The value of data visualization can’t be overestimated. With it, you can make data expressive and insightful, which was raw and dry in the first place. Provided that it approached right, visualization makes complicated things appear more understandable and graspable to the audience. By depicting data in graphs, maps, or pivot tables, you can deliver the same information more effectively. Sure, we could infinitely list the benefits of data visualization. But let’s get straight to the purpose of this blog post.

This time we suggest you become closer to competence in the data visualization field. We believe it’s a crucial skill not only in the labor market but also in daily life. It teaches you to communicate results in constructive and creative ways.

To help you get on the right path from the very beginning, we hand-picked the best courses for data visualization using JavaScript.

All of these courses differ in content but have one common purpose: to teach you how to visualize data with a universal and low-level library, which D3.js is. 

And there’s a reason behind that. D3.js is an acknowledged standard in the data visualization world. From a developer standpoint, it’s simply a low-level JavaScript library. Most often, it works under the hood of modern high-level data visualization libraries because it’s highly flexible, responsive, and fast when it comes to interaction and animation. This is why understanding the basics of D3 is a must-have if you want to become an expert in the data visualization domain and build unique projects from scratch. 

We hope you’ll pick one or two courses that fit your learning manner best and, step-by-step, grow from a beginner to a professional. 

Let’s dive into the courses’ highlights!

Data visualization using D3.js on freeCodeCamp📊

This 13-hour video course is one-of-a-kind. Not only is it free but also high-quality and incredibly comprehensive. With all his enthusiasm and a great sense of humor, Beau Carnes shares knowledge on how to ask the right questions about data visualization goals, what story to tell, and which problem to solve – the things that are important at the outset of every data visualization project.

After learning about data visualization objectives, you’re going to get familiar with the world of JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and SVG. So, if you’re a newbie in web development, that’s totally fine.

Then you’ll dive into D3.js: build all kinds of visualizations, customize them, and a lot more. You’ll even learn how all these fancy interactive maps on the web are built and develop your own one.

And all of this at a comfortable pace.

Use the timecodes under the video to jump from one topic to another. But if you prefer a more classical Coursera-like approach, where the content is divided by weeks, I recommend visiting this page, prepared by Curran Kelleher. It contains the same content but split into categories. Under each topic, you can see the aggregated compilation of relevant resources.

Have fun!

Information Visualization: Programming with D3.js on Coursera📈

This course is a part of the Information Visualization Specialization by New York University Tandon School of Engineering.

Prerequisites: basic programming experience is required.

In general, the specialization focuses on the importance of data visualization. In particular, the course itself brings a strong focus on programming visualizations using the D3.js library. After learning the basics of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, you’ll develop a basic understanding of D3.js and its main aspects. With it, you’ll learn how to:

  • load, filter, sort, and transform your raw data
  • compute statistics
  • draw using SVG.

Other topics include drawing lines, arcs, different kinds of charts, including maps. Finally, you’ll learn how to visualize networks and hierarchical data.

Your charts will be interactive since you’ll learn how to listen to events and update data.

After each week, you’ll pass programming assignments to put your knowledge into practice and stress test yourself with quizzes. I can’t think of a better way to learn new things. 

Learn D3 on Codecademy 📉

Prerequisites: basic knowledge of JavaScript objects and its fundamentals. Strong understanding of the DOM.

This course is an introduction to D3. It takes 2 hours to complete the course. During this time, you’ll understand the basics of D3.js: Selection, data-element relationship, the “d” parameter, data styling, entering & appending data, chaining syntax, and adding interactivity with events.

As a final project, you’ll create a data visualization related to climate change. 

Note that this course is available only by Codecademy subscription. 

Turn Data into Visualizations with D3.js on Frontend Masters📊

Prerequisites: basic skills in JavaScript

This course gives you a fascinating introduction into D3.js and walks you through from a beginner level to building advanced custom data visualizations. 

It’s created by front-end and data visualization experts who can share knowledge of real-world cases. Every video keeps you inspired to become better at data visualization. The content is balanced both with theoretical knowledge and code practice. During watching, you can try building visualizations by yourself and see how the data livens up.

If you’re a React developer, you may be interested in the D3.js for React course. 

This course is available through a paid membership. 

Geospatial Mapping with D3 on Pluralsight🗺️

Prerequisites: confident knowledge of D3.js and JavaScript

If you want to focus on creating geospatial visualizations only, this course is the right choice. You’ll learn how to use the D3.js library as an excellent instrument for rendering maps and making them beautiful with visualizations.  

Start your journey by learning about GeoJSON and master making maps interactive. In the advanced part of the course, you’ll learn how to add zooming, cities, and panning to the maps. 

It takes 1 hour 14 minutes to complete the course. Available through Pluralsight subscription.

After completion of some of these courses, you will:

  • understand the fundamentals of working with D3.js 
  • know how to design, evaluate, and develop data visualizations
  • know how to communicate insights
  • complete your own projects which can be a shiny feature of your portfolio.

The gained knowledge will be relevant for a long time, regardless of the technology trends changes. You’ll be able to apply these skills in a lot of areas and, at the same time, not be limited to using proprietary libraries.

⌨️ Feel the need to improve your web development skills before starting to work with D3.js? We know where it’s best to do. Surf GitConnected – there you’ll find the courses and tutorials that will teach you JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and much more.