Graph making is a key part of the data analysis process. The ability to present information in an easily digestible form, especially if it is complicated, will make your findings more persuasive and compelling. This article goes over ten features that you should look for in the best graph maker app.
1. Customizable Templates
When you’re using a graph maker app for Windows or iOS, you will often find that there is a set of standard templates that the software offers as starting points. While these can be useful and provide context for what data should go into each plot, they are limiting in terms of how different your final graph will look from similar ones that already exist.
Instead, you should look for an app that offers customizable templates with the ability to configure aspects like color schemes and what type of graph is created (bar chart, line chart, etc.). This will enable you to design something unique. You can use tools like a bar graph maker or a pie graph maker app for these. Visit Venngage to view some examples.
2. Printing Support
You’ll often find yourself wanting to print your graphs for meetings or to hand them off to collaborators. Since most graphs are visual, they make sense as physical objects. A good graphing app will support this by enabling you to save your graph in a printable format even if it is not the default output.
3. Good Placement Of Labels
When you’re creating a graph, you want the viewer to be able to quickly glance at it and understand what is being shown. Placing labels so that they are visible without obstructing the information itself, or creating awkward shapes by stamping them on the graph edge, will help ensure this happens.
4. Export Options
One benefit of using a computer program to create your graph is the ability to export it in a variety of formats. When you’re done, make sure that you can easily save it as .png (preferred), .jpg, or .pdf file. This will open up possibilities for how you share your information with others later.
5. Compatibility With All Of Your Data
Often, the data that you want to analyze will live in a variety of different formats. You should find a simple graph maker app that can seamlessly handle all of them without requiring a lot of preprocessing. That typically means spreadsheets (xls/xlsx), CSV text files, and occasionally more obscure file types like SQL outputs or SAS data.
6. Open License
Many graph maker apps are freeware, but there are also many high-quality premium options available (like R) with a license fee attached. If you’re working on a budget or doing noncommercial work, look for something that is open source so that you have the freedom to use it however you need.
7. Other Visualizations In The Output
Some graph makers provide more than just graphs in their output. You might find options for turning your data into a tree diagram, hierarchical cluster analysis, or even an infographic. These visualizations will be useful in some contexts and can save you time by not having to create them manually.
Ideally, you should be able to start using the graph maker app for iPad within a few minutes of downloading it and picking through examples for common tasks. Look out for jargon in the interface, small text that needs to be read to understand what is happening when buttons are clicked, and anything else that makes it difficult to get started.
9. Cross-Platform Compatibility
To save yourself the hassle, make sure that the graph maker app is cross-platform compatible for both macOS and Windows. This will save you the trouble of having to install multiple versions of the software across your different devices.
10. Support For Sharing Online
Once you have a great graph, you’ll want to show it off to other people. Look for an app that supports sharing your final product as a link, so that others can view and interact with what you’ve made. This way, they won’t need to download the software themselves to see the data that is important to them.
Finally, make sure that the graph maker app is extensible and customizable. This lets you modify existing templates as well as create new ones from scratch (if needed). The ability to tweak how graphs look gives you more control over the final product and can be an important detail if your data is especially complex.
12. Data Types You Need
Some graph maker apps support more types of data than others. Make sure that the app you choose covers the range that your work requires, and verify before you download it as a trial if necessary. This way, you don’t have to worry about being restricted by its functionality or limitations later on, so any new graph you make from this point forward is as good as it can be.
Finding the best app to make graphs isn’t always easy. There are many competitors in this space, and each one of them has its advantages over the others. If you take some time to find the right match for your needs, however, it will pay dividends when you have a graph ready to share with colleagues or friends later on.