Tableau is a trail-blazing data visualization product on which many large corporations and public institutions rely. There is a free version of the product called Tableau Public, but the limited features may leave many satisfied. Here is a compilation of the only free, viable alternatives currently available:
The Watson brand from IBM became famous from its debut as a Jeopardy-playing robot in 2011. Fortunately, the data collection system has more uses than game show appearances. Watson Analytics offers free software for your data visualization needs.
Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT) is an open source project integrated within the Eclipse project. Unlike other leading proprietary products, it may be compiled on most operating systems including Linux and Mac OSX. Although not as user-friendly as Tableau, BIRT is capable of producing high-quality data reports. Those that are knowledgeable in Java and Eclipse will have an easy time adapting to this project.
Pentaho is another open source project that was recently acquired by Hitachi. The product includes data mining utilities, reporting and graphing, a snappy dashboard and extract transform load utilities. The project is kept alive both by Hitachi and the large voluntary team of developers.
Jaspersoft Community is the free and open source data visualization software that acts as a free alternative to their premium product Spotfire. Don’t be fooled into believing that it is a free trial, Jaspersoft is capable of doing the same tasks as the premium counterpart.
SpagoBI is a completely free business intelligence product that does not aim to rope users into paying for a premium version. Their only source of income is through their support and training services. The software has some unique reporting features including geospatial analytical mapping.
Although these products are well suited for most projects, the premium version of Tableau is that absolute best product available. Tableau has the most active development team that is years ahead of all other data visualization projects. It is recommended to make the upgrade if you are serious about data reporting for your business.