Business analytics courses teach invaluable skills for analyzing big data and finding out crucial insights. However, most of us would agree that if possible, we would have also studied computer science, advanced mathematics and attended business classes to make ourselves experts, or rather wizards, at churning big data and creating magical results from it.
Well, there are quite a few tools – very powerful and exceptional – that can bring to you the power of all these fields of study for collecting and analyzing data. And the surprising part is that these tools are open source and absolutely free. Moreover, these data analysis tools for business are easy to use and have well-documented resources. These can be used to support your business and to develop skills that can enhance your career opportunities.
Let’s take a look at them.
- Tableau Public: It is a data visualization tool that is exceptionally powerful and elegantly simple. It has a million row limit that gives you ample space to experiment and learn. The free trial period is long and ends with you hooked to the tool. With Tableau, you can quickly investigate a hypothesis, test your gut feelings, and explore the data before starting a tricky statistical journey.
- IBM Watson Analytics: A cognitive service that’s meant to bear some of the load executives face when preparing data, while making it easier to run predictive analyses and use “visual storytelling”, such as using graphs, maps and infographics to illustrate a point.
- OpenRefine: It is a data cleaning system that was earlier known as GoogleRefine. It contains a lot of clustering algorithms that help you check and refine your database in a simple manner.
- RapidMiner: It operates by visual programming and can manipulate, analyze, and model data. This tool is an example of why data science does not have to be a counter-intuitive coding effort.
- Google Fusion Tables: You can say that it is the cooler cousin of Google Spreadsheets. It is an efficient tool that does data analysis, large-set data visualization, and mapping. It has the support of Google’s powerful mapping software.
- KNIME: It uses visual programming, like RapidMiner, to let you manipulate, analyze, and model data in an intuitive manner. Here, you drop nodes onto a canvas and then establish connection points between activities, instead of writing bulky blocks of code. KNIME can be extended to run python, R, text mining etc. With this, you have the option to explore the more advanced code-driven analysis.
- Google Search Operators: Operators allow you to filter Google results so that you have the most relevant and useful information before you. Examples of these operators are “”, site:, and Filetype:.
- io: If you thought that only the IT nerds can scrape the web and pull out information effortlessly, think again. With import.io, anyone can do that. All you have to do is highlight what you want and import.io asks you questions to ‘learn’ what you are searching. From there, it will dig up the relevant data you need to analyze or export.
Google these right away and begin your search for a better business, and a better career.
If you are already using these tools, or have used them in the past, do let us know how you find them. Share your opinion in the comments section below.