation process.
This free copy of TeeChart has meant that many Delphi programmers have learned to use TeeChart to provide things like pie charts, line graphs and scatter plots in their programs to represent all sorts of data when the need arose. There is a paid version of TeeChart too which offers more advanced functionality but don’t be fooled by the “free” in the free version; it’s got plenty of power too and more than enough of it for many things you could find a use for.
Here’s the video..