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Tools for Digital Scholarship & Data

This guide is a curated list of tools for digital scholarship and research data projects.

Data Visualization


If you have Microsoft Office products installed on your computer, then you already have a data visualization and analysis tool at your fingertips. Excel can be used to express your data in charts, tables, dashboards, and more. Excel functionality can also be extended through the use of free Add-Ins. These can be found in the Microsoft AppSource. Here are a few Add-Ins to consider: Radial Bar Chart, Bubbles, GIGRAPH, Power Map, and People Graph. You can also directly add these and any other Add-Ins when you are in Excel. Go to the Insert tab and within the Add-Ins section of the navigation ribbon click on Store.



Tableau Desktop Public is the free version of the Tableau product suite that allows you to create interactive charts, graphs, maps, and live dashboards. You get 10GB of space, and your visualizations can be shared via social media or embedded in a website or blog. Data sources include: Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel 2007 or later, Text files - comma separated value (.csv) files, JSON files, Statistical Files; SAS (*.sas7bdat), SPSS (*.sav), and R (*.rdata, *.rda), Spatial Files (ESRI shape files, KML, and MapInfo), Web Data Connectors, and ODat.

If you are a student, faculty member, or staff of the University of Kentucky, you have access to a free 14-day trial of Tableau Desktop premium version. This is available through Institutional Research and Advanced Analytics. Discover more information about Tableau Server and Super Users at the University of Kentucky. Furthermore, if you are a faculty member teaching a course or conducting noncommercial academic research you can request a free year-long license to the Academic suite which includes Tableau Desktop, Tableau Prep, and Tableau Online. For more information and to request a license visit Tableau for Teaching. Students are eligible for a free one-year license to activate Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep. To request a student license visit Tableau for Students.



Tell the story of your data. Flourish can be used to animate visualizations and provide explanation.

Note! Free Package includes: Core templates (maps, charts, etc); Unlimited public views; Embed projects on your site; Create stories and presentations; Save images for offline use; Mobile and tablet friendly.



Palladio was developed by Humanities + Design, a research lab at Stanford University, through a NEH Implementation Grant (July 2013-June 2016). Their goal was to understand design for graphical interfaces based on humanistic inquiry. Your tabular data can be visualized in a map view, graph view, list view, and gallery view. Upload your tabular data to the Palladio interface and refine it, visualize it, and save it on your computer as a Palladio Project. The saved Palladio Project will be a .json file and includes the schema and structure required to visualize your data in Palladio the next time you visit. For more information about Humanities + Design's tool developments check out Open Source Tools for Research.



is a programming language and open source software environment for statistical computing and graphics. Supported by the R Foundation, R provides a variety of statistical and graphical techniques. R can be extended easily through packages and through the CRAN family of internet sites. R excels in providing publication-quality plots including mathematical symbols and formulae.



D3.js (Data-Driven Documents) is a JavaScript library for manipulating documents based on data. D3 helps you bring data to life using HTML, SVG, and CSS. D3’s emphasis on web standards gives you the full capabilities of modern browsers without tying yourself to a proprietary framework, combining powerful visualization components and a data-driven approach to Document Object Model (DOM) manipulation. See the wide range of visualizations in the D3 Gallery. D3 requires some familiarity with JavaScript and may present a steep learning curve for some.