HomeReviewsBestSoftware › Data Visualization

Data Visualization Tools

Having the ability to understand broad and fragmented data speeds up any business process that requires such data.

Humans are visual beings; we predominantly rely on our eyesight to see the world around us and as such, we learn best when everything is neatly organized and nice to look at.

Take an Excel file for example: If your business uses Excel for information tracking and raw data entry, it would be much better to have all the data visualized in some way. Simply looking at the numbers in the Excel file isn't efficient nor quick, especially when working with complex data.

As such, a data visualization tool can help massively. After all, having the ability to create interactive charts or static pie charts means your business intelligence will very quickly evolve. Only the top data visualization tools have extensive data visualization capabilities and advanced database solutions.

In this article, we'll be taking a look at some of the best data visualization tools you can get. We'll be looking at metrics such as data analysis, data visualizations, actionable insights, statistical graphs, and other advanced features.

Before we start, I'd just like to say that all of these data visualization tools are good choices; the one you choose in the end depends on what visualization types you're looking for, as well as other business analytics tools.

Our Best Data Visualization Tools Top Picks

  • Best for the ability to create interactive data visualizations - Tableau
  • Best for use with third-party apps through the use of data connectors and best overall - Microsoft Power BI
  • Best for advanced data analysis and visualization - Sisense
  • Best for combining various data forms to present a 'story' - Domo
  • Best free software for data visualizations - Google Data Studio
  • Best for use by data analysts that want multiple tools to analyze data - Zoho Analytics

Reviews of the Best Data Visualization Tools From Our Research

Tableau

Tableau Home Page

Tableau is an absolutely stunning piece of software, I'll tell you that much. It's one of the fastest-growing and most powerful data visualization tools out there. Of course, due to how complex and exceptional it is, the price follows suit.

Although you can get the free version dubbed Tableau Public, it generally isn't the best choice for medium and large-sized businesses.

And if you aren't going for the free version, then you've got a couple of choices - the Viewer plan that lets you access existing dashboards ($15/month, billed annually), the Explorer plan which lets you edit existing dashboards ($42/month, billed annually), and the most powerful one - the Creator plan that comes with all Tableau features ($70/month, billed annually).

Tableau Plans and Pricing

The cheaper plans are good but not very inviting considering you don't get all the features and with them, you lack the ability to create your own charts and analytics. Even so, they're great to get started with Tableau.

Speaking about the software itself, it's exceptional. Tableau gives users a multipurpose dashboard with which they can create anything they want based on their business processes.

The most impressive part of this software is the interactive charts feature which massively improves the business intelligence visualizations.

Tableau Desktop

But don't expect to learn and use it to its maximum extent right away; Tableau is a fairly difficult program to use and as such requires plenty of time to understand and utilize completely.

Features:

  • Full version costs $70/month (Billed annually)
  • Hundreds of data import choices
  • Mapping capability
  • Large chart selection to choose from
  • Multipurpose dashboard
  • Predictive forecasting and data analysis

Pros:

  • Fairly quick compared to some competitors
  • Lots of useful features for data modeling
  • A One-for-all dashboard that makes the whole process more efficient
  • Has a free version called 'Tableau Public' with some good features
  • Incredible user interface
  • Rich community of users

Cons:

  • Difficult to learn and master
  • Very expensive if you're going for the top plan
  • No billing options; one yearly payment is all you get

Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI Desktop variant

The Microsoft Power BI is the complete package for data analytics. This data visualization tool is very powerful but also unusually user-friendly. I say unusually because most complex tools of this nature are tough to learn and master. But not this one.

Additionally, due to it being a Microsoft product, it has great integration with most Microsoft Office products. This makes Microsoft Power BI a top-of-the-line choice for data scientists that use Microsoft Excel or Word for data entry.

Dashboard example

One recommendation from our side would be to first use the free version of Microsoft Power BI. It comes with most features that you'd otherwise pay for; the biggest downsides are the storage limit (1GB) and refresh cycles, of which there aren't many.

And for just $9.99 per user per month, you can get the Pro version which allows for 10GB of storage, hourly refresh cycles, increased consumption of streaming data (1,000,000 rows/hour). Essentially, you're getting 10 times more than what you'd get in the free version.

Plans and Pricing

Lastly, let's talk about data connectors. Microsoft Power BI comes with a staggering 74 of them. What this means is that you don't have to use just one data source; you can use multiple, ie. combining your Email data with CRM information.

Overall, Microsoft Power BI doesn't have a lot of negatives going for it which is why it's considered one of the best data visualization tools in the world.

Features:

  • Power BI Pro costs $9.99/user/month
  • Power BI Premium costs either $20/user/month or $4,995/capacity/month
  • Limited free version
  • Self-service analytics
  • Ability to share insights
  • Loads of data visualization options
  • AI capabilities
  • 74 data connectors

Pros:

  • Fairly easy to use
  • Relatively cheap compared to some competitors
  • AI capabilities come in very handy
  • Plenty of data connectors including MailChimp, SalesForce, and more
  • Data visualization options are gorgeous and informative

Cons:

  • Having to use both the Desktop and Web tools for publishing
  • Free version isn't very good plus it suffers from the lack of refresh cycles

Sisense

Sisense Home Page

Whilst Sisense does a tremendous job of offering incredible data visualization solutions, exceptional data charts, and various other graphics, they still haven't reached the level of Microsoft Power BI. Having said that, they're definitely on par with Tableau.

The funny thing about both of these is that they are both relatively expensive with Sisense even more so. However, even with the higher price, Sisense has some amazing stuff for analysts can use efficiently.

Sisense Blog Section

Truth be told, Sisense doesn't really sit well in terms of its self-service capabilities. Just a tad too complex for our taste but - they've done a great job countering indecisiveness and the difficulty of use by offering free tutorials and blog posts.

So users can easily find out whatever they want regarding the software, or they can contact support directly for answers.

The conclusion about this data visualization tool is that it feels great to use, comes with loads of visualization choices, and is very quick.

Sisense Pricing Screen

You won't encounter bottlenecks thanks to in-chip processing which automatically puts it above Tableau by a very slim margin. All in all, advanced data analysts should find themselves right at home with this tool.

Features:

  • Custom price quote given for all plans (an average price you can expect is $85/user/month)
  • Free trial available
  • High-density data analysis
  • Supports integration with various web portals
  • Hosted on a single commodity server
  • Centralized dashboard with all data analysis
  • Interactive dashboards

Pros:

  • Bottlenecks almost never happen due to in-chip processing
  • Efficient natural language queries regarding third-party apps
  • Intuitive UI
  • Vast and informative data visualization solutions
  • Can be integrated with Skype, Slack, and more
  • Plenty of information and knowledge about Sisense can be found on their blogs or tutorials

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • A bit too complex for a self-service BI tool
  • Analytics process isn't streamlined and needs to be better

Domo

Domo Home Page

Domo employs the same payment method as Sisense - you need to ask them for a personalized quote based on what you need.

This essentially guarantees you'll get exactly what you need; no more, no less. Still, the average price comes out to around $85/user/month which makes Domo an expensive data visualization choice.

Domo Pricing Screen

Unfortunately, Domo does not have machine learning nor natural language support. Sisense and other competitors have both of these whereas Domo is lacking in these areas.

These shortcomings can prove to be enough to drive certain businesses away, but the good news is that Domo is actively working on improving this side of their operations.

Where Domo excels compared to other data visualization software is expansion. Specifically, its own. Domo users can choose from hundreds of free & paid connectors. Additionally, the plugin list is impressive enough to, at least partially, justify the relatively high price.

Another inviting aspect of Domo is that their visualization method tries to present the interpreted data as an interesting story.

Overall, Domo does a pretty good job visualizing data and providing graphical representations of data analytics. You also get the option to try out their software for free which I definitely recommend considering everything previously mentioned.

Screenshot of the Domo BI & Analytics section

Lastly, it's worth noting that Domo doesn't yet have the capabilities nor power to support large businesses. This might change in the future, and if they improve in areas that are lacking, Domo will rise in both popularity and effectiveness.

Features:

  • Custom price quote given for all plans (similar price point to Sisense; $85/user/month)
  • Free trial available
  • Ability to create interactive visualizations
  • Ability to combine various data forms such as Text, Images, and Cards
  • Pre-built dashboards
  • CourseBuilder app

Pros:

  • Plenty of connectors for third-party apps
  • Unlimited data storage
  • Powerful sharing capabilities
  • Impeccable collaboration capabilities
  • Loads of plugins and add-ons to enhance the data visualization process
  • CourseBuilder app lets users create e-learning content; perfect for businesses that want to stay with Domo for a long time
  • Constant updates and expansion of the tool

Cons:

  • UI isn't very good nor intuitive
  • New data analysts will find themselves at a disadvantage
  • Learning curve is steeper than it should be
  • Overall, only good for Small or Medium-sized businesses
  • Expensive for what it offers

Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio Dashboard

For all intents and purposes, Google Data Studio feels like a tool completely oriented towards data analysis beginners. It doesn't come with any advanced visualization options, isn't as complex or powerful as other data visualization tools, and lacks versatility with third-party apps and data entry systems.

But considering the entire tool is free - what you get is actually impressive. Of course, large businesses would probably not use the Google Data Studio, even if they use Google's Analytics system, but small businesses should have a great time with it.

Google Ads template

The data analysis process is simple - Paste data, choose how to display it, and that's about it. You could also create infographics but you'd be better off with some other data visualization tool.

Oh, you'll also have to pay for certain types of connectors. This is the only part of the Google Data Studio that isn't free but it's not a big deal.

All in all, the Google Data Studio acts as a stepping stone to more advanced data interpretation and as such, can be used to teach new and up-and-coming data scientists.

Features:

  • Completely free to use
  • Paid connectors (from $29 to $299)
  • Ability to blend data
  • Ties in with Google Analytics
  • Ability to choose themes and layouts

Pros:

  • All features are free
  • Very easy to use
  • Perfect for use with Google charts and Google Analytics
  • Provides basic yet reliable data visualization in the form of bar charts, Google charts, and more

Cons:

  • Lackluster compared to competitors
  • Due to its relationship with Google Analytics, using your own data entry systems is not recommended
  • Lack of templates

Zoho Analytics

Zoho Home Page

The final piece of data visualization software we'll look at today is Zoho Analytics. I want to start off by saying that out of all the data visualization tools I've covered in this article, Zoho Analytics offers the best representation of data. Their charts for all your data are neat, compact, and gorgeous.

An exceptionally designed user interface guarantees ease of use and enjoyment while using the tool. And that's saying quite a lot compared to some of the heavy hitters we've talked about.

Zoho user interface

Zoho Analytics also enables you to import data from multiple different sources, after which it gets presented in many ways, including multidimensional data visualization.

Essentially, the results can be seen and understood by everyone related to your business so the hassle of sending them from one place to another is gone.

Zoho Analytics comes with a virtual AI assistant called Zia as well. Zia is there to help with any issues you might have, as well as provide you with much-needed knowledge about the tool.

The downsides aren't too bad but they do exist. For starters, the tool has a fairly steep learning curve, albeit still being generally easy to use. However, it'll take a while until you're able to utilize it completely. Their largest plans are somewhat expensive for most businesses apart from large ones.

Zoho Analytics Pricing and Plans

Lastly, the Zoho Analytics support system and staff are exceptional. They aren't pushy either, so you can expect the utmost respect and professionalism from their team.

Although this tool isn't as powerful as some others (ie. it doesn't have interactive charts), it's still a very good choice for all your data visualization needs.

Features:

  • 15-day free trial
  • Cloud or On-Premise plans
  • Cloud Basic plan costs 24 euros/month (billed annually)
  • On-Premise basic plan is free (1 user only)
  • Multidimensional data visualization
  • Capable AI (codename 'Zia')
  • Exporting format support including spreadsheet software (Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel), MS Word, PDF, PPT, etc.
  • Automated data visualization

Pros:

  • Starter and medium plans are pretty affordable
  • Intuitive user interface
  • The smart assistant AI is great if you need help
  • Exemplary support staff
  • Easy to use
  • Hassle-free integration process with other Zoho tools

Cons:

  • Hard to master
  • Reporting features are lackluster
  • Can get very expensive after a while

Buyer's Guide for Data Visualization Software

Each data visualization tool is unique in its own way but all of them are unusually similar to each other.

What I mean by this is that all of them have been created to provide you with the best data visualization experience; a business intelligence tool that aids you with everything data-related.

Before settling on a choice, it's best to understand exactly what to expect and how to compare popular data visualization tools. Although we won't go into the features too much, we'll still talk about those that are most important.

Price

As with everything in business, data visualization software costs money. Of course, there are free versions that you can use but they're generally barebones and not quite powerful enough for medium or large businesses. Even small ones may have trouble.

The price of data visualization tools is driven by their features; broader ones with advanced functionality and a great business intelligence model are more expensive, whilst those that offer a visual representation of only specific data are cheaper.

Nonetheless, you might not need the most expansive and expensive ones so make sure to budget properly and focus only on what you need.

Data visualization software can cost anywhere between twenty bucks to a hundred or two.

Ease of Use

Data analysts have a tough job as is, they don't need software that is overly complicated or over-engineered to analyze unstructured data.

Speed is often a crucial factor in how successful a business is and therefore, losing time trying to navigate complex interactive dashboards is not ideal.

Luckily, most data visualization tools are easy to use and convey information in a nice, clean, concise manner.

Creating reports and interpreting that same data is fairly quick, although keep in mind that more powerful visualization tools are also more difficult to use.

Data science can be a tough job and getting software that helps people do it quicker should be one of your main goals.

If it's easy to convert unstructured data into structured data - you've already made the whole process more efficient.

Tutorials & Documentation

While most of the top data visualization tools are easy to use, the learning process can be further improved by watching tutorials or reading documentation.

Watching a quick tutorial video can visually show the viewer the intuitive nature of such tools, as well as detailed explanations of certain features.

This plays a big role in speeding up the entire process as businesses can rely solely on these tutorials and pieces of documentation for knowledge about the software.

As such, they can turn their focus elsewhere whilst their data analysts get acquainted with the new data visualization tool.

Handling of Data

Most businesses operate with immense swathes of data, much of which is impossible to analyze manually.

Data visualization software needs to be able to handle such large data sizes, provide valuable feedback, analyze and extract data, and provide charts, graphs, and other visualization types to the user.

A data visualization tool that cannot handle such demands should simply be avoided. The best ones can handle even multiple databases; perfect for data scientists to keep track of everything in one dashboard.

In any case, these business intelligence tools are overall pretty powerful when it comes to data usage and handling. Being able to visualize data from multiple data sources is a necessity in the ever-growing world of business.

Output of Import Data

Data visualization software can vary quite a lot in regards to how the imported data is shown to the user.

Data analysis requires very specific types of data visualization so finding the right one is imperative to what the business needs to operate properly.

A large number of these data visualization tools can output data through bar charts, line charts, pie charts, compelling graphics, infographics, and other graphics solutions.

Some even offer the ability to view real-time data using interactive visualizations.

A data scientist should preferably use only one analytics platform instead of multiple sources for efficiency and speed in understanding information.

Frequently Asked Questions About Data Visualization Tools

Why is data visualization important?

A large set of data can contain a couple of million data points. Articulating this data and translating it into useable information makes everyone's jobs much easier.

Data visualization tools provide methods with which this data is presented in the form of charts, infographics, and even interactive maps.

Without data visualization, you'd essentially be looking into an infinite amount of numbers without any understandable correlation between them.

Which type of visualization do I need?

Whilst this does depend on what your business needs, the most sought for visual data solutions are charts. If your chosen data visualization software has built-in charts of all kinds, then you've already chosen well.

Nonetheless, you might want something with more visualization capabilities so it's best if you do your due diligence and carefully analyze what these tools offer.

Is a free data visualization tool good?

They are good but simply don't come with the features nor capabilities of paid versions. You could go for these if your business is just starting out or you're looking for something very specific (ie. bar chart and pie chart visualizations), but overall, they aren't enough for larger-scale projects.

The good news is that data visualization software sometimes comes with a limited free trial, and some even offer these trials for their most prestigious plans.

It might be a good idea to first test the software and see if it's a good fit for your needs.

Final Thoughts

The human brain works in very specific ways. Our whole understanding of the world is predominantly made possible by sight, and then everything else.

Having the ability to create visualizations of numbers or symbols means that we can more easily understand what is being presented to us.

Compare the enjoyment level of viewing a file with thousands of data inputs and using interactive data visualizations. There's no contest which is both more enjoyable and better presented.

In the end, a visualization tool can easily help you and your business continue growing without spending too much time analyzing everything by yourself.

The use of data visualizations guarantees the precise presentation of information with ease and efficiency.

And with that, our data visualization tools overview is at an end. Good luck in finding the perfect tool for yourself!

Software

Shop
© SERP  | As an Amazon Associate we earn commissions from qualifying purchases.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram