However, before we get to the top 5 data visualization tools of 2021, let us understand, what really is data visualization?
Unlike olden days, the world currently is dealing with enormous amounts of data where the need for visualization cannot be ignored. Data visualization visually depicts information to aid the viewer’s understanding of that data. Data visualization, earlier, was only about the tools of Microsoft Office Suites that let you make Pie Charts, bar charts, and perhaps some diagrams or presentations. In the present day, however, the visualization has taken the leap of patterns, trends, dashboards, charts, etc.
This data visualization becomes rather easy and more on-point with the help of data visualization tools. This is so because such tools further negate the need for manual labor and save you the time/efforts by systematically and automatically creating impactful visualizations.
What are Data Visualisation tools?
As for the data visualization tools, the market is equipped with tools on the lower end as well as the higher end. The data visualtisation tools at the lower ends are those that are solely dedicated to building infographics. Examples of lower end data visualisation tools include Tableau, Gallery, and Microsoft Power Business Intelligence. Such tools, however, do not perform any sophisticated analytics or data performance.
The other data visualtisation tools in question, tools of the higher end, as you may have guessed, are the big data visualisation tools that can generate visualizations as well as perform sophisticated algorithms.
However, for his list here, we have reviewed some medium to high-range data visualization tools. These tools do not present real-time data as all high-end data visualisation tools, yet, are capable of producing visuals on the basis of advanced analytics outputs. These tools can also perform the said sophisticated queries without having one to understand Structured Query Language (SQL) coding. The analytics of the following tools range from geographical mapping, heat maps, spider maps, sparklines, etc.
Here Are The 5 Best Data Visualization Tools of 2021-
1. Microsoft Power BI-
Three versions of this top data visualisation tool are available to users. The desktop version is offered as a free data visualisation tool, Pro @ $9.99/ month; premium @ $4,995 a month per dedicated cloud compute and storage resource
An impressively built big data visualisation tool, Power BI is a Business Intelligence and Data Visualization tool that offers some premium, top-notch data visualization capability. With Power BI, you can convert data from a number of data sources into interactive dashboards and reports. Needless to say, it is highly compatible with all other MS Office solutions, and also offers several other software connectors and services.
Pros of Power BI include-
- Managing of reports through SaaS solutions
- Real-time dashboard updates
- Reliable, fool-proof, secure connection to data sources
- Data exploration via natural language query
- Breeze to use
- Supreme data visualization capability
Cons of Power BI include-
- Different versions for desktop and web use that cause a divide
- Limited refresh cycle option for the free version
Three versions of Tablue data visualisation tool are offered as- Tableau Creator @ $70/user/month, Tableau Explorer @ $35/user/month, Tableau Viewer @ $12/user/month (inclusive of maintenance, upgrades, and support)
Tableau, another top data visualisation tool, can be connected to any database to create understandable visuals and thereby to share visualization with other collaborators. One of the most sophisticated tools in the market, Tableau might take some time to be completely understood. But once learned, it easily qualifies for one of the best out there.
Pros of Tableau include-
- Excellent processing engine
- Mature in the market with various community users already raving about it
- Offers multiple alternatives to secure data without scripting
- Can be integrated with more than 250 applications to solve all bid-data relates concerns
Cons of Tableau include-
- Requires much more training and understanding than most other tools
The pricing varies as per one’s needs. A quote can be requested on their website.
Sisense, an advanced data visulaosation tool, offers the simplification of even the most complex data from various sources. You can also use Sisense to have your data transformed into actionable applicable components or visualizations. Famous amongst experienced Business Intelligence users, using Sisense could get a tad bit complicated and frustrating for those new to BI.
Pros of Sisense include-
- Allows embedding of analytics with its customizable features
- Your work can be conveniently deployed to the cloud using Windows or Linux.
- Access rights to the users can be monitored, along with role-based security
- Easy data recovery
- Allows centralization of data
- Easy to use with drag and drop interface
- Data can also be exported toExcel, CSV, PDF, and other formats
Cons of Sisense-
- Limited natural language features
- Complex as a ‘self-service’ Business Intelligence tool
Pricing as of 2019 was @ $175/user/month for the professional plan and $250/user/month for the Enterprise plan. Since then, however, Domo removed the pricing details from their website and users now need to ‘Talk to Domo’ to determine the pricing
A cloud-based big data visualisation tool, Domo helps conduct extensive data analysis and to thereby create interactive visualization. With Domo, one can simplify the administration of data and also review important data as presented in the form of graphs and pie charts. Ideal for companies that already have a Business Intelligence experience, Domo also is equipped with tons of data connectors.
Pros of Domo include-
- Real-time view of data
- Compatibility; The visualization can be viewed on any device
- Allows you to set customized alerts
- Can be integrated with any software
- Automatically monitors data correlations and summaries
- Offers dashboard personalization and even customization of texts, images, colors
Cons of Domo include-
- Might take some time to be learned
- The UI is not intuitive and might feel unwelcoming to new users
5. Google Analytics-
Google Analytics 360 costs $150,000 dollars a year. However, it is also available as a free tool for data visualisation and analysis for marketers at small and medium-sized businesses!
Google’s analytical data visualization tool, Google Analytics, has been one of the favorites of people involved in Business Intelligence for two reasons- for one, the brand name Google, and second, it is a free data visualisation tool! Often reviewed to be a solid choice for actionable insights, it definitely is one of the bigger names in the world of web and app intelligence tools. The Google analytics dashboards let the user visualize data from your website or web app in the form of more comprehensive charts and tables.
Pros of Google Analytics include-
- Free, reliable, and secure
- Lets you track multiple websites in one dashboard
- Integrated with Google Ads
- An overall powerful platform for the web as well as mobile app analytics
Cons of Google Analytics include-
- Massive reliance on third-parties for training
- Massive (and potentially annoying) automation of customer support
Concluding Thoughts- What to Look For in Best Data Visualization Tools?
All said and done., having read through our list, one thing is for sure- not one data visualization tool might be able to offer everything you are looking for. Different data visualization tools offer different features for data interaction. And hence, you need to be careful about certain basic features and capabilities when picking out a data visualization tool for your organization. They are-
1. The options/choices in terms of visualization capabilities.
This can be best understood by comparing your already existing data and by opting for free trials of the data visualisation tools. A free trial will help you extensively experiment to ascertain what works best for you.
2. You also need to be aware of the kind of data formats your pick of query tools supports.
Look for data visualosation tools that offer formats beyond the basic formats of SQL and NoSQL databases. Ideally, your tool should support specific apps such as Oracle or SAP Financial and also other necessary sales tools like email marketing platforms and customer relationship management apps.
3. The tool’s capability in terms of drilling down on the source data.
You should ideally look for a data visualisation tool that can drill beyond the basic first-tier querying and can offer live data visualization. But again, this facet depends a lot on the kind of operations an organization has. For some, this feature might not be very appealing but for most, this could be an invaluable offering. This is because, with a data visualization tool, one would, most often than not, aim for integration of live, visual windows into your business. The live feature also accounts for compliance, regulatory and audit needs.
4. Exporting Capabilities.
The data visualizations would be not of much use if you are not permitted to export them to most file formats. Hence, look for a tool that can export your visualization not only to the basic flat graphic formats ( CVS, JPEG, PDF) but also, code snippets. This is because code snippets can be directly dropped on to web pages and also be incorporated in other apps via open application programming interfaces (APIs).
Top 5 Data Visualization Tools FAQs
1) What is the difference between data visualization and visual analytics?
Data analytics, as against Data Visualisation, goes a step beyond as it is to do with the identification and discovery of trends/patterns in the data. Data visualization, as discussed, is more about having the user make an easier sense of the data presented to them.
2) What will be good data visualization?
Ideally, a good visualization will be the one that can visually present even the most complex data in a comprehensive manner. A good visualization should also be able to help viewers understand not only the information but also the outcomes thereof.
3) What can tableau do that power bi Cannot?
Unlike Tableau, Power BI is limited with data visualizations to only 3500 data points. This restriction can often cause inconvenience when working with a large data set. Tableau, on the other hand, can manage data with more than 3500 data points seamlessly. Besides, Power BI also cannot group data. With Tableau, you do not need any prep work as it is equipped to group your data.