There once was a time, way back in the days when spreadsheets were all the rage, that converting data into graphs was my passion. My first spreadsheet was VisiCalc. Then SuperCalc. Then Lotus 1-2-3. Then Excel. Along the way I learned the value and danger of spreadsheets, and how decisions could be influenced with matching graphs.
If Microsoft Excel doesn’t do it for you, turn to Graph Builder for the Mac. I first started using this powerful app many years ago in a previous century; when graphs became more important than the underlying data.
Graph Builder is all about making complex data look, well, less complex. It does both 2D and 3D graphs, and is completely programmable for those of us who generate our own data (or, pull data from external sources). Standard charts are mostly pre-made drag and drop but each can be fully customized to match data complexity.
Data can be visualized so many different ways that you’ll wonder why Microsoft Excel is even used at all. Check out the Graphs:
Linear, One to Sixteen Y Axis Linear, Log, Semi-Log (X and Y directions), Log-Log, Full-Cycle and Sub-Cycle Log, Polar, R-Log Polar, Date, One to Sixteen Linear Y Axis X-Date, Date-Log and 3D Rectilinear Perspective
Function (Line), Scatter, Trajectory, Heat Map, Vector Map, 3D Surface, 3D Scatter and 3D Density (Volumetric), Bubble
Pretty much everything you can think of in the way of graph visuals can be handled in Graph Builder, and that includes everything visual– lines, strokes, fills, shadows, shapes, gradients, type effects, and much, much more. Graph Builder makes is relatively simple to assign specific attributes to specific data points.
For the geek in you, Graph Builder has a built-in scripting engine so graphs can be animated. There’s also a plugin for Xcode (the Mac’s integrated development environment). Graph Builder isn’t as simplistic as Excel, and contains far more granular controls over data presentation, so there’s a learning curve involved. This is not an app for casual graph building. It’s a pro tool with a pro price tag and pro complexity.