Infographics have been growing in popularity over the past couple of years because they’re very effective at turning complex data into easy-to-understand visual representations. Images are more popular than ever online, and infographic design and development has become a lucrative business.
If you don’t have the budget to hire an infographic designer or agency to help you create a data visualization, then you need to find the right tools to do it yourself. Following are 15 free or affordable infographic tools that can help you create a professional-looking data visualization quickly and without breaking the bank.
Easel.ly is still in beta, but its easy to use drag-and-drop tools, which enable you to create an infographic based on predefined vhemes (visual themes), have been rapidly growing in popularity. It’s also free.
Creately has free and paid accounts, so anyone can create charts for their infographics by simply entering their data into the predesigned flow chart and diagram types. Multiple users can collaborate on the same chart or diagram.
Piktochart offers both free and paid accounts that include customizable themes and editing tools that make it easy to turn data into visual infographics.
Infogr.am is free. You can use it to create interactive infographics by simply picking a theme and adding your data, or you can use it to create charts to use in your infographics.
Visual.ly can either connect you with an infographic designer or it can be used to create a data visualization of the social metrics from your Twitter or Facebook profiles.
ManyEyes offers data sets that you can use to create data visualizations for your infographics. You can also upload your own data sets. ManyEyes is owned by IBM.
Hohli Charts makes it easy to create a wide variety of custom, professional-looking charts, including pie, bar, and radar charts. You can even make scatter plots and Venn diagrams to use in your infographics. Hohli Charts is based on the Google Charts API.
StatSilk (previously known as Stat Planet) offers a wide variety of global data that you can use to create charts and interactive maps, which can be saved as static images for your infographics.
Dipity can be used to create timelines for your infographics for free. Paid accounts are also available for users who need advanced features.
Tableau Public is a free software application that you can download and use to create your own infographics. Just upload your data to the Tableau Public servers, design your infographic using the local Tableau Public software, and you’re done.
Tagxedo can be used to create word clouds for your infographics based on text from a web page, speech, article, letter, or any other piece of content. Just make sure you have the appropriate copyright permissions to modify the source material before you include it in your infographic. You can even make a Tagxedo word cloud using the content from your Twitter ID.
GeoCommons is a free tool that makes it easy to create data visualizations using maps, which you can easily add to your infographics.
ChartsBin is another free tool that you can use to create data visualizations using maps that might be easier for novices to tackle than GeoCommons. ChartsBin claims that users can create data visualizations maps in as few as two minutes.
Wordle is an easy-to-use and free online tool for creating word clouds. Just enter the URL of a web page or the URL of an RSS feed, and Wordle instantly generates a word cloud from that content. You can modify the font, colors, layout, and more, so the word cloud matches the design of your infographic.
Gapminder World Offline is a free application that you can download for your Mac or PC and use to create data visualizations of current global data.
Google Public Data can be used to turn data from public sources like the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics into colorful charts that look great in infographics.