Close

Powerful dashboard frameworks
for R shiny apps in 2021

Table of Contents
Slideshow
In 2021, there are many package options for building pro-quality dashboards with your R shiny app. After a systematic review of our client work and exciting new options, here are my top three picks for building pro-quality R shiny app dashboards with five more excellent choices, depending on your project and organization standards.
This article is part of a chapter from R shiny app dashboards in 2021 – The Ultimate Guide for Busy People. Visit the complete article for the slides from this video and save hours on your next dashboard project by downloading all of the R shiny apps in this article.

Watch this article

Elevate your R shiny app…

So, at this point you should have a high-value R shiny app. And you’re probably wondering: “How do I know which R shiny app dashboard framework to pick?” Well, there’s no magic formula that’s going to show you the perfect framework.

But there ARE pros and cons to each framework that you should understand to effectively choose the best R shiny app dashboard framework for your project needs.

That’s exactly what I’m going to cover in this article.

So many great dashboard framework choices…

In 2021, there are many package options for building pro-quality dashboards with your R shiny app. After a systematic review of our client work and exciting new options, here are my top three picks for building pro-quality R shiny app dashboards with five more excellent choices, depending on your project and organization standards.

In this review of framework packages, I show:
+ An example screenshot of the framework in use.
+ Background on the framework.
+ The RStudio CRAN ranking of downloads for that package in December 2020.
+ How long each package has been under development.
+ Where you can find the development page of the package.
+ Whether the framework is responsive to smaller screens/screen resizing.
+ And my opinion of the complexity of applying the framework to your R shiny app.

All of these frameworks appear to be under active development, which is a good trait. And all appear to be battle-hardened through multiple releases or a significant number of resolved bugs/issues, enough to be confident of their quality to use in professional-grade projects. Ultimately, your choice may be a mix of preference, practical issues, organization standards and reusability for other projects you may build in 2021 and beyond.

#1 shinydashboardPlus

A R shiny app dashboard built with shinydashboardPlus. View it live on YakData brightRserver
Click this image to try a shinydashboardPlus app live on YakData ConnectR

An easy but powerful way to add many additional capabilities to shinydashboard-built R shiny app dashboards. It enhances the shinydashboard framework with a right sidebar, additional left-side header controls, multiple new box controls including a flipbox and widgetbox, new buttons for apps and social media, new box elements including sidebars, accordions and timelines and progress bars and image carousels.

In short, almost any possible display you have seen on an administrative dashboard is likely included here or in the supported shinydashboard package.

CRAN rank 1,146 out of 20,078 (3rd most downloaded)
Development since 2018 through 2020
Find the project at https://github.com/RinteRface/shinydashboardPlus
Responsive? Yes
Complexity of framework – low

#2 shinyMobile

A R shiny app dashboard built with shinyMobile. View it live on YakData brightRserver
A shinyMobile example, click this image to try a live example on YakData ConnectR

Develop outstanding R shiny app dashboards for iPhone, iPad, Android devices and the desktop. shinyMobile is built with the latest Framework7 template.

shinyMobile has many great features. Native iOS and Android app frameworks. Mobile app capabilities designed from the ground up to work very well on small screens. Cutting-edge web components that rival professional websites with that “wow” factor. In particular, smart support for mobile friendly inputs and controls.

While this is my favorite framework for what you can achieve, the level of difficulty is high, which I why I put it in a close 2nd to shinydashboardPlus.

CRAN rank: 5,595 out of 20,078 (8th most downloaded)
Development since 2016 through 2020
Find the project at https://github.com/RinteRface/shinyMobile/
Responsive? Yes
Complexity of framework – high

#3 flexdashboard

A R shiny app dashboard built with flexdashboard. View it live on YakData ConnectR
The YakData ConnectR plan selector app

You can use flexdashboard to create static (no timeouts!) web pages or dynamic R shiny app dashboards. flexdashboard converts an R Markdown document to a grid-oriented dashboard. The dashboard is flexible, adapting the size of its components to the containing web page. The storyboards feature provides an alternative to the standard “grid layout.” These can be used to present a series of data visualizations with text commentary in a “flow” for your data consumers. CRAN rank 768 out of 20,078 (2nd most downloaded)
Development since 2016 through 2020
Find the project at http://rmarkdown.rstudio.com/flexdashboard
Responsive? Yes, to a degree
Complexity of framework – high 

Five more great dashboard frameworks to choose from

Those are my top 3 choices, but here are five more great frameworks and extensions to frameworks for building professional quality dashboards with R shiny apps in 2021.

The remainder of this chapter is freely available at R shiny app dashboards in 2021 – The Ultimate Guide for Busy People.


About the author
Stephen McDaniel is Co-Founder and Principal Data Scientist at YakData.

     

About YakData ConnectR
Develop R shiny web applications with a powerful IDE and securely share them on a dedicated server in one of 14 locations worldwide.​ Explore the ConnectR App Gallery, Blog or Buy page​ to learn more and get started today.​

Related posts

ConnectR apps to explore

Learn how ConnectR can bring your team together.

R + the web + smarter analyses in our newsletter.
 

Table of Contents