Best data visualization tools of 2018

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Best data visualization tools

1. Sisense

2. Adaptive Discovery

3. Visme

4. TapClicks

5. Grow

Read on for our detailed analysis of each tool

Data is an invaluable resource, but managing it is a tricky task for many businesses. Some larger companies have teams in place to conduct data analysis, but not every every firm has the means and money to do this - that's where data visualization tools become extremely useful.

With the right infrastructure in place, it’s possible to use big data to streamline business operations, improve internal efficiencies and perhaps most important of all, better understand your customers. 

Read more: Logitech MX Craft

Data visualization software is an excellent way to manage, present and make sense of complex business data. There are a ton of great tools out there that’ll help you prepare, analyse and visualize it all – and they’re suited for a variety of industries and uses. On this page, we've rounded up six of the best for your business.

Sisense

1. Sisense

Highly customizable data analysis software

Platforms: Web, mobile | Resources covered: Data analysis, reporting and insights | Cloud-based: Yes | Integrations: Third-party plugins and Javascript capabilities | Free trial: 14-day

Tools for all areas of data analysis
Customizable and flexible
Requires a degree of knowledge

Sisense is a really good option if you’re looking to identify data sources and integrate them into all your business operations. It’ll let you prepare, analyze and visualize every bit of data your company generates. This is an end-to-end solution and can maintain growing datasets coming from a variety of areas of your business.

Data is brought to life through a series of interactive dashboards built into the system. With these, you can explore data from almost any angle and granularity – letting you gather valuable insights quickly. The unique thing about this software is that it’s highly flexible, allowing you to beef it up with third-party plugins, and add customizations through JavaScript APIs.

Adaptive Discovery

2. Adaptive Discovery

A package which boasts advanced intelligence capabilities

Platforms: Web | Resources covered: Data analysis, reporting, dashboards and insights | Cloud-based: No | Integrations: None | Free trial: 30-day

Useful dashboards
Reporting and insight tools
No integrations
No customization features

Like the previous product Sisense, Adaptive Discovery provides you with a number of dashboards to keep on top of all the data your company creates. It offers a variety of data visualization techniques, including waterfall, funnel, dial, histogram, radar and charts. 

The system also comes with advanced intelligence built in, capable of delivering analysis based on your company forecast and budget. This is handy if you want to avoid having to work out complex equations and formulas yourself – just let the software handle everything.

There’s a big emphasis on reporting too. Not only does the software provide you with a complete overview of your data and finances, but it also gives you exception and variance reporting, period-on-period averages, linear regressions, trends and control charts.

Visme

3. Visme

A good option for those who don’t need in-depth analysis

Platforms: Web, mobile | Resources covered: Data visualizations | Cloud-based: No | Integrations: None | Free trial: Free option

Wide selection of visualizations
It’s cheap
No element of analysis

As a business owner or professional, you probably find yourself creating presentations containing various visual elements for important meetings, or maybe just personal reference. And while you can create graphs and tables within software like Microsoft Office, there are tools made specifically for this purpose. 

Visme is a good example. It lets you turn your business content and data into engaging presentations, infographics, charts, widgets and videos. And what’s great is that if you’re not happy with a stock template, you have the option to edit it to your tastes and needs.

There are a ton of templates available, catering for areas such as business, health, education, science, marketing and non-profit. You also have the ability to make your graphics interactive by adding buttons and links, and they can be turned into files and published online. Furthermore, there’s the option to work individually or as a team with the software, too.

TapClicks

4. TapClicks

Data visualization for marketers

Platforms: Web, mobile | Resources covered: Data reporting, dashboard setup, data export | Cloud-based: Yes | Integrations: Google Drive, Dropbox, Buffer, Google Analytics, YouTube | Free trial: 14-day

Varied capabilities for marketers
Wide range of integrations
Focused on marketers
Lack of filtered viewing

If there’s one area that creates a lot of data within businesses, it’s marketing. Digital marketing campaigns are all about spotting customer trends, and without the right software, you can easily end up missing out on big opportunities.

TapClicks aims to change this. It’s a digital marketing and analytics platform targeted mainly at media companies, digital agencies and enterprises. The software offers a central, unified dashboard where you can keep up-to-date with all your marketing data. You also get access to a library full of pre-made visualizations and widgets, so you can tweak the system to suit your needs better.

Data is useless if you can’t do anything with it. Using TapClicks, you can export to email, Word, Excel and PDF to share with colleagues and engage in further analysis. There are some useful integrations too; you have the ability to transfer data from popular cloud services such as Google Drive and Dropbox.

Grow

5. Grow

Data analysis for larger organizations with multiple teams

Platforms: Web, mobile | Resources covered: Data reporting and dashboards | Cloud-based: Yes | Integrations: Shopify, Facebook, Trello, Google Analytics, Dropbox | Free trial: 30-day

Team-based approach
A ton of integrations
More suited for larger firms
No fixed prices

Most data visualization services offer dashboards, and that’s also the case with Grow. They’ve been built to combine data from hundreds of sources, including databases, spreadsheets and SaaS applications.

It’s possible to implement dashboards for every department or team in your organization, and use the information gleaned to implement new team objectives and strategic aims. Grow is a good option for bigger companies with a number of teams or departments, and rather handily you can try out a free demo before making the final decision to buy.

IBM Watson Analytics

6. IBM Watson Analytics

Big Blue does analytics

Platforms: Web | Resources covered: Data reporting and dashboards | Cloud-based: Yes | Integrations: PayPal, Twitter, Facebook, SurveyMonkey, OneDrive | Free trial: Yes

Supports natural language queries
Enables predictive analysis
Choice of dashboard templates
Doesn't handle streaming data in real-time

IBM brings its technical expertise to the data visualization space with its Watson Analytics offering. While certainly useful for database experts, Watson Analytics is equally approachable for neophytes with its integration of natural language queries, which simplifies the approach to “enable you to interact with data conversationally.” The major limitation is that it does not analyze the data in real-time.

There is a free tier to try, although it is limited to a single user with just 1MB of data – not much to go on. More realistically, the paid tier starts at $30 (£23) per month for a single user, and increases to $80 (£60) per month per user, for multiple users.