11 of the Easiest Data visualization tools to use

Data visualization is a quick and easy way to extract understanding, share insights, and generate reports. There are a lot of companies that have popped up in the last 20 years that sell data visualization services. This means a huge variety of services, which can be daunting for someone who has just dipped their toes into this massive ecosystem.

As someone who quickly wants to learn the tools of the trade, a question that comes to their mind is: what is the quickest way I can get started with data visualization?”. By extension, this means the easiest to learn data visualization tool.

The top data visualization tools include Power B.I, Tableau, Sisense, Google Studio, Xplenty. But the easiest one for beginners would be just starting out is Google Data Studio. It is free to use and an extremely capable tool for data visualization.

There are a huge number of data visualization tools. They vary in difficulty, and there are about 5 key factors to consider for selecting the right data visualization tool (which we addressed in detail in this post), but for today we will only stick with the easiest to use.

Still Using Tableau? Try Python Plo...
Still Using Tableau? Try Python Plotly For Data Visualization!

TOP 11 of the Easiest Data visualization tools to use

1. Power B.I

It was published in 2011 by Microsoft. The customer that this tool focuses on are the businesses. Mainly provides business intelligence, which allows them to transform their data into several visual formats. It has a powerful tool to develop reports based on the analysis of the data.

Since Power B.I is under Microsoft, this means you get native integration with the full suite of Microsoft apps. This makes the learning curve quite shallow because the majority of us are used to Microsoft apps and their layout. 

They have a free trial but that is limited by its tools. The Premium package that has Artificial intelligence baked into it costs $20 per user.

2. Tableau

Easiest Data visualization tools
Image from wikipedia.org (under creative commons for sharing only)

Created to analyze data visually. They wanted to streamline the traditional business intelligence approach. By handing a non-tech savvy person the tools to quickly analyze data.

 An extremely versatile tool that allows you to quickly morph your data. This allows for new insights to be generated very easily. They are specialists in geo-coding. What this means is the ability to link data with geographical locations using coordinates. This functionality is most useful for government and charity organizations.

It is quite expensive. At $70 per month per user, this is billed annually. This may be too steep for some users.

3. Sisense

They specialize in in-memory data analytics. What it means is data is moved to system memory (RAM). This provides for a much faster data transfer rate, but this type of memory is very expensive and is very limited.

Sisense has revolutionized in-memory. They have done this by not just using all available RAM and storage, but the memory available in the CPU itself. That memory is about 50-100 times faster than RAM. This allows for efficient and super fast embedded data analysis and visualization.

Their prices are on a per case basis, so it entirely depends upon your data infrastructure.

4. Google Data Studio

This is perhaps the best tool for individuals starting in the data visualization space. It is completely free to use. So you do not have to worry about any financial investments. Google Data Studio has native integration with the entire suite of Google Apps. Meaning data ingestion and incompatibility will not be an issue.

If you need to generate reports quickly, Google Data Studio has pre-built templates. Which can be shared and edited instantly. You may be wondering if there are some downsides to it being completely free. The tools and resources provided in it are not lacking. But you will not get any customer support. So all issues will have to be resolved via the community forums.

5. ThoughSpot

They have a very unique way of data visualization and analysis. It is done through a search-based methodology. 

What search-based data visualization means, you just need to use their search engine and it will create insights into your data based on the results it finds. For example, you have data on chocolate bars sold in a lot of areas, you notice that one area has had a massive dip in sales compared to last year. You just search the name of the area and chocolate bar sales, ThoughtSpots algorithm will find insights into the reason why then display it visually. They charge on a consumption-based model.

6. Qlik

Qlik has some very special tools in its arsenal. Mainly the ability to take raw data and derive insights from it. Furthermore, it then converts these insights into an easy-to-understand visual format.

They also allow their users to integrate languages like R, this allows for greater control over data analysis, although only their technically proficient clients can truly take advantage of this.

Their prices are quite reasonable, $30 per user per month. Billed annually.

7. Oracle BI

It is a proprietary software for business analytics and data visualization. They have a powerful tool that allows their clients to update their models using real-time data. Furthermore, their user interface is easy and versatile in its customizability. 

Oracle BI is very easy to integrate with other data sources, like excel or MatLab. All these features are topped off with their very convenient data report generating tool. It is not a free tool and does not have a free trial. It starts at $150 per month.

8. Zoho Analytics

They focus on a wide range of data services. Key among them is their Customer relationship Manager. This is a very well renowned tool of theirs, it can run off both locally and using cloud services. This allows their software suite to be used with exceptional versatility.

They are excellent at using a wide range of data integration applications. But key among it is allowing their clients to stream and analyze data using their applications. Their Basic package starts at $24 per 2 users per month.

9. SAS BI

They have a huge bank of analytical tools from their mature software suite. With their software suite’s versatility, you really would not need to explore any other data ecosystem. But they still allow for the integration of open-source tools like Python and R, which allows for further customizability and control.

Their tools can be customized out of the box based on a client’s data stream requirements. This helps small businesses remain efficient without having to move to data visualization tools that are priced and designed for larger firms. It starts at $8000 per year.

10. Xplenty

They are a cloud-based data analytics firm. This means it requires a constant connection to their cloud for the software to work. But with that in mind, they do offer a lot of customizability and very easy data integration. Their data integration is so versatile that it can extract data from a webpage, this is possible due to its connection to their proprietary cloud service.

They have their bespoke console which can allow their clients to expand the capabilities of the software far beyond what the company provides. They consciously promote this modularity. Their pricing is based on per connection software usage.

11. Pentaho

They focus on a service called multi-cloud. This allows their clients to store, stream and analyze data from multiple cloud data infrastructures. Although their User Interface is not the easiest to use, it is extremely powerful. They enable their clients to change data architectures on the fly. This helps in visualizing data insights from the foundational level. 

It would take weeks to transform data architecture and its pipelines can be done extremely quickly. This allows the clients to transform their data through several different filters. Potentially giving them greater insight than possible.

Whatever data visualization tool you use, make sure it is appropriate for your use. Otherwise, it will become a major bottleneck in your operations.

References and Further Reading

https://www.tableau.com/

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/

https://www.hitachivantara.com/en-us/products/data-management-analytics/pentaho.html

https://www.xplenty.com/is/

https://www.capterra.com/p/127/SAS-Business-Intelligence/

https://financesonline.com/business-intelligence-sas/

https://www.zoho.com/analytics/

https://www.oracle.com/business-analytics/business-intelligence/technologies/bi.html

https://datastudio.google.com/navigation/reporting

Emidio Amadebai

As an IT Engineer, who is passionate about learning and sharing. I have worked and learned quite a bit from Data Engineers, Data Analysts, Business Analysts, and Key Decision Makers almost for the past 5 years. Interested in learning more about Data Science and How to leverage it for better decision-making in my business and hopefully help you do the same in yours.

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