Back in 2016 Victoria wrote a blog on open source or free to try data mining and analytics tools, and recently we received an email from the team over at Canva about including their ecomap tool in our list. The email got us thinking it was a good time to have a new look at the data viz tool space, to see what new tools there are and have a look back at some of the tools we have already covered to see if they compare.
What is a data viz tool?
Data visualization tools are tools to assist in the readability of data through loading in raw data sets and processing them through the tool, then receiving an output in the form of a graphical representation of the data supplied through graphs and other visualization options.
Rapidminer is still a major commercial tool with three options for use starting with the open core available under an AGPL license and ending at the enterprise level at $10,000 per user per year. This gives you the option to try it out to see if Rapidminer is the tool for you with no monetary investment right away.
Rapidminer can be extended using both python and R code and libraries, there is also has a marketplace where users can go download new functionality.
License: Open Core (AGPL), Professional (Commercial), Enterprise (Commercial)
More information: https://rapidminer.com/products/studio/
Weka stands for Waikato Environment for Knowledge Analysis and is a data mining tool made right here in New Zealand. It is licensed under the GNU General Public license and therefore has no cost to try. Weka is a collection of machine learning algorithms for data mining tasks. The creators of this software have made a series of videos to get you started.
License: GNU General Public License.
More Information: https://www.cs.waikato.ac.nz/ml/index.html
DataMelt (Dmelt for short) is built using java but has a wide range of languages available for use and has the added bonus of being completely portable with no install needed, just unzip and you are good to go. Dmelt is available under a GNU General Public and therefore has no cost to try it out for yourself.
License: GNU General Public.
More information: https://jwork.org/dmelt/
Qlik is an Analytics program with a wide range of options and uses with a focus on data accessibly and readability. Qlik offer two main products QlikView and Qlik Sense they each serve a different purpose while running on the same engine. QlikView is for analyzing data and has a slightly configurable dashboard, Qlik Sense allows for associating different data sources and has fully configurable visualisations. Qlik has a free for personal use option once more adding it to the list of programs that have no cost to try out.
License: Free for personal use, Enterprise (Commercial)
More Information: https://www.qlik.com/us
OptimalBI are Qlik Partners so get in touch with us if you’d like more information, or take a look at the first of our blog series Getting Started with Qlik which has handy how-to videos.
OpenRefine is a free open source tool used for cleaning transforming and extending data. Once more a free option so no harm in giving it a go. OpenRefine has a good list of online resources for learning how to use this data wrangling tool.
License: BSD license
More Information: http://openrefine.org/
KNIME is a free open source data analytics, reporting and integration platform. KNIME has a unique modular style making it easy to try out different pipelines to see what is best for you or even one specific job. There is an array of learning tools online for making it easy to get started with KNIME added to this is several templates for example applications. I think the fact that KNIME is free and has such an array of learning resources is a great reason to give it a go.
License: GNU General Public License
More information: https://www.knime.com/
As mentioned earlier in this blog, Canva reached out to us after reading the first version of this blog Victoria wrote a couple of years ago and asked if we could consider including their data viz tool Ecomap.
After playing around with that tool I have determined that is not a data visualization tool for the reason there is no way to use data, the Canva tool is a design tool not a data tool. It is however good at what it does, and I particularly enjoyed the range of good looking templates which make it easy to jump in and design something which can represent data.
I could spend so much more time on this list but there are so many options for data tools I would be soon get lost down a hole of options so for the time being I shall leave it short and sweet.
Hope this helps,