Chart and image gallery: 30+ free tools for data visualization and analysis

The chart below originally accompanied our story 22 free tools for data visualization and analysis (April 20, 2011). We're updating it as we cover additional tools, including 8 cool tools for data analysis, visualization and presentation (March 27, 2012) and Six useful JavaScript libraries for maps, charts and other data visualizations (March 6, 2013). Click through to those articles for full tool reviews.

Features: You can sort the chart by clicking on any column header once to sort in ascending order and a second time to sort by descending (browser JavaScript required).

Skill levels are represented as numbers from easiest to most difficult to learn and use:

  1. Users who are comfortable with basic spreadsheet tasks
  2. Users who are technically proficient enough not to be frightened off by spending a couple of hours learning a new application
  3. Power users
  4. Users with coding experience or specialized knowledge in a field like GIS or network analysis.     Next page: Screenshots of several tools

Data visualization and analysis tools

ToolCategory

Multi-purpose

visualization
Mapping  Platform

Skill

level   

Data stored

or processed

Designed for

Web publishing?
Data Wrangler Data cleaning No No Browser 2 External server No
OpenRefine (formerly Google Refine) Data cleaning No No Browser 2 Local No
R Project Statistical analysis Yes With plugin Linux, Mac OS X, Unix, Windows XP or later 4 Local No
Google Fusion Tables Visualization app/service Yes Yes Browser 1 External server Yes
Impure Visualization app/service Yes No Browser 3 Varies Yes
Many Eyes Visualization app/service Yes Limited Browser 1 Public external server Yes
Tableau Public Visualization app/service Yes Yes Windows 3 Public external server Yes
VIDI Visualization app/service Yes Yes Browser 1 External server Yes
Zoho Reports Visualization app/service Yes No Browser 2 External server Yes
Choosel Framework Yes Yes Chrome, Firefox, Safari 4 Local or external server Not yet
Exhibit Library Yes Yes Code editor and browser 4 Local or external server Yes
Google Chart Tools Library and Visualization app/service Yes Yes Code editor and browser 2 Local or external server Yes
JavaScript InfoVis Toolkit Library Yes No Code editor and browser 4 Local or external server Yes
D3 Library Yes Yes Code editor and browser 4 Local or external server Yes
Quantum GIS (QGIS) GIS/mapping: Desktop No Yes Linux, Unix, Mac OS X, Windows 4 Local With plugin
OpenHeatMap GIS/mapping: Web No Yes Browser 1 External server Yes
OpenLayers GIS/mapping: Web, Library No Yes Code editor and browser 4 local or external server Yes
OpenStreetMap GIS/mapping: Web No Yes Browser or desktops running Java 3 Local or external server Yes
TimeFlow Temporal data analysis No No Desktops running Java 1 Local No
IBM Word-Cloud Generator Word clouds No No Desktops running Java 2 Local As image
Gephi Network analysis No No Desktops running Java 4 Local As image
NodeXL Network analysis No No Excel 2007 and 2010 on Windows 4 Local As image
CSVKit CSV file analysis No No Linux, Mac OS X or Linux with Python installed 3 Local No
DataTables Create sortable, searchable tables No No Code editor and browser 3 Local or external server Yes
FreeDive Create sortable, searchable tables No No Browser 2 External server Yes
Highcharts* Library Yes No Code editor and browser 3 Local or external server Yes
Mr. Data Converter Data reformatting No No Browser 1 Local or external server No
Panda Project Create searchable tables No No Browser with Amazon EC2 or Ubuntu Linux 2 Local or external server No
PowerPivot** Analysis and charting Yes No Excel 2010 and some 2013 versions on Windows 3 Local No
Weave Visualization app/service Yes Yes Flash-enabled browsers; Linux server on backend 4 Local or external server Yes
Infogr.am Visualization app/service Yes Limited Browser 1 External server Yes
Datawrapper Visualization app/service Yes No Browser 1 Local or external server Yes
Cascading Tree Sheets Library Yes Yes Browser 1 Local or external server Yes
Dataset Library No No Browser 4 Local or external server Yes
Leaflet Library No Yes Browser 4 Local or external server Yes
Searchable Fusion Table Map Template Library No Yes Browser 3 Local or external server Yes
Tabletop Library No No Browser 3 Local or external server Yes
Data Explorer** Data acquisition, data reformatting No No Excel 2010 and 2013 on Windows 2 Local No
eSpatial GIS/mapping No Yes Browser 2 External Yes
Jolicharts Visualization app/service Yes Yes Browser 1 External server Yes
Silk Visualization app/service Yes Yes Browser 1 External server Yes
Chartbuilder Visualization app/service Yes No Browser 1 Local Yes
MicroStrategy Analytics Desktop Desktop application Yes No Windows 3 Local Yes
Plotly Visualization app/service Yes No Browser 1 External server Yes
Vida.io Visualization app/service Yes Yes Browser 1 External server Yes
IBM Watson Analytics Visualization & analysis app/service Yes Yes Browser 1 External server No

*Highcharts is free for non-commercial use and $80 for most single-site-wide licenses. **While add-ons are free, Excel (which is required to run them) is not.

Return to 22 free tools for data visualization and analysis or 8 cool tools for data analysis, visualization and presentation

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