“Visualizations act as a campfire around which we gather to tell stories.” Al Shalloway (2011)
Data is most effective when visualized. Why should we suffer the dull monotony of a sheet of numbers when the same data can be visualized in colorful graphs brimming with vitality? Over the past few years a number of useful and free visualization tools have made it more and more easy for us to consume data in meaningful and insightful ways. Here is a list of 10 such free data visualization tools with examples:
[ A dashboard on PriceWeave made using D3]
2. Tableau Public
Tableau aims to make databases and spreadsheets understandable to ordinary people. It has hundreds of visualization types, such as maps, bar and line charts, lists, heat maps and more. Two important features of Tableau are its built-in mapping which automatically geocodes down to the city and zip code level and its built-in date functionality, which lets readers filter to a time period or drill down from months to days to hours. You can even combine views into a dashboard to show different sides of the same story.
Some features on Tableau Public are reserved for paid users. More about Tableau Public at: https://www.tableausoftware.com/products/public
3. Many Eyes:
Many Eyes is probably the simplest tool to start using. It combines graphical analysis with community, encouraging users to upload, share and discuss information. It is very well documented and includes valuable suggestions on when to use what kind of visual data representation.
Many Eyes includes more than a dozen output options — from charts, graphics and word clouds to treemaps, plots, network diagrams and some limited geographic maps. The only seeming drawback of Many Eyes is that both visualizations and data sets are public on the Many Eyes site and can be easily downloaded, shared, reposted and commented upon by others. Access Many Eyes here.
Processing is a stand out interactive visualizations tool. It enables you to write much simpler code which is in turn compiled into Java. There is also a Processing.js project to make it easier for websites to use Processing without Java applets, plus a port to Objective-C so you can use it on iOS. It is a desktop application, but can be run on all platforms.
5. Google Chart Tools:
Google Chart Tools offers an API for creating Web graphics from data. Google offers a comparison of data size, page load, skills needed and other factors to help decide which option to use.The visualization API includes various types of charts, maps, tables and other options and helps pull data in from a Google spreadsheet.
Weave is a web-based visualization platform designed to enable visualization of any available data by anyone for any purpose. It is an application development platform supporting multiple levels of users – novice to advanced – as well as the ability to integrate, analyze and visualize data at “nested” levels of geography, and to disseminate the results in a web page. Learn more about Weave at http://oicweave.org/
Here is a visualization on trees in Boston made using Weave: http://demo.oicweave.org/weave.html?file=demo_Boston_Trees_meters_2011.weave
DataWrapper is an open source tool that covers the entire cycle of cleaning, visualizing and publishing data. Visualizations using Datawrapper have appeared in high profile publications such as Washington Post, Der Spiegel and The Guardian. You can find more details on the DataWrapper site: http://datawrapper.de/
Chartbuilder began as an inhouse project of the design loving team of Quartz who were frustrated with the sub standard charts they found online. Chartbuilder works best when you have to turn out beautiful and aesthetically pleasing graphs in a short time. It is open source and the full code can be found here: https://github.com/Quartz/Chartbuilder/
Jolicharts helps users build and share dashboards and export data. You can upload your data in JSON, CSV or XLS to Jolicharts and your data will be automatically prepared for analysis. It is free to use for up to 50 MB of calculation power and 5 datasources per dashboard. Learn more about it here: https://jolicharts.com/
Plotly is a collaborative data analysis and graphing tool. It provides online graphing, analytics, a Python command line, and stats tools for individuals and collaboration, as well as scientific graphing libraries for Python, R, MATLAB, Perl, Julia, Arduino, and REST. Plotly claims to streamline one’s workflow, all in one place and comes very close to doing it. Take a look at the plotly gallery.
Source: Plotly Visual
What visualization tools do you use on your projects? How has your experience been with them? Let us know in the comments below.
Over the last year Data & Analytics has continued to grow in prominence and become an important part of businesses worldwide. Being part of this data revolution we at DataWeave have had a fiercely intense year. In this post we give you a glimpse into the year that was.
Since Data is at the core of our business we can’t help but share our most important metrics. In 2013 we served a total of 27,081,937. That’s a whopping 500+ % increase over last year’s 4,464,310 datapoints.
This means that we served 74197 datapoints a day in 2013! That’s about one datapoint for every citizen of Liechtenstein twice a day all year. *wink*
PriceWeave which started out as a Price Intelligence product has grown steadily into an all around Competitive Intelligence Suite. Along with upgrades to core features, PriceWeave also received important and powerful new features that make pricing, merchandising, and assortment planning decisions easier and faster than ever.
The new PriceWeave now has Price Intelligence, Assortment Intelligence, and Gap Analysis among other indispensable competitive intelligence features. We are currently working on a bunch of exciting features for PriceWeave that we will roll out within the next few months. More on PriceWeave on the PriceWeave Blog.
In the News:
1. We were declared one of the 100 most promising start ups in India by NextBigWhat and featured in the top 100 start ups in India on Sutra HR.
2. Mint did a feature on us in their Indian Start ups in big data write up.
3. Economic times mentioned us in an article on big companies seeking innovation with smaller players.
4. Addicted To Success listed us as one of the top 10 exciting start ups in India
This year our blogs were more popular than ever. Apart from blogs about our systems and technology we branched out to investigative and exploratory blogs. Some of our most popular blogs were:
1. An onions-to-onions analysis: an investigation into the rising Onion prices in India http://blog.dataweave.in/post/61933646874/an-onions-to-onions-analysis
2. Of broken pumpkins and wasted lemonade http://blog.dataweave.in/post/65327903530/of-broken-pumpkins-and-wasted-lemonade
3. Tweeting Bad: An analysis of the TV show Breaking Bad on twitter http://blog.dataweave.in/post/65600030714/tweeting-bad
4. Our blog post on Amazon’s entry into India was republished by nextbigwhat. http://blog.dataweave.in/post/53376567061/amazon-forays-into-india-with-aggressive-discounts-on
We won a prize in the Business of API Hackathon organized by Bessemer Ventures conducted at Microsoft. We built a quick prototype of ‘AlertGram’, an universal alerting system.
We have been actively participating in popular technology events in Bangalore and around India. We contributed and learned from community events such as TechSparks, MobiSparks, StartUp Saturday, Design Day and Droidcon, among others.
Getting Bigger Faster!
From a six member team last year we grew to a 20 member strong team this year.
DataWeave couldn’t have grown this big, this fast, in the right direction without the help and support of awesome folks who are there to guide and support us unconditionally. We thank Rajan Anandan, Blume Ventures, 5ideas, Times Internet, and other angels associated with us as investors and advisors.
Also invaluable to us are our users, readers of our blogs, our friends and family who drive us to build DataWeave and get us closer to our goal of making the world a tiny bit better using data.
Here’s wishing you a very Happy New Year! We look forward to a productive and data driven 2014 with you!
Data is a powerful tool to ensure transparency and influence change. When visualized right, data can be a great advocacy tool. In this post we’d like to share a couple of projects & initiatives that are doing interesting things with data advocacy & visualization.
1. The Ballot
The Ballot is a visual compendium of information about Indian democracy. Starting from August 15th, they have been posting on topics as varied as criminal records of current Lok Sabha members to how an ordinary bill becomes an act.
They visualize and comment on important facts and figures we ought to know as India prepares for the 2014 General Elections. The richly illustrated graphs and charts on The Ballot make it easy to consume relevant nuggets of information and improve our overall understanding of the Indian Democracy and its state today.
[The above image is from a post on women in all the Lok Sabhas.]
2. Visualizing Advocacy
Visualising Information for Advocacy is a book by the Tactical Tech team about how advocates and activists use visual elements in their campaigns. This guide features over 60 case studies from around the world that provide an introduction to understanding visual information and a framework for using images for influence. It has been developed from their experience on working to help campaigners and activists around the world to use information, visual representation and digital technologies in their work, over the past ten years.
Tactical Tech, the team behind Visualizing Advocacy, is an organisation dedicated to the use of information in activism. They make toolkits, films and guides, and organize trainings and events that support rights advocates and helps activists with tools and techniques to bring about positive social change.
These are but two examples from the fertile & fast evolving landscape of data advocacy. Apart from being effective tools to help us understand the world better, they are bold steps towards making the civil society more transparent and corruption free.
At DataWeave, we continue to enable users to access data for Advocacy. Two such APIs we’ve released for insights into the Indian Democracy are
1. Lok sabha and Assembly Elections Results Data (Candidate wise)
Candidates wise result list of all contestants for Lok sabha and Assembly elections. Data can be accessed by State, House & Year .
2. Member Of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme .
Under The Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS), each MP has a choice to suggest works upto Rs. 5 Crores per annum to be taken up in his/her constituency. This data specifies the details of the allotted amount to each MP, its usage and unspent balance since 15th Lok Sabha 2009-2010.
Check out our full list of APIs here.
If you manage or know of other data advocacy projects feel free to write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org & we promise to do our bit and spread the word about your project. Also get in touch with us if you are looking for a particular data set that aids you in your Data Advocacy project.
DataWeave helps businesses make data-driven decisions by providing relevant actionable data. The company aggregates and organizes data from the web, such that businesses can access millions of data points through APIs, dashboards, and visualizations. To use our platform for your data needs write into us at email@example.com.
There is little contest to the fact that we are in a golden age of narrative television. With shows like Madmen, The Walking dead and Deadwood counted among all time greats like The Sopranos and The Wire and the recent hits of Netflix produced House of Cards & Orange is the new black, it’s a veritable Oak forest. None stands as tall though as AMC’s Breaking Bad.
The build up to the finale was arguably the most anticipated single episode of a TV series of all time. In this blog we visualize the twitter activity running up to the finale and the days that followed. All we have left to give you is this.
This analysis is based on a sample of 300,000 tweets narrowed in from the 1.2 million tweets that we collected by tracking Breaking Bad related keywords using the Dataweave platform.
1. Tweets/ Day:
The trendline speaks for itself. Twitter activity around Breaking Bad was most right after the finale. The run up to the finale looks quite gradual too.
Apart from English, obviously the most tweeted-in language, a sizeable portion of the tweets came from Spanish, French, Portugese and Dutch. The non obvious languages that showed up were Tagalog ( an Austronesian language spoken widely in the Philippines) & Estonian.
3. Common terms:
This tag cloud represents the frequency of the terms used in tweets related to breaking bad. Not surprisingly breaking bad & goodbyebreakingbad turn up as widely used keywords as well as BrBaQuotes that though less used is a strong topical hashtag. Mike seems to be the most popular tweeted about character followed by Jesse, Marie, Hank & Lydia. Skyler, Saul, Todd & Gomez follow. Also noticeable is the spoiler keyword, probably calls to fellow fans to tread lightly, lest they run into spoilers before they watched the finale.
As ardent fans of the show here at Dataweave, we conceived this post as a small way of saying goodbye to our favourite show. All we can say is we did it for us and we liked it.
About Dataweave (Say our name!):
DataWeave helps businesses make data-driven decisions by providing relevant actionable data. The company aggregates and organizes data from the web, such that businesses can access millions of data points through APIs, dashboards, and visualizations. To use our platform for your data needs write into us at firstname.lastname@example.org
[The idea for this post was given by Mahesh B. L., who is a friend of DataWeave. We are going to have some fun with data below.]
Ayudha Puje (ಆಯುಧ ಪೂಜೆ) or Ayudha Puja marks the end of Navaratri. It is the day before Dasara. Ayudha Puje is essentially the worship of implements (or tools/weapons) that we use. While this is practiced in all southern states, since Dasara is Karnataka’s nADa habba (ನಾಡ ಹಬ್ಬ) or “the festival of the land” it is done so with added fervour in Karnataka. At least it does seem so if you see the roads for the next few days!
As part of Ayudha Puje, everybody washes and decorates their vehicles (well, they are our major weapons in more than one sense) and worships them by squashing a suitable amount of nice and juicy lemons with great vengeance. Ash gourds (Winter Melons) are also shattered with furious anger.
[Image Courtesy: Wikipedia] See above a small sample of unsuspecting victims. Alas, they will soon be squashed beyond recognition!
Just how many lemons got squashed on the last Ayudha Puje in and around Bangalore? We dug up some data from a few sources (Praja, Bangalore City Traffic Police, RTO, a Hindu article), and came with a quick and dirty estimate on the number of vehicles in Bangalore. We estimate that there are about 55 lac vehicles in and around Bangalore. You can download the data we used and our approximations here.
So, assuming one lemon per wheel, upwards of 13 million lemons got squashed on October 12, 2013 that could otherwise have been put to some good use such as preventing cauliflowers from turning brown, or serving Gin Fizz to an entire country. (Of course, we know that not everyone performs Ayudha Puje. But let’s not be insensitive to the plight of our victims by digressing.)
We don’t have an estimate on how many Ash Gourds were broken, but we are sure the quantity would have been at least enough to serve tasty Halwa to every person in Karnataka.
Do you want to do some serious analysis on Lemons and Pumpkins yourself? Take a look at our Commodity Prices API. Register to get an API key and start using it. Like this:
DataWeave helps businesses make data-driven decisions by providing relevant actionable data. The company aggregates and organizes data from the web, such that businesses can access millions of data points through APIs, dashboards, and visualizations.