They say a picture is worth a thousand words—but in online world, a chart or infographic will enrich any designers repertoire.
If you are focused on having a clear insight into your numbers, then you know what your business needs: Data Visualization. Let me introduce you to the article in which you will find 21 Data Visualization tools that are essential for your website.
A very quick note before we dive in: there are more than 100 different data visualization tools in the market, and I have only listed some of the most essential ones here. Now with that many options, you might ask how do we select the right tool for a project? To be honest, there is no one size fits all solution to this, but here is a resource that might help – a short guide on JS charting libraries by FusionCharts. It explores 14 factors in depth that you can use to evaluate a data visualization component on. It is one of the most exhaustive resources on the topic.
Now, let’s get started with the list!
FusionCharts Suite XT gives you good-looking charts with exciting animation, smart designs and rich interactivity. It offers a unified experience across PCs, Macs, iPads, iPhones or Android platforms.
It also works with all web and mobile applications, this includes IE 6, 7 and 8 that most components do not support. All it takes to create your first chart is 15 minutes. FusionCharts Suite XT gives you 90+ charts and graphs right from the basic ones to the more advanced Funnel, Heat Map, Zoom Line and Multi-Axis Charts.
Dygraphs is also highly compatible – it works in all major browsers (including IE8). You can even pinch to zoom on mobile/tablet devices!
Datawrapper allows you to create charts and maps in four steps. The tool reduces the time you need to create your visualizations from hours to minutes. It’s easy to use – all you need to do is to upload your data, choose a chart or a map and publish it.
Datawrapper is built for customization to your needs; Layouts and visualizations can adapt based on your style guide.
It works across all major desktop and mobile platforms, thanks to HTML5 and CSS3. Should you need extensions for this app, you can implement them with a huge amount of plugins.
It’s an easy-to-use app that helps you create stunning visualizations with ease. Just open data and explore it with Tableau Desktop Public Edition. Then, save and store the visualizations on your Public profile with 1 GB of space.
Finally, share your visualizations with the world via social media, or put them on a site or blog.
A brilliant app with which you will create beautiful, legible and transparent infographics. PiktoChart offers you a point-and-click editor, over 400 templates, icons and graphics, an extensive image library and unlimited customization that will make your infographic unique.
You can create your piece in 3 simple steps: Preview themes from the gallery and pick one. Then, customize it with over 1000 images in their library or upload your own image. Finally, share your infographics with the world.
You can customize them accordingly to your needs, but the default appearance will usually be all you need. All chart types are populated with data using the DataTable class, which makes it easy to switch between chart types as you try to find the perfect appearance for them.
Raw is an open web app to create custom vector-based visualizations. It’s a customizable project on LGPL license, and you can freely download it and modify it.
Even though Raw is a web app, the data uploaded by you will be processed only by the web browsers, with no side-server interactions. You can export your visualizations in vector (SVG) or raster (PNG) format.
iCharts is a cloud-based Foresight Visual Analytics Platform that empowers rapid visualization of complex business information, large scale research, and dynamic data search.
It is a fast and easy way to create powerful visual intelligence that gives you real-time data and allows you to create comprehensive mashups and information comparisons.
Gliffy allows you to create professional flowcharts, Org charts, UML diagrams, Wireframes, technical drawings and more. It works with every browser. Gliffy runs on an HTML5 editor that’s more twice as fast as Flash.
It provides you with a read-only URL displaying your diagram and lets you share your work via social media. Just drag-and-drop shapes from an extensive library and point-and-click your way to format and customize it for simple reselection.
Canva makes design simple for eceryone. It gives you everything you need to easily turn ideas into outstanding designs. You can startwith a custom layout or a blank page.
There’s no limits to your creativity with all the tools in one place. Just search and drag to create beautiful designs and Canva will take care of the boring bits. The tool is online and free to use.
HighCharts allows you to create interactive charts for your web projects. It is widely used (by tens of thousands of developers and 61 out of the world’s 100 largest companies).
If you want to use the app for a personal website or a non-profit organization, you can use it for free. TheHighCharts is based on HTML5 and works with modern browsers including mobile, tablets and old IE back to IE6. It’s also dynamic; you can freely add, remove or modify series and points. The app supports many types of charts: line, spline, area, areaspline, column, bar, pie, scatter etc.
ZingChart is a powerful library that provides users with the ability to quickly create beautiful charts, dashboards, and infographics. You are free to choose from hundreds of chart types with almost limitless chart design and customization options. You may also engage your users with interactive chart features.
D3.js is an abbreviation for ‘Data Driven Documents’. It uses HTML, CSS, and SVG to render amazing charts and diagrams.
D3’s emphasis on web standards gives you the full capabilities of modern browsers without tying yourself to any type of framework, which combines powerful visualization components with a data-driven approach.
Timeline.js will make you love creating beautiful timelines that are easy and intuitive to use. It is an open-source tool that enables you to build visually-rich interactive timelines and is available in 40 languages.
It can pull in media from various sources and has built-in support for Twitter, Flickr, Google Maps, YouTube, Vimeo, Vine, Dailymotion, Wikipedia, SoundCloud and more. Here, on the Timeline’s website you can see some example timelines generated by the app.
InstantAtlas enables information analysts and researchers to create interactive and dynamic profile reports that combine statistics and map data to improve data visualization. This is THE tool if you’re looking for a data viz tool with mapping – Geowise.
WolframAlpha claims itself to be a computational knowledge engine, and a Google rival in analytics. It’s awesome in displaying charts in response to data queries without the need for any configuration.
Should you use public data, you can use a simple widget builder to make visualizations on your site really simple.
Visual.ly is a combined gallery and infographic creator. It offers simple tools for stunning data presentations. In addition, there is a platform to share your graphics. The content that Visual.ly allows you to create goes far beyond ordinary visual analytics.
Dipity is another timeline-creating tools that is useful to organize your web’s content by date and time. Users may create and share interactive and engaging timelines with audio, video and images, or even social media channels. It is a must have for newspapers, journalists and bloggers.
Moreover, Polymaps can load data at a full range of scales. As the tool uses the spherical mercator tile format, publishing information is as quick as taking a snap.
Excel comes as part of the commercial Microsoft Office suite. It offers some pretty complex stuff, from heat maps of cells to scatter plots. It can be a good way of quickly exploring data for beginners, thanks to being an entry-level tool.
It should definitely be the part of your toolbox. However, if you don’t have access to Microsoft Office suite, you can try Google Docs – they can do many of the same things.
As you can see, there is plenty of Data Visualization tools that will make you understand your users in a better, more insightful way. There are many tools being launched every day, but I managed to collect those that are the most popular in the ‘industry’.
Of course, they have both strong and weak sides, since there is no one perfect tool to visualize the metrics. All I can do is to recommend you trying them yourself and combining them in order to maximize the efficiency of visualizing data.
What’s your favorite tool/combination? Leave your comment below!