january 15, 2024

Comparison of data visualization tools

Nowadays, the choice of visualization tools is very relevant. A visualization tool is a technology that interprets data from a source into visual content (tables, graphs, dashboards), helping to create analytical and informative summaries of events or projects. Every analytical or monitoring system cannot do without a visual representation of data, with reports and dashboards being the end product.

There are a large number of tools in the market and by analyzing the available tools, this article has selected 8 open source visualization tools in addition to the series of articles «7 Open Source and 2 low-code solutions for BI analytics visualization».

Title What it is Data sources Visualization objects Scope of application
Deployable application with browser-based interface
Any base that supports JDBC drivers.
More than 15 report components (from plain text to charts and heat maps) Filtering is done with the Slicer and Date picker components
Create/add static results to reports
A framework from Eclipse that also has its own report designer
Any data source
More than 9 types of report elements (from plain text to charts), has the ability to link elements to each other
Create/add interactive dashboards to web reports
Seal Report
A framework that also separately has a report designer, a server manager and a web-based report server
Any data source using LINQ queries
Uses HTML 5 Charts (based on ChartJS, NVD3, Plotly and Gauges libraries) and MS Charts
Creating reports
Framework with browser interface
Any data source
Has 9 widgets initially, it is possible to create and add your own widgets
Tool for creating dashboards
Deployable application with browser-based interface
Any database that supports JDBC drivers Excel and CSV files HTTP requests
More than 24 types of panel components (from charts to filter widgets)
Creating interactive dashboards
Deployable application with browser-based interface
Any data source
More than 20 types of diagrams
Creating a dashboard
Deployable application with browser-based interface
14 data sources
More than 7 types of charts, in addition to the filter panel, there is the possibility of cross-filtering
Creating dashboards with minimal additional code
Ploty dash
Visualization library for Python applications
Any data source
More than 27 components for the user interface
Visualization tool in data processing applications

Poli is an easy-to-use application for creating SQL reports. It has a small but sufficient variety of visualization elements to create or add visual displays of data to reports.

BIRT is a mechanism for creating data visualizations that can be integrated into Java web applications. A good visualization tool from Eclipse for creating reports.

Seal Report — offers a complete framework for creating daily reports from any database. The visualization tool is written in C# for Microsoft .Net Framework, there is also a NuGet package for easy integration into projects.

Smashing is a framework for a dashboard. Its predecessor is Dashing. Simplifies dashboard creation for Ruby and CoffeeScript enthusiasts

Datart is a data visualization tool that supports the creation and use of reports and dashboards. Simple intuitive interface for creating reports, but most of the documentation is written in Chinese.

CBoard is a tool that supports the creation of interactive reports and a BI product development platform for developers. Creating dashboard items is similar to creating notepads in Zeppelin.

Lightdash is a tool for a full-featured BI platform. It positions itself as an alternative to Looker.

Dash is a user interface library for building analytical web applications. Ploty dash is suitable for creating data visualization applications in Python.

This article listed 8 more possible open source visualization tools that can find application for BI analytics tasks:

  • Quickly visualize data to add it to a report — Poli is a good option.
  • For in-house analytics you can use CBoard or Lightdash, and if you program in Python, use Ploty-dash.
  • Write applications in Java, then use BIRT for reporting.
  • Like working in VisualStudio and want to see alternatives for reporting, then try Seal Report.
  • Need a dashboard or know CoffeeScript well — Smashing is a good option.
  • If you are not afraid of documentation in Chinese, try Datart, which is gradually replacing Davinci data visualization tool on the Chinese market.

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