Top 9 data visualization tools for non-developers
Thursday, August 10, 2017
Big data is walking into people's lives nowadays. Though people may have ways to obtain data, they don't know how to draw conclusion with it because the data were too many. Hence, I'm here providing 9 useful data visualization tools for you to understand your data. Hope this article helps you well!
Datawrapper is an online data-visualization tool for making interactive charts. Once you upload the data from CSV file or paste it directly into the field, Datawrapper will generate a bar, line or any other related visualization. Many reporters and news organizations use Datawrapper to embed live charts into their articles. It is very easy to use and produces effective graphics.
Tableau Public is perhaps the most popular visualization tool which supports a wide variety of charts, graphs, maps and other graphics. It is a completely free tool and the charts you make with it can be easily embedded in any web page. They have a nice gallery which displays visualizations created via Tableau.
Although it offers charts and graphics that are much better than other similar tools, I don’t ‘love’ to use its free version because of the big footer it comes with. If it’s not as big a turn-off for you as it is for me, then you should definitely give it a try. Or if you can afford it, you can go for a paid version.
Chart.js is perfectly suited to smaller projects. Although armed with only six chart types, open source library Chart.js is the perfect data visualization tool for hobbies and small projects. Using HTML 5 canvas elements to render charts, Chart.js creates responsive, flat designs, and is quickly becoming one of the most poplar open-source charting libraries.
Raw defines itself as ‘the missing link between spreadsheets and vector graphics’. It is built on top of D3.js and is extremely well designed. It has such an intuitive interface that you’ll feel like you’ve used it before. It is open-source and doesn’t require any registration.
It has a library of 21 chart types to choose from and all the processing is done in browser. So your data is safe. RAW is highly customizable and extensible, and can even accept new custom layouts.
Infogram enables you to create both charts and infographics online. It has a restricted free version and two paid options which include features like 200+ maps, private sharing and icons library etc.
It comes with an easy to use interface and its basic charts are well designed. One feature that I didn’t like is the huge logo that you get when you try to embed interactive charts into your webpage (in free version). It will be better if they can make it like the little text that Datawrapper uses.
As the name suggests, Timeline JS helps you create beautiful timelines without writing any code. It is a free, open-source tool which is used by some of the most popular websites like Time and Radiolab.
It’s a very easy to follow four-step process to create your timeline which is explained here. Best part? It can pull in media from a variety of sources and has built-in support for Twitter, Flickr, Google Maps, YouTube, Vimeo, Vine, Dailymotion, Wikipedia, SoundCloud and other similar sites.
Plotly is a web based data analysis and graphing tool. It supports a good collection of chart types with built in social sharing features. The charts and graph types available have a professional look and feel. Creating a chart is just a matter of loading in your information and customizing the layout, axes, notes and legend. If you are looking to get started, you can find some inspiration here.
DataHero enables you to pull together data from cloud services and create charts and dashboards. No technical abilities are required, so this is a great tool for your whole team to use.
Visualize Free is a hosted tool that allows you to use publicly available datasets, or upload your own, and build interactive visualizations to illustrate the data. The visualizations go well beyond simple charts, and the service is completely free plus while development work requires Flash, output can be done through HTML5.
These are the top 9 data visualization tool for non-developers that I recommended.
In the end, I want to add that, use these tools cooperatively with Octoparse- a dedicated web scraping tool, will help you understand data faster, easier, and clearer.
Author: the Octoparse team
For more information about Octoparse, please click here.
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