39 Data Visualization Tools for Big Data

Big Data is more valuable when visualized and analyzed

Data visualizations are everywhere and are more important than ever. From creating a visual representation of data points as part of an executive presentation, to showcasing progress, or even visualizing concepts for customer segments, data visualizations are a critical and valuable tool in many different situations. When it comes to big data, weak tools with basic features don’t cut it. The following 39 data visualization tools for big data (listed in no particular order) are some of the best, most comprehensive, sophisticated-yet-flexible visualization tools available.

Many of these tools are Open-Source, free applications that can be used in conjunction with one another or with your existing design applications, using JavaScript, JSON, SVG, Python, HTML5 or drag-and-drop functionality that requires no programming at all. Others are comprehensive business intelligence platforms capable of sophisticated data analysis and reporting, complete with a multitude of ways to visualize your data. Whether you need to analyze data and determine the best ways to present it to clients or partners, or you have a visual layout in mind and need to bring your concept to life — there’s a tool on this list that will suit your needs.

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1. Polymaps
polymaps

Need to display complex data sets over maps? Polymaps is a free JavaScript library and a joint project from SimpleGeo and Stamen. This complex map overlay tool can load data at a range of scales, offering multi-zoom functionality at levels ranging from country, all the way down to street view.

Key Features: 

  • Uses Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG)
  • Shows data at country, state, city, neighborhood and street views
  • Basic CSS rules control design
  • Imagery in spherical mercator tile format

Cost: FREE

2. NodeBox // @Nodebox
nodebox

A family of open-source tools developed by the Experimental Media Research Group, NodeBox offers capabilities ranging from a cross-platform graphics library to a Mac app that creates 2D visuals coded with Python.

Key Features: 

  • Integrates with standard design applications
  • Cross-platform, node-based GUI
  • NodeBox1 – Mac app for Python-coded, 2D visuals
  • Import data in a variety of formats, including Excel
  • Animation-capable
  • Build generative designs with minimal programming skills

Cost: FREE

3. Flot
flot

A JavaScript plotting library for jQuery, Flot is a browser-based application compatible with most common browsers, including Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera. Flot supports a variety of visualization options for data points, interactive charts, stacked charts, panning and zooming, and other capabilities through a variety of plugins for specific functionality.

Key Features: 

  • Supports lines, plots, filled areas in any combination
  • Use combinations of display elements in the same data series
  • Plot categories and textual data
  • Add HTML with standard DOM manipulation
  • Produce interactive visualizations with a toggling series
  • Direct canvas access for drawing custom shapes

Cost: FREE

4. Processing // @ProcessingOrg
processing

Processing was originally created as a means to teach computer fundamentals in a visual context, but is now used by students, designers, researchers, artists, and hobbyists to create learning modules and prototypes for actual production. Users can create simple or complex images, animations, and interactions.

Key Features: 

  • 2D, 3D, and PDF output
  • Interactive programs
  • Open GL integration
  • More than 100 libraries for add-on functionality
  • Create interactions, textures, motion, and animation

Cost: FREE

5. Processingjs
processingjs

The sister site of Processing, Processing.js is the tool you need to transition your complex data visualizations, graphics, charts, and other visuals to a viable web format without any extensions or plugins. That means you can write code using the standard Processing language and insert it into your website, while Processing.js makes it functional without additional coding requirements.

Key Features: 

  • Allows Processing code to be run by any HTML5 browser
  • Integrate animated and interactive visualizations into any web page
  • No major additional coding necessary

Cost: FREE

6. Tangle
tangle

Tangle is a JavaScript library and tool that takes visualizations beyond the visual, allowing designers and developers to create reactive programs that provide a deeper understanding of data relationships. For example, a web-based conversion calculator that converts currency or measurements.

Key Features: 

  • Allow readers to change parameters
  • Based on defining variables, formats, and classes
  • Create charts, graphs, and other data visualizations using Tangle classes
  • Capable of creating dynamic displays
  • Build controls and views using multiple variables simultaneously

Cost: FREE

7. D3.js
d3js

A JavaScript library for creating data visualizations with an emphasis on web standards. Using HTML, SVG, and CSS, bring documents to life with a data-driven approach to DOM manipulation, all with the full capabilities of modern browsers and no constraints of proprietary frameworks.

Key Features: 

  • Bind arbitrary data to DOM
  • Create interactive SVG bar charts
  • Generate HTML tables from data sets
  • Variety of components and plugins to enhance capabilities
  • Built-in reusable components for ease of coding

Cost: FREE

8. FF Chartwell // @FontFont
ffchartwell


FF Chartwell transitions simple strings of numbers into editable data visualizations for further customization using OpenType features. It’s an extension that can be used with a standard design suite, such as Adobe Creative Suite, to simplify the process of designing charts and graphs.

Key Features: 

  • Use simple data strings to generate charts and graphs
  • Useful for creating components of a larger infographic
  • No-code functionality saves time
  • Integrates with design applications
  • Multiple types of visualizations

Cost: 

  • All 7 weights – $119
  • Individual weights – $25 each (bars, vertical, lines, pies, radar, rings, rose)

9. Google Maps // @GoogleMaps
googlemap

Google Maps offers several APIs for developers, such as Google Earth, Google Maps Images, and Google Places. These tools enable developers to build interactive visual mapping programs for any application or website.

Key Features: 

  • Embed maps into web pages
  • Pull data about establishments, places of interest, and other locations
  • Enable web visitors to utilize Google Earth within the constraints of your site

Cost: Contact for a quote

10. SAS Visual Analytics // @SASsoftware
sas

SAS Visual Analytics is a tool for exploring data sets of all sizes visually for more comprehensive analytics. With an intuitive platform and automatic forecasting tools, SAS Visual Analytics allows even non-technical users to explore the deeper relationships behind data and uncover hidden opportunities.

Key Features: 

  • Deploy on-premise or in a public or private cloud
  • Drag-and-drop auto-charting chooses the best layout for data
  • Pop-up boxes identify potentially important correlations
  • Scenario analysis enables predictions based on variable changes
  • Save views as reports, images or SAS mobile apps
  • Create web-based, interactive reports
  • Easy integration of action elements for users to manipulate data

Cost: 

  • Free demo with full features (no ability to save reports between sessions)
  • Call for a quote

11. Raphael 
raphael

A JavaScript library for creating vector graphics on the web, Raphael uses SVG and VML so that every graphic created is also a DOM object. Raphael’s goal is to enable vector graphics creation with cross-browser compatibility.

Key Features: 

  • Include Raphael.js functionality in a web page
  • Create a variety of charts, graphs and other data visualizations
  • Multi-chart capabilities

Cost: FREE

12. Inkscape // @Inkscape
inkscape

Inkscape offers functionality similar to that of more expensive applications, such as Corel Draw and Illustrator, yet it’s an Open Source editor for vector graphics. Inkscape supports many advanced SVG features for ease of use and encourages developer collaboration in a community environment.

Key Features: 

  • Handles complex graphic tasks similar to standard software
  • Native SVG format
  • Create website mockups
  • Bitmap import and display capabilities
  • Files stored as vector graphics

Cost: FREE

13. Leaflet // @LeadletJS
leaflet

An Open-Source JavaScript library, Leaflet is a tool for creating mobile-friendly, interactive maps. Developed by Vladimir Agafonkin and a team of contributors, Leaflet was designed with the goals of simplicity, performance and usability.

Key Features: 

  • Works on all major desktop and mobile browsers
  • Various plugins for extended capabilities
  • Incorporate interactive features
  • Multiple available map layers
  • CSS3 features for streamlined user interaction
  • Eliminates tap delay on mobile devices

Cost: FREE

14. Crossfilter
crossfilter

Exploring large multivariate data sets in a browser is made possible by Crossfilter, a JavaScript library that’s capable of handling data sets with more than a million records. Crossfilter uses semantic versioning and creates data visualizations easily using values, objects, and other components and commands for customization. It was actually built to power analytics for Square Register to enable merchants to manipulate sales and purchase data.

Key Features: 

  • Uses semantic versioning
  • Explore large multivariate datasets
  • Fast incremental filtering and reducing
  • Improves performance of live histograms

Cost: FREE

15. Open Layers 3
openlayers

Insert a dynamic map on any web page with OpenLayers. It implements a JavaScript API for building web-based geographic applications and works in most modern web browsers with no server-side dependencies. It’s an open-source software which incorporates the most recent HTML5 and CSS features and enhance 3D capabilities.

Key Features: 

  • Works in most modern web browsers (tiled and vector layers)
  • No server-side dependencies
  • Creates customizable embeddable, dynamic maps
  • Functional zoom, geo-location and dozens of other functions
  • Out of box mobile support

Cost: FREE

16. Kartograph
kartograph

 

A Python library and JavaScript library in one, Kartograph caters to developers who want to create Illustrator-friendly SVG maps and interactive maps that will work across all major browsers.

Key Features:

  • Two libraries: Python and JavaScript
  • Kartograph.js creates interactive maps in minutes
  • Stand-alone; no server required
  • Kartograph.py creates compact SVGs using Visvalingam simplification
  • Layer data sets on maps for multi-layer visualization

Cost: FREE

17. Microsoft Excel
excel

Microsoft Excel is widely noted for its data manipulation and analysis capabilities, but it’s often used to create powerful data visualizations. The latest edition of Excel is packed with visualization tools, including recommended charts, quick analysis of the different ways to display your data, and a multitude of control options to change the look and layout of your visualizations.

Key Features: 

  • Perform data analysis and create visualizations in the same program
  • Compare various ways to represent your data
  • Change tile, layout and other format options
  • Excel recommends the best visualization for your data
  • Compatible with Microsoft Office products

Cost: 

  • Office 365 Home – $99.99 per year or $9.99 per month
  • Office 365 Personal – $69.99 per year or $6.99 per month
  • Office Home & Student 2016 – $149.00 one time purchase
  • Office 365 Business Essentials – $5 per user per month (with an annual commitment)
  • Office 365 Business – $8.25 per user per month (with an annual commitment)
  • Office 365 Business Premium – $12.50 per user per month (with an annual commitment)

 18. Modest Maps
modestmaps

A free and extensible library for developers who want to incorporate interactive maps into their applications, Modest Maps is a collaborative project by Stamen, Bloom, and MapBox.

Key Features: 

  • Used as the foundation for building mapping tools
  • Used with several extensions, such as MapBox.js, HTMAPL, and Easey
  • Designed to provide basic controls

Cost: FREE

19. CartoDB
cartodb

Visualize hundreds to millions of data points with CartoDB, which allows you to upload data and visualize it within minutes. It also has a geospatial analysis feature to explore, refine, and obtain insights from your data.

Key Features: 

  • Explore data and get insights
  • Edit data directly on maps
  • Compatible with PostGIS for more powerful analysis
  • CartoCSS for advanced styling
  • Supports raster and vector data

Cost: 

  • Free –  With unlimited datasets/mapviews, 4 layers, 250MB of vector data, 10,000 tweets per month
  • Basic – $149 per month with unlimited datasets/mapviews, 5 layers, 500MB of vector data, 100,000 tweets per month, Sync tables, Private maps, Removable brand
  • Pro – $499 per month with unlimited datasets/mapviews, 6 layers, 1.5GB of vector data, 250,000 tweets per month, Sync tables, Private maps, Removable brand
  • Enterprise – $825 per month with unlimited datasets/mapviews,  +6 layers, starting at 5GB of vector data, 250,000 tweets per month, Sync tables, Private maps, Removable brand, Teams

20. Google Charts
googlecharts

Google Charts offers a variety of data visualization formats, ranging from simple scatter plots to hierarchical treemaps. Visualizations are fully customizable, and you can connect to your data in real time through dynamic data.

Key Features: 

  • Take advantage of the same charts Google uses
  • Assemble multiple charts into intuitive dashboards
  • Cross-browser compatibility
  • Cross-platform portability (iOS and Android devices)
  • Choose from a variety of charts

Cost: FREE

21. Gephi // @Gephi
gephi

Gephi is an Open-Source application that runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. The platform allows users to both visualize and explore data, including complex analysis of links, social networks, and more for a greater understanding of data relationships.

Key Features: 

  • Plugins for greater customization
  • Deep data analysis to examine relationships
  • Built-in 3D rendering engine
  • Real-time visualization
  • Dynamic filtering
  • Intuitive interface with built-in workflow organization

Cost: FREE

22. Flare
flare

An ActionScript library for creating data visualizations that runs in Adobe Flash Player, Flare is an Open-Source application that’s been used by several well-known organizations and publishers to create powerful visualizations, including Slate, the IBM Visual Communication Lab, and ABC News.

Key Features: 

  • Capable of complex, interactive graphics
  • Supports data management, visual encoding, animation and interaction
  • Variety of visualization formats from timelines to multi-layer graphs illustrating relationships

Cost: FREE

23. Envision.js
envisionjs

Create fast and interactive HTML5 visualizations with Envision.js, a library capable of displaying real-time data, time series, finance visualizations, AJAX-driven financial charts, and custom visualizations, including fractals.

Key Features: 

  • Built-in templates for various charts and graphs
  • Incorporate visualizations, interactions and components for customization
  • Custom flotr chart types

Cost: FREE

24. Miso
miso

An Open-Source tool in development, Miso incorporates datasets, storyboards and d3.charts for interactive storytelling and data visualization. Miso is a joint project between The Guardian and Bocoup, with support from GlobalDevelopment and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Key Features: 

  • High quality interactive storytelling
  • Data visualization content
  • JavaScript client-side data management and transformation library
  • Create reusable charts with D3.js

Cost: FREE

25. The R Project
rproject

The R Project for Statistical Computing runs on UNIX, Windows, and Mac OS. Designed for statistical computing and graphics, it’s considered a different implementation of S and contains some native S code that remains unaltered within R, although there are some significant differences.

Key Features: 

  • Data manipulation, calculation, and graphical display
  • Integrated tools for instant analysis
  • Conditions, loops, user-defined recursive functions, and input/output facilities
  • Define new functions for increased capabilities

Cost: FREE

26. Tableau Public // @Tableu
tableau

Tableau is an simple and user friendly tool to create interactive data visualizations quickly and embed them on your website. Designed to be used by developers and non-developers alike, Tableau is used by bloggers, journalists, researchers, advocates, professors, and students.

Key Features: 

  • Once online, others can download and manipulate visualizations
  • Desktop application but completed graphics are stored on a public server
  • Store up to 50MB of data (with free plan)
  • Drag-and-drop interface; no programming skills required

Cost: 

  • Public Edition – Free
  • Personal Edition – $999 per user
  • Professional Edition – $1,999 per user

27. Timeline JS // @knightlab
timeline

Build interactive timelines in 40 different languages with Timeline JS, an Open-Source tool capable of pulling in media from multiple sources. With built-in support for Twitter, Flickr, Google Maps, YouTube, Vine, and other applications, Timeline JS has a plethora of functionality — which can be extended further by those with JSON capabilities for custom installations.

Key Features: 

  • Build timelines using Google Spreadsheet data
  • Upload a spreadsheet and generate an embed code
  • Embed audio and video in timelines from 3rd-party apps
  • WordPress plugin
  • Feed data from a database with JSON

Cost: FREE

28. Quadrigram //@quadrigam
quadrigram

Quadrigram enables users to create customized visualizations using their own data and various components from a built-in library of everything from charts and graphs to quadrification and stacked flow. Based on a Visual Programming Language (VPL), Quadrigram is capable of pulling in multiple data sources to create endless variations of prototypes and data visualizations.

Key Features: 

  • Complete library of interactive visualizations
  • Build animations, dashboards, and more
  • Sketch ideas and create rapid prototypes
  • Cloud-based computing for quick data processing
  • Server-side integration of R and Gephi
  • Leverage multiple publicly-available datasets

Cost (prices converted from Euros): 

  • Academic – $6.43 per month (1 user, 100MB storage)
  • Personal – $20.38 per month (1 user, 3GB storage)
  • Professional – $63.27 per month (3 users, 10GB storage)
  • Workgroup – $267.02 per month (20 users, 100GB)
  • Enterprise – Contact for a quote

29. Prefuse
prefuse

Prefuse is a data visualization tool, used by the IBM Visual Communication Lab to create visualizations for its Many Eyes tool. The Prefuse toolkit provides a visualization framework for JavaScript, while the Prefuse Flare toolkit offers visualization and automation tools for ActionScript and Adobe Flash Player.

Key Features: 

  • Data modeling, interaction, and visualization
  • Optimized data structures for a variety of visual layouts
  • Supports animation, dynamic search, and database connectivity
  • Uses Java 2D graphics library

Cost: FREE

30. Many Eyes
manyeyes

Many Eyes is an experiment created by IBM Research and IBM Cognos Software Group. The tool provides a platform for creating a variety of visualizations to illustrate data point relationships, compare sets of values, create line and stack graphs, analyze text, or view the various parts of a whole in a pie chart or treemap.

Key Features: 

  • Multiple ways to display data
  • Upload data sets for public use
  • Displays data using Java and Flash
  • Collect feedback through user ratings
  • Full control to delete your data sets and visualizations
  • Use existing data sets from other users or use your own

Cost: FREE

31. Cytoscape // @Cytoscape
cytoscape

Visualize complex networks and integrate with all types of attribute data with Cytoscape. With special features for specific areas of analysis, such as bioinformatics, semantic web, and social network analysis, Cytoscape is full of features to create fascinating graphical representations of data relationships.

Key Features: 

  • Apps for problem domains
  • Advanced analysis and modeling using apps
  • Visualize human-curated pathway datasets
  • Visualize social networks for interpersonal relationships
  • Use in combination with other tools (e.g. R, NetworkX)

Cost: FREE

32. NetworkX
networkx

NetworkX is based on the Python programming language, capable of creating graphs, digraphs, and multigraphs based on data sets comprised of multiple media formats. Python is a multi-platform language for creating more cross-compatible data visualizations.

Key Features: 

  • Study the structure, dynamics, and functions of complex networks
  • Nodes can contain any media type, such as images and XML
  • Edges capable of holding arbitrary data, such as weights or a time-series
  • Generators for various graph types, including classic graphs, random graphs, and synthetic networks

Cost: FREE

33. Arbor.js
arborjs

Arbor is built with web workers and jQuery, creating a data visualization tool for use with canvas, SVG, or positioned HTML elements. Arbor is designed to help developers create code that emphasizes the uniqueness of their data sets, rather than the physics required for various layouts.

Key Features: 

  • Capable of handling real-time color and value tweens
  • Force-directed layout album plus abstractions
  • Actual screen-drawing is up to the user

Cost: FREE

34. iCharts // @iCharts
icharts2

iCharts is a web-based application capable of producing compelling data visualizations for the web. This cloud native app tool is “the only data visualization platform built from the ground up for enterprise cloud apps.” Incorporate charts and graphs into a website/application or distribute completed visualizations through social media or the iCharts ChartChannel.

Key Features:

  • Brand visualizations with your company’s logo
  • Add tags and descriptions for better discovery
  • Enable 3rd-party sites to re-embed visualizations to expand reach
  • Data is real-time
  • Create interactive, explorable charts
  • Activate custom forms for lead generation
  • Analytics reports on chart views, shares, and embeds

Cost: 

  • Basic – Free (public charts only)
  • Netsuite Visual Reporting and Analytics – $64.95 per user, per month
  • Salesforce Visual Reporting and Analytics – Contact for beta access

35. Databoard
databoard

A tool from Google, Databoard is a part of their Think platform, geared to business owners. Explore insights directly from Google research studies to find data quickly, and create custom infographics to embed in your website or share on your social networks.

Key Features: 

  • Explore Google research studies for data
  • Instantly generate graphic components
  • Build custom graphics by incorporating multiple components
  • Focused primarily on mobile data

Cost: FREE

36. Q Research Software // @qstatistics
qresearch

A powerful database for both research and data visualizations, Q Research Software is a tool for preparing market research reports that are full of valuable insights and visualizations. Export to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint in graphic format, CSV files, and PDFs and choose from dozens of tools/components for customized visualizations.

Key Features: 

  • Editable Office graphics
  • Multiple chart types (line, bubble, pie, column, etc.)
  • Histograms and scatter plots
  • Update tables with real-time data
  • Create variables, apply filters, and perform statistical testing
  • Powerful analytics including correspondence analysis, logit, latent class analysis, regression, max-diff, random parameters, Kruskal, Shapley, TURF, etc.

Cost: 

  • Free 30-day trial
  • Standard License – $1,499 per year (all features)
  • Transferable License – $4,497 per year (install on multiple computers)

37. Dapresy // @dapresy
dapresy

Designed for research analysts, Dapresy allows users to build infographics for slides and dashboards with a drag-and-drop interface that’s easy to use. Dapresy is a comprehensive platform that handles the entire reporting process from data analysis to visually appealing presentation tools and dashboards.

Key Features: 

  • Simply import fieldwork and Dapresy handles the data processing
  • Charts, tables, cross-tabulations, comprehensive statistical analysis
  • Build dynamic elements for marketing dashboards
  • Pack data from a 200-slide presentation into a few dynamic Dapresy slides
  • Idea Box for inspiration

Cost: Contact for a quote

38. Visualize Free
visualize3

Based on the commercial visualization tool InetSoft, Visualize Free is a cost-free alternative that allows you to sift through multiple data sets and variants to identify trends and manipulate data, with a few simple clicks.

Key Features: 

  • Upload your data in Excel or CSV formats
  • Drag-and-drop components to build visualizations
  • Sandboxes for data analysis
  • Share publicly or privately

Cost: FREE

39. Jolicharts // @Jolicharts
jolicharts

Embed charts and graphs into your applications with Jolicharts, which is compatible with multiple data sources and can handle the complexity of connecting multiple sources. With integrated elastic calculation capabilities, Jolicharts can handle big data with ease.

Key Features: 

  • Drag-and-drop interface to create stunning dashboards
  • Export dashboards to XLS, PDF, or JPG formats
  • Filter to securely separate user data
  • REST-based API for compatibility with any application
  • Cloud-based application keeps your data and visualizations accessible
  • HTML5 dashboards for accessing data from any device

Cost (prices converted from Euros): 

  • Forever Free Plan – Free (50MB of data storage, single user, unlimited presentations, 1 datasource per presentation)
  • Pro – $31.13 per month (10GB of data storage, up to five users, unlimited presentations/datasources)
  • Enterprise – $74.06 per month (250GB of data storage, unlimited users/presentations/datasources)

That wraps up our list of our favourite data visualization tools for big data. If you like this post, also consider reading our Top 49 Tools For The Internet of Things.

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