Free ways to visualize your data
Working with data is not always easy, but it does not need to be boring. It has long been known that visualization is an easy way to simplify the perception of any type of data and even make information attractive in its way.
The choice of a reliable and accurate way of visualization will directly affect the convenience of the page for users in order not to bother anyone with monotony.
But the number of instruments created for this is enormous. In this regard, the search for the only one that can meet your needs may seem an insoluble task. The following guide contains important factors that are necessary when choosing a particular way of information visualization. This article contains the most practical tools for achieving this goal.
D3.js, which is also often called D3, is probably the most well-known catalog of visualization methods.
D3 often helps developers extend the boundaries of visualization. Complex charts or diagrams are not a problem for it. Using open technologies, such as CSS or HTML, allows one to work with iOS and Android platforms, modern browsers, and desktop applications.
It is worth noting: D3 is designed to work with updated browsers. The support does not provide its combination with something older than the ninth IE, otherwise, problems may arise. In addition, to work with this tool you will have to do self-education. However, once you understand the D3 API, it will be your best helper.
Specialists from FusionCharts analyzed the full range of needs of different manufacturers and developers and assembled a huge collection of necessary tools. On its pages, you can find more than 960 maps and 90 charts. In addition, FusionCharts supports even the most ancient browsers, including the sixth IE. Thus, local experts decided the issue of browser compatibility.
Another advantage of this platform is that before buying it gives everyone the opportunity to test its graphics in practice.
3. Tableau Public
Tableau Public platform is a favorite in use by those who are not professional developers but are willing to learn and do everything for this. All maps, charts, and graphs are free. In addition, Tableau Public is quite simple.
If you use the free version of the program, please note that on all of your charts and tables will be drawn the logo of the Tableau company. There is no problem for a non-commercial user. If this does not suit you, be prepared to pay a certain amount of money to get clean brand-free copies.
The interface is as simple and clean as possible. To create diagrams, you must provide a CSV file or a link to the desired material in the Google service tables. Every half hour the data is completely updated, so you can be certain that your data will always be relevant with this tool.
Anyone can start the Charted service on their Internet server, since its source code is always freely available, and the program itself is free.
5. Google Charts
This system works with any type of platforms and browsers, so you are unlikely to experience any compatibility problems. At the same time, Google Charts contains an amazing number of different types of visualization. The arsenal of this service includes everything from simple histograms to treelike maps. Therefore, we can say that for Google Charts there are almost no unsolvable tasks.
The main difference of Flot – elegance in the design of the created charts and diagrams. In the process of development of this graphic library, the creators expanded the possibilities for user interaction. Now the client can resize, resort to scaling or panning, enable or disable the data flow, and also have many other functions, which weren’t available previously.
Flot also contains a directory of custom plugins. A great variety makes it possible not to put limits to your imagination and possibilities. With Flot, you can create everything from shortcuts to new types of stories.
Chartist is an excellent option for those who previously worked exclusively with Excel and need a gradual transition from it to something new. Chartist is created just for this. At the same time, you will be pleasantly surprised by the way of animation and visualization of each chart from its catalog.
Chartist is not as bloated as many other web libraries. It is a small application of JS type, weighing only 10 KB. It does not have compatibility issues, and it is completely free.
The next kind of simple way of visualizing information. Datawrapper is an expert in interactive graphics. The user needs to share the required CSV file and determine the type of chart that is needed. Everything else will do Datawrapper. Many journalists use the experience of this system to introduce live graphics into their presentations or articles.
Dygraphs works well with any browser, up to the eighth IE without any problems with support. There is a special demo gallery, created to demonstrate the capabilities of this platform.
Raw is the golden mean on the way from spreadsheets to vector graphics. This service was formed on the basis of D3.js. Most often, the tool is used by self-educators to visualize personal content.
Initially, the program offers to choose one of the available 16 kinds of diagrams. There is a possibility to customize Raw for your needs and even use your own created layouts.
TimelineJS, unlike others, does not require users to have special skills for writing code. It is simple for bright and exciting schedules. The services of TimelineJS are used by some popular sites because of its ability to simply display a large amount of information.
From the very name, it becomes clear that the main direction of Polymaps is the visualization of geographic and geological maps. The way it works affects the main websites of suppliers OpenStreetMap and Bing. In addition, Polymaps has its own image storage. The display methods include vector maps and images.
Selecting a specific method of visualization
Yes, it’s significant. If you are looking for easy solutions to all your problems – use Chartist. If you need a way to display all the data in detail – welcome to D3 or FusionCharts, you need to map the data – Polymaps, create a timeline – TimelineJS. For each need, there is a concrete tool.
Moreover, it makes sense to try the taste of several new tools for you to enrich your experience and add some new colors to the visualization of your information.