Top 10 Data Visualization Tools For 2022

Data visualization is essentially taking raw data and turning it into visuals. Since humans are visual creatures, colorful graphics appeal to viewers and get a message across far more effectively than plain numbers would. An excellent visual discards the noise and gives you the information you need in an easy-to-digest manner. 

Visualizing data is also helpful to make particular datasets more appealing to your users. Research shows that this transformation also has fiscal returns. Earlier research even goes as far to show that for every dollar spent on data visualization, you get $13.07 back

The best part is that to incorporate data visuals into your business, you do not necessarily have to hire an expert. With the help of the right data visualization tools, you can also create attractive charts, diagrams, maps, and other visuals to make your data more easy to understand.  

In this article, I’m sharing some of the top data visualization tools that can help you create stunning visuals in no time.  

HockeyStack

HockeyStack is an end-to-end analytics tool for SaaS companies. HockeyStack unifies marketing, revenue, sales, and product data into one dashboard with no code so that you can understand what really drives revenue at your SaaS. It’s completely no code, and it doesn’t require any setup.

With HockeyStack, you can create customized, visually-appealing dashboards to answer inter-departmental questions that you cannot answer with any other tool on the market, such as:

  • How much revenue did a certain blog series bring us?
  • What is the activation rate of users from Facebook Ads?
  • What is the average contract value of sales that our whitepaper generated?
  • Do users that affiliates bring churn faster than users that marketing brings?

and more.

By providing answers to these questions, HockeyStack allows SaaS businesses to get rid of fragmented data and start understanding what really affects their revenue.

Revenue + Marketing Dashboard

HockeyStack’s Features

HockeyStack offers these features with no code:

  • Step-by-step user journey
  • Custom dashboards
  • Funnels and goals
  • Insights into content engagement
  • Surveys
  • Revenue analytics
  • Segments

and more

HockeyStack Pricing

HockeyStack has 3 paid plans. HockeyStack’s plans have a 14-day trial with a 30-day refund guarantee.

You can check out the pricing page here.

HockeyStack Integrations

  • Paddle
  • Stripe
  • Hubspot
  • Chargebee
  • Pipedrive
  • Mailchimp
  • Crisp Chat
  • Google Ads
  • Facebook Ads
  • Salesforce
  • Zapier (coming soon)

    … and more.

HockeyStack Summary

The unique benefit of HockeyStack is its ability to unify your marketing, revenue, sales, and product data using no code. This allows you to uncover unique insights that you wouldn’t be able to by using multiple tools as they cause you to have fragmented data.

  1. You can integrate with Stripe, Paddle, and Hubspot and build every single dashboard that you can think of, using all sales, marketing, revenue, and product metrics.
  2. You can create funnels, goals, and surveys, which are rare to get with other tools on this list.
  3. You don’t need any developers, tracking is cookie-less, and the script is small, so it doesn’t increase your site loading time.

Tableau Public and Gallery

Tableau is one of the leading software in the data visualization industry. The main reason behind its success is that it combines versatility and ease of use. Tableau usually offers its services for a fee, however, there’s a free version available with limited features.  

With no manual setup required, you can start using Tableau Public right away. It can turn even large datasets into charts, graphs, and maps. And you get an output that you can share with others in a short time. 

One drawback of using Tableau Public is that it’s not possible to keep your data analysis and visualizations private. But this also means that you can see the brilliant works of other users as well. You can use the gallery to find templates, examples, or inspiration from other users. And when you have a question, you can always use the tutorials on Tableau’s website or ask the informative community. 

Pros: 

  • Many tutorials to learn from
  • Has an informative community
  • Mobile responsive
  • Easy to update
  • Extensive customer support
  • Performs data blending easily
  • No need for manual setup

Cons: 

  • Does not allow data analysis to remain private
  • Auto-refresh and report scheduling options are not available
  • Will require prior SQL knowledge 
  • Does not allow saving reports locally
  • Can import only text files and excel sheets

Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio is a cloud-based data analysis and visualization service. It provides users with dozens of dynamic and interactive visuals to choose from. 

In addition to a long list of functions they provide, you can always write a custom one if needed. What is remarkable is that you do not need any prior SQL knowledge to do so. 

Another great quality of Google Data Studio is the wide variety of data formats it can import. You can gather data directly from Analytics, Sheets, or even YouTube, thanks to built-in connectors Google created. Overall, data import is quite simple from secure sources. 

One major drawback of using Google Data Studio is the lack of support for Excel sheets. Considering that this is a Google product, it is not very surprising. However, it is possible to use your Excel documents once you convert them into either CSV or Google Sheets.

Pro: 

  • All features are free
  • No SQL knowledge required
  • Tight integration with Google’s ecosystem
  • Intuitive and easy to use: drag-and-drop objects, snap-to-grid canvas
  • Dynamic and interactive visuals
  • Can merge data from multiple sources in one report
  • Auto-refresh and syncing to provide the latest data
  • Manage the levels of people who can access your work
  • Built-in comparison functions for each visualization

Cons: 

  • Does not support Excel files
  • Lacks some basic calculations such as calculating the sum of a row or column
  • Complex visualizations are not possible to create
  • For security, the lack of an on-premise option might be an issue, especially for big corporations

Google Charts

Another Google product in this article is an open-source chart library: Google Charts. Its main function is to create interactive charts to embed online. The variety of products includes animations in addition to pictorial and graphic visuals. 

Because some members create new designs and share them on Google’s gallery, you can see some examples. Usually, these examples are more advanced, so you can see a lot of what’s possible with Google Charts. But keep in mind that not all of these designs and charts are HTML-friendly. 

From Google Charts

Despite the examples in the gallery, Google Charts’ interactive charts are special in that they are SVG and HTML5 compatible. Thanks to this, you can achieve great results without any additional plugins. And they are still customizable through simple CSS edits. 

Pros: 

  • Cross-browser compatible since it uses HTML5/SVG
  • User-friendly platform, no technical knowledge required
  • Imports data easily from Google Spreadsheets, Google Fusion Tables, Salesforce, and other SQL databases.
  • Compatibility with Google products.
  • Interactive dashboard
  • Mobile friendly
  • Comprehensive gallery and templates
  • Displays live and real-time data on your site
  • Is able to handle huge datasets

Cons: 

  • No support available exclusively for Google Charts
  • Exporting tools needs to be optimized
  • For advanced features, demos on tools are insufficient
  • Does not have sophisticated statistical processing
  • A network connection is a must while using the tool
  • Some advanced features require manual work and time

Datawrapper

Different from other tools on this list, Datawrapper focuses only on one industry: journalism. It is designed mainly to add charts and maps to news stories, but no matter what your business is, it still might be a great fit for you. 

Datawrapper is a great tool for beginners since it is so easy to use. After importing your data, it only takes one click to get your output. From customizable tables to interactive maps, you have a wide range of templates to work with. To give you an idea, New York Times, Boston Globe, and Reuters all use Datawrapper.

It is also quite easy to share or embed your work. You can even export them as responsive code or directly add them to your Visme project. 

Another thing that’s important to note is that you might find the data source variety to be disappointing. Additionally, for each dataset, you must copy and paste it individually. In the free version, your datasets will be stored publicly so that’s also something you need to keep in mind when using the tool.

Pros: 

  • You can export your chart, tables, and maps as PNGs
  • Tools include a built-in color blindness checker
  • No installation required
  • Easy to use
  • Mobile friendly
  • No prior coding skill is necessary
  • Auto-save feature
  • Compatible with multiple OS’s
  • You can annotate charts 

Cons:

  • Data sources and import options are limited
  • Tools are limited for the free version
  • Building advanced charts such as Sankey is challenging
  • Does not allow information to remain private, data is stored in the Datawrapper servers
  • Customizations are not available for the free plan

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Infogram

Infogram is another data visualization tool that welcomes non-designers with its easy UX. Its special editor called “What You See is What You Get” (WYSIWYG) stands out with its “drag-and-drop” feature. Through this intuitive software, you can easily create over 30 visuals with your dataset. 

Being a part of Prezi, Infogram has a solid and experienced team behind it. Yet, you do not need a Prezi account to create charts or graphs.  

Another notable feature is its dashboard template library that combines multiple visuals in one report. This is perfect for tracking changes as multiple people might be using the tool at the same time. Additionally, it’s possible to assign and manage roles in Infogram, allowing you to control the permissions that users have.

That said, if you are also looking for a tool that has many data sources, Infogram may not be the best choice for you. Importing data from existing datasets is also more challenging compared to its competitors. 

Pros: 

  • Includes 35+ chart types and 550+ map types including infographics
  • Intuitive drag-and-drop editor
  • API for importing additional data sources
  • Easy exporting and embedding options for public and private outlets
  • Can handle complex and large datasets
  • Intuitive: drag-and-drop 
  • Ready-to-use templates and custom templates 
  • Interactive content via object animations 

Cons: 

  • Fewer built-in data sources and integration features than its competitors
  • In the free version, adding the Infogram logo is a must
  • Rich text editing is not available in the free plan
  • Customer support needs modification
  • Advanced templates and features are not included in the free plan

Flourish Public

Aimed to ease data visualization for journalists, Flourish is a tool that helps users create interactive visuals. Leaders such as The Guardian, the FT, and BBC embed visuals created in Flourish on their websites. 

Since Flourish Public requires no installation and works through a web browser, you can get started right away with your project. The mobile-friendly interface also allows you to work from any device, ensuring that there aren’t any unnecessary delays. 

With the extensive tutorials they publish, you can easily navigate your way through the page. The ready-to-use templates are also a great plus, speeding up the process considerably. 

Image from Flourish Public’s website

One advantage that puts Flourish ahead of its competitors is its attention to privacy. Even if you are using the free version, they promise you that your data and work will remain private for as long as you want. This is usually not the case for most free tools. 

But there’s a catch.

Flourish mandates that you put their logo on your work. And unless your dataset is in Excel or in CSV format, you cannot import it directly. So, it takes a bit of work and compromise to use the tool. 

Pros: 

  • Mobile friendly, mobile previews available
  • No installation required, you can just work through web browser
  • Ready-to-use templates are available
  • Allow anyone to publish or require editor approval
  • How-to resources provided for everyone
  • Even if you close your account, published projects will still work
  • Your work and data will remain private

Cons: 

  • Your visuals will appear with the Flourish branding
  • Takes a while to learn to use the features
  • Imports are possible only from Excel and Comma Separated Value (CSV) files

D3.js

Data-Driven Documents, D3, is a JavaScript library that allows users to visualize data on the internet. In addition to visuals, you can also create great apps with this tool. To use it though, you will need to have some understanding of JS. 

This harder-to-use tool supports declarative programming and is for either programmers or people who can ask for a programmer’s help. That said, this additional effort might just be worthwhile because D3 has many unique features very few tools possess. 

Some examples include code reusability, a wide range of curve-generating functions, and associating data to elements in HTML. What’s more, if you want to use a part of this enormous library, you can just download the related module. You do not have to install the entire set every time. 

Pros:

  • Very powerful, fast and customizable
  • Focuses on web standards and embedding
  • Tools available to let non-programmers create visualizations
  • Free and open source project that works without any plug-ins
  • Enables you to visualize data HTML, SVG, and CSS 
  • Helps you with Document Object Model (DOM) manipulation 
  • You can also generate an HTML table from a wide range of numbers
  • Can handle large datasets

Cons: 

  • Requires prior programming knowledge 
  • Is harder to learn and might take time
  • Has some data-source restrictions
  • Cannot easily conceal original data
  • Is not mobile-friendly
  • Does not support old browsers
  • No predetermined visualizations

Dygraphs

Another open-source JavaScript library worth mentioning is Dygraphs. The main focus of this fast and flexible tool is charts. With its ability to handle dense and huge datasets, you can easily create interactive visuals. 

Though most of the tools mentioned in this article are interactive, Dygraphs takes it to another level. In addition to other functions, the zoom, mouseover and pan movements are available by default. And with click-through actions and custom callbacks, there is always room for customizations. 

Image from Dygraphs’ website

Yet, one drawback to consider is that you have to install Dygraphs. That is to say that there will be a set-up process to deal with and you will not have the advantages of a cloud-based system. And like many other open-source tools, your work on Dygraphs will not be private. 

Pros: 

  • Can handle multiple data series and huge data sets
  • Interactive out-of-the-box: zoom, pan, and mouseover are on by default.
  • Works in all recent browsers
  • Mobile-friendly
  • Provides extensive tutorials and help on its website and has an active community for additional support
  • Has a demo that you can use before deciding to download it
  • You can add annotations to charts
  • Highly customizable
  • Compatible with the Google Visualization API
  • Users can work with specific parts of datasets and analyze them separately

Cons: 

  • Requires an on-prem set-up
  • Your visuals will be publicly available
  • Import sources are limited to: CSV data, URL, array (native format), function, DataTable
  • The website has bugs and is hard to navigate

RAWGraphs

As the name suggests, the main function of RAWGraphs is to create quick and easy raw graphs and charts. Because the end-product is raw, it is also optimized for further edits and customizations that can be done with a vector tool. 

In this open-sourced software, the data importing process is pretty simple as well. Since raw graphs are less complex , you see the result very quickly. If you do not like the layout, you can always rearrange it. 

Although it is open-sourced, unlike many of its competitors, RAWgraphs ensures data security. This means, your data, and work will remain private for as long as you want. 

The best part is that you can create these fantastic charts without the need for a laptop or computer. RAWgraphs is a mobile-friendly software. Considering the exported work is great for social media posts, this can be very handy. 

Pros: 

  • Cloud-based, no set-up is required
  • Mobile friendly
  • Simple interface
  • Easy-to-read and rearrangeable visual layout
  • Promises data security
  • You can rescale and share data
  • Simple interface that works well with vector graphics apps
  • The final result is great for sharing on social media

Cons: 

  • Date parameter might cause issues
  • Cannot create interactive or dynamic visuals
  • Has hardships when handling huge data sets
  • Log scales are not available
  • Has fewer visualization options than its competitors

Leaflet

Leaflet is an open-source JavaScript library that is great for making interactive maps. Additionally, Leaflet provides masks, heatmaps, and animations to add on top of your visuals to make them stand out even more. Since it can handle huge datasets, even large companies can fulfill their data visualization needs.  

Leaflet works on all devices, browsers, and third-party plug-ins. It also comes a large reserve of plug-ins in itself for added convenience. 

Image from the LeafletJS website

One drawback of Leaflet is that it requires data preparation beforehand. This can not only be time consuming but can also limit the type of users that can benefit from the tool. Additionally, without any JS knowledge, you would struggle to use the program. 

Pros: 

  • Mobile-friendly 
  • Works with all browsers, and third-party plugins.
  • Very responsive
  • Extensive plug-in hold
  • Can add masks, heatmaps, and animated markers
  • The community running the tool is helpful 
  • Multiple map layers are available
  • Very intuitive commands 
  • Very lighweight

Cons: 

  • Can not create bar graphs and pie charts. 
  • Might not show an error made when coding
  • Lacks advanced functions available
  • If you need to create a visual other than maps, Leaflet is not for you
  • Basic API includes only simple maps
  • Cannot create complex GIS Applications
  • Prior JavaScript knowledge is necessary
  • Data preparation with GIS software may be necessary

Chartist

Chartist is an open-source JavaScript library that is great for simple interactive charts. You can further customize your work as it is possible to use Chartist on various browsers. Chartist even allows you to animate your charts and use plugins to exercise even more creative freedom.

One great advantage of Chartist is its size. With GZIP, you can reduce this library’s size to a mere 10 Kb, making it perhaps the smallest library on this list. 

Of course, this compact library comes with its disadvantages. Compared to its competitors, there are fewer chart types that you can benefit from and creating maps is not possible. 

Rather, Chartist is for people who want simple, interactive, and embeddable charts. Similar to the library itself, the final work is also very small in size. 

Pros:

  • Completely free
  • Compact file
  • Animatable charts
  • Highly customizable output
  • Features can be expanded with plug-ins

Cons:

  • Fewer chart types available
  • No mapping capabilities
  • Limited support outside of the developer community
  • You can not create very advanced visuals
  • Not mobile-responsive

Conclusion

There you have it, the 10 data visualization tools that can help you break down your data and make it much easier to understand. Now that you have the list of features, pros, and cons for each of these data visualization tools, you can make a more informed decision and choose the tool that’s right for you.

Remember though, if privacy is a major concern for your business, make sure that you’re only choosing tools that can guarantee that your data and visuals will not be publicly visible or accessible.

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