Which Is the Best Data Visualization Tool?

The easiest way to read and interpret data is through visual representation. Data visualization tools help small businesses and data scientists to interpret data in simple charts or graphs, creating a sequence or story around it. This way, people can understand a massive pile of digital data.

Datawrapper and Tableau stand out because of their features and quality. Aside from being simple, they have served data scientists for many years. However, they are only suited to some purposes. So, this article compares these top data visualization tools, including their strengths and weaknesses, to help you make an informed decision.

Datawrapper Overview

Datawrapper is an easy-to-use online visualization tool that allows you to upload data to create graphs, charts, and maps. It’s best for journalists and data scientists looking for basic data visualization and can be used to create charts and graphs without any knowledge of coding skills. Datawrapper can be used on both mobile devices and computers.

It comes with a huge selection of the best data visualization methods, allowing you more flexibility and adding value to your reports. All you need to do is import datasets as CSV files and upload them to Datawrapper, and within minutes, it creates interactive graphs and charts. Then you can save it as a JPG file or embed code.

Datawrapper has free hosting, making it easy for you to upload data. However, it would be best to download this tool on your server for better security.

Tableau Overview

A screenshot of Tableau's Webpage

Tableau is a business intelligence tool that doubles as an exceptional data visualization tool. It is simple to use and makes it easy for people to analyze bulk data. Using Tableau is almost the same experience as Excel’s descriptive statistics for data analysis, only better. This tool is relevant in business analytics and tracing data.

Unlike Datawrapper, you may need prior knowledge of some programming. However, it’s unnecessary. Tableau also takes it further by allowing data discovery and exploration within minutes. Data scientists can create reports by joining different datasets and generating data from other sources.

Tableau is fully customizable and can be deployed to your server or hosted in the cloud. This feature allows you to share information with anyone around the world. It runs on desktop apps, servers, and free public options.

1. Visualization

Datawrapper helps organize data in three visualization options—web maps, charts, and tables, which makes it ideal for embedding graphics on websites. What makes Datawrapper stand out is how interactive and responsive these charts and maps are.

Data scientists can also use Tableau to create interactive charts and graphs. It also allows you to run huge datasets from different sources and explore more data. With Tableau, you can create simple charts like pie charts and more sophisticated ones like Gantt charts.

Although Datawrapper would give simpler data representations, it can only run fewer data sets simultaneously. For this, Tableau tops the round.

Winner: Tableau

2. Reports/Analytics

Datawrapper can be integrated with your content management system (CMS) to create online visualizations for web and PDF reports. This tool also allows data scientists to embed charts into interactive PowerPoint designs that help them stay interactive.

On the other hand, data scientists can use Tableau to analyze data. This tool allows you to prepare and analyze big data. You can check data trends and forecast these raw data and share them. However, it can be quite complex compared to Datawrapper, which is straightforward and has a simple reporting system.

Winner: Datawrapper

3. Deployment

Datawrapper is predominantly cloud-hosted, but you can install it as SaaS (software-as-service) or a web-based tool. Although you can use it on different devices, deploying Datawrapper depends on your device.

On the other hand, Tableau is faster to deploy on a wide range of devices. In addition to being SaaS and web-based software, it can easily run on-premise and in the cloud compared to Datawrapper. Tableau is available in multiple versions that can support servers and desktops without any problems.

These tools work better on clouds, so it would help if you learned how to deploy these data visualization tools on a cloud. That said, in terms of deployment, Tableau does better.

Winner: Tableau

4. Customer Support

Datawrapper offers email support for customers who might have questions or need help navigating the tool. However, there’s no official number for people who may prefer to speak with an official.

Tableau takes customer support to another level. In addition to offering email support, they also provide a number of frequently asked questions to help customers with their problems.

If your issue is not covered in the FAQ section, you may contact customer service by email. The best part is that you can assess support based on the Tableau product you’re using for more specificity in your requests and answers.

Winner: Tableau

5. Ease of Use

Datawrapper is very easy to use. It provides a simple interface to create charts and graphs without coding or design skills. You also don’t need to create an account to use Datawrapper. It allows you to import files in CSV or PDF.

Tableau also has a simple interface. It provides a drag-and-drop feature that makes it easy to extract data sets. However, you’ll need to create an account to use Tableau. Also, Tableau has more complex features because it can have multiple datasets and may be difficult to understand. This time, Datawrapper has an edge.

Winner: Datawrapper

6. Training/Navigation

Datawrapper provides training materials on its website to teach newbies how to navigate the tool. This training includes slides, modules, and exercises to test how well you understand the tool. You can also contact support if you have questions about the training materials.

Tableau provides a load of free training materials covering all areas of data visualization. It’s a little complex, so you’ll need to learn the foundation of business intelligence, computers, and IT.

Aside from that, Tableau provides a good platform for learning, in addition to communities and forums that can help with questions you may have during practice.

Winner: Tableau

7. Pricing

A screenshot of Datawrapper's Pricing

Datawrapper offers a free plan that gives you access to basic visualizations and exporting visualizations as PNG. However, for more advanced tools, you can subscribe to a Custom plan starting at $599 per month or contact Datawrapper to tailor an Enterprise plan to your requirements.

A screenshot of Tableau's Pricing

Meanwhile, Tableau has no free plan and starts at $15 for Tableau Viewer, $42 for Tableau Explorer, and $70 for Tableau Creator. Considering the type of services Tableau provides, its prices are affordable and give value for money. Although it doesn’t have a free plan, it has a reasonable starting price compared to Datawrapper.

Winner: Tableau

Datawrapper vs. Tableau: Which Should You Choose?

Datawrapper is best for journalists or data scientists who would like to run data visualizations without complex knowledge of coding or processing large data. Tableau, on the other end, interprets data in a more complex way and is advanced data.

If you’re a newbie in data science and would want to kick-start a career in it, it’s easy to get started.

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