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21 Essential Data Visualization Tools 27 May 2015 | Piotr Kuźniewicz

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 ​10​0 ​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 resource​s​ on the topic.

​Now, let’s get started with the list!​

FusionCharts

Fushion Charts Data Visualisation Tools

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

data visualization tools dygraphs

Dygraphs is a fast, flexible open source JavaScript charting library that allows users to explore and interpret dense data sets. It’s interactive out of the box, i.e. zoom, pan and mouseover are on by default. Moreover, it has a strong support for error bars.

Dygraphs is also highly compatible – it works in all major browsers (including IE8). You can even pinch to zoom on mobile/tablet devices!

Datawrapper

data visualization tools datawrapper

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.

Leaflet

visual analytics tools leaflet

Leaflet is a modern open-source JavaScript library for mobile-friendly interactive maps. It has all the features most developers ever need for online maps. Leaflet is designed with simplicity, performance and usability.

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.

Tableau Public

data visualization tools tableau

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.

PiktoChart

data visualization tools pikto

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.

Google Charts

data visualization tools g charts

Google Charts offers a perfect way to visualize data on your websites. From simple line charts to complex hierarchical tree maps, the chart gallery provides a huge number of various chart types. Charts are exposed as JavaScript classes.

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

data visualization tools raw

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

data visualization tools icharts

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

data visualization tools gliffy

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

data visualization tools canva

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

data visualization tools highcharts

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

data visualization tools zing

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

data visualization tools d3

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

data visualization tools timeline

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

data visualization tools instaatlas

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

data visualization tools wolfram

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

data visualization tools visualy

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

data visualization tools dipity

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.

Polymaps

data visualization tools polymaps

If you’re looking for a JavaScript library for image and vector-tiled maps using SVG, Polymaps is the tool to consider. It provides speedy display of multi-zoom datasets over maps, and supports a variety of visual presentations for vector data.

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

data visualization tools excel

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.

Some thoughts

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!


Piotr Kuźniewicz

Written by Piotr Kuźniewicz

An armchair enthusiast turned gym freak with the passion for writing. In his free time he does stand-up comedy to show people what drives him mad. As a blogger and writing passionate, he fell in love with content marketing, for which he is responsible at UsabilityTools.


  • Danny Butaye

    You forgot the most simple library in the world: http://www.chartjs.org/

  • Antanas Marcelionis
  • http://shalinsiriwardana.asia/ Shalin Siriwaradhana

    I think creately.com is a must have tool for data visualization that is not in the list. Its a online diagram software with real-time collaboration support enabled.

  • Anton Baranchuk

    add AnyChart also http://www.anychart.com

  • SQIAR BI

    It’s actually a cool and useful piece of info. I am glad that you simply shared this useful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing, You can also check out this (http://www.sqiar.com/services).

  • Vasundhara Garg

    Thank you for putting this together Piotr! Very useful! You can also try viz.socialcops.com, its the easiest way to create and embed thematic maps to your blog & website.

  • Jaroslav Benc

    here is another easy to use tool: datamatic.co

  • sleepy_robot

    Another option is http://visual.is

  • Edo van Dijk

    This is quite concise, but I’m missing a few really nice tools in the lineup:

    http://www.chartlr.com
    http://www.visage.co
    http://www.instagr.am
    http://www.chartblocks.com

    These are a lot more user friendly – especially for non-developers – than some of the tools you’ve listed above. Give them a spin!

  • teeman

    Yet another tool, TeeChart: http://www.steema.com/product/html5. Thanks!

  • https://colore.ms/ Johny

    For those who are not familiar with java script coding and looking to visualize location data, Colore Maps offers an online visual editor, easy to use, along with over 37,000 outline maps.

  • Tyler Lubben

    Amazing post, Piotr.

    I definitely agree with you that Tableau Public is a very effective tool of Business Intelligence that helps you create stunning visualizations with ease.

    But in spite of sharing visualizations on social networking site, you can use tableau products such as Tableau Server and Tableau Reader.

    Tableau Server allows organizations to share data visualizations created with Tableau Desktop centrally with specific authorized users or groups of users within the organization.

    And Tableau Readers is a free desktop application that a user can use to open, view, and interact with visualizations built in Tableau Desktop.

    I came to know about these products from the site http://vizualintelligenceconsulting.com/. You can also take help from web tutorials.

    Cheers!!

  • Himanshi Lamba

    A well-explained article. We are market leaders providing services like Business Intelligence, BI Consulting, etc to top most industries. To request a free demo visit: http://www.actiknow.com/business-intelligence/

  • infogram

    For non-developers a tool like https://infogr.am/ makes it easier to create beautiful data visualizations (charts, maps and infographics). It is free!

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c8c9edd84a707f0924da8fc4f3892790ff69558684505b1f4f039fd1d278be3c.png

    • john

      Surprised Infogr.am is not included in the list. It is a very easy tool to use.

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