Data scientists work with large sets of data daily. Once they collect, process, and model this data, they may need to explain the findings. While the most common approach is to put the results on paper, excel spreadsheet, or reams, if the person reading it is non-familiar with data-science concepts, they may find it difficult to analyze or interpret them. At this point, data visualization tools come in handy.
To be more precise, your data is valuable only to the point it can be understood, and data visualization tools help do it.
Looking at the raw data and connecting the dots can be time-consuming and keep essential insights out of sight. Data Visualization tools are software applications that simplify this process. They help organizations make valuable decisions, uncover trends, scrape out the outliers, discover hidden insights and make data-driven decisions.
Graphs, charts, Pie charts, heat maps, and histograms are a few of the many creative ways for the visual representation of data.
And, as human eyes are more receptive to colors, shapes, and patterns than text, they quickly identify the trends otherwise unnoticeable through text.
Overall, data visualization tools bring in the power of analytics to otherwise raw data, making it more meaningful and logical for people not of data science background also to make sense of the data. This, in turn, improves the overall efficiency of the organization.
Today, you will find data visualization tools that are easier for those requiring a higher degree of data science and technical expertise. At this point, we recommend choosing the one that coincides with your business requirements.
Today, there is a gamut of data visualization tools available. To crunch the numbers and visualize them for valid conclusions, selecting the right tool for your business needs is imperative. Therefore, we have listed here some must-have features you should look for in choosing the best data visualization tool for your business needs.
You should be able to visualize data or see all the relevant information in a single glance. This includes top KPI, crucial trends, or any other dataset that matters for your business. Other than that, it should also give you the power of customizability to put the desired dataset in the spotlight.
Specific data visualization software can embed visualizations via dashboard into interfaces, tools, or standalone apps in which the end-users work daily.
And so, this feature supports collaboration, shareability, and work efficiency.
A tool must allow the company to import raw data and export visual outcomes in different forms as needed. It should also enable feeding the raw data as it is or its aggregation first.
And not all tools can achieve these tasks. Therefore, make sure to check this feature if that's the need.
For many businesses, geolocation can be vital to study the states, regions, or areas using their services. Or which areas need more improvement.
Therefore, to track location-based KPIs, you should look for the location intelligence feature in the data visualization tool.
In data mining, you study large data sets for trends and patterns. And thereby, you would want your data visualization tool to have the feature of highlighting important insights for visual reports.
If you want your visualization tool to predict trends and suggest future predictions based on past patterns, you could check out this feature in your data visualization tool.
You can access your visual representations on the go, on any device, or at business meetings with cloud infrastructure. While this is one of the key features of data visualization tools, the more dynamic the tool's infrastructure, the better it gets.
Once the data visualization is created, it should update in real-time to provide the most accurate insights.
A tool must have dynamic loading and other optimization controls for this to happen.
Data visualization tools can be helpful for data scientists in making informed decisions. So, here is a quick rundown of 8 innovative tools to visualize data that are gaining more traction than other tools for their style, purpose, and usability.
While learning Tableau may take some time, the tool can help you create visualizations in minutes. The interactive graphs, charts, or maps created from the device can answer your basic questions on data, help detect outliers and allow you to self-service to create visualizations as needed.
It also offers a customizable dashboard that can be embedded with some popular applications. Besides data discovery and exploration, it allows users to connect it to several data sources. Also, it provides a centralized location to manage published data sources.
While it offers paid versions, you can use its public version for free with the only drawback that it makes your data analysis public. However, this won't be an issue if you want to make public-facing visualizations.
Infogram is a drag and drop visualization tool with an easy-to-use interface that can be used to create unique visualizations for marketing reports, infographics, social media posts, maps, dashboards, and more. Once created, they can be exported to several formats.
Also, the tool allows interactive visualizations with embeddability and a dashboard template library. Over 30 types of charts are available with support for social media graphics added recently.
You can get started with Infogram for free. You can choose from among their pro, business, team, and enterprise plans for specialized needs.
Developed by Microsoft, this data visualization software is more suitable for business intelligence data. It allows reporting, self-service analytics, and predictive analytics.
With this tool, you can connect to various data sources, design your customized dashboards and prepare elaborated reports.
Acting as a centralized repository for all your business data, all users can access it for decision-making.
And, as it is a Microsoft product, it offers a strong brand integration with other MS tools.
The tool offers a free trial. Beyond that, it offers three paid editions as follows:
ChartBlocks is a tool with a short learning curve to get started. You can create charts and graphs quickly. The charts here are hosted on D3.js and can be viewable on any device.
As the developer claims, with ChartBlocks, you can import data from anywhere, including live feeds.
Besides, the app also allows for sizable customization of the final visualization.
ChartBlocks comes with a free personal plan. For additional features, you can opt for their Professional or Elite plan.
This data visualization tool is overly popular for newsroom data visualization. Its visualizations can convey complex concepts of new stories in minutes. Also, the visualizations created here can be used for feeds and pages.
Famous companies like The New York Times, Fortune, and The Times also use this tool to deliver interactive and responsive charts, maps, and tables.
You can opt for its free version for internal use while a paid version for public-facing visualizations.
SAP Analytics Cloud is a data visualization software that can solve complex business difficulties with its real-time analytics capabilities.
Also, it comes integrated with analytics and intelligent visualization features, which enables you to evaluate and forecast business outcomes.
Its use of machine learning technology further improves the accuracy of the visualization by identifying possible data errors.
An added advantage is its modeling feature in the analytics cloud to augment your data and categorize it for deeper insights.
The tool offers a 30-day free trial for a single user. Paid plans - business and enterprise plan, offers additional benefits.
Google Charts is one of the free data visualization tools explicitly designed to create interactive charts for embedding online. It comes coded with SVG and HTML5 and creates graphical charts for user-supplied data.
In addition, this visualization tool also offers zoom functionality and cross-platform compatibility for most platforms.
Moreover, it offers many chart types that can be customized via CSS editing.
Grafana, an open-source visualization and analytics software, helps companies turn their database data into alluring graphs and visualizations. As many as 50 data sources are available via plugins.
Other than visualizations, the tools also help create dynamic dashboards. What makes it much in demand is its capability to support diverse data sources, annotations, and customizable alert functions. And, these can be expanded in scope via plugins.
Then there are export functions to share the snapshots or invite others to collaborate.
While this visualization tool is free to download, it also comes with a paid cloud-hosted version.
i. What are the common types of data visualization?
Ans. While there are a plethora of data visualization techniques, the most common are bar graph, line chart, pie chart, scatter plots, heat maps, area charts, and histograms
ii. Is QlikView a visualization tool?
Ans. Yes. It is a business intelligence tool widely used for data visualization.
iii. What are the uses of data visualization?
Ans. Data visualization has multifarious benefits for an organization such as in decision making, uncovering trends, discovering outliers, tracking down actionable insights, and making data-driven decisions.
iv. What are the three categories of data visualization?
Ans. Data, designer, and the reader.
v. Where can I use data visualization?
Ans. Data visualization finds its use in nearly every sector. Some examples include banking, real estate, education, healthcare, information technology, research, and more.
Data visualization tools are a must-have for managers or data scientists who want to make informed decisions quickly and steer the company forward. At the same time, it can be daunting to select the right visualization tool from a massive list of tools available today. You can simply look for a tool that is easy to use, supports the features you need for your business and can help track your most demanding KPIs .
Following in on others' footsteps might not always work for you. Maybe your requirement can be fulfilled with a simple tool as opposed to some complex one that's popular in the market.
Above is only a list of data visualization tools that have proved beneficial for most businesses. Further, you must research what works best for your business using our guide as a stepping stone.
Disha Prakash is a writer with around eight years of experience writing in diverse domains. Besides, she holds a few research papers in computer vision and image processing published in international publications. In her free time, she loves to read books, do yoga, and meditate.