5 Data Visualization Tools To Enhance Your Analytics Efforts

Whether you swim or drown in data is just a matter of how you visualize it. We never had so much data as we have today and the volume is only going to increase further, as with every new digital invention new sources of data get opened too. Data analytics has become essential for all organizations irrespective of their size, industry or domain. But there’s a silver lining to this dark cloud of data floating over our heads and that is visualization. With effective data visualization tools and techniques, these amorphous clouds transform into stunning shapes that can be easily identified and categorized. Analytics tools give you the ability to give form to unstructured data, but visualization tools take it a notch further and come up with attractive and usable graphics that bring out the essence of the data with ease.

Here are the top five tools that you can consider if you are planning to implement data visualization in your organization:

  1. Tableau

Tableau is the unanimous choice among data visualization experts as it offers the best of all features and capabilities. It comes in three versions Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server and Tableau Online. While the Desktop version can be used by anybody, the Server and the Online versions are specially designed for organizations. Tableau claims that it is 10 to 100 times faster than other visualization solutions in the market and there’s truth to that claim. The tool is designed for ease of use. It can integrate data from SQL database, Hadoop, or the cloud with easy drag and drop features. It lets users conduct advanced analytics on the data and offers capabilities for trend analysis, regression analysis, correlations, and much more. The graphics and visualization options are very attractive. The tool has a shorter learning curve and offers capabilities that can be used by beginners as well as advanced level users.

  1. js

D3 stands for Data Driven Documents. It is not a packaged software but a JavaScript library for manipulating documents based on data. D3 enables data visualization using HTML, SVG, and CSS. D3’s emphasis on web standards gives you the full capabilities of modern browsers without tying yourself to a proprietary framework, combining powerful visualization components and a data-driven approach to DOM manipulation (source: D3js.org website). The tool is very useful if your web page has to interact with data. The unique feature of this tool is that it lets you build data visualization frameworks that you want. The onus like completely on the developer. They can make it as advanced or as simple as they like. It means that D3.js can do stuff that other tools don’t offer, but it also means that the developers have to start from scratch. Hence, the tool is not for beginners as it requires a decent amount of coding, but it is the tool of choice for many data visualization experts.

  1. Raw

Raw is a tool that can be used to create vector-based visualizations based on data. Since it is an open web app to create custom vector-based visualizations on top of the D3.js library through a simple interface – it simplifies D3.js for the users and opens up vast possibilities. The tool is completely customizable and users can download it, modify it and become a part of the community. It is primarily conceived as a tool for designers as well as visualization geeks who are looking for elaborate graphics in high quality. Raw allows export of visualizations in vector (SVG) or raster (PNG) formats and also lets you embed them in your web page. This tool is specifically designed to bridge the gap between spreadsheet applications (e.g. Microsoft Excel, Apple Numbers, OpenRefine) and vector graphics editors (e.g. Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape, Sketch). The tool is not a full-fledged visualization solution like Tableau. It is a sketch tool that can be used for quick and preliminary data explorations as well as for generating editable visualizations.

  1. ChartBlocks

If you are looking for a simple tool that does not require any coding knowledge yet churns out beautiful charts and graphs then this tool is for you. It can be used online. Data can be imported and then users can select from the hundreds of options for making charts. The visualizations are completely customizable. The tool lets users import data from almost any source like spreadsheets, databases or live data feeds. The charts made through the tool are responsive in nature which means that they can alter in size based on the size of the screen they are viewed on and this is a huge plus point for big charts that are difficult to see on small screens. The charts can be easily shared through social media channels or emails. In our opinion, ChartBlocks is a simple tool that can be used by beginners to create basic visualizations with ease.

  1. Visme

What is the need of the hour today? All the tools can help in creating visualizations, but presenting them in an engaging manner is what the CXOs need. This is where Visme comes in. It helps in making interactive, responsive and engaging visualizations of the data in an appealing way. It comes with many templates to choose from to design infographics, presentation, reports, wireframes, ad banners, animations, and web content. There are many readymade designs that you can choose from and the data editor is simple and light-weight so that you can edit any part of the design, color, options, style, etc., with ease. There are free images, shapes, and icons which go a long way in creating attractive infographics or reports. Just like other tools mentioned above, it allows imports from almost all types of data sources. The tool is easy to use and is a great solution for designing attractive infographics.

To conclude

There are innumerable free, freemium, and paid visualization tools available in the market today. Each comes with its own set of benefits and features. Which tool you decide to use is entirely dependent on the kind of end-result you are wishing for. Here we have covered the top tools that can be used for various visualization needs. So, go ahead and explore what works for you.

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