You may be here because you're frustrated with the way data is often presented.
Maybe you had to sit through too many meetings that felt like one big data dump?
Or maybe you think back to your university days when you were squinting at boring PowerPoint slides overloaded with numbers that didn’t seem to be making any sense?
I get it. I really do.
Don’t worry, though! No matter if you’re a seasoned data scientist or need to throw together a bunch of charts for your school project.
By the end of this article, you’ll be spoiled for choice of the best data visualization tools that will make your data stand out!
Let’s start with the big hitters, shall we? If you live and breathe data, you need a powerful tool to present data clusters in an easily digestible way. Here are the tools that will give you the most value for your money.
Powerful cloud analytics tool for those well-versed in data. An intuitive interface and broad insights make it perfect for any industry. Not ideal for novice users with no technical knowledge.
Sisense is a business-intelligence-based data visualization platform. It allows data scientists to simplify complex data and provide their organizations with relevant business insights.
What’s great about this tool is the intuitive UI that allows you to drag-and-drop data and create interactive dashboards with a few clicks of the mouse.
Need to pull your data from multiple sources? Easy! You can seamlessly connect Sisense to third-party applications, such as Slack or Skype, and access any piece of information in an instant.
The dashboards are highly customizable so this tool will work great with virtually any industry, from human resources to manufacturing.
Developers can use the Sisense API to create analytic apps, while non-dev users can play around with interactive diagrams, scatter plots, and more. Once you’re done, you can easily export your file in multiple formats—and you’re good to go!
Pricing: Depends on your needs. You need to fill out a form and the Sisense team will contact you with a custom quote.
Great for anyone who needs to analyze large datasets.
Easy to set up and learn.
Fully integrated with other applications.
Requires technical knowledge to use it, so you need a background in BI or data analytics.
Versatile data visualization tool with a free public version. Suitable for single data analysts as well as large corporations wanting to visualize big data.
Another platform every data scientist needs to know about is Tableau. No list of the best data visualization tools would be complete without it—and for good reason.
Tableau became famous for its ability to take in large data sets and transform them into powerful visualizations in a matter of minutes. You can connect to different data sources and design interactive charts, graphs, and maps or even Google Data Studio reports.
Tableau's stand-out feature is its robust mapping capability. It comes with multiple configurations to represent geographically important data in a way that’s easy to digest.
Even though this tool is most popular with large corporations, its simplicity of use means that with Tableau, anyone can feel like a data scientist—from students and small companies to journalists.
With an extensive library of infographics and visualizations to draw inspiration from, the possibilities are endless!
Pricing: There’s a free version called Tableau Public. If you need more advanced features, you need to pay $70 per user/month.
Free-to-use public version available.
Within the free version, all your visualizations are public.
Paid versions are expensive.
The best AI data visualization tool with automatic real-life updates. Extensive data visualization options with a steep learning curve and a hefty price tag.
If you’re looking for a modern data visualization platform, check out this tool. Qlik Sense comes with a data analysis engine powered by an AI machine learning system.
This means you can try to replicate how the human mind works. What better way to get actionable data insights than to try and get into people’s heads?
No matter the number of sources or the size of your dataset, Qlik Sense can handle it all. You can easily import, visualize, and analyze your data with a bunch of interactive charts. Another great thing about this data visualization platform?
You don’t have to worry about your data going out of date ever again! All charts and visualizations are updated in real-time, so you always get the freshest, most accurate data.
You can then turn it into relevant insights that can be stored in the cloud and viewed from various devices. That’s snazzy, isn’t it?
Pricing: After a free trial, you can move on to a paid version for $30 per user/month. For an enterprise plan, you need to get in touch with sales.
Employs AI machine learning for data analysis.
All charts update automatically depending on data context.
Easy integration with multiple data sources.
Not easy to learn.
Bigger companies may find it pricey.
Great tool for real-time analytics in data visualization. Includes a variety of features to evaluate big data and predict business outcomes. Not easy to learn for regular users.
If you’re after a data visualization platform that can also predict business outcomes, keep reading. SAP Analytics Cloud is a powerful BI solution with built-in augmented and predictive analytics.
One of its handy features is an error flagging alert system: the software will alert you if it finds any errors in your data. Another is the Smart Transformation functionality that allows you to enhance your visualizations.
If you run into any problem, it uses conversational artificial intelligence to handle your questions. The visualizations can be customized to fit any business purpose. Still, as the learning curve is rather steep, it’s more geared towards data scientists and other tech-savvy professionals.
Pricing: After a free trial, the BI plan starts at $36 per user/month. The price for the Planning version is available upon request.
Has a desktop and mobile version.
Easy customization options.
Not as user-friendly as other solutions.
Need a tool that will help you present your data in an engaging way? You’re in the right place! No matter if you’re working on an investor report or a product demo, you need hard data to back up your results and make an impact.
Here’s a selection of the best data visualization tools available to make your data eye-pleasing and meaningful to any audience.
Our very own data visualization tool that puts an end to boring, static slides. Comes with a library of interactive charts and a possibility to use tailor-made templates that will always stay on brand.
Of course, we want to start off with our very own product. We believe we created something truly amazing—and we want to shout from the rooftops about it!
But, don’t just take our word for it. See for yourself how Storydoc can help you unlock the power of your data.
With our tool, static slides are a thing of the past. You can switch between different types of data visualizations with one click. They’re all designed with the mobile-first principle in mind to meet the needs of any contemporary business.
And, you can rest assured that all charts will be 100% on-brand. Define your brand colors, pick a chart from our library, enter the numbers–and let our editor do the rest!
Once your data visualizations are out in the world, we also offer real-time tracking and analytics. This way, you can make business decisions faster and stay ahead of your competition!
Pricing: Our Starter plan starts at $40 per user/month. If you need something more tailored to your needs, get in touch with us. We’ll provide you with pricing information depending on your use case.
Library of pre-designed templates for different use cases.
Unlimited interactive slides.
Real-time tracking and analytics.
In the Pro version, you get tailor-made branded templates.
No free version available.
In the Starter plan, you cannot store assets on your subdomain.
Are you not quite convinced yet? It’s alright. We prepared 3 more options for your business in case you need more time to think.
Great data visualization tool for marketers and salespeople. User-friendly interface and an AI-based assistant to help you out in the process. More suitable for people with dataviz experience.
Zoho Analytics is another go-to data visualization tool for marketing and sales professionals. It’s both a business intelligence and a data analytics software that pays great attention to data security.
It allows you to pull your data from multiple sources and create stunning multidimensional visualizations in a matter of minutes. Dashboards can be customized to fit your company’s needs and feature a range of interactive tables, charts, and other components.
Zoho Analytics makes use of Augmented Analytics so you can also receive automatic insights without the need for manual analysis. Once you’re ready, you can share your reports with colleagues across different departments in just a few clicks!
And in case you have any doubts, there’s also Zia! What or who is that, you may be wondering? Zia is a smart assistant created using AI, machine learning, and natural language processing. She’s there to answer all your questions and assist you, so you can focus on creating visually appealing reports!
Pricing: It’s free for personal use. For enterprises, there are four pricing plans starting at $24/month.
Intuitive drag-and-drop interface.
You need prior dataviz experience to use it.
Source: Vista Social
Their customers have peace of mind knowing that they have an extra layer of security for their social media profiles with Vista Social's two-factor authentication.
Track performance and create reports for over 14 social media networks from one intuitive analytics dashboard. Customize every aspect of your reports—add your own logo, title, and description.
Easily export your reports to PDF or automate their delivery to share them with your colleagues, clients, and stakeholders. Say goodbye to dreaded monthly reports doing data dumps in spreadsheets and hello to optimizing your performance!
Pricing: Free plan available for up to 3 social profiles and 1 user. After that, it's only $3/social profile with unlimited users.
Great for anyone who needs to analyze social media data.
Easy to set up and learn.
Fully integrated with other applications.
In the free plan, you don't get access to all features.
A data visualization platform for designers and teams to design, create & share engaging, reusable, on-brand data stories. This one is not only for marketing and business users but it can be very useful for the whole team working on a dataviz project.
Datylon offers a unique combination of two products that make collaboration on a data story truly efficient.
Datylon for Illustrator is a robust chart maker plug-in for graphic designers and data visualization designers who create charts or reports within Adobe Illustrator.
As an alternative to Illustrator’s built-in graph tool, this powerful plug-in offers 120+ chart templates and literally unlimited styling properties. Every single chart element can be tweaked to the tiniest details (yes, really).
To make it even better, anything designed in Illustrator can be exported to the Datylon platform and easily reused by the rest of the team. Data can be quickly uploaded, reuploaded, and the whole design can be downloaded or embedded online.
There is also an online chart maker version of Datylon for those who want to create individual charts. The web app version offers the same functionalities as the plug-in but it’s free of charge!
Both tools are very powerful and truly allow for full freedom of design thanks to their advanced styling options. The learning curve might be a bit steeper with Datylon but you’re not left on your own.
Quite the opposite - Datylon’s very elaborate Help Center and their extremely dedicated (and fast!) customer support team, as well as personal approach and great onboarding, will help you explore many features of the chart makers.
Datylon’s blog also provides lots of interesting data visualization resources and tips.
Pricing: Online chart maker is totally free without any limitations. The Designer Plan of Datylon for Illustrator plug-in will cost you $16.95 per month if billed annually.
Many advanced styling options and chart templates.
The free version has no limitations or watermarks.
Code-free tool; charts can be also embedded online.
Great data management - also suitable for large datasets.
Superb onboarding, customer support & Help Center.
A steep learning curve. It might take a moment to fully understand the tool.
Charts aren’t interactive or responsive.
Great tool for easy integration with other Microsoft products. Cost-effective solution that performs better with smaller datasets.
If you use other Microsoft products and are searching for software with seamless integration to the ecosystem, look no further. Microsoft Power BI is a business intelligence data visualization platform with a variety of self-service analytics tools.
Thanks to the integration with 100+ data sources and an extensive library with hundreds of data visualization options, creating powerful data reports is a breeze. And if that wasn’t enough, it also comes with Artificial Intelligence capabilities, real-time updates, and support for mobile and web.
Of course, there are also some classic data visualization tools, such as interactive dashboards and API integrations. All this means you can easily create a centralized data reporting system and share your data insights with others.
Pricing: Starting from $9.99 per user/month, Microsoft Power BI is a very cost-effective option.
Seamless integration with other Microsoft Office products.
Easy to use.
Multiple interactive data visualization charts to choose from.
Not suitable for large datasets.
The cloud version lacks some of the features of the desktop version.
Free beginner-friendly data visualization tool. Perfect for smaller businesses with no need for complex data reports.
If you’re new to data visualization, Google offers a free tool that can bring any data to life. You can log in using your Google credentials and you’re good to go!
While Google Data Studio may not have an extensive choice of dashboard and report templates, it’s still a great platform for analyzing client metrics or visualizing business trends.
It has several data connectors so you can pull information from external sources. Then, with the help of its built-in features, you can easily transform that data into something more meaningful.
It’s very easy to understand, making it the perfect tool for beginners. All you need to do is drag-and-drop charts into the canvas to put together your data report.
Similar to other Google tools, you can also work on your visualizations with other collaborators in real-time. The main disadvantage is that it’s not suitable for more complex visualizations, so you would have to look for a more robust solution.
Pricing: Completely free!
It’s free for everybody.
Easy to use for beginners.
You can collaborate on data reports in real-time.
Not suitable for complex data visualizations.
Limited ability to pull data from external sources.
Whew, that was chock-full of information! But, don’t worry—if you’re looking for a more lightweight solution, I have something for you too. Here are the best data visualization tools for students and personal use—all of them free!
Simple tool for creating data visualizations that can be viewed on any type of device or embedded into other projects. You have to pay through the nose for the custom version, but the free one is so powerful you don’t have to worry about it.
DataWrapper originally started out as a tool for journalists to plug charts and maps into their news stories. Now, it’s a great platform for all sorts of use cases.
DataWrapper’s strength lies in its simplicity. You can create virtually any type of charts, customizable maps, or tables that are interactive, embeddable, and responsive! And the best part? You don’t need any coding skills to create stunning visualizations. Literally none.
As all visualizations can be exported as responsive code, you can embed them into other projects in just a few clicks. And, when you modify your data, your charts update in real-time.
DataWrapper is a non-commercial software, which makes it perfect for students or content creators that need some basic dataviz features. If it’s good enough for Harvard, it’s good enough for you!
Pricing: At $599/month, the custom version isn’t exactly student-friendly. But, you can get a lot done with the free version, so I wouldn’t worry about it.
The basic version of DataWrapper is completely free.
Beginner-friendly interface with lots of built-in charts and graphics.
Live chart updates.
All projects are automatically saved, so you don’t have to worry about losing data.
In the free plan, all data is stored on DataWrapper’s server.
Colors and fonts are hard to customize.
Great tool for non-designers who want to create aesthetically pleasing infographics. Choose from numerous templates and share your creations with the world–all for free!
Another student-friendly solution is Infogram. It’s a popular web-based data visualization platform that’s perfect for creating infographics, charts, and maps.
Even if you’re not a design wiz, you can put together an aesthetically pleasing infographic in minutes. With more than 35 interactive charts and over 550 maps to choose from, your only worry will be narrowing it down to just one!
The learning curve is low, as all you need to do is drag and drop your data into the right areas. You can then export finished visualizations into several different formats.
Or, if you’re a WordPress user, there’s a plugin that will help you take your creation online!
Pricing: The basic version is free. If you need more features, you can pay $19/month for the pro version, billed annually.
Easy to use for non-designers.
Many templates to choose from.
Intuitive drag-and-drop interface.
Reasonable tiered pricing.
Fewer data source integrations than in other tools.
The Infogram logo is mandatory in the free version.
One of the most popular design platforms out there. Loved for its simplicity and variety of designs that can make anyone feel like a pro. The main drawback is the lack of intellectual property ownership.
Finally, a tool that many of us have come to know and love! Canva is a free design platform that’s perfect if you want to put together an infographic or a social media graphic using stock photos. It’s so easy to use that anyone can feel like a full-blown designer—I mean it!
Canva has recently acquired a data visualization platform Flourish, so you can expect more powerful data storytelling capabilities over the coming months.
The free version includes 250,000+ free templates and 100+ design types for different use cases. If you need more features, such as background remover or magic resize, be prepared to shell out some $$$.
Pricing: The basic version is free. A Canva Pro account costs $12.99/month or $9.99 when billed annually. If you’re an educator or a registered NGO, you can get it completely for free.
Free basic version, as well as a free plan for classrooms and NGOs.
An extensive library of templates optimized for different platforms.
Simple to use, no design skills required.
Real-time collaboration option.
Free version is limited.
You can’t move elements between designs.
Intellectual property belongs to Canva.
A 2011 study showed that we’re exposed to 5x more information than we were in 1986. That’s equivalent to each person getting 174 newspapers per day. Yes, you read that right!
I couldn’t keep up with this many newspapers. Could you?
(And that was over a decade ago, before social media exploded worldwide. We’re getting bombarded with information even more heavily now, so can you imagine the number if the same study was conducted today?)
And that’s where data visualization comes in.
A study by Cornell University also had some interesting findings. If you present a scientific claim using just words or numbers, 68% of people will believe it to be accurate.
But insert a simple graph and… Boom! That number suddenly rises to 97%!
If you have some valuable data to present, that’s a number you should want to tap into, don’t you think?
As with anything, data visualization is best used with caution.
That’s because too many fancy charts with bright colors and sophisticated fonts can water down, or even detract from your message.
By including data visualization, you want to break your data down into more understandable chunks for your audience.
But, if you choose the wrong type of graph to present that piece of information, key insights can get lost. Same with sticking too much data on a graph or using confusing colors. It’s not your audience’s job to make sense of your data. If you can’t do it, nobody will.
Also, you can’t throw in data visualization just because. What’s the one thing you want to convey with your dataviz?
If you can’t give a definite answer, the only thing it will do is clutter the report. Which is the exact opposite of what you want.
That’s all from me! Whatever it is you do, I hope you found a tool that fits all your needs. And remember—data visualization can be really beneficial as long as it’s used wisely. Always choose substance over form and make sure the message is as clear to your audience as it is to you. So don't forget about branding: when possible, always add your logo. Good luck!
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