Data Visualization: a Drupal Case Study

Visualise your data

by Matt Rogers 


The aim of this project – still under development – is to develop a data visualisation application. It must be multi-purpose, able to be used again and again, and to display datasets in innovative and interesting ways. The data visualisations must be accessible to all web users and easy to share. The datasets could be from big data, live data, or website data. The application is being built with two technologies: Drupal and D3.


During the scoping phase of the project the biggest discussion was about which chart drawing framework to use. Many were discussed, including high charts, but we settled on D3 because of its versatility and popularity, and because there was already a module built to incorporate the library into the Drupal framework. To date, the development process has been an iterative process: each new version is evaluated, added to, and improved.

Intended impact

  1. To make data visualisations less expensive to produce
  2. To help non-specialists make complex data visualisations
  3. To make Drupal core statistics visual
  4. To offer a simpler alternative to the Google analytics dashboard