One of my co-workers wanted to graph some data on his Mac. I said, What’s wrong with Excel? Apparently this particular employee wasn’t blessed with a Microsoft Office installation or even Apple iWork.
Both will make graphs from data. So, I looked around and came up with a handful of rather elegant apps that take your data and give you colorful graphs.
Two Are Free, One Is Not
There is something about looking at a chart tell a story. Truly, if a picture is worth one thousand words, data converted to a chart tells a similar story.
The app I recommended to my co-worker is called Graph.
What Graph does is simple on the outside, but not so much on the inside.
The whole idea behind graph apps is to take boring data and make it visual.
Spreadsheets such as Excel have been doing just that for a couple of decades (so it seems). Column data begets graphs—bar charts, pie charts, line charts.
Graph does it in 1D, 2D, and 3D and expands beyond the basics to include column, pie, line, area, scatter, 3D perspective scatter, trajectory and surface graphs, volumetric and z-sliced cell graphs.
Take a look at how easy it is to create graphs in Graph. Add column and row data. Click.
Graph handles maps, too. And it brings in data from nearly any source from your Mac’s clipboard to any spreadsheet export.
Graph is special in that it’s available for Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch. Not bad for free, huh?
Also on the list of free is Graphing Calculator Viewer for Mac and Windows PCs.
It works with the Graphing Calculator that comes with your Mac and does even more complex graphing calculations.
If you’re willing to part with a little money, there’s ByeGraph which works similarly to Graph with more complex graphics that also don’t have the same amount of visual polish.
For even more money, there’s Vvidget Builder which is loaded with more features than you can imagine, including the ability to directly interface with databases. Vvidget is for serious data graphers.
Or, you can stick with Microsoft Excel or iWork’s Numbers. You get plenty of capability and a built-in spreadsheet.