Data visualisation is the broad term for the practice of representing data in a visual interpretation. The aim is to summarise and clearly depict data to support understanding and the potential generation of new insights.
Use this guide to find resources and tools for data visualisation. See the Text and data mining guide for information about searching for and extracting data.
Watch What is Data Visualization? (YouTube video) for examples of common ways data can be represented visually.
Visual interpretations of data range from simple methods, such as word clouds, to complex network diagrams. They can also be interactive, allowing users to manipulate and analyse data. Types of data visualisations include:
The following is a selection of tools that can assist you with creating or generating visualisations of your data. Many of these tools are also used to analyse data, see the Text and data mining guide for more information.
|Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint||Part of the Microsoft Office suite, Both Excel (spreadsheets) and PowerPoint (slide presentations) have tools for creating visualisations of your data. Ranging from simple graphs and charts to more complex infographics. All ACU students, faculty, and staff have free access to Microsoft Office 365 applications.|
|Microsoft Power BI||A collection of software services, apps, and connectors that work together to turn your unrelated sources of data (for example, a spreadsheet and a cloud-based data warehouse) into coherent, visually immersive, and interactive insights. Available for staff via Software Centre (on ACU devices).|
|ArcGIS Pro||ArcGIS Pro is a full-featured professional desktop GIS application that allows you to explore, visualise, and analyse data and create 2D maps and 3D scenes – available via myapps.acu.edu.au|
|Leximancer||Text mining software used to analyse data and to visually display the extracted information in a browser. Leximancer is available via myapps.acu.edu.au or Software Centre (on ACU devices).|
|Nvivo||Qualitative and mixed methods data analysis software available to ACU researchers. Text analysis and data visualisation is also supported. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or request via Service Central Request NVivo (login required)|
|SPSS||A comprehensive statistical analysis software platform. Available on ACU computers. Request off-site access by contacting Res.Development@acu.edu.au|
Disclaimer: Many of these tools are free or open source, however some may require you to create an account or pay to access premium features or content. Permission may be needed before installing on an ACU device - check with IT or Service Central.
|Canva||An online design and publishing tool with some free content.|
|Dia Diagram Editor||An open-source visual-editing application that can be used to draw various diagrams, including flowcharts, network diagrams, and circuit diagrams. Download from Soundforge or myapps.acu.edu.au|
|Gephi||A downloadable, open-source data analysis and visualisation tool for representing links, patterns and associations.|
|Jupyter Notebook||A powerful, open-source tool for interactively developing and presenting data science projects. Installation required.|
|Mentimeter||An online, free-to-use, interactive word cloud generator.|
|Orange||A free, open-source, graphical user interface for data analysis and visualisation using Python. Download required.|
|Python||An open-source, computer programming language that is commonly used for developing websites and software, task automation, data analysis, and data visualisation. Download from Python.org or via myapps.acu.edu.au|
|R and RStudio||RStudio is an integrated development environment for R, an open-source, programming language for statistical computing and graphics. Note that RStudio has officially changed its name from RStudio to Posit. Download from posit.co or via myapps.acu.edu.au|
|Tableau Public||A free, online platform to explore, create, and publicly share data visualisations.|
|VosViewer||A free software tool for constructing and visualising bibliometric networks. Available to download or as an online tool.|
|Voyant Tools||A free, web-based environment for analysing digital texts and creating visualisations.|
Contact your relevant Library Academic and Research Services team for assistance.
Guide last reviewed 05/12/2022