Data visualization tools were on my mind after hearing Wesley Grubbs, a data visualizer with Pitch Interactive, speak on “Meaningfully Communicating Data with Visualizations” at the CFA Institute’s GIPS conference in Boston on Sept. 19, 2013. Grubbs provided inspiring examples of creativity, but skimped on practical tips. This is why I was delighted to attend “Data visualization on a shoestring” presented by Sharon Machlis, online managing editor, Computerworld, at the ASPBE Boston Boot Camp on Sept. 24, 2013.
If you’re a financial blogger or writer, you’ll find tools that can help to illustrate your content. Machlis’ presentation reviewed practical tools for data visualization. Because she targeted budget-strapped journalists, she focused on free and low-cost tools. She moved from easy-to-use tools to tools that require the ability to write code.
Make Excel charts look better
Machlis suggested tools that can make your Excel charts look better. Chartbuilder sounded like the easiest place to start.
Another option is IBM’s Many Eyes. It is easy to use, said Machlis, but you’ll need to upload your data and make it public, so that’s not likely to appeal to many asset managers or financial advisors.
More data visualization resources
Machlis’ resource list, which I’m sharing with her permission, offers more sophisticated options.
You can also view a version of her complete presentation on “Data visualization on a shoestring.“