Flash-free Google Analytics with Highcharts - UX Lab 002
The reliance upon Flash to produce the charting on Google Analytics has frustrated myself and other web devs for a while now. When Google announced a new premium package it appeared that they had spent some time overhauling their product. I was genuinely curious, as it’s impossible to view your analytics on an iOS device without using a third party application. I was, of course, disappointed. I made what I thought was a valid comment on Hacker News and entered into a bit of a debate.
Regardless of Android vs. iOS motives, regardless of internal politics, what I said still holds true. A front end dev could pump out a proof of concept with a jQuery UI datepicker and the amazing Highcharts in a matter of minutes. I decided to go the other way and produce a facsimile product that took just over an hour.
Highcharts is an absolutely amazing product. You might catch me harping on about it on Twitter every so often, but it’s because I think it’s that damn good. It’s a mature product, well supported by the creators on it’s support forum.
There was little I wasn’t able to visually match between the libraries. The remaining gaps such as the microcharts could probably just be patched with jQuery sparklines or something similar.
Put simply, there is no technological reason Google couldn’t release a non-Flash version of Analytics tomorrow. They probably already have one in their own labs. Why has it taken so long? I can’t answer that. But I’m not sure I can wait much longer either.