on August 15, 2022 (last modified on August 6, 2022) • 13 minute read
If you are like most teams, you have a ton of data but you are still relying mainly on your experience, assumptions, and intuition to make decisions.This can lead to costly mistakes that could have been avoided.Data, when used properly, can help you make informed decisions.However, if you don’t have a process and tools to visualize this data quickly, you are probably not going to do it at all.Fortunately, there is no shortage of dashboard visualization tools you can choose from. In this post, we’re taking a look at some of the best options available.
Data visualization tools allow you to see how you’re progressing towards your goals via dashboards, scorecards, charts, and graphs.
The most common way businesses visualize data is via dashboards. In fact, 90% of our survey respondents have been actively creating and using dashboards for some time. The rest have just started using dashboards.
And more than half of them are using dashboards in marketing, sales, and web analytics.
For additional context, we surveyed 30 people, out of which 40% come from the B2C industry, 36.67% from B2B, and 23.33% are agencies or consultants.
With so many dashboard visualization tools available today, we asked 30 people which software they liked best. Most of them have experience using a variety of dashboard tools, from free analytics tools like Google Charts and Google Data Studio to BI tools like Tableau to Databox.
Here is a list of dashboard visualization tools our contributors ranked as best:
Databox makes it simple to build dashboards to track and visualize performance from everywhere. With 70+ integrations, including Google Sheets and Excel, you can pull in and sync data in real-time.
But, we might be a little biased. So, here is what some of our customers had to say about us.
“Databox is an excellent fit for our business,” says Melanie Musson of AutoInsureSavings.org. “We chose it because it claimed to be intuitive and didn’t require coding, which would have necessitated hiring someone else or investing time into learning to code. It has lived up to its claims, is simple, and includes excellent visual reporting graphics.”
Nick Yu of BeadNova says, “With Databox, we can visualize KPIs easily, and it has hundreds of pre-built templates which can be customized using its dashboard designers. We can set goals and track performance anywhere, from any device. Databox updates its users about metrics by sending notifications, scorecards, and alerts. The dashboard provides a unified view of your website’s data and analytics metrics across multiple locations and devices. It also allows us to create, edit and manage any content, which is the major challenge we have solved using this dashboard.”
Michael Taylor of Shifting Shares adds, “I have really enjoyed Databox as a tool package that allows me to create a useful dashboard to display our most important metrics. A lot of what I do is on the marketing side, and one of the most important metrics I follow is customer lifetime value (CLV).
I sell online courses that require a significant financial commitment, so I want to be able to create the most value I can for my customers. Databox has been very helpful with visualizing key metrics like CLV and parts of our customer journey mapping process.
Plus, Databox was a huge time-save for us. It allowed us to quickly build our KPIs into one dashboard, including incorporating data from Google Analytics and Facebook. It also functions great on a mobile platform like a phone or Ipad, which is amazing for my team and me as we typically work remotely. The visualization of our KPIs is also integrated with email alerts making it super easy to stay on top of our performance and how we can improve our customer experience.
Case example: As our most important KPI is customer lifetime value, recently, Databox was an important part of us changing our model to fit our customer needs. We used the Databox dashboard to measure our revenue at several touchpoints for our customers and discovered that most of our customers were actually making purchases after being directed from our Youtube channel and email subscriber list. This allowed me to focus on releasing investment tips and data as a supplement to my online course through an email subscriber list and my Youtube channel. My email subscriber list has grown to over 12,000 members in just over a year.”
Plus, we have a forever-free plan that includes 3 data connections, all standard features, and 70+ integrations. Our paid plans start at $72 per month.
If you are just starting out, Google Charts is the simplest tool you can use. If you are already familiar with and using Google Drive, it is included for free, and you can create simple data visualizations.
“I prefer the simplicity and interconnectivity of Google Charts for dashboard visualization,” says Josh Snead of Rainwalk Pet Insurance. “Since my team already uses the suite of Google services and programs to gather data, it makes sense to use Charts, which can draw that data directly from compatible programs to put together visualizations. Being able to see this data represented on a dashboard is incredibly helpful for monitoring team performance week to week, including successful sales and claims.”
Lorraine Daisy Resuello of Connection CoPilot adds, “Our digital marketing team utilizes Google Charts to address issues, such as missing campaign data, and quickly complete campaign analysis before the deadline. We use different suitable visualization formats, like histograms, waterfall or cascade charts, and trendlines to show a marketing campaign’s progress and results. I love to use the waterfall charts of Google when explaining marketing spending and earnings to clients, team members, and other stakeholders. A Google waterfall chart is a type of color-coded bar graph that increase or decrease. Of all the charts I’ve used, the waterfall chart gives clearer context to data by displaying individual marketing gains and losses.”
Related: What’s the Best Chart Type for Your Dashboard Metrics?
If your company uses Salesforce or you are looking for a tool that can analyze a lot of data, then Tableau may be a solid option.They were acquired by Salesforce, and can work with everything from spreadsheets and databases to Hadoop and cloud services.
“I have used Tableau for many years, both in my personal capacity and for work,” says Joshua Haley of Moving Astute. “In my opinion, it is by far the best visualization tool on the market. Tableau has a range of features that make it well-suited for businesses of all sizes.
For example, it offers drag-and-drop functionality, which makes it easy to create visualizations without any prior coding knowledge.
Additionally, Tableau provides a wide variety of customization options, allowing users to tailor their dashboards to their specific needs.
Finally, Tableau integrates with a number of disparate data sources, making it an ideal solution for businesses with complex data sets. It is easy to use, highly customizable, and able to handle large data sets. Consequently, it can provide significant benefits for any business that implements it.”
Joshua Rich of Bullseye Locations agrees, “Tableau, in my opinion, is the best visualization tool for my business. It helps create interactive charts and graphs to gain business insights and identify various business trends. It offers features like multiple chart formats and also mapping capabilities. This tool not only provides hundreds of data import options but also has a video tutorial for its users to give a detailed walk-through of its usage. I believe that the best visual tool should be easy to use, which is made possible by these guidance videos and Tableau’s drag and drop option.
Furthermore, this tool helps me convert my massive spreadsheet into a storyteller by identifying all the trends and outliers. By having a very thorough insight into all the data, I am able to make important business decisions. In addition to this, The tool also allows more specific data visualization methods like area charts, box and whisker plots, cartograms, etc. Therefore, Tableau not only incorporates the best features but also provides assistance in the form of blogs and videos to simplify its use.”
Not to mention, Tableau offers both free and premium versions of its product.
If you need a tool that is more powerful than Google Charts, but still free and integrated fully with Google’s suite of products, then Google Data Studio is a solid option.
Most people use Google Data Studio to create more advanced dashboards with their Google Analytics and Google Ads data. However, you can sync data from dozens of sources, including Google Sheets, as well as build fully customizable dashboards.
“Google Data Studio is our preferred dashboard visualization tool for us as a growing SME,” says Parker Evensen of Gunther Volvo Delray. “We use this to track conversion data for form submissions, and phone calls overtime and compare this to large market trends and shifts. It’s invaluable for identifying our short and long-term trends as well as comparing to historical YoY and QoQ data as we push and pull different levers across our marketing channels. Our marketing team was far less aware of our lead acquisition benchmarks prior to using a visual dashboard. It’s such an easily digestible method of keeping tabs on what’s going on in the business.”
Ana Codallo of Key Opinion Leaders adds, “There are many data visualization tools on the market, but two of the best are Databox and Data Studio. They both offer powerful features that allow you to easily create beautiful visualizations of your data. Both tools offer tremendous flexibility and amazing performance. In our tests, they made Quick Sight, Pivot, and Tableau look pale in comparison.
At Key Opinion Leaders, we build dozens of custom dashboards every day (like this one), so we really took our time to evaluate all the options out there. In the end, we went with Datastudio because most of our datasets were already in GCP, so it made sense to go that route, but Databox was the only real contender in the competition.
What do we like about these two Datastudio and Databox?
Related: 8 Google Data Studio Dashboard Examples for Ecommerce Businesses Recommended By Experts
Power BI combines the reporting features of a tool, like Google Analytics, with the visualization features of Google Data Studio but for companies that use Microsoft’s suite of products. That’s to say, you can pull in, analyze, and visualize a ton of data.
“Microsoft Power BI, in my opinion, is the best visualization tool,” says Robert Warner of VirtualValley. “In the business intelligence field, the Microsoft Power BI data visualization tool is employed. Predictive analytics, self-service analytics, and reporting can all be done using it. It provides an end-user platform from which they may develop and distribute reports and insights to their colleagues. It serves as a centralized repository for all of your company’s data, allowing all of your company’s users to have full access to the information. As a result of these interfaces, businesses looking for a centralized data reporting system can easily share the reports they have prepared.”
If your company is already using Zoho for your CRM, support tickets, and accounting, then it might make sense to use their analytics product. Zoho analytics allows you to create business reports and dashboards quickly.
“At ReturnGO, we like using Zoho analytics because it helps us get a comprehensive overview of our data,” says Maya Levi of ReturnGO. “Zoho has a user-friendly interface, and it’s super easy to use. Everyone in our marketing team can easily learn how to use it. As such, we’re able to quickly make custom data reports and dashboards using the drag-and-drop feature of Zoho.”
With Plotly, you can build custom data apps in Python. One of the core advantages of this platform is the ability to fully customize and deploy these apps at scale.
For instance, here’s how Marcus Astin, the Chief Operating Officer at Pala Leather, ensures his business operations are successful: “One way I do this is by using Plotly to visualize data from different teams and make quick decisions based on what I see. By using Plotly, Pala Leather was able to consolidate all the data from our multiple sources onto one page. We were able to see the total amount of sales by month and compare it to the amount of the previous year. We were also able to see how our sales compared with other product categories and determine if any changes in distribution strategy had an impact on sales. Lastly, we were able to see where their customers lived and make decisions about which cities had the highest potential for growth.”
Robert Zeglinski of BreakingMuscle adds, “Plotly, in my opinion, is the most effective data visualization tool. With Plotly, you can make interactive graphs, charts, and maps from whatever data you have in a spreadsheet. The visualization you make using Plotly can be shared with your audience via social media or your blog, or you can use it to build one yourself. Plotly’s interactive graphs come with a unique URL, making it simple to share them with others. Hovering over data points reveals details about how they were generated for the benefit of the audience. As a result, it’s ideal for sharing both interactive plots and datasets with your audience, as readers don’t have to comprehend your code. If you want to generate stunning graphs in less time than ever, Plotly’s user-friendly interface is the best way to go. You can also use Plotly’s collection of open-source plots and maps, which gives you a wide range of options.”
Unlike many of the tools mentioned in this post, there isn’t a free version of Plotly. To learn more about pricing, you need to request a demo.
Another option is to build your data visualizations and dashboards right in Excel. Most companies are already using Excel. Having all of your visualizations in the same place that everyone is already using can make sense for both practical purposes and cost savings.
“Microsoft Excel is the greatest tool for data visualization, in my opinion,” says Joe Troyer of ReviewGrower. “Since Microsoft Excel has an intuitive user interface, working with it isn’t tough. Excel offers a wide variety of options for displaying data. One way to compare two datasets is to use scatter plots, which show the relationship between the two datasets. You may also see the relationships between various variables to identify whether or not they are linked. Market research and financial planning use statistical, scientific, medical, and economic data to create scatter plots.”
Related: Create an Excel Dashboard from Scratch in 8 Steps (or Just 3 with Databox)
With so much data available these days, you need a way to be able to scan, analyze, and act on it quickly.That’s where data visualization software can come in handy. Enter Databox.
With 70+ integrations, including Google Analytics, Quickbooks, and HubSpot, you can pull in and visualize your company’s progress on all of your core KPIs. Sign up with Databox for free today.
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