RAW – if you can’t be bothered to learn the tricky bit then helpfully there is now a drag and drop version of D3, simply paste your data in. Currently limited in the visuals you can produce and labeling can go off the page etc…(so you may be best off learning to work the code yourself to avoid disappointment). But this definitely looks like the future, drag and drop visualising websites.
Many Eyes – built by IBM, it was one of the first tools on the web to let you upload data and try out visualisations. Recently had a facelift but the outputs still aren’t very customisable. But nonetheless quick and dirty.
Charted – another tool that quickly charts your data for you. Limited options but it will keep the chart up-to-date as it checks the data source every 30mins.
Visualisefree – haven’t played about with this too much, but it does what it says on the tin. And offers more options, although less attractive than many eyes and charted.
Tableau Public – Tableau seem to be taking over the world, certainly seem to have spent enough on the online marketing to bombard my web experience. Getting a lot of backing, I know Oxford University adopted their system. I’m a little hesitant to use their free version in case it pulls me in and leaves me wanting more, like their premium package.
Inkscape – I downloaded inkscape when I realised I wasn't quite enough of a designer to justify Adobe Illustrator. It’s icons are still a bit foreign to me but it’s free!
Excel (no hyperlink needed!) – all of my data prep and the bulk of my charts are still churned out from Excel. When you get proficient at something why turn your back on it. And many agree, masses of online forums exist. All bulging with people who have encountered the exact problem you’re experiencing. I had birthday emails from two excel forums last year, just shows how much they care about your frustratingly simple but ineffective macro’s or non-conditioned conditional formatting. Recommended blog also.
Sublime text – the editor I use for all coding. Free for as long as you can ignore the pop-up subscription reminder (held out for almost a year now).
QGIS - For all my mapping I typically use this programme now. It’s overtaking the industry standard ArcGIS and has an active online community pushing out useful plugins. Occasionally frustrating when producing outputs but it’s getting there. My favourite example of open-source software done well.
Whilst we’re on mapping, here’s a couple of useful resources that I often get quick wins from:
doogal - anything awkward to do with postcodes or maps this website probably does it. Geocoding hundreds of addresses is a breeze, calculating multiple drive times, producing route elevations analysis, working out postcode districts…Well worth a browse.
Freemaptools – measuring distances, radius around a point, seeing how far you can travel, population within a certain area. All available at the click of a button.
Mapcite - an add-in produced for Microsoft Excel – quickest way to map postcodes, produce heatmaps. No mess. Straight forward. Offers a free trial and around £50 after that.