Finding software can be overwhelming. We've helped thousands of businesses choose the right data visualization software so they can explore data visually and create dashboards.

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Dundas BIFrontRunners 2020

Dundas BI, from Dundas Data Visualization, is a browser-based business intelligence and data visualization platform that includes integrated dashboards, reporting tools, and data analytics. It provides end users the ability to cre... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 18 recommendations

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Domo

Domo is the Business Cloud®, empowering organizations of all sizes with BI leverage at cloud scale in record time. With Domo, BI-critical processes that took weeks, months or more can now be done on the fly, in minutes or seconds,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 17 recommendations

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ClicDataFrontRunners 2020

ClicData is a business intelligence (BI) dashboard solution designed for use primarily by small and midsized businesses. The tool enables end users to create reports and dashboards. A drag-and-drop interface designed for ease... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 14 recommendations

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Infor Birst

Birst, an Infor Company, is a web-based networked BI and analytics solution that connects insights from various teams and helps in making informed decisions. The tool enables decentralized users to augment the enterprise data mode... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 7 recommendations

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Logi Analytics

Logi Analytics is a business intelligence (BI) platform that provides self-service analytics tools for businesses. It can be embedded directly into the applications that employees use every day. Key features include a dashboard, d... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 7 recommendations

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Yellowfin

Yellowfin, a business intelligence platform, is a single integrated solution developed for companies across varying industries and scaling sizes. This system is customizable to suit businesses in accounting, advertising, agri... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 7 recommendations

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GrowFrontRunners 2020

Grow is a cloud-based business analytics and reporting solution suitable for small to midsize organizations. The solution allows users to create customizable dashboards for monitoring business workflows and key activities. Gr... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 6 recommendations

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Phocas SoftwareFrontRunners 2020

Phocas is a cloud-based, SaaS company specializing in data analytics for manufacturing, distribution and retail industries. Phocas uses sector knowledge to consolidate essential business data from common ERP, CRM and AP/AR sy... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 4 recommendations

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SisenseFrontRunners 2020

Sisense is an agile business intelligence (BI) solution that provides advanced tools to manage and support business data with analytics, visuals and reporting. The solution allows businesses to analyze big and disparate datasets a... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations

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Keenlog Analytics

Keenlog Analytics provides intelligence to the SMB business and supports decision-makers with the necessary data visibility to control and take actions to meet their logistics’ financial and market goals. For your business yo... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

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Toucan Toco

Toucan Toco is a cloud-based data visualization solution designed to deliver data and insights to non-technical decision makers using visual data storytelling. With Toucan's application studio, businesses are able to create and di... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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Canva

Canva is a cloud-based graphic design tool used to create on-brand marketing content by enterprises of all sizes. This solution includes features such as drag-and-drop design and photo editing with access to custom fonts, frames, ... Read more

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Visio

Visio, a Microsoft 365 solution, is a diagramming tool that can be used by businesses of all sizes to create visual charts for team collaboration. With Visio, teams can connect diagrams and charts to real-time data and automate wo... Read more

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TableauFrontRunners 2020

Tableau is an integrated business intelligence (BI) and analytics solution that helps to analyze key business data and generate meaningful insights. The solution helps businesses to collect data from multiple source points such as... Read more

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Google Cloud Platform

Featuring G-Suite and GCP, Google Cloud is a platform that provides a reliable and easy-to-use set of solutions that can be used to tackle the toughest challenges in any type of industry. It provides secure storage options, integr... Read more

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Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI is a web-based business analytics and data visualization platform that is suitable for businesses of all sizes. It monitors important organizational data and also from all apps used by organizations. Microsoft P... Read more

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Google Charts

Google Charts is a cloud-based business intelligence solution designed to help teams visualize data on their websites in the form of pictographs, pie charts, histograms and more. Key features include content management, custom das... Read more

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Visme

Visme is a cloud-based platform, which helps agencies, non-profit organizations and marketers create and share infographics in real-time. The software allows teams to utilize customizable templates and content blocks to create pre... Read more

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Miro

Miro is a cloud-based collaboration tool for small to midsize businesses. The solution features a digital whiteboard that can be used for research, ideation, building customer journeys and user story maps, wireframing and a range ... Read more

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Minitab

Minitab is a cloud-based statistical tool designed to help small to large organizations across various verticals such as manufacturing, healthcare, energy, automotive or non-profit discover market trends, predict patterns and visu... Read more

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Buyers guide


Last Updated: June 13, 2021

Data visualization software helps companies make sense of their vast data stores by providing graphical representations of key information. These tools make it easy for ordinary, non-IT users to quickly view data in an easy-to-understand format and assess it so they can make better, more informed decisions. Data visualization solutions are particularly helpful for illustrating data that can be presented with executives or clients who want to quickly understand important insights and trends without having to perform deep data dives themselves.

Many data visualization tools also offer the ability to download, share and embed visualizations, which gives organizations a way to provide internal and external parties greater visibility into performance.

There are a wide range of data visualization solutions on the market available to buyers. We've created this guide to help you better understand what data visualization solutions are, the benefits they can offer your organization and what important considerations to keep in mind when selecting a system to purchase.

Here's what we'll cover:

What Is Data Visualization Software?
Common Features of Data Visualization Software
Benefits of Data Visualization Software
Key Considerations for Buyers
Pricing: Web-Based vs. On-Premise

What Is Data Visualization Software?

Data visualization software processes information from an organization's databases and presents it in graphical form. These visualizations range from simple charts and graphs to complex flow charts and geographical maps. Many of these visualizations are interactive, allowing users to adjust certain settings and see the impact in real-time.

Data Visualization Software from Tableau

 

Geographical data mapping using Tableau

Features of Data Visualization Software

The breadth and depth of data visualization tools will vary depending on the type of solution. A simple stand-alone data visualization tool, for example, will likely offer fewer and less robust features than a tool that is part of a fully integrated business intelligence solution that includes multiple other applications for data reporting, predictive analytics, data mining, and so on. Regardless, most data visualization software usually offers some or all of the following functionality:

Basic visualizations A variety of visuals and chart types to choose from (e.g., infographics, heat maps, fever charts).

Interactive capabilities E.g., drag-and-drop, drill-down functionality.
Data/event alerts Alerts to let users know when data is updated or certain events occur.

Data visualization sharing The ability to share visualizations with both internal and external parties.

Import/export  The ability to import Excel and other data files and export visualizations into different formats and embed them into web pages. 

Benefits of Data Visualization Software

Data visualizations enable users to more readily analyze information, gain insights and discover trends. This makes users more efficient because they spend more time asking questions and getting answers, and less time interpreting numbers and creating graphics.

Here are a few ways that data visualization software can assist users in gaining insights from their data:

Geographical maps. Mapping data can help users discover geographical trends that may have gone unnoticed in traditionally analyzed data sets. Users can utilize these visualizations to pinpoint geographic strengths and weaknesses and find ways to address them.

Heat maps. Heat maps are 2D data visualizations that use colors to represent different values in order to provide users with a quick and easy way to understand how these values are performing relative to one another. They are similar in nature to fractal maps and tree maps, all of which use different colors to represent a hierarchy of variables. They can be particularly helpful when analyzing how users interact with web pages. For example, a heat map that analyzes web page engagement might show areas of the page that users spent the most time on in colors such as red, orange and yellow, while the areas of the page that had less user interaction with might appear in blue, green and purple shades.

Timelines. Plotting data in a time series is a common way for businesses to track success. With data visualization software, users can constantly adjust parameters to adjust both the metrics considered (e.g., revenue, profit or margins) as well as the relevant timeframe.

Workflow representations. These visualizations allow users to quickly understand the progress of a particular item within a project. By nesting individual workflows under multiple levels of a larger project, both frontline managers and executives can understand at a glance where particular activities stand.

Key Considerations for Buyers

You should consider the following when evaluating data visualization applications:

Do you need a stand-alone data visualization tool or an integrated BI application? Is more advanced BI functionality—such as that included in predictive analytics and forecasting systems—a necessity? If so, you should consider a BI application with integrated visualization, reporting and analysis functionality.

Is mobile BI on your roadmap? Mobile BI is one of the biggest trends in business analytics, and most vendors currently offer at least some functionality on mobile devices. Visualization applications will often require the larger tablet screen to be effective. If you plan on using mobile devices to access visualization applications, ensure that the vendors you evaluate provide support for popular tablets (e.g., Apple iPad and Android-based tablets).

Pricing: Web-Based vs. On-Premise

Buyers of data visualization software have the option to choose between web-based (also known as cloud-based) deployment or on-premise deployment. 

Systems using a cloud-based deployment model deliver “Software-as-a-Service” (SaaS); this is also known as “web-based software.” In this model, the software is hosted (meaning housed, served, maintained and delivered) remotely, on the vendor’s or service provider’s own servers. It is then accessed by users through any device that is both compatible with the system and has an internet connection, which gives users the ability to use the tool anywhere, anytime.

With on-premise deployment, the software system is hosted in-house, on the user’s own servers. Data in the database and all associated applications are housed and run locally, and users may or may not be able to access the system remotely (depending on whether or not the system is compatible with mobile devices and remote computers).

While larger companies will often have the IT resources to host a solution in-house, this can be a costly option for smaller companies. Smaller organizations may thus want to consider cloud-based solutions, which are usually faster and easier to implement and are less costly to manage and update. However, cloud-based solutions may not include the type of robust functionality that a more comprehensive, on-premise BI solution might. 

FrontRunners

Your Guide to Top Data Visualization Software, March 2020

Software Advice uses reviews from real software users to highlight the top-rated Data Visualization Tools products in North America.

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“Usability” includes user ratings for Functionality and Ease of Use.“Customer Satisfaction” includes user ratings for Customer Support, Likelihood to Recommend and Value for Money.Reviews analysis period: The reviews analysis period spans two years and ends on the 15th of the month prior to publication.