Best Open Source Data Visualization Software

As you are searching for the best open source data visualization software tools, you know many of them go far beyond dashboard platforms and libraries for creating a graph or charts.

Nowadays, many free and open source interactive big data visualization tools can allow you perform data analysis to discover patterns and trends.




They are visual analytics software with powerful capabilities such as 3d data visualization, BI (Business Intelligence) features, and social network visualization.

We collected a list of 10 best open source software for data visualization (used mostly with Javascript, Java or Python). Some of them are solid data analysis and visualization platforms and the others are simple charting libraries.

1. Gephi

Gephi is one of the top open source and free visualization and exploration software you can use for all types of graphs and charts.

Gephi is a great tool for those who want to understand graphs and use them for simple data analysis. You can interact with the representations, manipulate the structures and colors to discover valuable hidden patterns.

It is a robust solution when it comes to social network visualizations.

Operating Systems: Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux. Language: Java 1.7+

Key features and benefits:

  • Real-time visualization.
  • State-of-the-art algorithms layout algorithms, both for efficiency and quality.
  • Metrics framework for social network analysis (SNA) and scale-free networks.
  • Networks over time – you can visualize how a network evolves over time.
  • Create cartography.
  • An interactive user interface to filter the network in real-time.
  • Has its own Data Laboratory with an Excel-like interface.
  • Input/Output.

Website: https://gephi.org/

2. ParaView

ParaView is an open source data visualization application and multi-platform data analysis. It is one of the most powerful open source software for visual analytics.

It is build to analyze extremely big datasets. However, it can be used for smaller data. Actually, many national laboratories, universities, and businesses use the platform because of its high-performance computation.

One of the key benefits is that the data exploration can be done interactively in 3D visualization.

Key benefits and features:

  • Allows developers to quickly develop applications which have the specific functionality required for a specific problem domain.
  • Support distributed computation models to process very big data sets.
  • Flexible and intuitive user interface.
  • Visualization Toolkit that produces 3d graphic visualizations.
  • Scientific visualizations to analyze data using quantitative and categorical data techniques.
  • Python support.
  • C++/Qt.

ParaView is deployed for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Cray, SGI, IBM Blue Gene, and many Unix workstations, clusters and supercomputers.

Website: https://www.paraview.org/

3. Orange

Orange is more than an open source data visualization software tool. It is one of the best free and open source machine learning for statistical and data analysis needs.

It is a Python-based tool for both novices and experts. It allows you to perform simple data analysis with clever data visualization. You can explore statistical distributions, scatter plots, or you can go further with decision tree examples, Venn diagram examples, heatmaps, linear regression examples and solutions and etc.

Even your multidimensional data can become sensible in 2D.

Key features and benefits:

  • Smart data visualizations that help to uncover hidden data patterns and support your data analysis.
  • You can model specific visualizations such as dendrogram, silhouette plot, tree visualizations and many others.
  • Many other visualizations are available in add-ons such as network visualizations, word clouds, geographical maps, and much more.
  • Visual programming and rapid qualitative analysis with clean visualizations.
  • Used at many universities, schools, or in professional training courses across the world.
  • Add-ons extend functionality.

Website: https://orange.biolab.si/

4. Weave

Weave open source data visualization software can offer you power and flexibility.

This is an easy-to-use html5 based, interactive visualization and analysis platform with publicly available source code for a wide variety of users: from government agencies to non-commercial and business users.

Weave truly simplifies the process of analyzing and visualizing your data. It is the only fully ADA compliant visualization platform, providing many features such as a full keyboard and assistive device navigation and complete screen reader support.

Key features and benefits:

  • Fully ADA compliant visualization platform.
  • Automatically generates descriptions of visualizations in real time.
  • Works with any platform, any device. No separate desktop software. Use Weave with any modern browser.
  • Connects to a wide variety of relational and no-relational data sources such as CSV, SQL, GeoJSON.
  • Linked Interactions.
  • Fully Customizable.
  • Flexible.
  • Easy to use.

Website: http://www.iweave.com/

5. Plotly

This modern solution provides some of the top open source and free graphing software tools for creating, manipulating, and sharing interactive data visualization via the Web.

In Plotely, you will find beautiful, interactive web-based graphs and charts. Actuality, Plotly is one of the surprisingly good big data tools for presenting data in a visually appealing and attractive way.

You are able to share complex ideas in an exploratory, open, and collaborative way.

Key features and benefits:

  • An advanced online environment for collaboratively creating, and designing D3.js charts and maps.
  • Beautiful D3 visualization and charts.
  • Sophisticated chart types.
  • Fully customizable graphs and charts.
  • High performance.
  • Libraries and toolboxes for R, Matlab, Python, and Javascript.
  • You can design not only charts but presentations and dashboards.

Website: https://plot.ly

6. RAW Graphs

If you are looking for a very simple free and open source data visualization software framework designed to make the visual representation of complex data easy and effortless, RAW Graphs worth considering.




The tool is for designers and vis geeks and provides a missing link between spreadsheet solutions (e.g. Microsoft Excel, OpenRefine) and vector graphics editors (e.g. Adobe Illustrator).

You will like the professionalism and the variety of graphs that the dashboard platform provides.

Key features and benefits:

  • Very easy to use.
  • Custom vector-based visualizations on top of d3.js library.
  • Works with delimiter-separated values (such as CSV files) and with copied-and-pasted texts from many other applications (such as Microsoft Excel and TextEdit).
  • Visualizations can be easily imported or embedded into web pages.
  • Highly customizable and extensible, you can custom charts defined by you.
  • Your data is safe. The data is processed only by the web browser. There is no server-side operation.

Requirements: git, bower

Website: http://rawgraphs.io

7. Chart.js

For small projects, ChartJS is a great tool. It is a simple but very flexible JavaScript charting tool for designers and developers. The tool provides you with beautiful flat designs for charts that are responsive by default.

Chart.js can be used with ES6 modules, plain JavaScript and module loaders.

ChartJS is for sure one of the simplest but stunning open source visualization software and charting libraries. You can present your data in 8 different ways. Each of them animated and customisable.

Key features and benefits:

  • 8 types of animated and customisable charts including line, bar, horizontal bar, pie, polar area, scatter plot, maps.
  • HTML5 Canvas – with super rendering performance in all modern browsers.
  • Responsive charts – for great scale granularity.
  • Well organized documentation with detailed information.

Chart.js can be installed via npm or bower.

Website: www.chartjs.org

8. Ember Charts

Ember Charts is another top simple open source visualization tool and repository built with D3.js and Ember.js. It includes bar, pie, and scatter plots, time series which are absolutely easy to extend and modify.

It uses SVG to render charts.

Ember Charts can offer you the best practices in chart interactivity and presentation.

Key features and benefits:

  • Highly customizable and flexible.
  • Robust & polished chart base- weird data will not cause your charts to break.
  • A lot of features – labels, tooltips, add legends, and mouseover effects.
  • You can roll your own charts by extending their ChartComponent class – automatic resizing, reasonable defaults for margins, etc.

To get started with Ember Charts, you will need node installed as a development dependency.

Website: http://opensource.addepar.com

9. Highcharts

This program is written in “pure Javascript” and provides a very friendly user interface. It is one of the most popular open source data visualization and library for building a wide variety of beautiful graphs.

You can add interactive and mobile-optimized charts to your web or mobile projects. You will also find a robust documentation and advanced responsiveness.

In addition, the software has a lot of great animations that can attract many visitors to your website.

Key features and benefits:

  • Responsive and mobile ready.
  • Data can be given in any form, including CSV, JSON.
  • Annotations to describe charts or data points by drawing simple shapes and text anywhere on the canvas.
  • Touch-optimized charts for a great experience on mobile and touch screens.
  • Flexible styling and elegant charts.
  • Big Data Ready.
  • Vibrant community.

Website: www.highcharts.com

10. Victory

Victory is still not so popular open source data visualization software tool as the above ones. Might be because Victory is a usable only with React JS. The majority of other libraries are used with any front javascript framework.

Victory is a powerful chart library that allows you to create interactive data visualizations with fully customizable styles and behaviors. It uses the same API for web and React Native applications in order to provide easy cross-platform charting.

Victory supports not only basic charts but also some statistical and financial graphs.

Key features and benefits:

  • A fully overridable ecosystem of composable React components for building interactive data visualizations.
  • A wide variety of charts such as area, axis, bar, candlestick, error bar, pie, line, polar axis, scatter, stack, and others.
  • Advanced functionality such as animation, label, legend, clip container, shared events, tooltip, themes.
  • Can handle hundreds of data points and thousands of data points with the help of VictoryZoomContainer.

Website: http://formidable.com/

Conclusion

Choosing the best open source data visualization software tool can be tricky. The key point is to understand your project needs.

Working with the right tools from the beginning can save you time, energy and money.




There are many challenges of data visualization you might face such as heterogeneous data, large data, computing resources, uncertainties and etc.

In addition, there are many elements to consider that can be crucial.

The following infographic represents some of the most important things you need to think about when you are choosing your best data visualization solution.

tips for choosing the best open source data visualization software - infographic

 

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.