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5 free data visualization tools for the web


Are you trying to figure out a simple way to display an interactive chart on your website? Or do you want to create a custom visualization and embed it on your company’s internal website? I'm going to share some of the best – and free – visualization tools for embedding interactive data visualizations.

If you have good programming skills and know your way around data, you may benefit from free outsource libraries like d3.js and R. But even if you aren't a coder, or don't have the time to dig through these libraries, keep reading.

1. Google Charts

Google Charts is an absolutely free visualization tool for embedding interactive data visualizations. It has a rich gallery of customizable templates for you to pick from: maps, scatter plots, column charts, histograms, bar charts, org charts and more. All you need to do is to place a code snippet in the header of your website, prepare the data for visualization, and customize the chart. That's all – your chart is ready to shine on your website! You can even draw multiple charts on your website to create a complex dashboard.

2. HighCharts

HighCharts isn't an entirely free cloud solution, but their version includes everything you need for embedding interactive data visualizations on your website. HighCharts includes most of the standard charts, such as line, area, bar, and pie charts. It also includes some interesting chart types, such as funnel charts, gauge charts, box plots, and stock charts. To create an interactive data visualization, copy and paste your data from Excel or insert data in CSV format, select a template, customize your chart and select ‘Embed’ in sharing options.

3. Tableau Public

Tableau Public is a free version of Tableau – a powerful data visualization solution. You can download it on your computer and create interactive visualizations. Tableau is very versatile, so you can create pretty much any chart you'd like. There is also a gallery of predefined templates, called 'Show Me', that provides ready-to-use visualizations such as line charts, treemaps, geographic map, gantt charts, box plots and other charts. Once your data visualization is ready, you have to save it on the cloud in Tableau's Public Gallery. Public Gallery is where you can find the code for embedding your interactive data visualization on your website.

4. Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio is a fairly new (still in beta) cloud-based tool. It allows you to create up to 5 interactive data visualizations that are built with your data stored in Google Sheets and other Google products, such as Analytics, AdWords, and BigQuery. To create a dashboard, select a data source, connect to your data, and pick a chart type from the toolbar. Google Data Studio offers the following types of data visualizations: time series, bar charts, pie charts, tables, geographic maps, scorecards, scatter charts, bullet charts, and area charts. You can customize these to your liking. Embedding data visualizations isn't yet supported in Google Data Studio, but I'm hoping they will add this feature soon.

5. Power BI

Power BI is a free tool by Microsoft. It is a very powerful and flexible solution. It comes as a set of ready-to-use chart types, but also allows flexibility with shapes and custom charts. You can import data from a wide variety of data sources and embed your data visualizations on your website.

I hope you will try at least some of these free data visualization tools.

Interactive data visualizations change the way an audience sees the information, and helps with understanding the information better. Enriching your website with insightful data visualizations isn't expensive. In fact, it is possible to do it for free. It engages your visitors and deepens their experience.

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