10 Popular Graphing Software (With Salient Features)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 5 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Graphing tools and applications help professionals across diverse industries visualise data and create interactive charts and graphs. While many such tools require no programming skills, it is vital to have some technical knowledge while using some of these software applications. Knowing about some popular graphing tools can help you analyse data, create charts from large data sets and make presentations or reports visually engaging. In this article, we discuss the usage and advantages of graphing software and share a list of 10 popular tools.

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What Are Graphing Software Tools?

Graphing software tools are specialised programs that help mathematicians, data scientists and statisticians plot and create data sets, functions, graphs and equations. These programs can usually handle large data sets with ease and create their visual representations instantly. Using these tools, you can also represent mathematical inequalities, polar functions, logarithmic functions, 2D or 3D charts and Cartesian graphs. Users typically have a high degree of freedom in choosing the design and style of the graph in such programs.

Many professionals such as researchers, scientists, engineers and financial experts use graphing tools to analyse data and make future projections. These graphs can help convey complex information and large data sets in a simple and effective manner. Besides creating static graphs that you can include in reports and presentations, graphing and plotting software also offer advanced dynamic charts with stylish designs and attractive user interfaces.

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Benefits Of Using Graphing And Plotting Software

Here are some prominent benefits of using graphing and plotting software:

  • Convey complex information easily. Whether you require graphs to add to a presentation or report or you want to include them in a training session, including visually represented data can help you convey complex information easily. The human brain tends to remember visual information better than written text, and using graphs can make your communication more effective.

  • Create visually engaging graphs. You can easily make visually impressive graphs with large and complex data sets, using graphing tools. It is usually very straightforward to upload large data sets into graphing software, which saves time and helps create stunning charts quickly.

  • Add advanced features. To make graphs and charts interactive, you can add a variety of advanced features. These include animation or dynamic changes in the chart depending on the user input, which makes the graph easier to understand.

  • Explore and solve mathematical problems graphically. Graphing tools help statisticians and researchers understand, study and solve data-driven problems visually. Visual representation of data can help decipher unique insights from data, which can enrich your understanding and analytical results.

  • Identify patterns and functions between different data sets. By representing large data sets on a chart, it can become easier to identify recurring patterns and different functions within data sets. This can be particularly helpful when analysing time- or location-sensitive data.

10 Popular Graphing Software For Data Analysis

Here are 10 common graphing tools you can use to visualise data:

1. MATLAB

MATLAB is a programming language by MathWorks that can help users perform numerical analysis and data visualisation. MATLAB is popular with different professionals such as engineers, scientists and economists, as it offers many graphing capabilities. These include matrix manipulation, 2D and 3D graphing, linear algebra, calculus, non-linear equations and data analysis. You can use the MATLAB GUI plotting tools to make engaging charts or the command-line interface to input data.

2. Tableau

Tableau is a highly-specialised data visualisation and analysis software by Tableau Software, an American company founded in 2003. The tool has a simple user interface, and users typically do not require technical skills to use it. Some useful features offered by Tableau include data blending, real-time analysis and data collaboration. The company provides different products for specialised graphing purposes. These include Tableau Desktop, Server, Prep, Data Management and Embedded Analytics. Salesforce acquired Tableau Software in 2019.

3. GeoGebra

GeoGebra is a popular free graphing and plotting software that primarily focuses on educational and training purposes. Using this tool, you can perform numerical calculations, function operations, geometric constructions and 3D graphing. The design and interface are user-friendly and easy for beginners to learn. Besides having graphing, geometry, spreadsheets and statistical interfaces, GeoGebra also offers easy-to-use graphing calculators for 2D and 3D plotting.

4. Anaconda

Anaconda is a free and open-source graphing tool that is a distribution of Python and R. It comes with several Python libraries and can help users with functions such as machine learning, scalable computing and natural language processing other than data visualisation. With Anaconda, you also get useful Python and R applications that can further enhance your data analysis and programming capabilities. You can create visually engaging 2D and 3D graphs using Anaconda.

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5. Visme

Visme is an easy-to-use graphing tool that offers several templates for users to make charts quickly. Besides offering integration with live data, Visme can help you make more than 20 types of graphs with a high degree of customisation in the design and style. You can create infographics, presentations, charts, reports, social media posts or even banner ads using Visme, as it provides stylish designs and templates. Using Visme does not require any programming skills, and you can make different types of charts by simply importing data from different file formats.

6. Highcharts

Highcharts is a JavaScript-based graphing tool that helps users see how the final chart and graph would appear on their website or blog. Using this tool, some types of charts you can make include the line, bar, pie, funnel, scatter and waterfall charts. You can also export the chart in a variety of formats. The licence for Highcharts is proprietary, and you can use it for free for personal or non-commercial purposes.

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7. Infogram

Infogram is another popular data visualisation tool and has been awarded as one of the best and easiest to use the software in this category in the past. You can make infographics, reports, presentation slides and social media posts using Infogram. You can also embed, share or publish the graph directly using the platform. You can create different charts using Infogram, including the bar, column, line, area, bubble, pictorial, candlestick and treemap. The easy-to-use interface and free version with limited features and capabilities are some of its strengths.

8. Graph

Graph is a widely-used open-source and free graphing tool that helps users create mathematical and statical graphs. You can create graphics of functions using Graph and also perform mathematical calculations. Customising the colour and design of the graphs is also extremely easy. You can plot standard, parametric and polar functions alongside equations and inequalities or create your own custom functions. The shading and animation features are available to differentiate between elements and add extra interactivity.

9. Origin

Origin is OriginLab's proprietary graphing and data analysis tool. Scientists and engineers usually use it to perform peak analysis, data explication, signal processing, mathematical computing, batch processing and statistical analysis. 2D and 3D graphs, column or bar charts, line graphs, density plots, polar plots, heat maps, box charts, histograms, image plots and 3D surface plots are some types of graphs you can create using Origin. It is important to note that Origin is available only on Windows and not macOS.

10. Charts.js

As the name suggests, Chart.js is an open-source Javascript library. One of the most popular data visualisation libraries, Chart.js, offers a simple interface to create eight different types of responsive charts. These include the line, area, bar, pie, radar, bubble, polar and scatter charts. Chart.js renders in HTML canvas, and you have the option to mix different types of charts and even animate them.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

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