Nowadays, everything we do is data-driven. But have you actually looked at a massive data set? It can be pretty hard even for trained professionals to quickly and effectively analyze and derive meaning from them.
With AI and ML now crunching the numbers behind the scenes, data visualization makes it much easier for humans to understand the data as well as share insights about it with others.
Whether it’s a bar chart, scatterplot, maps, infographics, or any other option, data visualization tools have quickly become vital tools in the business world.
Here’s the best part, creating data visualizations with them has likewise begun incredibly straightforward. With this software and the data, you can create your own visualizations in no time.
Below are some of the best data visualization tools out there that can you should start using ASAP.
What Are Data Visualization Tools?
Though you may have never used a data visualization tool, you undoubtedly have countless examples in your daily life. Infographics are the best example. They take the data from studies to create an interesting and digestible summary of information.
Data visualization tools are specialized software to help businesses create visual representations from massive data sets. They have tons of uses across a wide variety of niches.
For example, you might extract customer data to gain insights about key information like average spend, how much time people spent on your website or personalized details for your company.
Generally, these software synthesize data sets that include thousands or even millions of data points. These are then translated into dashboard, reports, marketing materials, slide decks, or anywhere else visually data can be useful.
The Main Types Of Data Visualization
You’ve seen most forms of data visualization for years. Think about the early days of school when you learned how to read charts and pie graphs. It’s the same stuff now translated into the business world.
The most common types of data visualization include:
- Column chart
- Bar graph
- Line graph
- Dual-axis chart
- Waterfall chart
- Bubble chart
- Scatter plot chart
- Funnel chart
- Heat map
Don’t worry if you can’t remember the difference between all of these types right now. Whatever software you select should be able to provide you with all these formats and tips on how to use them based on your needs.
The only two you might not have run into in school but are absolutely vital are funnel charts and heat maps.
Funnel charts break down the sales funnel from acquisition to conversion. They are essential for understanding how you turn people into customers.
On the other hand, heat maps are usually used to track activity. These days, they are frequently associated with activity on web pages and emails. You can enable heat maps to see where people clicked on a page to know where is “hot” and where it is “cold” and then create webpages and sales materials around this activity.
How Data Visualization Tools Can Benefit You And Your Business
There’s really no end to how data visualization tools can benefit your business. They are applicable in almost every element of your day-to-day operations.
For instance, you might use infographics to share results of surveys with your social media audiences. Or you might explain company profits to staff using a collection of bar graphs.
Basically, if there’s a place you can effectively communicate with visuals rather than long strings of numbers, then a data visualization tool will help you.
What To Look For In A Data Visualization Tool
Not all data visualizations are created the same. Some only focus on a few aspects, while others can get overly complex.
To find the right tool for your needs, you’ll need to do a little experimentation. Fortunately, most software offers a free trial. So, spend a couple of hours playing around with different options to find the best one for you. Don’t worry anytime you spend here will more than greatly pay off in the long run.
Pay attention to key factors like:
- What data formats does the tool support
- How well can a tool drill down on data? Does it need to make multiple queries?
- Is there an audit trail? This particularly important for firms who need to maintain high levels of compliance
- What are the exporting capabilities? You want some flexibility here. For example, you need graphic formations like JPEG and PDF but may also need CSV, Excel, and other “flat feature.”
- What integrations does it support? Does it have an API?
- What are the advanced processing capabilities? This is particularly important if you’re headed into the world of Big Data. But if you’re just using it for simple visualization, this might not be necessary/worth paying typically higher fees.
Best Data Visualization Tools
Nowadays, there is more excellent data visualization software out there than ever. The most difficult part is choosing between them all.
That’s why we put together this list of consistent data visualization crowd-pleasers:
Often considered the Godfather of data visualization software. Tableau has grown to nearly 100,000 accounts across a large variety of industries.
It’s easy to use, can produce interactive visualizations, and can handle very large and rapidly changing datasets. And with integrations with Amazon AWS, My SQL, and Teradata, it offers a good selection of advanced database solutions.
Tableau is the middle of the pack in terms of pricing, with individual plans starting at $70/month.Click Here To Get Started
2. Zoho Analytics
You’ve likely used Zoho Mail or one of their office apps. Zoho Analytics is analytics software that makes it easy for anybody to create gorgeous visualization in a minute.
You can pull data from multiple sources, blend it together, and even take advantage of the Zia smart assistant to make your presentations even better.
Zoho Analytics has a wide array of export formats, including MS Word, PPT, PDF, and connects to 100+ apps.
Zoho is also super affordable with plans starting from just $22/month.Click Here To Get Started
This is one of the most widely used visualization tools that has become a true market leader. FusionCharts can produce 100+ chart types, has a huge range of integrations, and includes frameworks for true flexibility.
Highcharts is a great option for business exploring data visualization because it includes a trial option that is free for internal and non-commercial use.
Like FusionCharts, they have a large Rolodex of big-name clients like Facebook, Yahoo, and Visa. Highcharts, however, is a little more beginner user-friendly and effective for deploying fast and flexible solutions.
It also includes cross-browser support to make their visualizations able to be viewed nearly universally. They also have web, mobile, desktop, and cloud-based software versions so you can create and synthesize data from anywhere.Click Here To Get Started
If you need data visualization and you needed it yesterday, then Sisense if for you. The software has a large toolset that can simplify complex data, parse insights, and move everything you do to be data-driven.
What’s best about Sisense is just how easy it is to set up and use. You can get started creating visualization in minutes, and it has a large array of export formats, including Word, PDF, Excel, and many others.
By the way, don’t let the Sisense “request a price quote” scare you. Their plans start from just $35/month.Click Here To Get Started
Which Data Visualization Tool Is The Best Value?
Zoho Analytics. It’s not only the cheapest option, but it still packs quite the punch at just $22/month. Like everything Zoho does, it’s great quality at a price that any business can afford.
Which Has The Best Features?
Both Highcharts and FusionCharts offer some of the best functionality, not just out of our top choices, but everywhere.
Overall, FusionCharts edges out Highcharts in a few key areas, particularly in its advanced animations. FusionCharts also has a special “Zoom Line” chart dedicated to handling 10,000+ data point sets.
FusionCharts starts at $497 for a perpetual license. It is also a trial you can check out before committing.
Which Has The Best Integrations?
Again, that’s a tough one. We choose these five specifically because they all have an excellent integration list.
If we had to choose, since Salesforce acquired Tableau last year, the number of integrations it supports has continued to increase.
In addition to the vast number of built integrations, it also has a Web Data Connector, Hyper API, Extract API, ODBC Connection, so the chances of any software not working somehow with it are very slim.
Conclusion: Data Visualization Tools
Data visualization is essential. Its uses are growing far beyond spicing up PowerPoints to becoming an integral part of all business practices. Whether you opt for one of the awesome choices on our list or another option, the most important thing is you start harnessing the power of data visualization now to drive your business forward.