Data Visualization Services
This live web chart is an example of a plot that was built with R, then converted to a live plot and published using Plotly. The data for this example has been provided by the Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper’s volunteer monitoring program. This chart can be set to auto-update as you enter new data online into googlesheets or another location.
Professionally store and display your data, all in one place
Water quality monitoring, data collection, and analysis are vital for understanding and caring for streams and aquatic ecosystems. When you present your findings to decision makers and the public it should be simple and intuitive. Data visualization services can help transform your raw data into figures, maps, and help tell stories for wider impact.
These online services provide an integrated and smooth way of turning data into interactive and automatic updating displays which can be featured on your website. There are affordable options for nonprofits and online communities and resources to help you get started.
Things to consider when looking into data visualization services
Cost: Many options are not cheap, but may offer free or reduced cost versions for nonprofits. Even if the software or access to online services are free, there may be costs associated with hosting data online or limits on the number of charts you can make or on the number of people with whom you can share your creations.
Usability: Some services offer tons of options and features—many that you won’t need—and it can be daunting to identify and use the features that are most helpful to you. While most options don’t require coding experience, it can prove helpful. Luckily there are ample online resources to help you figure things out.
Integrations: Tying your data to mapping platforms, graphical design software, statistical software, and other online services can create more useful and impactful products. For example, if you want to present your data in the form of a map, you should make sure your data visualization service can create maps or can integrate with mapping platforms like ESRI or Leaflet.
|Service||Cost*||Help / Support||Examples|
|Plotly||Free for public charts only (limited)||Tutorials||MacKenzie DataStream
see Plotly + R example at top of page
|Tableau||‘Tableau Public’–free but data is public||Training videos||Beach closures dashboard|
|Google Data Studio||Free||Tutorials||Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper|
* There may be additional costs for data storage or hosting charts and graphs online.