Big data, data science, artificial intelligence, etc., are some terms we hear quite often these days. Though they are all different from each other, the common point for all the concepts is data, information, and database.
Collecting, processing, and analyzing data is the core aspect. With access to volumes of data every second, enterprises are now under the pressure of excess data and overflowing databases. This earlier led to delay in making decisions when it should have been the opposite.
But raw data on its own is of little or no value. We can hardly understand anything from it. One famous method of understanding a vast amount of raw data is known as data visualization. Visualizing complex data becomes crucial when it comes to understanding and detecting patterns that are otherwise not easily found.
Data Visualization tools come into play.
Table of Contents
In simple terms, presenting data and information in an easy-to-understand visual or graphical format is known as data visualization. Of course, it is not as limited in its usage and helps with more than visualizing data. Data visualization tools provide a range of features and can be used for multiple purposes.
A few data visualization examples include- presenting data in various charts, graphs, infographics, maps, etc., in highly customizable interactive dashboards to facilitate a better understanding of the derived insights. It is a form of visual storytelling for business purposes.
It is all about how effectively you can analyze and present the data in real-time to derive accurate and meaningful insights. These insights allow you to make better decisions to expand the business, grab new opportunities, enhance customer satisfaction, and increase ROI. These visualization techniques effectively present the analytics for easier understanding.
The types here are nothing but the numerous ways in which data can be presented in a visual format. There are as many as 67 types of data visualizations to choose from. Nevertheless, these 10 are the most popular choices for enterprises around the world.
Tree graphs, heat maps, dot maps, networks, and text tables are a few more types of data visualizations we see often. You can design any type of charts and graphs to generate reports. In fact, most enterprises rely on more than one type to process data efficiently and create better presentations. This ultimately results in better decisions.
But how are such charts, graphs and effective visualizations created? Employees can’t spend days and weeks toiling on data, right? By the time they manually create a chart, the data would be outdated, and the market trends would have changed. The charts and graphs become unworthy and end up as an additional expense for the business. Even though historical data and real-time data are necessary for decision-making, using past data alone will not be enough.
Investing in tools for data visualization is the right way to process historical and real-time data in less time and investing in data visualization software will aid your business in many ways.
If using data connectors and working on data exploration seems hard, hire offshore professionals and data analysts. They manage data files and data integration to simplify complex data. They create interactive maps, charts, and transform large data sets into interactive data visualizations. Outsourcing experts is a great way to learn and empower your business.
You can compare values and get the gist of what’s better and what’s not just by looking at the charts. You can identify the patterns in huge volumes of data to see how a decision or a change has impacted different aspects of your business. Data visualization techniques make the process effective. The information you own will have a new and effective meaning.
It becomes easier to identify emerging trends in the industry and plan in advance to make the most of the changes. This fetches you a definite edge over your competitors. You can ensure your success by investing in visualization capabilities that process data from multiple data sources and present the analysis through customizable dashboards.
There are times when we want to see how certain variables can change the course of the business plan. Or, we might want to correlate two or more types of data visualizations to identify common variables. The data visualization tools and online applications can assist us in finding what we are looking for. These can be used through the cloud, through browsers, and/ or by installing in-house servers. You can also find open-source data visualizations and applications.
Tableau is counted among the best data visualization software. Since it was released in 2013, many small, medium, and large data analytics consulting firms have started working on the software and became Tableau Alliance Partners. You can find a lot of firms offering Tableau capabilities to manage big data.
You can work on the Tableau desktop app, via servers, or hosted online through the cloud, or start with the Tableau public version available for free and proceed to buy the paid version. Data from CSV, Salesforce Einstein analytics platform, Google Analytics, and various other sources can be processed and presented on the interactive dashboard. You can also try the Tableau mobile version.
The rich gallery of templates for infographics is a delight to every Tableau consultant. With such extensive options and components included, it’s no surprise that Tableau is an impressive and important business intelligence storytelling app. The tutorials shared on the website guide consultants in brushing up their skills and becoming efficient in using Tableau software for data visualization. Robust performance and scalability are other advantages of using this software.
Data privacy is another advantage of investing in Tableau. However, the free public version doesn’t allow you to keep your analytics private as the Tableau server does.
However, FusionCharts is also recognized as one of the most powerful ready-to-use data visualization tools in the market. It is a great way to transform huge content and data sets into a variety of lines, bars, column charts, pie charts, and much more. You don’t have to build each chart from scratch. The existing templates make it an easy job of presenting the data and embedding the graphics to websites using the best visualizations. Check out the mobile version for android and iOS as well.
FusionCharts can be integrated with several programming languages and frameworks. What if you want cross-browser services? Simple. You can use the API for cross-browser support. It also happens to offer a lot more features than other apps and data visualization tools.
Power BI is a business intelligence tool that lets you connect multiple data sources and multiple databases to collect information, simplify data processing, and deliver instant data analytics.
You can work with Microsoft Power BI through a web browser and smartphones. Since the tool has been created by Microsoft, it is similar to MS Excel in many ways but more powerful and dynamic in nature. It can be used on mobile phones and computers/ laptops alike.
It provides advanced analytics and visualizations compared to Excel and has more chart types to choose from. You can also utilize the tool by downloading it to your in-house servers. You can also try the free open-source tool before you invest in the paid one to make data-driven decisions.
Whether it is a small startup or a multinational organization, Power BI can be used by any business to enhance its capabilities. It is one of the data visualization tools analysts like to work with due to its similarities and ease of use. Though it supports numerous data sources, it cannot be integrated with the existing business systems or software. Microsoft Power BI has to be used independently.
Of course, you can still move further and use the software through apps that have been designed to help non-programmers use data visualization tools made using programming languages. One example of this is NVD3 that lets you work on reusable charts with D3.js.
Plotly (another data visualization tool) has a Chart Studio app that lets you create WebGL and other charts to present the data for business intelligence.
Pie charts, bar charts, graphs, and dynamic maps are created when large data sets are bound to SVG objects and various functions of the software.
The focus is on web standards and functionalities that create and design interactive and responsive maps. It is powerful, efficient, and creates great visualizations. It is available for free and is cross-browser compatible. You can download the source code and customize it as per your business requirements.
Visme offers a full set of graphics such as templates, graph makers, and data widget libraries to create an array of visualizations. You can import live data from Google Sheets, create customized dashboards to track the latest changes and generate a multitude of reports for different factors such as marketing, social media, sales, KPIs, and more. There are tons of things you can do with this software.
The types of visualizations created using Visme are both detailed and beautiful. The advantage of using this data visualization tool is that you don’t have to learn any complex designs to use the tool. It is simple and easy to use while delivering good quality visuals in the way you want them. Simply connect to the databases and get going.
The software has a completely free plan in case you want to give it a try before deciding whether or not you wish to invest in this technology. It is one of the best free data visualization tools you can find. Visme is aimed at a wider range of the target audience and end-users. The Standard and Complete plans work efficiently for bloggers, freelancer marketers, and startups. Large-scale enterprises can opt for a custom plan with more features and create effective visualizations.
It lets you create interactive and dynamic maps, data charts, graphics, and much more. You will need to have knowledge of the programming language to work on the code and create data visualizations based on your specifications. However, the platform has tried to make the tool user-friendly.
Simply download Chart Studio and use it to present data in an attractive and meaningful manner. You can start with the free version that can be accessed via the cloud before opting for the paid plans. Plotly offers in-built support for APIs so that you can integrate it with platforms like Salesforce to access data in real-time and generate visualizations. If system integrations are essential, Plotly would be a suitable choice.
It doesn’t require too many adjustments or changes to start using HighCharts. It is fast, flexible, and needs bare minimum expertise to work on this data visualization tool. The charts created are attractive and contain useful information. While that can be seen as an advantage, it also means that HighCharts is slightly older when seen in comparison with the latest tools and doesn’t offer as many options to expand the charts. It is useful for startups and small businesses. You will need to buy the license to use the commercial version of HighCharts. Schools, individuals, and NGOs can access the free version to embed charts on the website.
But it is also one of the highly used data visualization tools on the internet. HighCharts is definitely worth trying to generate detailed visualization reports.
FineReport has been developed for enterprise-level usage. It is written in pure Java and combines data entry and data visualization. It is BI reporting and dashboard that offers interactive visualization.
If you are worried about having to learn the programming language to ace visualization techniques, FineReport offers you great respite. Unlike other free data visualization tools based on languages, this one doesn’t require coding. The risk of errors is minimized.
Yes! You don’t need to write code to use FineReport. Whether it is to create data visualizations or customize a dashboard, all you have to do is drag and drop elements to their desired positions. Your projects will look just the way you want them to be. Another advantage of using FineReport is that it can be connected with almost any data source. If you work with multiple sources, this platform is for you.
Customizing the tool is also simple. And, there’s more. The user interface is much similar to Excel and makes it easy for even beginners to work on FineReport. The organization offers the personal version for free. Small startups can start with less expensive plans.
Datawrapper was developed for media houses that need to add interactive charts, graphs, and maps to news items. The simplicity of the interface and its straightforward use have made this data visualization tool quite popular in recent times. It can be used by a beginner as well as a pro. Datawapper is a highly useful storytelling tool with customizable features.
It is super easy to embed the data visualizations into articles and stories posted on news websites. The tool relies on the age-old technique of copy-pasting data. This reduces the number of sources from which you can import the data. However, editing the information and turning it into a creative infographic or chart is simple.
It hardly takes any time and the presentation will be ready to share. You need to click once on the button, and the charts are generated based on your requirements. From bar charts to locator maps and scatter plots, you have a range of data visualizations to choose from.
The free plan is great for startups, though it is suggested to invest in a paid plan as your business expands. The built-in color blindness checker is a highlight of Datawrapper. It is among the best graphical representation platforms used around the world.
Qlik Sense is a well-known BI tool that has been designed to make analytics easy for every business and the customer. The learning curve for the end-user is as easy as it can get. Training your employees to utilize the dashboards and create visual representations won’t take much time.
The marketing teams can benefit from the reports and dashboards and the responsive charts created by the software. It is flexible, scalable, and can be used by downloading the software to an on-premises server, hosting it on the cloud platform, or by using it through SaaS. It is also the only platform to provide end-to-end cloud data integration.
It combines, loads, visualizes and explores data. It doesn’t matter how huge the data volume is. Qlik Sense can handle it effectively. The dashboard is super cool and comes with hundreds of features. You can quickly and easily search for information. Of course, there are certain limitations when it comes to exporting data. But that can be handled by the data analytics team. You can try the free trial version before opting for the paid ones.
Understand the pros and cons of every software before you make a decision. However, based on the features of the best data visualization tools on the list, we can conclude that Tableau and Power BI are the right choices for a business. Data visualization helps in countless ways, and it’s time organizations started using the best tools and techniques to process live data.
There are several other data visualization tools available in the market for your business use. The tricky part here is to find the right tool for your business and enhance your data visualization capabilities. The business volume, industry, talent pool, and financial limitations are some factors you need to consider before finalizing a tool. You can contact the software providers and ask questions to clear your doubts. After all, you want software that works with most operating systems (Windows, Linux, etc.).
Give a shot at the free trial version of the tools or request a demo before you purchase any of them. You can contact data analytics firms to get a better idea about data visualization tools be it tableau or any other and take their advice. You can also hire their services for data visualization to get more reliable insights.