Jul 21, 2016

31 Free Data Visualization Tools


Mastering the data is only half the battle. You still need data visualization tools and data storytelling techniques to explain what you’ve discovered. For instance, you can deploy a fascinating image or some interactive media to instantly engage your audience and breathe life into your data-driven concepts, even if you have no experience in art or graphic design. All of these data visualization tools are available for free, but many have a premium version if you want to upgrade and access more options.

Free Data Visualization Tools

1. Visualize Free

Work online with Visualize Free and its drag-and-drop designer. You can output all kinds of interactive visuals in HTML5, which is ideal for the mobile web. You can also choose to pull in public datasets or upload your own multi-dimensional data.

2. D3.js

The name D3.js is short for “Data Driven Documents.” It’s a JavaScript library for manipulating documents based on data. It can help you create HTML tables from an array or use the same data to generate an interactive SVG bar chart.

3. Raw

You don’t have to be a JS expert to use the Raw interface on top of the D3.js library. Export your charts and graphs as SVG or a PNG and embed it on a webpage. The output is high quality vector-based data visualizations.

4. Envision.js

The Envision.js library will help you create interactive HTML5 visualizations. You can choose from options like a timeseries, a finance chart or developer APIs to build custom charts.

5. Dipity

Use Dipity to collaborate more effectively. You can embed and share interactive timelines on any web page.

6. Tableau Public

With Tableau Public, you can test out a wide range of collaborative maps and charts with pre-built galleries and drag-and-drop capabilities.

7. jpGraph

For serious data scientists, jpGraph is a library for rapidly generating 2D graphs, filled line plots and charts on the server-side using PHP. It’s not designed to be interactive, but it is fast and easy.

8. Modest Maps

You’ll find interactive maps everywhere these days. If you want to try building your own, start with Modest Maps. There are lots of APIs and libraries for JS, Python, C++, Flash and more.

9. Carto

Formerly known as CartoDB, the cloud-based Carto is smart enough to grow with you. Beginners can access a basic interface to rapidly build custom maps and visualizations. Experienced developers can manipulate data streams with SQL and CSV data feeds.

10. Plotly

Online chart-builder Plotly recently went open source and has become a popular destination for collaborative histograms, box plots, contours and more. This is a tool you’ll want to keep in your kit of data visualization tools. 

11. Ganttpro

When you have to convert data into Gantt timelines, Ganttpro lets you generate these charts using drag-and-drop simplicity, pre-built templates and real-time notification.

12. jQuery Visualize Plugin

Github hosts the code for the jQuery Visualize Plugin, which uses the HTML5 canvas and table elements to generate a variety of different charts and graphs.

13. JavaScript InfoVis Toolkit

Another popular and intuitive visualization is the TreeMap, with hierarchical data in nested rectangles. The JavaScript InfoVis Toolkit is your passport to creating them and similar interactive graphics. It also features some cool animation effects.

14. FusionCharts

With over 1,000 maps and 90+ chart options, FusionCharts supports JSON and XML data formats. Export your visuals at the end in PNG, JPEG, SVG or PDF.

15. Google Charts

You can put live, interactive data visualizations online with Google Charts, especially built for your mobile site. It renders charts in HTML5 or SVG for cross-platform mobile portability.

16. Highcharts

Start producing professional visuals in minutes with Highcharts templates for splines, area, column, bar, pie, scatter, angular gauges and polar charts. You can export your results in formats like PNG, JPG, SVG or PDF.

17. Leaflet

The open-source JavaScript library Leaflet was created for you to build mobile-friendly interactive maps as an alternative to Google Maps.

18. Datawrapper

Just upload your data in a CSV file into Datawrapper and the online tool rapidly builds bar charts, line graphs and similar graphics. This is the preferred format for news agencies with live online data and so it is one of the most frequently used data visualization tools for those agencies.

19. Infogram

Try out Infogram to generate a data visualization in seconds. This tool is preferred by media, marketers, and students to tell their stories with data. The charts are quick to use and easy on the eye.

20. R Interfaces

For the advanced user with programming experience, R interfaces can be used as a complex statistical graphics generator. Test out some of the most common examples like ggplot2, ggvis or rCharts.

21. ChartBlocks

If you ever wanted a simple chart builder in Excel that went beyond the basics already installed by default, ChartBlocks is what you want, thanks to its streamlined process and limited options.

22. Canva

This is not just a site for slidedecks and presentations. Canva understands how to handle data. Even large-scale multivariate data looks beautiful in this online tool preferred by designers. It makes for a handy, versatile aid in your collection of free data science visualization tools. 

23. Dygraphs

The JavaScript charting libraries in Dygraphs include thoughtful touches and mobile-first capabilities like pinch to zoom. This tool is known for its excellent support and growing community.

24. Cube

If you are comfortable with MongoDB, Node and D3, you’ll appreciate Square’s Cube system for deriving metrics from time-stamped data. It’s primarily used for adding real-time visualizations of aggregate metrics to dashboards.

25. Gliffy

Business managers prefer Gliffy for its simple flowcharts, org charts and wireframe models. This is where it truly shines compared to other free data visualization tools. It runs on HTML5, which means it’s fast and ideal for mobile/social projects.

26. Polymaps

You can never have enough maps. What many like about the Polymaps JavaScript library is that it pulls data from OpenStreetMap, Bing and other image-based web map providers. Posting on any site is easy using vector-tiled maps and SVG.

27. BonsaiJS

Animations are simple with the BonsaiJS JavaScript library. It has asset classes for audio, video, images and sub movies.

28. Data Wrangler

Maybe the visualization isn’t working because you need to clean up and reformat your dataset. Data Wrangler is a data visualization tool lets you fix garbled or missing data values, as well as split up data into different columns. It comes with an interactive history that tracks your changes.

29. Weave

Government agencies worked on Weave. It’s intensely powerful and made to handle big data projects. Unlike some other free data visualization tools, it is not easy for beginners to grasp, but it is great for statistical analysis.

30. Zoho Reports

Business intelligence skills are in high demand right now, and Zoho Reports is a perfect tool to develop them. Its basic charts can be generated directly from data in the cloud, a data feed or your own app.

31. Silk

Data visualizations sometimes need greater context. Silk is a blogging platform and a graphics tool that can deliver that context much better than other free data science visualization tools. Publishers like Mashable and the Daily Dot use Silk when they need to tell a more complex data story.

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