The true implication of the phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words” hit me hard the other day when I was making my annual sales presentation. Armed with Excel data, I began my presentation. I thought I was being eloquent enough, but nothing seemed to excite my audience of sales reps. Then I decided to switch the screen to show them my dashboard. It had some basic pie charts and bar graphs on revenue by geography, ROI, etc. And it worked! The room became lively with questions about the charts. But why? I was telling them the same thing that I had told them while using a spreadsheet.
That day inspired me to find data visualization software to create more attractive and interactive charts. A friend suggested Sisense to me.
Considered the David in a sea of Goliaths by Data-Informed, Sisense helps to analyze complex data and generate insights. Features include interactive dashboards, multiple chart types, data filters, drill-downs, shared insights, alerts, and automatic updates. Capterra reviewers appreciate Sisense’s ease-of-use, visual analytics capabilities, and ability to process large datasets.
Inspired by how Sisense could transform my data visualization capabilities, I looked for other tools that could help me do similar wonders. And here is a list of seven popular data visualization software alternatives.
Tableau is a popular data visualization tool with built-in analytics features. Businesses across the globe use the software to blend data from multiple sources (spreadsheets, data warehouses, cloud application, etc.) by using a live connection and data-merging features. It lets you visually analyze data from all your sources at one go and reach holistic decisions. Tableau’s drill-down features; filter options; and table counts such as running totals, subtotals, etc. help you play around with the data.
Have you ever wanted to change the way you look at data? Tableau lets you transform bar charts to scatter plot diagrams or tree maps in a single click, enabling you to look at data from multiple perspectives. Users also love the fact that they can create interactive dashboards with Tableau, using simple drag-and-drop options.
Gartner ranks Tableau in the Leaders quadrant in the Magic Quadrant for BI and Analytics Platforms 2016. It offers both cloud and on-premises deployment options for SMBs and large enterprises in a variety of use cases.
- Tableau’s biggest strength is its large data source connectivity, exploration capabilities, and interactive visualization
- Users have a wide range of training options including online tutorials, classroom training, and webinars that make mastering the software easy
- Reviewers on Capterra mention difficulties in joining data from multiple sources especially live data, without IT support
- Compared to newer products in the market, Tableau is priced relatively higher
- Tableau Desktop – $999 for personal edition and $1,999 for professional edition
- Tableau Server – $10,000 for 10 users
- Tableau Online – $500 per user per year
- Free trials are also available
Zoho Reports is reporting and business intelligence software offered by Zoho Corporation. Users, even those with no technical background, love its graphical interface and drag-and-drop options. The software offers a wide range of chart types, widgets, pivot tables, and tabular view components to help you design your data. You can also create custom charts and tables and organize them into dashboards to keep all information organized.
Are you finding it difficult to visualize your sales vs. spend data? Is your marketing spend data stored in spreadsheets and sales data in CRM systems? Don’t worry! Zoho reports integrate with many third-party systems including Salesforce, Google Drive, Dropbox, SQL databases etc. for seamless data import/export. You can blend and merge data as well as share, publish, print, and email the reports.
- Spreadsheets are familiar to all! Zoho Reports offers a similar interface and Excel-like formula engine, helping users easily adapt to it
- You can check your sales reports and dashboard from your mobile phones using Zoho Reports’ iOS and Android apps
- Reviews on Capterra point to limitations in SQL request levels, data import and query building as some of the main areas of discontent
- Other points raised include slow processing of large data sets and limited mobile dashboard support
- Free plan – For two users
- Standard Plan – $50 per month, for five users
- Professional Plan – $90 per month, for ten users
- Professional+ Plan – $140 per month, for twenty users
- Enterprise Plan – $495, for fifty users
Do you want help in data-driven decision-making? Then BOARD is one of your best bets. BOARD offers a decision-making system that combines business intelligence, performance management, and advanced analytics.
It also supports data visualization tools such as heat maps, bubble charts, waterfall diagrams, etc. You can identify drivers and spot patterns using the interactive charts. The tool also offers drill-down; slice and dice; filtering; pivoting; and sorting features. You can manage filters, alerts, and sorting using the point-and-click interface. The drag-and-drop features make it easy to use.
BOARD helps you summarize business performance using charts, widgets, gauges, tables, maps, etc. You can segment data, create all sorts of reports, and forecast trends using the software. Sales, marketing, HR, and finance departments can use BOARD for analysis and decision-making.
- BOARD is an all-in-one solution that helps in performance management, business intelligence, and reporting with strong data visualization capabilities
- Capterra reviewers appreciated the software’s ease-of-use, data integration, and data entry capabilities
- Users without any coding experience can use the software’s forecasting, reporting, and dashboard functions
- Capterra users feel that it takes lot of time to set up the data
The prices are not publicly available. You can contact the vendor for pricing information.
Analytics is important for targeted selling. But being on the move, it may be difficult for your sales team to pore over rows of data. InsightSquared can prove to be your best friend. It helps sales teams improve decision making using visual analysis tools.
The software helps in forecasting, pipeline management, and data-driven sales coaching. You can create visual representations of your sales funnels. The toggle options help you to sort relevant data. You can also analyze metrics such as opportunity conversion rate and lead generation using bar graphs, line charts, etc. The visual reports help to improve employee efficiency and motivation.
Attractive sales leaderboards, interactive pipeline history charts, and data connectors for Salesforce.com, HubSpot, SurveyMonkey, etc. are its other standout features.
- Users especially like the pre-built reports and dashboards that InsightSquared offers
- Exclusively designed for sales teams, it offers some niche features such as deal size analysis, sales close rate, and pipeline metrics visualization
- Some Capterra reviewers feel that the software has limited customization capabilities and is difficult to configure
Necto, offered by Panorama, is another popular data visualization and analytics software. The tool offers data visualization through live interactive infographics. The software has a library of images including pie charts, bar charts, data tables, etc.
Necto connects with your enterprise data mart to generate insights using automated analysis. The Necto work board provides a visual representation of the data. You can visualize data as analytic grids, charts, or infographics. Comprehensive design tools will help you add any graphic element, including those created by you. You can customize and build infographics for each business line. The maps feature helps to visualize data for different territories. Micro bar charts track performance of individual units.
Necto also has predictive capabilities that help to provide potential sales numbers. You can also share the insights with your team. The software lets you track key KPIs and set alerts when business issues arise.
- Necto’s ease-of-use, customizable infographics and data discovery features are its major strengths
- Users also appreciate its collaborative business intelligence capabilities that help to share insights and reports using email links
- Capterra reviewers would like the software to offer better predictive analytics capabilities and more support for big data analytics
- Some of them have mentioned that they would like to see support for communities and forums
The prices are not publicly available. You can contact Panorama for pricing information.
Dundas is a mobile-focused business intelligence and data visualization software. It lets you create, view, and interact with performance dashboards and reports.
Data visualization is Dundas’ forte. It started as a Dundas Data Visualization, specializing in charting engine technologies. The company later added dashboard capabilities. It brought out the end-to-end Dundas BI solution in 2014.
Dundas BI offers a wide range of visualization and layout options that help to design pixel-perfect dashboards. The software offers visualization options such as charts, maps, and scorecards. You can change data point positions and colors based on chart types, values, and axis reference points. The tool also supports data drill-down, filtering, grouping, sorting, and zooming options.
Dundas has drag-and-drop visual data discovery capabilities. You can blend data from different sources and find hierarchies in your datasets. The software has design options similar to Power Point to arrange the dashboard and track key business metrics.
- Based on Capterra reviews, customers seem happy with the software’s user-friendliness, design flexibility, learning curve, and the variety of data visualization options
- Even non-technical users and companies without IT staff can run queries and perform data analysis on Dundas BI
- Capterra reviewers wanted more capabilities such as 3D charts, predictive analytics capabilities, etc. in the software
While it offers free trial and demo sessions, pricing information is available on contacting the vendor.
SAP BusinessObjects BI suite offers tools for predictive analytics, dashboard creation, design studio, etc. SAP BusinessObjects Lumira helps in data visualization. It makes combining data, analyzing trends, and sharing business insights in an engaging manner easier.
You can import data from third-party sources and combine the data. The application also helps to clean and edit data. You can then build visualizations of the cleaner data. The application also suggests possible visualization options for data exploration. You can choose from a list of measures and dimensions available to suit your data needs and scale ratio. You also have a variety of bar charts, line diagrams, maps, and scatter plots to choose from.
In addition to visualization options, SAP BusinessObjects also provides storyboarding capabilities. There are pre-defined templates, pictures, shapes, and text objects that help you tell your data story. You can share the data insights with colleagues and others either as a link or by saving the documents in the cloud.
- Capterra reviewers love the software’s data visualization capabilities including interactive reporting and dashboards
- A complete end-to-end analytics product, it offers integration capabilities with other SAP products and data sources like MS-Excel
- Users can get confused with the many different products within the BusinessObjects suite
- Reviewers on Capterra also mentioned that the software set-up can be difficult and might require some technical back-end support
You can contact SAP or resellers for the price. A 30-day free trial is also available.
Are you all set to create your mind-blowing charts and tables? If you need help choosing a data visualization software, Capterra’s data visualization directory can be a good place to start. If you know more alternatives or are already using a data visualization software, I would love to hear your comments below.
Looking for software? Check out Capterra's list of the best software solutions.