» Free Data Visualization and Exploration Tools Gulsah Semiz
Free Data Visualization and Exploration Tools

Here are a few free data visualization and exploration tools for non-coders/programmers: DIVE, RawGraphs, Metabase, and Google Data Studio. And If you’re an R user, Plotly and Shiny are perfect packages to build beautiful and interactive charts and dashboards.

Free Data Visualization and Exploration Tools

If you’re looking for a free data visualization and exploration tool as an alternative to Tableau, QlikView, or even Excel, you’ve come to the right place.

Free and Open-Source Data Exploration and Visualization Tools (No coding skills required)

DIVE by MIT Media Lab

It’s a fairly new platform, but you’ll love it when you see how easy is to do statistical analysis and create visually appealing stories without writing a single line of code. All you need to do is to upload your dataset to DIVE and explore it on its point-and-click interactive interface.


RawGraphs is another open-source data visualization framework that you can use to build stunning charts. You don’t need to have any coding skills to use it. Load your data, pick a chart type, and map dimensions using the drag and drop editor. Once you finish, you can export your chart as SVG and edit it on any vector editor such as Adobe Illustrator.


Metabase is an open-source data exploration tool as well. You don’t need any coding experience to use it, but if you want to deep dive into your data, you can write SQL queries and run it on Metabase (yay!). Oh, I almost forgot to mention that you can create dashboards on Metabase and share with your colleagues.

Bonus: Google Data Studio (Not open-source, but free)

I see Google Data Studio as a primitive version of Tableau and Power BI. It’s currently in Beta, but getting better every month. As of September 20, 2018, Data Studio is out of beta! There is a built-in connector for Google Analytics, Search Console, Google Ads, DoubleClick, Youtube, Google Sheets, etc. You can create dashboards with multiple pages and combine different data sources. But, there is currently no way to join different datasets. You can now also join different data sources! Learn more.

Free Data Exploration and Visualization for Coders


Chart.js is an open-source JavaScript library. It’s a perfect tool to create simple yet beautiful, responsive, and interactive charts. It was built on top of the HTML5 canvas, so it’s ideal for small data visualization projects, especially for web applications.


Plotly offers an R package that you can use to create beautiful interactive charts. And the best part is that the R library is completely free so you don’t even need to have a plot.ly account to use it. All you need to do to install is to run the following code: install.packages(“plotly”). But, if you want to publish your charts online, you must have a plot.ly account.
Sounds interesting? Check out this page to see some examples.


Shiny is here to turn your static R charts into highly interactive web applications. You can use your Shiny chart in a web application, group a few of them to build interactive dashboards or embed them in R Markdown documents to create more compelling stories. It’s definitely not required, but if you know CSS and HTML, you can even create your own templates.

Shoot me a comment below if you have any questions or additions to my list.


Gulsah Semiz
Gulsah is a data science consultant with over 6 years of cross-functional business experience. She holds a Master of Science degree in Marketing Analytics from Bentley University and enjoys playing with data to tell powerful and engaging stories.



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  1. cheng on 18 January 2019 1:52 pm:

    Thanks for sharing!
    I was looking for tool that can data visualize my app’s data
    not just for a picture in article.
    so metabase suit me need the most