From artistic infographics and in-depth business intelligence dashboards to turning large data sets into something useful, we researched and tested more than ten different data visualization tools. We compared them across dozens of features, including pricing structure, ease of use, data source options, and visualization type. We found that Zoho Analytics is the best option for most users. Its drag-and-drop interface is perfect for beginners and advanced users alike, all without sacrificing functionality.
The Best Data Visualization Tool for Most
Our #1 recommendation for most users is Zoho Analytics. It’s suitable for beginners, yet flexible enough to support the needs of enterprise-grade businesses like HP and Ikea. Plus, it’s incredibly easy to use with a 100% drag-and-drop user interface.
Pricing starts at just $24 per month, which is a steal compared to other options on this list without sacrificing features and functionality.
The 7 Best Data Visualization Tools to Consider:
- Zoho Analytics – The best data visualization tool for most
- Tableau – Best advanced, feature-rich data visualization software
- Cluvio – Best for growing small businesses and startups
- Sisense – Best for data engineers and developers
- Whatagraph – Best data visualization tool for agencies
- Datawrapper – Best for interactive charts and maps
- Infogram – Best DIY drag-and-drop visualization builder
When it Makes Sense to Invest In a Data Visualization Tool
Your brain processes images and visual data 60,000x faster than text-based data or information. So data visualization tools help you capitalize on how the human brain works.
Data visualization has countless use-cases, including business intelligence, understanding marketing campaigns, forecasting buying behavior, and creating infographics.
Visuals are the fastest and easiest way to portray complex data. So, it makes sense to invest in a data visualization tool if you’re interested in:
- Making smarter and quicker business decisions
- Saving time and improving your business’s productivity
- Studying buying behaviors to improve your bottom line
- Identify bottlenecks and problem areas quickly
- Understanding large volumes of data across multiple channels
- Streamlining your business processes and systems
- Sharing information in a visual manner
Odds are, at least one of those is relevant to your business.
With that said, some of the tools on this list are pricey. So make sure you understand what you need (and what you don’t) before making any decisions. There’s no need to invest in a fancy tool if you don’t need it.
And if you’re on a tight budget, many of them offer free-forever plans. So you can get started, try it out for free, and upgrade to a paid plan when and if you need to.
#1 – Zoho Analytics — The Best Data Visualization Tool for Most
If you’re looking for a data visualization tool for business intelligence, Zoho Analytics is the best option for beginners. It’s easy to use and built for non-technical users.
You can import and blend data from virtually any source, including databases, cloud storage, websites, and other business applications you use to power your business.
The drag-and-drop design interface makes it easy to customize charts, pivot tables, widgets, reports, and even tabular views to quickly get a clear picture of the data you’re after.
Through it you can unlock new knowledge about what the data you have on hand is telling you. Slice and dice it any way you want to find trends (both recent and long-term), hone in on areas that need improvement or more attention, and find opportunities you may have been missing prior.
Not only can you create visualizations of your data and trends, but you can also even use the drag-and-drop editor to create custom dashboards, tailored to what your team members and collaborators need to see and know.
Plus, you can import data from a dizzying array of sources, including everything from Excel, Hubspot, and QuickBooks to your cloud storage services, Google Ads, Stripe, and email marketing platforms.
There are four super affordable cloud-based plans to choose from, including:
- Basic — 2 users for $24 per month
- Standard — 5 users for $48 per month
- Premium — 15 users for $115 per month
- Enterprise — 50 users for $455 per month
You can add more users to any plan for an extra $6.40 per user per month. You can also add more viewers for $3.20 per month. Both add-ons are billed annually.
But the best part? You can try Zoho for free with their limited free forever plan (with up to two users) and upgrade to a paid plan when you’re ready. This is a great option if you want to try it out before you buy. Many of you may be able to stay on the free plan for a while, as well.
When you’re ready to upgrade to a paid plan, the modest $24 per month is well worth the price. It offers countless powerful data visualization features, including:
- Unlimited reports and dashboards
- AI-powered analytics (Ask Zia)
- Complete control over how and where you publish your data
- Daily data synchronization
- Drag-and-drop design tools
- 500+ integrations
The entry-level plan comes with half a million rows, 250 data connectors to connect all the business apps you’re already using, and live connections to analyze data in real-time.
If you have the infrastructure to support an on-premise deployment on your local servers, plans start at $30 per user per month with a minimum of five users. You get access to unlimited rows, tables, and workspaces so you never have to worry about maxing out your plan.
Start your risk-free 15-day trial to take Zoho Analytics for a test drive (no credit card required).
#2 – Tableau — The Most Advanced Data Visualization Software
If you need something more than basic business intelligence, Tableau is the way to go. It’s an advanced data visualization and management tool capable of handling massive data sets with thousands—or hundreds of thousands—of data points.
Whether you’re a large business or a smaller team with a lot of data to manage, it’s an excellent choice that goes beyond the basic capabilities of most of the other BI tools on our list.
You can use it to take data from just about anywhere and turn it into something you can actually use to make better business decisions, predict trends, and uncover deep insights you otherwise wouldn’t have.
Whether you have five data sources or 100, Tableau makes it not only possible to turn it into something you can use, but easy and streamlined as well.
Tableau offers nine different data analysis and visualization modules with multiple deployment methods to match your data security, compliance, and infrastructure requirements. Whether you’re interested in cloud-based, on-premise, or hybrid deployment, Tableau will work for you.
When you sign up as a Tableau Creator, which includes access to everything, you unlock access to:
- Charts, infographics, maps, dashboards, and more
- Specialized use-case visualizations like timelines and heat maps
- Dashboard templates to get up and running
- Advanced user roles and permissions
- Ask Data (an AI-powered analytics tool)
- Connections to any data source
- Extensive training materials
One of the best parts about Tableau is that you get it all in one package.
There aren’t any hidden fees nor are any features hidden behind a paywall after you sign up. Plus, you don’t have to purchase any additional software. It’s all yours, depending on the type of license you choose.
Getting it all in one place makes it possible to bring all of your data into one centralized space for faster decision making, sharing complex data with stakeholders and customers around the world, and collaborating with your team.
There are three licenses to choose from, including Creator, Explorer, and Viewer. Creators get access to everything Tableau has to offer. An Explorer can view all of your data, ask questions to learn more about it, connect data sources, and more with an all-access pass to Tableau’s Server edition.
Viewers can’t edit data or do anything with it, but they can look at and interact with it in a secure environment right within the platform without installing software.
Prices start at $70 per user per month for Creators, $35 per month for Explorers, and $12 per month for Viewers.
Despite its advanced features and compatibility with just about every data source, its drag-and-drop interface makes it incredibly intuitive, even if you’re just getting familiar with data analysis and visualization tools.
With that said, its enterprise-grade features and price tag make it overkill for most users. If you don’t have massive amounts of data or are looking for something simple that takes just a few clicks, you’ll find a better fit (at a better price point) with something else on our list.
Start your free trial to see if Tableau is right for you today!
#3 – Cluvio — The Best for Growing SMBs and Startups
Best for Growing SMBs
Combines the power of SQL plus the R programming language for highly-interactive analytic dashboards and extensive team-collaboration features. Includes everything you need to make use of the data you're collecting to bolster business growth. Get started with a free forever plan!
Cluvio, despite being lesser-known than some of its competitors, is the perfect solution for small data-driven companies and fast-growth startups interested in deeper performance insights.
With it, you get everything you need to build a growth-ready infrastructure and make data-heavy decisions that will help drive your business forward.
It combines the power of SQL (the same language that powers WordPress) plus R to create and analyze custom analytic dashboards you can use to get a clear picture in just a few seconds. You can add your own KPIs with interactive components so you can dig as deep as you’d like at any time.
With real-time data and custom filters, it’s easy to drill down into what matters most without worrying that you’re looking at outdated information.
On top of that, Cluvio lets you set up custom conditional alerts, so you always know when things change or the unexpected happens.
Conditional alerts even work for things like hitting sales goals, reaching major milestones, and celebrating small wins, too.
But what really makes Cluvio stand out is its suite of collaboration features. They make sharing dashboards with your team (or customers) a breeze. You can share dashboards via URL and email as well.
You can get started doing all of this within five minutes… for free.
Their free forever plan works for up to three separate dashboards, and you get unlimited viewers at no extra charge.
However, their paid plans are a bit pricey. The cheapest one starts at $279 per month for up to two data analysts. But the price is well worth it as your business grows and you need more advanced data visualization capabilities.
Unlock your free 14-day trial to learn more about how Cluvio works and see if it’s right for you today!
#4 – Sisense — The Best for Data Engineers and Developers
If you’re a developer or data engineer looking for something more powerful and advanced than the other tools on our list, Sisense is your best bet. With it, you can quickly build your own custom analytics applications without the big-business price tag.
The embeddable analytics dashboards equip your team with the information they need when and where they need it in a way that’s easy to understand.
Sisense is flexible and easy to use, despite its advanced feature set. You can choose from code-first, low-code, or no-code tools that’ll let you hit the ground running regardless of the complexity of what you’re trying to build.
It starts with a data foundation that houses all of your business analytics in one place. From there, you can create dashboards that display the most important information so as not to overwhelm your team and business decision-makers with data they don’t care about.
Once you’ve created your dashboards, you can embed these visualizations anywhere using live and cached data to set up hyper-targeted, optimized analytic applications for your team or someone else’s.
If you or your team wants to know even more, you can augment the data you have with machine learning and AI to predict future trends and spot potential issues before they happen.
One of Sisense’s standout features is the ability to ask a question in everyday language and get a guided, thorough answer, making it easy for non-technical users to learn more about the data they have so they can make better decisions regardless of their technical abilities.
Enjoy access to features like:
- Custom UI to deliver branded analytic experiences
- Sample application to test-drive your UI designs
- A dedicated portal for developer content
- Self-service dashboards
- AI data trends
It’s hard to go wrong with a customer base, including those like NBC, Wix, and Rolls Royce. And they’re known for having the best customer service in the industry.
Plus, you can choose between on-premise, cloud-based, Linux/Windows, or a hybrid deployment.
#5 – Whatagraph — The Best Data Visualization Tool for Marketers
If you’re a marketer or digital marketing agency, Whatagraph is the perfect reporting solution.
They make it easy to send automated performance reports to clients on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, so you don’t have to worry about manually doing it ever again.
Furthermore, you can customize the reports to match your brand. So, you can easily provide a completely white-label experience for clients and customers.
And getting started is a breeze. You can begin in just a few minutes with pre-made report templates. From there, you can upload your own images and customize your reports to match your business.
They currently offer 30+ integrations with social media platforms and other digital marketing tools. Plus, you can request specific integrations if you need one they don’t currently offer.
Whatagraph is an excellent, automated solution to deliver multi-source reports that are easy to read and understand from a non-marketing perspective.
You can try it free for seven days but after that, the price gets pretty steep. So it’s not suitable for smaller agencies or solopreneurs.
But Whatagraph is a smart choice if you’re a larger agency looking to automate your reports.
Their plans include:
- Professional — 1 user, unlimited reports, and 15 data sources for $119/month
- Premium — 5 users, unlimited reports, and 50 data sources for $279/month
- Growth — unlimited users, unlimited reports, and custom data sources for $699/month
Start a 7-day free trial to see if Whatagraph is right for you.
#6 – Datawrapper — The Best for Interactive Charts and Maps
If you’re looking for an easy way to create interactive data visualizations, Datawrapper is smart, especially if you’re a blogger or news publication.
With Datawrapper, you can easily create:
- Interactive maps for anywhere in the world
- Choropleth maps to demonstrate regional patterns
- Symbol maps for showcasing location-specific data
- Locator maps to show specific locations
Each map is interactive, and users can hover over areas they’re interested in learning more about. Furthermore, you can adjust the colors, fonts, text, and more.
They have 1,000+ base maps to choose from. Or you can send in a request for a specific area if it doesn’t already exist.
Then, their map expert will create it for you for free.
But their functionality doesn’t stop at maps. You can also use Datawrapper to create highly interactive charts and tables as well. Essentially you can create any type of map, chart, or table you can imagine.
And the best part? Datawrapper has a free forever plan with unlimited visualizations.
The downside is you can only export in a PNG format, and every visualization includes a Datawrapper attribution at the bottom. But the attribution is small. And I wouldn’t consider it a dealbreaker.
Their paid plan starts at $599 per month. So you’re better off sticking with the free plan unless you want white-label visualizations, and you can justify the steep cost.
Sign up for a free-forever plan to learn more about Datawrapper and see if it’s right for you.
#7 – Infogram — The Best Drag-and-Drop DIY Visualization Builder
Data visualization is great for things aside from business intelligence, as well. Infographics are a great example of this.
Infogram is an intuitive drag-and-drop visualization tool that lets you create interactive infographics, charts, tables, and graphs to share with your audience or team members.
Furthermore, they have an extensive collection of designer templates you can use to create reports or infographics, so you don’t have to start from scratch. And you can customize everything to match your brand.
Plus, Infogram’s visualizations look great regardless of the user’s device.
You also get access to an analytics dashboard to show you how your audience interacts with what you create. This is great to understand what catches their attention and how they use your visualizations.
But their platform goes beyond infographics. You can also create things like:
- Presentations and slide decks
- Interactive maps
- Analytic dashboards
- Social media graphics
- 18 different chart types
Infogram’s free-forever plan includes up to 10 projects with less than five pages each, 37 interactive chart types, interactive maps, and basic animations.
So this is an excellent place to start if you want to try it out for free.
However, their paid plans start at $19 per month. So it’s still very affordable for most businesses. They also have special pricing for startups, non-profits, and educational organizations.
Take Infogram for a free test drive on their free-forever plan.
Methodology For Choosing The Best Data Visualization Tool
Now that you know my top recommendations, it’s time to talk about how I chose these data visualization tools from the thousands of options out there.
You can use the same criteria and methodology to make the right choice for your business, too.
There’s no one-size-fits-all tool that works for every business in every industry. So, carefully consider your requirements as you make a final decision.
Data visualization tools come in all shapes and sizes with dozens of price points, depending on what you’re looking for. Some are available for free while others cost hundreds of dollars per month.
Since those prices are all over the map, it’s important to understand your budget and choose a tool that checks your boxes without paying for features and functionality you don’t need.
There are also varous pricing structures. Some tools include an unlimited number of users but limit the data sources you can have. Others charge per user and can cost thousands of dollars per month if you need five or six user seats.
We highly recommend estimating your monthly payments with each tool you’re considering to see which one’s the most economical for your business size.
And remember: you don’t need the fanciest data visualization tool. You need the right one that isn’t going to break the bank.
Ease of Use
Even the best data visualization tools are a waste if you don’t know how to use them.
And some of the tools on this list are more complicated than others. For example, Sisense is built for developers. Not a developer? It’s going to be difficult (and time-consuming) for you to learn. Plus, it’s overkill for what you need.
Other options feature a drag-and-drop design interface, while the more advanced tools require extensive integrations and minor coding skills.
So, think about who’s going to use the tool and the extent of their knowledge. Don’t go for something fancy that nobody knows what to do with. Unless you can afford to spend time and money on extensive training.
There’s a time and place for that. But if you want to start using the software right away, go with what’s practical and easy.
What are you going to use your data visualizations for? If you’re looking to better understand your business’s performance, Zoho Analytics is probably the best choice.
As you can see, the best choice depends on what you hope to do with it.
It may help to make a list of use-cases and requirements for your business. After that, you can sit down with a sales team to make sure the tool’s a good fit for you before making a decision.
Consider what types of visualizations you want to create. Simple embeddable infographics and charts may be more than enough for your business. In that case, you can choose a simple and affordable platform.
However, you may need interactive visualizations, extensive analytic dashboards, or other advanced features.
So it’s crucial to understand your needs before making any decisions.
Data Source Compatibility
Where is your data coming from? Is it directly through a social media platform, a spreadsheet, or a live website? Furthermore, do you need live updates as more data comes in?
These are all important things to consider. The simpler options here have fewer integrations and may require manual data input.
Which… obviously won’t work for specific types of visualizations.
So, make sure you can connect all the data sources you use. If they don’t offer the integrations you need, consider using API connections or choosing a different tool.
We highly recommend Zoho Analytics for most people because you can get started for free, and its paid plans are affordable even for the smallest businesses.
But if Zoho isn’t quite what you need, you can use the method outlined here to find the best data visualization tool for you and your specific situation.