8 cool tools for data analysis, visualization and presentation

By Sharon Machlis, Computerworld |  Business Intelligence

Drawbacks: Highcharts, like Google Maps, does have a distinctive look, so you may want to customize the Highcharts stylesheets so your visualizations don't look like numerous other Highcharts on the Web. While charts displayed fine for me on an Android phone, they weren't interactive (they were on an iPad).

And unlike most JavaScript/jQuery libraries, Highcharts is free only for non-commercial use, although a site-wide license for many companies costs only $80. (The cost jumps to $300 per developer seat in some cases -- for example, if charts are customized for individual users.) Rendering can be slow in some older browsers (notably Internet Explorer 6 and 7).

Skill level: Intermediate to Expert.

Runs on: Web browsers

Learn more: The Highcharts demo gallery includes easy-to-view source code; the documentation explains other options.

Related tools: Google Chart Tools create static image charts and graphs or more interactive JavaScript-based visualizations; there are also JavaScript libraries such as Protovis and the JavaScript InfoVis Toolkit. Exhibit is an MIT Simile Project spinoff designed for presenting data on the Web with filtering, sorting and interactive capabilities.

Mr. Data Converter

What it does: How often do you have data in one format -- while your application needs it in another? New York Times interactive graphics editor Shan Carter ran into this situation often enough that he coded a tool that converts comma- or tab-delimited data into nine different formats. It's available as either a service on the Web or an open source tool.


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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