It's not often that I come across some free software which makes me say "wow!". But the other day I did just that. The program in question is Tableau, which is a tool for visualising data. In other words, taking a set of figures and turning them into something which is easier to understand and which looks much nicer than a set of numbers.
Tableau makes a number of products, aimed at business people who want to create reports which provide Business Intelligence. They also produce a free program called Tableau Public, which is designed to make it easy to create visualisations and publish them on the web. Presumably so that you can show other people just how powerful Tableau is.
But even if you don't intend to publish your diagrams on the internet, Tableau Public is still an amazing piece of software to play with. Just point it at a data source, eg a spreadsheet or a CSV file, and instantly create stunning looking graphs and tables by dragging column titles etc from your worksheet onto the Tableau area. Then just screen-grab the results and save them as you wish.
It really is very quick to produce stuff that looks amazing, and it's pretty much guaranteed to get your kids some extra marks when they come to present their homework at school!
Check out the download at https://public.tableau.com/s/ and grab the installer. It's just over 128 MB so VirusTotal won't scan it, but my PC's antivirus software reckons it's malware-free. As does Web of Trust.
Give it a try. If it doesn't "wow" you like it did me, I'll be amazed.
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