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Data Visualization

Tips, tricks and tools for visualizing data

Engineering Librarian

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Yuqi He
My job is to support your research. Email/call me your questions or to schedule a personal consultation in-person or via Zoom. I'm eager to assist!

King Library, Office 4041
(408) 808-2044

Choosing a Data Visualization Tool

There is a wide variety of data visualization software. Use the following catalogs to select the best tool for your visualization tasks. Selected Tools 

Browse through tools that plot data on maps; create charts, graphs and diagrams; simplify data handling; and help select colors.

Visualising Data 

Explore web-based and programming-based tools which handle data, draw maps and charts, and generate colors.

Selected Data Visualization Tools

Once you have chosen a data visualization tool, you can find plenty of supporting documentation at the library and on the web. Resources for several popular data visualization software are included here.

Microsoft Excel

Excel charts can be leveraged to build compelling, albeit simple, visualizations.


R is an open-source software with several data visualization packages, including ggplot2 and Plotly.


Tableau is a powerful business intelligence software known for creating clean, interactive data visualizations. While users can access full functionality through a paid desktop license, anyone can use Tableau Public. See select visualizations on the Tableau Public Gallery



Flourish allows you to upload spreadsheets or paste from Excel which you can turn into charts, maps and interactive stories. It is extremely straightforward with no coding required and they have a very flexible template library. Once you’ve finished your visualization you can embed it on your own site or download the RAW files.


ArcGIS supports the visualization and analysis of spatial (map) data. Faculty and staff can request licenses through eCampus. Students can receive access through course enrollment.


Gephi is an open-source software specifically for visualizing network data.


d3.js is a JavaScript library for scripting visualizations from scratch.

RAW Graphs is a graphical user interface built on top of d3.js, so if you are interested in d3.js visualizations but don’t want to code from scratch, this is a good option.