I have a few CSV and XLS files that I would like to analyse or "visualize" online (like in charts etc).

I tried Google Fusion Tables, but I want to know if there are any alternatives.

Also suggest my a few tools I can download that would ease the process instead of using office excel.. (is OpenOffice good enough?)

  • Since you said 'download' I removed the 'web' from the title, as discussion of web apps/tools is off topic at SU. What OS are you using? What features are you finding Excel (and/or Google Fusion Tables) can't do for you? Jun 16 '11 at 15:24
  • Nothing too complex.. I have a large list of marks of students with their roll nos.. im new to excel, but i'd like to see tools that would be out there that could make my tasks perhaps a bit more easier so I could focus on adapting with those tools instead. Im on windows 7. And fusion tables is too slow and doesn't chart out well with the large dataset and features are limited.
    – Irfan
    Jun 16 '11 at 15:29
  • Not a real answer, but here's some beginner info on charting in Excel "Demo: Create charts in Excel 2007" - office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel-help/… Jun 16 '11 at 18:15

You could try using QlikView (BI software)... http://www.qlikview.com/us

There is a free fully functional personal edition you can download from their website.

It is extremely powerful and there is a learning curve involved (not to bad if you only want to do simple things) but plenty of good free tutorials and an active, helpful community forum on their website as well.

It can import data from practically anything and has many built in wizards for doing such things as charts. It's also designed to handle massive recordsets very quickly and indeed it does.

The functionality within it is vast.

  • looks nicely and exactly fits my need. Thanks for the nice and free alternative!
    – Irfan
    Jun 17 '11 at 4:43
  • No problem - i have a number of their training course pdf files if you need them for reference. Would need your email addr to send.
    – Paul
    Jun 17 '11 at 11:46

my typical workflow:

  • think about graph with pen and paper
  • massage data in Excel and/or with script
  • create chart in ploticus


  • thanks, but too bad it doesn't have an interactive GUI that would be easier for me.. im looking for something fast and simple to learn to work with.
    – Irfan
    Jun 16 '11 at 15:30
  • I found that the lack of GUI interface makes me design my graphs in a more disciplined fashion. For a nice GUI interface take a look at Sigmaplot: sigmaplot.com/products/sigmaplot/sigmaplot-details.php Jun 20 '11 at 15:58

Spotfire and Tableau are amazing commercial applications for this, and Spotfire especially is incredibly easy to use to explore lots of visualizations side-by-side. Both have a desktop version and an online web player (Spotfire demo gallery, Tableau demo gallery). They are both highly scalable, into the millions of rows. Both are expensive, but have free trials.

Edited to remove ManyEyes

  • Jusat to add a tiny bit to this - IBM's Many Eyes project was shut down some time ago
    – Paul
    Sep 1 '15 at 9:37

You should check out Jolicharts (http://jolicharts.com). It creates data presentations directly connected to your data (Google Docs, Excel sheets, Database, etc.)



  • Google Docs - web (docs.google.com)
  • LibreOffice/OpenOffice - download: very good solution.
  • Microsoft Office Online - web (office.live.com, in Hotmail or Skydrive accounts)

Note: There are some incompatibility issues with files created in MS Excel opened not in MS solutions, but with the first two above you will rarely see it (except for XLSX format - try to save in XLS).

  • I forgot to mention that my spreadsheets were large.. google docs once said it couldnt handle 400000 cells.. i'll try other office suites btw thanks.
    – Irfan
    Jun 17 '11 at 2:56

You can use sqliteviz which I'm the author of. It is a free open-source offline-first PWA that allows you to convert a CSV file into SQLite database which runs in a browser with sql.js. After that, you can get your data with SELECT * FROM csv_import statement and create various Plotly charts against the result set.

Convert your CSV into a database

Choose your CSV file. Sqliteviz will show you the Import CSV dialogue with data preview. You can change parsing settings like delimiter character and others. sqliteviz CSV import dialogue

Get your data with SQL

Now all records from your CSV are available as rows in csv_import table. Get them all with SELECT * FROM csv_import query. sqliteviz query result set

Create a chart

After running a query you can switch the result panel to the chart mode and create a chart with a react-chart-editor component. The same component with some additional features is used in Plotly Chart Studio. Explore its documentation to learn how to build charts with react-chart-editor. You can create various charts from simple line/bar/pie chart to financial candlesticks and scientific visualisation. sqliteviz chart example

See sqliteviz documentation for more details.

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