What Do You Primarily Use to Analyze and/or Visualize Data? [POLL]

Posted to Polls, Software

In elementary school through high school, I always used Microsoft Excel for my charts and graphs (and use it to clean data every now and then). In undergrad, I learned all of my programming in C++ and Java and did a little bit of engineering stuff in MATLAB. When statistics rolled along, I always analyzed data using R.

Then I got into data visualization, and for a while it was all about Processing. When I interned for The New York Times, I used a lot of Adobe Illustrator (and still really enjoy playing with it). Lately, I've been immersed in Actionscript.

So what do you use to make sense of data?

If your weapon of choice isn't listed, I'd be interested to know what your "other" tool is in the comments, because, well, there's always more fun stuff to learn.

{democracy:3}

36 Comments

  • Matlab. Mathematica, sometimes.

  • Jouni K. Seppänen May 19, 2008 at 6:47 am

    Python, with Matplotlib for visualization and iPython as the interactive shell

  • Python with Nodebox.

  • Most of my work has been qualitative diagrams, so I’m not particularly numbers-focused most of the time. For diagramming I use OmniGraffle Pro. For large data sets I’m fond of a combination of Perl and DOT.

    Actionscript seems to be the most useful next language for me to learn.

  • Most of my work has been qualitative diagrams, so I’m not particularly numbers-focused most of the time. For diagramming I use OmniGraffle Pro. For large data sets I’m fond of a combination of Perl and DOT.

    Actionscript seems to be the most useful next language for me to learn.

  • Python w/ matplotlib & vtk

  • Python w/ matplotlib & vtk

  • For us, common mortals, MS Excel is the “weapon of choice”. I know SAS from my statistics course but have never been good at it (my major is in accountancy and audit). SAS might be good for analysing data, but not so much for visualising it (or at least I’m not familiar enough with good methods)

    It is my first visit to this site so I’m going to take a good look at it, seems intriguing.

  • For us, common mortals, MS Excel is the “weapon of choice”. I know SAS from my statistics course but have never been good at it (my major is in accountancy and audit). SAS might be good for analysing data, but not so much for visualising it (or at least I’m not familiar enough with good methods)

    It is my first visit to this site so I’m going to take a good look at it, seems intriguing.

  • Prefuse.

  • Spotfire.

  • Yann Abraham May 19, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    R for analysis and ‘scientific’ graphs, tableau for visualization

  • I mostly rock the pen and paper, because it ends up being faster than trying to get a program to show what I want. I’ve been playing around with Google’s Chart API lately, though. It is only good for certain types of data, but its simplicity is nice.

  • IDL, JMP, Spotfire

  • I marked Excel, but I also use SAS’s JMP quite a bit.

  • I prefer matlab for visualization. The gui command window makes inpecting easy and the plotting tools are robust and reliable.

  • I hate to admit that I primarily use SAS.. but I use it with the caveat that it’s just to get an idea of what the data’s doing. If anything is going to be seen by other people (via paper, poster, presentation) I rework it in R or Excel.

  • GoogleDoc’s Spreadsheet graphs are decent – and look MUCH better than Excel 2003 (though you loose the complexity Excel can do).

    Has anyone used any other online tools for analyzing data?

  • IDL, Python w/ VTK + matplotlib

  • I use JFreeChart quite a lot in my own applications. It does a decent job with time-series data.

  • IDL.

  • Python and/or Processing. Then ActionScript when it’s time to make it interactive.

  • Mathematica every step of the way

  • I usually use R, but I’ve been getting into Nodebox lately.

  • Tableau

  • Tableau

  • @D Davis – You’re not using Excel’s defaults, are you. They are notoriously ugly, even in the reworked 2007 version. With a small amount of reformatting, Excel’s graphics aren’t half bad.

  • Michael Manti May 20, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    Stata.

  • about your survey… you should be able to select more than one option / as in using check boxes rather than radio buttons…

  • Quantrix Modeller and/or Python

  • Curious, where do you think that SVG sits in all this? Members on a mailing list mentioned that the iPhone might end up supporting SVG before it supports Flash.

  • wow, there’s a lot of IDL going on. i don’t think i’ve ever even seen an IDL example. at least not that i know of. man, all of you use so many different software and languages. this looks to be a fun summer.

    @Angel: no need to be ashamed! use SAS with PRIDE.

    @Will: you must be an engineer.

    @Chrissie: that would be ideal, wouldn’t it :)

    @Tony2: i’m not sure, to be honest. i mean i haven’t seen a whole lot of impressive SVG stuff out there. also, i think it’s mostly for static stuff, right? i have a couple of old SVG books lying around somewhere, and it just came across as so…old. i could be wrong though.

  • Ramkumar KB June 10, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Tableau, Tableau & Tableau…

  • for daily crunching I use Python/ipython + Matplotlib or Nodebox for visualization… for interactive web viz I’d probably go with Flare or Processing.

  • for daily crunching I use Python/ipython + Matplotlib or Nodebox for visualization… for interactive web viz I’d probably go with Flare or Processing.

7ads6x98y