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How Do I Choose the Best Data Visualization Applications?

Article Details
  • Written By: D. Nelson
  • Edited By: M. C. Hughes
  • Last Modified Date: 18 July 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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Data visualization applications are computer programs that allow users to view information in different visual representations. For example, a person who is interested in learning about common Internet search terms in different countries around the world can use a data visualization application to view a map that geographically organizes popular search terms. To choose the best data visualization applications, you first should consider why you are using these programs and which visual representations might make the most sense for your purposes, as well as for your preferred information processing style. It is also a good idea to read some reviews about data visualization applications and to consider factors such as cost.

To choose the best data visualization applications, think about why you need these programs. If you are interested in making a digital art project using interesting data charts, for instance, you might choose your applications based on how pleasant or intriguing visual representations are. You might choose programs that use interesting colors for different words or which create dynamic flowcharts. People who are more interested in presenting data in the clearest, most effective way possible, on the other hand, should choose programs that are more complex and highly functional.

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If you are using data visualization applications to better understand data, it is a good idea to think about how you prefer to process information. Some people, for example, prefer to look at graphics that represent information, while others might prefer spreadsheet style charts. People who are unsure about their preferred learning styles might spend some time with different data visualizations to learn which are easiest for them to read.

People who are thinking about buying data visualization applications should do a little reading about programs first. Find out which programs others with your interests already are using by reading relevant periodicals and websites. Keep in mind that high school teachers, for example, might choose data visualization applications that are significantly different from those used by individuals who are tracking economic growth among different nations. It is important to be familiar with a resource before you trust its recommendations since some websites might look like information resources but actually are sponsored by specific companies.

Before you pay for data visualization applications, you should also consider compatibility and the option for free applications. Not all programs work with all operating systems, so always check requirements prior to paying for an application. You also should keep in mind that it is common to find widgets and other applications that are safe and functional and which can be downloaded free of charge.

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