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Data Visualization: Charts / Graphs

General guide about visualization resources by types.
Which tool is the best tool for charts and graphs?
Tableau: 82 votes (39.23%)
Excel: 26 votes (12.44%)
Plotly: 48 votes (22.97%)
R: 41 votes (19.62%)
Other: 12 votes (5.74%)
Total Votes: 209


Tableau is an easy-to-use and powerful visual analytics tool that helps users create and distribute interactive visualization on its shareable dashboard. Tableau can connect to vairous files sources including relational datasets and Big Data sources for real-time update of the visualization. 


  • Sign up and use free-version Tableau Online
  • You can also find Tableau desktop version in the library data visualization pilot lab


Plotly is an web-based data analytics and visualization tool that lets users create interactive charts, informative graphics, dashboards, and slide decks with your data visualizations to share online with their audience. Plotly provides online graphing, analytics, and statistics tools as well as scientific graphing libraries for Python, R, MATLAB, Perl, Julia, Arduino, and REST.


Note: Plotly library is free, but to host your visualization online, you need to sign up for an account. If you need to save more than one viz, you need to pay for their professional account.



Microsoft Excel is the most commonly used tool to create basic graphics, including color-coded data values, charts, indicators, and interactive slicers and timelines. It also features calculation, graphing tools, pivot tables, and a macro programming language called Visual Basic for Applications. All editions of Excel support data visualization through charts, data bars, sparklines, and conditional formatting. These can be used when creating graphical representations.

Pivot Tables and Pivot Charts are a common way to aggregate data values across multiple dimensions, and enable users to see the relationships between these dimensions.

Pivot Table Example

Credit: LearnExelNow

Power Map is an Excel add-in for Microsoft Office 365 Power BI subscribers that enables you to visualize geographic and temporal analytical data on a map. With Power Map you can display geographically related values on an interactive map, and create a virtual tour that shows the data in 3D.

Power Map Example

Credit: MicroSoft 365

Resources / Tutorials:


R is a statistial and graphics language and environment with extensive capability to analyze and plot large datasets.


Resources / Tutorials: