3 Data Visualization Platforms You Can Easily Use

Imagine you’re handed a massive array of information. What do you do? You get the right Data Visualization Platform, that’s what you do.

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If Shakespeare were alive today, he might say, “If data be the food of business, scrape on!”

Why would the Bard say such a thing? Because, without data, modern businesses would be rudderless. That’s right, data drives businesses like nothing else. It’s with data that enterprise-level companies can steer their ships in the direction of consumers, progress, and profit.

But data is kind of worthless unless you have the tools to visualize the information in a way that allows you to make sense of it. Otherwise, it’s just a massive dump of words and figures that would otherwise be impossible to use.

Imagine, you’re handed a flash drive containing hundreds (maybe thousands) of documents, each of which holds a seemingly endless array of information that exists with no apparent order or meaning.

What do you do?

You could hire an offshore software development team to make sense of all that data. For some businesses, that’s the most logical approach. Or, you could employ one of the many data visualization platforms available. These tools not only make it possible for you to work with and present the data — they also make it easy.

But what platforms are available? Let’s take a look at 3 of them.

Google Charts

Anyone that has a Google account has access to their version of a data visualization tool. Google Charts is one of the easiest to use visualization tools on the market. This platform can be used from within a web browser or even a mobile device, as all chart rendering is based on HTML5/SVG technology.

Charts can read from multiple data sources, such as Excel, SQL databases, CSV, and Google Spreadsheets. And when a source is updated, the chart will auto-update, so you don’t have to worry about doing so manually. You can add interactive elements to your charts and even print PNGs. Types of charts you have available include:

  • Annotation charts
  • Area charts
  • Bar charts
  • Bubble charts
  • Calendar charts
  • Candlestick charts
  • Combo charts
  • Diff charts
  • Gantt charts
  • Geo charts
  • Histograms
  • Intervals
  • Maps
  • Org charts
  • Scatter charts
  • Timelines
  • Word trees

Google Charts allows you to share graphics and add customized data visuals. To work with Google Charts, you choose your customizable settings, enter your data, and a chart is automatically created for you. The only con to using this free solution is that it doesn’t have all the features you might find in the competition.

Zoho Analytics

Zoho is a very powerful platform that offers a wide spectrum of services and tools. One of those tools is Zoho Analytics, which can serve as your one-stop-shop for data visualization. With this take on the tool, you can build customized dashboards and reports in minutes, with an AI-powered assistant.

Using Zoho Analytics makes it incredibly easy to upload any type of database and connect tables to create insightful, useful reports. The platform even includes automated uploads for the likes of Excel sheets, AWS databases, Google Analytics, and Facebook Analytics so you can create dashboards to help make your everyday business decisions easier.

Zoho Analytics allows you to import data from numerous sources, such as:

  • Spreadsheets
  • Excel
  • CSV
  • HTML
  • JSON
  • XML
  • MS Access
  • MySQL
  • Amazon RDS
  • PostgreSQL
  • Oracle IBM DB2
  • Hadoop
  • Firebird
  • MongoDB
  • Cassandra
  • Statistical data
  • Text files
  • Zoho Docs
  • Google Drive
  • Box
  • Dropbox
  • Microsoft OneDrive
  • Web URL feeds

The feature set for Zoho Analytics is pretty impressive:

  • Numerous visualization types
  • Drag and drop creation
  • User-friendly dashboards
  • Interactive elements
  • Geo visualization
  • Forecasting
  • Data alerts
  • Sharing and collaboration
  • Fine-grained access control
  • White labeling and Embedded BI
  • HTTP-based web APIs

Zoho Analytics offers four different price plans, each with a defined number of users and rows. For more information, check out the pricing and feature matrix.

Tableau

Tableau is one of the most popular data visualization platforms on the market and offers a number of data visualization tools. For any enterprise-level business, Tableau might be one of the best tools on the market for data visualization. It’s costly, but the features it offers (and the insights you’ll gain) are worth every penny.

The Tableau features include:

  • Amazing data visualizations.
  • User-friendly across the board.
  • Efficient and performant.
  • Can connect to multiple data sources.
  • A vast community for support.

Some of the tools it includes are the following:

Tableau Prep Builder

Prep Builder is a visual tool to combine, shape, and clean data. This tool also allows you to automate data prep flows.

Tableau Desktop

Desktop is an unlimited data exploration tool with an intuitive interface that makes visualizing your data incredibly easy.

Tableau Server

Server hosts all Tableau workbooks, data sources, and related data, allowing you access to up-to-date content, which will give you immediate insights, without relying on static content. This platform is hosted on-premise.

Tableau Online

Online is the same thing as Tableau Server, only hosted in the cloud.

Tableau Mobile

Mobile is Tableau’s mobile option that allows you to gain access to your Tableau data from anywhere.

With Tableau, you can put together a platform that perfectly meets the data visualization needs of your business and the teams that work to make data visualization a reality for your company.

The pricing of Tableau falls into three different categories: Individuals, Teams & Organizations, and Embedded Analytics, a way to deliver analytics to your customers without you having to build them in house. Make sure to check the pricing/feature matrix for more information.

Conclusion

There are a lot of data visualization tools on the market, but one of these three would be a great place for you to start. Get your first taste with Google Charts and evolve to bigger and better tools. Once you get the hang of visualizing your company data, there’s no limit to the insights you will start to gain.

I’m a tech writer, IT enthusiast, and business development manager living in Miami.

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