I'm wondering which software would best be suitable for:

  • plotting data, possibly interactive graphics
  • statistics
  • reading and writing excel files (numbers, currencies, enums, dates, possibly text)
  • reading xml
  • data cleaning / filtering
  • some machine learning
  • maybe some text mining
  • able to handle data sets with millions of points
  • efficient (computing power is rather scarce)
  • runs on Windows 7

I've used to work with Matlab for nearly everything (no xls though), but currently have no budget to get it. My research up to now has pointed me to R (with the xlsx-Package and maybe ggplot) and SciPy. What would you recommend?

1 Answer 1


Copying my answer from this question:

Thanks for the question. I too have spent a lot of time handcrafting reports and was exposed to Tableau when others at a previous employer used it. I downloaded the trial, worked my way through the tutorials and was impressed at how much can be generated, how quickly, with little technical expertise.

Of course, there will always be some reports that we have to handcraft and the question is how to fit Tableau in with our existing applications / handcrafted reports.

For standalone solutions, with no code of mine, I have been using

Qlik® Sense Desktop is a Windows application that gives individuals the power to create personalized, interactive data visualizations, reports and dashboards from multiple data sources with drag-and-drop ease. Discover more insights in your data in just 5 minutes.

**Free for personal and internal business use**
Drag-and-drop app creation and data loading
Multi-data source integration
Installed Windows application

enter image description here

That "Free for personal and internal business use" is actually quite generous, but might be a problem if you have to release reports to external companies.

For client side code-your-own, I think that you can't beat http://d3js.org/

See also http://www.quora.com/Is-there-an-inexpensive-alternative-to-Tableau


http://www.datacopia.com/ - free and cheap versions available



  • 1
    Thanks for the answer. However I'm indeed a bit concerned about Qlik's license mode and will probably not use it.
    – B Fuchs
    Sep 14, 2015 at 7:23
  • Since this might apply to me too, what concerns you?
    – Mawg
    Sep 14, 2015 at 7:29
  • 1
    That I can hardly make sure that my superiors are not going to show any of the charts externally.
    – B Fuchs
    Sep 14, 2015 at 7:34
  • Hmmm. worrying. Perhaps you can watermark them all for company internal use only?
    – Mawg
    Sep 14, 2015 at 8:06
  • Plus corner cases like concern central and consortia. I'm not a lawyer.
    – B Fuchs
    Sep 14, 2015 at 10:03

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