Data specialists rely on data visualisations

It can help make trends and patterns clearer

If you’ve ever found yourself losing your place in a lengthy Excel sheet, you’ll understand how much easier the human mind finds it to process visuals versus rows of numbers and letters.

This is why data visualisation plays such an important role in data analytics – it’s the communication of information in a clear graphical format.

With data visualisations, trends and patterns are made much more apparent – which is why data specialists rely on them to explain their findings to others. After all, if insights can’t be understood, they can’t really be acted on.

There are many data visualisation tools available – but not all hold the same functionality as others. Let’s go through five of the most recognised options.

1. Tableau

Tableau is the market leader in visual analytics platforms, and for a number of reasons.

It’s able to promptly handle large, fast-changing datasets and can integrate with a variety of big data technologies such as Hadoop and Spark to import information.

The software can create a wide range of static and interactive visualisation types, including heatmaps, treemaps, scatter plots, and bar charts.

Other benefits include:

  • Drag and drop interface

  • The ability for users to clean and manage their data

  • Enterprise-grade security to protect user data

  • Unrivalled connectivity to other data platforms and tools

  • A healthy support system and community

2. Zoho Analytics

Zoho Analytics is a business intelligence and analytics platform frequently used to create data visualisations.

It predominantly caters to professionals looking to visualise business metrics and is commonly used to showcase insights related to marketing, sales, costs, and so on.

Users can also share their reports and dashboards with colleagues for more effective collaboration within the platform.

Other benefits include:

  • Drag and drop interface

  • The ability for users to clean and manage data

  • Enterprise-grade security to protect data

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3. Sisense

Similar to Zoho Analytics, Sisense is a business intelligence-based data analytics tool that allows data experts to create and share visualisations both within their organisation and externally.

Users can share their findings in a range of formats, from presentations to PDFs. Sisense also allows users to share dashboards across multiple organisations.

The visualisation types available with Sisense range from simple charts to more complex, interactive graphics.

Other benefits include:

Drag and drop interface

The ability for users to clean and manage data

Multi-level security to protect data

4. Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI is a business analytics service that offers hundreds of visualisations options for its users.

One obvious advantage Power BI has is its excellent integration with other Microsoft Office products. This can prove particularly useful for organisations that prefer to be entirely immersed in a single ecosystem.

Other benefits include:

  • Drag and drop interface

  • Enterprise-level security to protect data

  • A healthy support system and community

5. Qlik Sense

Last but not least, Qlik Sense is a data analytics platform that also boasts a range of features and connectivity to hundreds of data sources.

In addition to creating data visualisations, users can make use of the software’s interactive dashboards, reporting and alerting, location-based analytics and more.

Other benefits include:

  • Drag and drop interface

  • The ability for users to clean and manage data

  • Multi-level security to protect data

The University of Portsmouth's MSc in Data Analytics won't necessarily cover the tools above, but will help you learn how to assess new data tools as they emerge, a key skill for today's data analytics professionals. Find out more about our online course:

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