infogr.am vs. Google Fusion Tables: A comparison review of online data visualization tools

Infogr.am, a free online data visualization tool still in its beta, shows great potential to become a reporting tool for online presentation of raw data.

Data visualization is becoming an important part of multimedia or digital reporting – a table of raw data is something for the print media; nowadays, people expect to see the data being visualized in the form of a good-looking (interactive) graph.

New tools are being developed and promoted for online data visualization. Here I’m offering a review of infogr.am, a free, drag-n-drop online tool.

For a test review of infogr.am, I compiled a simple table of raw data, a four-year budget report for three divisions in a corporation.

I created an account with infogr.am, chose two templates, uploaded the data to each template, and tweaked the styles and looks of each template. After I hit “publish,” the program generates embed codes for each visualization. Here’s what I got:


I used to use Google Fusion Tables to visualize data for online presentation. In comparison, infogr.am has several advantages over Google Fusion Tables: (a) infogr.am provides users with an each-to-use working interface, whereas Google Fusion Tables demands some time and patience to go through some tutorials; (b) infogr.am provides better customization and tweaking options; and (c) infogr.am can present multiple items at a time, whereas Google Fusion (at least the classic version) can only show one variable at a time.

Below are the same data being visualized with Google Fusion Tables – notice that what you see is what I got – the only thing I could change is the size of the graph; besides, it can only show one year in one graph – the one being show is for 2008, if I need to show 2009 and other years, I need to produce multiple graphs.

About Mu Lin

Dr. Mu Lin is a digital journalism professional and educator in New Jersey, United States. Dr. Lin manages an online marketing company. He also manages MulinBlog Online J-School (www.mulinblog.com/mooc), a free online journalism training program, which offers courses such as Audio Slideshow Storytelling; Introduction to Social Media Marketing; Writing for the Web; Google Mapping for Communicators; Introduction to Data Visualization; Introduction to Web Metrics and Google Analytics.
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One Response to infogr.am vs. Google Fusion Tables: A comparison review of online data visualization tools

  1. Aysha Khan says:

    Hmm – I’m looking at this two years after posting, but considering that the Fusion Table embeds are no longer available, I think infogr.am won the round for longevity. Google is constantly making updates (moving to encrypted ID numbers, for example) that render old URLs and embeds null.

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