Top 30 Data Visualization Tools in 2018
Thursday, November 01, 2018
Data expert David McCandless once said: "By visualizing information, we turn it into a landscape that you can explore with your eyes, a sort of information map." Data visualization, aiming to enable people to gain insights from data most effectively, is about how to present data into different gorgeous graphs and charts.
However, a variety of data visualization tools are dazzling, and we made it easy for you. Like our top 30 big data tools, here we selected top 30 data visualization tools in 2018 and wrote reviews that cover all the features of the best data visualization tools out there.
We divided them into two major categories: tools that require no programming and tools for developers only. Under these two categories, data visualization tools are also categorized according to their specialization. Some tools like Tableau are very powerful and you can create a variety of charts with it, some tools like Infogram are famous for making infographics, and some tools focus on presenting interactive maps like Gephi.
· Tools that require no programming
· Charts and graphs
· Tools that require programming
· Charts and graphs
Tools that require no programming
Charts and graphs
RAWGraphs is an open-source web tool and a data visualization framework. It aims at providing a missing link between spreadsheet applications(e.g. Microsoft Excel and Apple Numbers) and vector graphics editors (e.g. Adobe Illustrator and Sketch). You can just insert your data into RAWGraphs and customize your charts and export them as vector (SVG) or raster (PNG) images. Moreover, data uploaded to RAW will be processed only by the web browser, guaranteeing data safety.
ChartBlocks is a simple online chart building tool, and its data import wizard can lead you step-by-step to show you how to import data and design charts. Unlike RAWGraphs, you can easily share your charts on social media. You can also export charts as editable vector graphics or embed charts into websites with the free personal account. Professional account and elite account are also offered.
Commercial - For individuals or business
Some data visualization tools provide different paid plans for individuals, small team, and organizations. These tools have more features and technical support than free ones.
Tableau is the most famous data visualization tool all over the world, letting people transform data into an effective visualization (charts, graphs, and even maps). Tableau is a very powerful, secure, and flexible analysis platform, and you can just drag the data into Tableau and graph it with your colleagues. You can also visualize reports generated via desktop, browser, mobile, or embedded into any application.
4) Power BI
Power BI is a suite of business analytics tools developed by Microsoft and thus integrated well with Microsoft Office. Users can import any data such as files, folders, and database and view data anywhere using software, online web editor, and mobile apps. Power BI is free for individual users and it only charges for $9.9 for each user in the team per month. Anyone in the team can analyze data and make decisions at any time.
QlikView tool is a business intelligence tool mainly focusing on business users in organizations, and users can easily analyze their data and use analytics and enterprise reporting capabilities of QlikView to support decision making. QlikView also provides personal edition so that individual users can enjoy the powerful features of it. You can simply type in the keywords you want to search within the dataset, and QlikView can help you find unexpected information and data associations.
Datawrapper is an easy-to-use online tool to create fully responsive charts or maps aiming for journalists and other content creators. With Datawrapper, journalists can make rich charts to attract the readers' attention and better illustrate their content. Moreover, it is created by a team including journalists, and hence they offer many fun articles telling you how to create better charts and stories behind these charts in their blog.
Visme provides a huge amount of photos, icons, templates, and fonts for users to make presentations, graphics, charts, and reports. Social media (e.g. Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube) graphics could be created within 3 steps with dynamic images and real-time data. With Visme, you can view and present your content anytime from anywhere on any device. Besides, Visme provides education discounts and non-profits discounts.
Commercial - For enterprise only
Grow is a business intelligence tool for business users only. With Grow, everyone in the company can track meaningful data and create their own specific dashboards to make informed decisions, supporting over 150 integrations. Grow claims that they can implement 8x faster than competitors with a seamless process, and over 300 pre-built reports and real-time data updates are also supported for business purposes.
iCharts is a Business Intelligence reporting tool for NetSuite users and Google Cloud users. iCharts can analyze data and update the weekly reports automatically by adding iCharts BI to the NetSuite dashboard. For Google Cloud users, iCharts provide a powerful and intuitive face, and you can drill into data with drag-and-drop operations.
It is very easy and convenient to create infographics by visualization tools, and you can even create your own social network infographics with several clicks.
Infogram let you create infographics, charts, and maps with many free templates, and you can either download them or embed them into websites. All these processes could be done in the web browser with ease. Infogram is very powerful and popular, and users have created charts, reports, and infographics viewed over 1.5 billion times. Except for the free basic plan, it also offers the professional plan, business plan and such.
With Visual.ly, you can easily create infographics, videos, reports, and ebooks for your marketing campaigns. There are plenty of inspiring and informative infographics uploaded by users in Visual.ly, and you can have your own social network infographics automatically generated through Visual.ly, which is very popular among those active social network users.
Analysts can take a Software as a Service (SaaS) to generate geographic reports without writing any code.
InstantAtlas is a SaaS delivering visual reports with professional support services. It enables information analysts and researchers to create interactive dynamic map reports that combine statistical and map data to optimize data visualization.
When visualizing social network graphs, special data visualization tool should be chosen for generating complicated nodes and leaves.
Gephi is the leading open-source visualization and exploration software for all kinds of graphs and networks. Gephi processes relational data. For example, in social media such as Twitter, who follows whom; in the election, who voted for whom; in an organization, who has a cooperative relationship with whom.
Mathematical graphs are widely used in education, and everyone can easily generate these graphs online.
Wolfram|Alpha is known as a computational knowledge engine - doing dynamic computations and return the relevant visual graph. Wolfram|Alpha is based on Mathematica, and the underlying operations and data processing are done by Mathematica running in the background. Mathematica supports geometric, numerical, and symbolic calculations, and has powerful graphical visualizations of scientific and mathematical graphics. Therefore, Wolfram|Alpha can answer a wide variety of mathematical problems and present the answers to the user in clear and beautiful graphs. You can also upgrade to Wolfram|Alpha Pro and upload your data and images for analysis.
Tools for developers
Charts and graphs
19) Google Charts
20) Ember Charts
Ember Charts is an open-source charting library built with the Ember.js and d3.js frameworks, and it is very easy to extend. Ember Charts mainly draws a time series diagram, histograms, pie charts, and scatter plots. Together with the Ember.js development team, Ember Charts focuses on graphical interactivity. It has a very strong error handling capability, and the system won't crash when you encounter bad data.
Chartist.js is the product of a community that was disappointed about the abilities provided by other charting libraries. Chartist.js is an open-source, simple to use, and you can use it to create highly customizable responsive charts. It is fully responsive and very flexible with clear separation of concerns.
If you want to display plenty of complicated charts for business purposes with technical support, you might want to purchase licenses of powerful charting libraries.
CARTO (formerly CartoDB) is an open-source, powerful, and intuitive platform for automatically discovering and analyzing location data. With CARTO, you can upload your geospatial data and visualize it in a dataset or on an interactive map. CARTO can be installed on your own server and paid hosted services and software are offered for Enterprise.
Stock information online is supposed to display in special chart libraries supporting time series and dense data.
Except for the above tools, there are still plenty of useful tools for us to try and explore. However, the most important thing is – getting started with one of them now. Only when you start to learn about these data visualization tools, you are able to tell from which is the most suitable one for you.
Data collection is the premise of data analysis, and data is usually divided into external data and internal data. Internal data is of you or your organization, and some external data is available online for downloading, but we might need special external data that cannot be fetched directly like product details on Amazon or tweets in Twitter. If you need external web data and don't have enough time to scrape them, a data scraping service is a very good choice since technicians can scrape data and clear them for you to view and analyze.
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