Ruby for Data Visualization: Charts and Graphs


Data visualization is a powerful way to understand and communicate data insights. Ruby, while not the most common choice for data visualization, can be used to create charts and graphs. In this guide, we'll explore the basics of using Ruby for data visualization and introduce you to the Rubyvis library.


Before you start, make sure you have the following prerequisites:

  • Basic knowledge of the Ruby programming language
  • Ruby development environment set up
  • Data that you want to visualize (e.g., in an array or CSV format)

Step 1: Install Rubyvis

We'll use the Rubyvis library, a Ruby port of Protovis, to create charts and graphs. You can install Rubyvis as a Ruby gem:

# Install the Rubyvis gem
gem install rubyvis

Step 2: Create a Simple Bar Chart

Let's create a simple bar chart to visualize data. Here's an example using Rubyvis:

require 'rubyvis'
data = [5, 10, 15, 20, 25]
vis = do
width 400
height 200
bar do
data data
width 20
height {|d| d * 5}
x {index * 50}
y {200 - height}

Step 3: Customize Your Visualization

You can customize your visualization by adjusting various properties, such as colors, labels, and axis scales. Explore the Rubyvis documentation for more options and features.

Step 4: Render and Display

After customizing your visualization, you can render and display it in a web application or save it as an image.


Ruby, with the Rubyvis library, offers a flexible and creative way to create charts and graphs for data visualization. While it may not be as widely used as other data visualization tools, it can be a valuable addition to your data analysis and reporting toolkit. Experiment with different types of visualizations, explore additional libraries, and refine your skills in data visualization with Ruby.

Happy visualizing with Ruby!