10 Data Visualization Tools To Bring Analytics Into Focus

Data visualizations can help business users understand analytics insights and actually see the reasons why certain recommendations make the most sense. Traditional business intelligence and analytics vendors, as well as newer market entrants, are offering data visualization technologies and platforms. Here's a collection of 10 data visualization tools worthy of your consideration.
Tableau Software
Microsoft Power BI
Oracle Visual Analyzer
SAS Visual Analytics
TIBCO Spotfire
ClearStory Data
Dundas BI

Creating clear data visualizations is imperative for communicating insights and analysis about that data and offering guidance for actions based on those insights. With so many leading organizations relying on analytics projects to drive business strategies, the importance of data visualizations will only increase.

This market has been undergoing a bit of a renaissance recently. Many traditional enterprise vendors in the business intelligence space have some form of visualization technology built right into their software. These players are continually adding functions to modernize their platforms for today's market.

The rise of cloud deployments, the desire for getting data and insights quickly (maybe even in real-time), and the need to execute on insights in a timely manner are all changing the game. Another game-changer is the exponential increase in the amount of data gathered by and available to organizations today.

Some of this data may be in a format easily tapped by traditional BI tools. But new, unstructured data types are adding new requirements for vendors offering data visualization technologies.

[Data visualization is one of the most important components of analytics. Read Data Visualizations: 11 Ways to Bring Analytics to Life.]

Gartner recognized this transformation in its 2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms. The research firm dropped some vendors from its report, and acknowledged the changes afoot in the space. 

So, even as traditional players add functionality to their existing offerings in order to modernize their data visualization technology, newer players are entering the market.

Many of these newer players offer low-overhead cloud-based solutions that line-of-business users find easy to consume and deploy on their own, without consulting the IT organization. It could even be considered a strategy for some data visualization vendors to "land and expand" by getting a foot in the door with non-IT users. Once inside an organization, these vendors will seek to broaden their footprint in the enterprise as more users within the organization find value in their particular data visualization offering.

With these factors in mind, we've collected 10 data visualization technologies for your consideration.

Some of these visualization offerings come from traditional enterprise players in the data and analytics market, which will most likely be used by companies already operating on the vendors' core platforms. Other, newer market entries are included as well, offering a view of some of the functionality available in the cloud. Many of these are available to try without making a big capital commitment.

This list is not meant to be all-inclusive. We encourage you to add in the comments section below any favorites you don't see listed here.

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