10 Free Visualization Tools You Can Use to Make Sense of Web Data

10 Free Visualization Tools You Can Use to Make Sense of Web Data

According to IBM, over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated daily, with the number ever-increasing.

Now, let’s put this into perspective: one terabyte of data can be the equivalent of:

  • 17,000 hours of music
  • 1,000 hours of video
  • 310,000 photos
  • 500 hours of movies
  • About 86 million Microsoft Word documents
  • Over 132,000 650-page books

Now, take one of these terabytes and multiply it by 2.5 million. That’s how much data we produce in a single day. With this amount of data generated daily, making sense of it all can be overwhelming.

That’s where data visualization tools come in handy. These tools allow us to interpret and understand data visually, making it easier to identify patterns, trends, and anomalies.

So, What’s Data Visualization?

Data visualization is the process of taking a data set and transforming it into a visual representation, such as graphs, charts, maps, or infographics. This allows us to not only analyse large amounts of data quickly but also identify patterns and trends that may not be apparent in raw data.

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Otherwise referred to as Data viz, data visualization is a powerful tool used by businesses, researchers, and analysts to communicate complex data in a simple and easy-to-understand format.

Data Visualization Tools

So, how do you create these data visuals?

There are tools specifically designed for this.

We’re not talking about Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Excel here. We’re talking about specialized tools specifically designed for data visualization.

Adobe Photo, Illustrator, and Microsoft Excel can work, but they all suck at creating dynamic charts and graphs. And if you’re not a graphic designer, it’ll take you a lot of time and effort to create something presentable.

That’s where free data visualization tools come in to save the day.

10 Free Data Visualization Tools You Can Use To Make Sense Of Web Data

1. Infogram

data visualization tools - infogram

Infogram is a hybrid tool you can use to create infographics and standalone charts. The tool features an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface that makes it simple to create professional-looking info charts without any design skills.

The free account limits you to only 10 free creations, 10 custom image uploads, and access to 30 templates.

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You can use the free account to familiarize yourself with the tool’s features, but if you’re serious about data visualization, it may be worth upgrading to a paid account.

Key Features

  • 35+ Charts and 550+ Maps: Infogram comes with over 35 interactive charts and 550+ maps you can use to visualize your data, including bar graphs, pie charts, word clouds, column tables, and timelines.
  • Real-time Collaboration: Infogram allows you to invite others to work on your project in real-time, making it ideal for team projects or remote collaboration.
  • Responsive Design: All charts and infographics created with Infogram are optimized for any device, ensuring that your data visualizations look great regardless of screen size.

Pricing

Infogram has four pricing plans: Basic (free), Pro ($19/month), Business ($67/month), and Enterprise (custom pricing). The paid plans come with additional features such as unlimited creations, custom branding, and real-time analytics.

2. Tableau Public

data visualization tools - tableau

Tableau Public is considered the gold standard in data visualization software, and for good reason. This free tool allows you to create interactive charts, maps, dashboards, and more with little to no design or coding knowledge.

With Tableau, the only limitation you have is your mind. If you can imagine it, you can create it.

From scatter plots to stacked charts to funnel charts, nothing is off-limits.

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Not to forget, it’s as free as it gets.

Key Features

  • Interactivity: Tableau allows you to create interactive dashboards that users can explore and interact with to gain insights from data.
  • Drag-and-Drop Interface: The tool’s drag-and-drop interface makes it easy for anyone to use, regardless of their technical abilities.
  • Customization Options: With Tableau Public, you have full control over how your data visualizations look, from fonts and colours to layout and design.

Pricing

As mentioned earlier, Tableau Public is completely free. The only downside is that all work created with the tool is publicly visible on the web. But if you’re looking to keep your data private, you can always upgrade to Tableau’s paid plans.

3. Google Charts

data visualization tools - google chart

Google charts may not have the same design depth as Tableau Public or Infogram, but it’s an excellent tool for creating simple, clean, and interactive charts and graphs.

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The best part?

It’s completely free to use.

Plus, the charts and graphs you create can be embedded into your website, making it easy to share data with your audience.

Key Features

  • Easy to Learn: Google Charts uses a simple and intuitive syntax that makes it great for beginners new to data visualization.
  • Wide Range of Chart Types: With over 20 chart types available, you can create anything from interactive line graphs to scatter plots.
  • Dynamic Data: Google Charts allows you to update and change data dynamically, ensuring that your charts are always current.

Pricing

Google Charts is completely free to use.

4. RawGraphs

data visualization tools - raw graphs

RawGraphs is a free, open-source tool designed specifically for creating custom visualizations from raw data.

Probably one of the most beginner-friendly tools on this list, RawGraphs boasts a simple drag-and-drop interface that allows you to create stunning data visuals in minutes.

The tool offers a wide range of chart options, including tree maps, chord diagrams, Sankey diagrams, histograms, pie charts, scatter plots, bar charts, and more.

Key Features

  • Open-Source Software: Since RawGraphs is open-source software, anyone can use it for free and even contribute to its development.
  • Customization Options: With RawGraphs, you have complete control over the look and feel of your data visualizations. You can customize everything from labels and colors to fonts and legends.
  • Collaboration: RawGraphs allows you to share your visualizations with others and work on them together in real time.

Pricing

  • RawGraphs is completely free to use.

5. ChartBlocks

data visualization tools - chartblock

As customer preferences shift towards cloud-based solutions such as PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service), SaaS (Software-as-a-Service), and IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service), ChartBlocks comes as a great alternative to traditional data visualization tools.

You don’t have to own the software to use it, and you don’t have to worry about maintenance or updates.

With ChartBlocks, all your data is saved on the cloud, ensuring that it’s always accessible and secure.

Key Features

  • Cloud-Based: ChartBlocks is a cloud-based tool, meaning you can access your data from anywhere so long as you have an internet connection.
  • Easy to Use: The tool has a straightforward drag-and-drop interface, hence beginner-friendly.
  • Graph Customization: ChartBlocks allows you to customize your graphs and charts in various ways, from changing colors and labels to adding filters and legends.

Pricing

ChartBlocks offers a free plan with limited features, but for more advanced options like access to real-time data updates and custom branding, you’ll need to upgrade to the paid plans starting at $10 per month.

6. Datawrapper

data visualization tools - datawrapper

Datawrapper is a data visualization tool designed for journalists, researchers, and analysts who need to create charts and maps quickly and easily.

The tools were specifically designed for journalists, to help them create data visualization charts quickly to provide a base for their reports and articles.

The tool offers a wide range of chart types, including line charts, bar charts, stacked area charts, heat maps, scatter plots, and more.

It also features collaboration tools that users can use to share reports and work on them together.

Key Features

  • Fast and Easy: Datawrapper is designed to be quick and easy, with a user-friendly interface that makes it simple to create data visualizations in minutes.
  • Embed Options: You can easily embed your charts and maps into your website or blog using Datawrapper’s built-in options.
  • Collaboration: The tool allows real-time team collaboration, making it ideal for working on data projects together.

Pricing

The Datawrapper free option allows you to create up to 10,000 charts. Their paid plans offer more features, including access to their academy space and unlimited charts, starting at $599 monthly.

Every chart you create with their free option will include a “Create with Datawrapper attribution” at the bottom.

7. AgencyAnalytics

data visualization tools - agency analytics

AgencyAnalytics is a comprehensive digital marketing tool that also offers powerful data visualization capabilities.

This tool allows agencies to track and analyse their website traffic, social media metrics, SEO performance, and more.

But what sets it apart is its ability to create stunning data visualizations from all of this data in just a few clicks.

The tool integrates with almost all digital marketing tools, making data collection and visualization seamless. From Google Analytics to Facebook Insights and SEMrush, you can connect all your data sources to create a holistic view of your digital marketing performance.

You can also integrate it with Excel or Google Sheets to import custom data.

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Key Features

  • Integrations: AgencyAnalytics integrates with over 50 digital marketing tools, making it easy to connect all your data sources in one place.
  • White Labelling: The tool offers white-label reporting, allowing agencies to add their branding and create professional-looking dashboards and reports for clients.
  • Automated Reporting: With its automated reporting feature, you can schedule and send reports to your clients automatically, saving time and resources.

Pricing

AgencyAnalytics has three pricing plans:

  • Freelancer: at 12/month, 10/month if billed annually
    • This plan allows you to use a custom logo and colour scheme for your campaign.
    • However, you cannot use a custom domain name or email reporting.
  • Agency: at 18/month, 25/month if billed annually.
    • This plan offers all the features of the Freelancer plan, plus white labelling and automated reporting.
  • Enterprise: For agencies with larger teams and more clients. You’ll have to contact AgencyAnalytics to get a custom quote.

8. Quadrigram

data visualization tools - quadrigram

Quadrigram is an advanced drag-and-drop data visualization tool that allows users to create interactive visuals without writing a single line of code.

It offers many options, from simple charts and maps to more complex data-driven stories incorporating animations, videos, and images.

Key Features

  • Interactive Visuals: Quadrigram allows you to create interactive visuals that viewers can explore, making the data storytelling experience more engaging.
  • Data Integration: The tool allows you to connect and import data from various sources, including Google Sheets, CSV files, and more.
  • Customization: Quadrigram offers complete customization options for your visualizations, giving you full control over the design and layout of your data stories.

Pricing

Quadrigram has a free version with limited features, but for more advanced options like live data updates, private sharing, training, and support, you’ll need to upgrade to the paid plans starting at €19.95 per month.

9. Whatagraph

data visualization tools - whatagraph

Like Agency Analytics, Whatagraph is a data visualization tool designed specifically for digital marketing agencies.

It offers comprehensive reporting and data visualization capabilities, integrating with various digital marketing tools such as Google Analytics, Facebook Ads, Instagram, and more.

The tool’s standout feature is its automated report scheduling and delivery, making it easy to send regular reports to clients with little to no manual effort.

Key Features

  • Automated Reporting: With Whatagraph, you can automate your reporting and deliver regular reports to clients via email or a shareable link.
  • Easy-to-use Dashboards: The tool offers drag-and-drop dashboards that make it easy to create visualizations from multiple data sources.
  • Collaboration: You can invite team members and clients to collaborate on data projects and share insights.
  • Easy to Scale: Whatagraph offers unlimited user accounts and report templates, making it ideal for agencies with multiple clients.
  • Fully Customizable: The tool allows you to add your branding and custom design elements to create a professional-looking dashboard and reports.

Pricing

Whatagraph has three pricing plans:

  • Professional: starting at $245 per month, this plan offers 5 user accounts and up to 20 source credits.
  • Premium: starting at $492 per month, this plan offers 10 user accounts and up to 40 source credits. It also allows you to add custom branding and design elements to your reports.
  • Custom: for larger agencies with more clients, you can contact Whatagraph for a custom quote.

10.  JavaScript D3

data visualization tools - d3js

If you can write JavaScript code, you can use D3 to create stunning data visualizations.

D3 is a powerful JavaScript library that allows you to manipulate data and build complex interactive visuals using HTML, CSS, and SVG elements.

While it requires some coding knowledge, the possibilities are endless with D3. From simple pie charts to intricate network diagrams, you can create almost any type of visualization with this versatile tool.

Key Features

  • Customization: D3 gives you complete control over the design and layout of your data visualizations, making it ideal for creating custom, unique visuals.
  • Interactive Visuals: As a JavaScript library, D3 offers interactive capabilities that allow viewers to interact with the data and explore insights further.
  • Large Community Support: With a large community of online developers and resources, it’s easy to find help and support when using D3.

Pricing

D3 is an open-source library, meaning it is free to use for everyone. However, if you are unfamiliar with JavaScript coding, you may need to invest in learning resources or hire a developer to fully utilize its capabilities.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.

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