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Innovation 28 Mar 2016

10 data visualization tools

Having good information and reliable data is only the first step to achieving a presentation or story that attracts your audience’s attention. There are several online tools available today that enable us to visualize data more clearly and effectively than if we content ourselves with presenting them in a traditional way.

Although each tool has its own features, they generally work by importing the data, choosing the visualization options and then publishing it. Today we’re assured that all the best-known tools can be used without any knowledge of programming and that the graphics they produce are already optimized for mobile devices and can be shared instantly on the social networks. They also offer free versions and user communities to share tips and good practices for their use. Here are some of the recommended tools for data visualization:

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Tableau

This is one of the most popular free tools for visualizing data interactively. The graphs it creates are optimized to be viewed and to work well in cellphones, tablets and computers. Its website includes video tutorials and live sessions with Tableau experts to teach you to use the tool.

Datawrapper

Very popular and easy to use for interactive and responsive visualizations. It offers everything from classic bar charts, tables and maps through to more complex visualizations. It also allows you to customize the colors, fonts and other graphic elements to adapt the graph’s appearance to the website where you plan to insert.

Infogram

This is one of the most widely used by the media and educational sites. It has a selection of templates, icons and other elements that serve as support for the graphs, in which you can also insert images and videos.

Piktochart

The service specializes in the creation of infographs. It has a wide range of over 4,000 templates and elements for creating graphics, and a very attractive system of choosing and dragging elements to the templates. The photographs are ready for interactive presentation or to be downloaded in high resolution in .jpg, .png or PDF formats.

Google Fusion Tables

This is an experimental app from Google. Its interface may not be the most attractive, but it’s very powerful, as it is intended to handle colossal amounts of data. It also allows you to work collaboratively through Google Drive and visualize the data in Google Maps.

Chartblocks

Chartblocks specializes in creating graphics that are ready to share, in a simple way. It has an “Assistant” feature to select the most suitable data for each graph. The visualizations it creates are optimized in high quality for all screens and for high-res printing.

Thinglink

Thinglink is an interactive photo tool. It allows you to include all types of elements on a background image –such as videos, audio, text and links to other sites– to enrich and complement the information shown in the photo while you hover over it.

Google Maps

The tool we all use to find where we are also allows us to create our own maps with geo-localized information. Its many uses such as locating places of interest for particular themes, creating sightseeing routes or telling journalistic stories by pinpointing the geographic places being mentioned.

Dipity

Dipity is a tool for creating timelines. Its interface works well and is easy to use. It offers several visualizations for a timeline and can include links to expand the information included in it.

Canva

This is a very attractive platform with hundreds of graphic designs to create presentations. It includes an image bank, filters for photos, textures, effects, icons and fonts. It has an intuitive interface and is very focused on attractive design.

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