9 Best Data Exploration Tools: Their Advantages, Disadvantages & Pricing


Best 9 Data Exploration Tools: Their Advantages, Disadvantages & Pricing

In today's data-driven world, the abundance of information has become both a boon and a challenge. With massive amounts of data being generated every second, organizations are struggling with the task of extracting meaningful insights from this vast sea of information. This is where data exploration comes into play. 

What is Data Exploration 

Data exploration refers to the process of examining and analyzing raw data sets to discover patterns, trends, and relationships within the data. It involves analyzing various variables, summarizing their characteristics, and identifying potential correlations or outliers. By exploring data, researchers can uncover valuable insights that can drive decision-making processes and lead to improved business strategies.

Why is Data Exploration Needed? 

To Uncover Hidden Patterns:  

Data exploration helps uncover hidden patterns or trends that may not be immediately visible. By visualizing and analyzing data in different ways, researchers can identify relationships or associations that were previously unknown.  

To Identify Outliers:  

Data exploration allows for the identification of anomalies or outliers within a dataset. These outliers could be errors or unusual occurrences that require further investigation. Detecting such anomalies is essential as they can provide critical insights into system failures, fraud detection, or quality control issues. 

 Facilitates Better Decision-Making:  

Exploring data helps organizations make informed decisions by providing them with actionable insights. By understanding customer behavior, market trends, or operational inefficiencies through data exploration techniques businesses can optimize their processes. 

By utilizing various techniques like visualization, summarization, and statistical analysis, researchers can uncover hidden patterns, identify anomalies, gain insights for decision-making, and improve predictive models.  

Steps Involved in Data Exploration  

The following are the general steps involved in exploring data: 

1. Data Collection:  

Gathering relevant datasets from various sources such as databases, spreadsheets, APIs, or web scraping tools. 

2. Data Understanding:  

Familiarizing with the variables present in the dataset. Review any metadata associated with the dataset to understand its meanings and properties. 

3. Data Cleaning And Data Preparation:  

Cleanse the data by addressing missing values, outliers, inconsistencies, or errors that can affect analysis results. Techniques like imputation or removing outliers may be employed based on statistical methods. 

4. Descriptive Statistics:  

Calculate summary statistics such as mean, median, mode, standard deviation, range, and percentiles to get an overview of variable distributions.  

5. Data Visualization:  

Generate visual representations using visualization tools like Sprinkle Data, Matplotlib, or Tableau to explore data and relationships between variables or detect trends/patterns in data points that are not easily identifiable through descriptive statistics alone.  

6. Feature Engineering:  

Create new features by transforming existing ones based on domain knowledge or statistical techniques such as scaling/normalization (e.g., z-score), one-hot encoding categorical variables, binning continuous variables, etc. 

7. Correlation Analysis:  

Perform correlation analysis to quantify relationships between pairs of variables using techniques like Pearson's correlation coefficient or Spearman's rank correlation coefficient. This helps identify strongly correlated variables. 

8. Hypothesis Testing:

Formulate and test hypotheses about relationships or differences in the data using statistical tests such as t-tests, ANOVA, or non-parametric tests.  

The whole exploration process is often iterative, in which some steps may need to be repeated multiple times depending on the insights gained and further questions raised during the exploration process. 

To get rid of these tedious steps using data exploration tools can ease your task:  

Data Exploration Tools

With vast amounts of data being generated every day, it has become essential to have efficient tools that facilitate data exploration. In this section, we will discuss 9 popular data exploration tools, highlighting their advantages, disadvantages, and pricing. 

Sprinkle Data   

sprinkle data- Data Exploration Tools

Sprinkle Data is a BI and self-service data analytics platform that offers businesses valuable insights and helps them make informed decisions. With its advanced features, Sprinkle Data allows companies to collect, analyze, and visualize their data efficiently.  

Pros of Sprinkle Data: 

  • Sprinkle data supports Python notebooks, making it versatile and easy to uncover hidden patterns and trends in data.
  • One of the significant advantages of Sprinkle Data is its intuitive user interface. Even non-technical users can easily navigate through the platform and access relevant information without requiring extensive training or coding knowledge. 
  • The platform seamlessly handles increasing volumes of data without compromising on performance. 
  • It can seamlessly integrate with various databases, allowing real-time access to information. This ensures working with the most current data. 
  • Users can easily explore their data by selecting variables, applying filters, and drilling down into specific details. 
  • It supports features like breakout and drill-down helping users to explore their data with just a click.  
  • Advanced features like cross-filtering and Linked Insights give instant insight into the data and help in finding patterns/trends. 
  • Sprinkle Data is a beginner-friendly easy to use low-code platform with advanced features. 
  • It supports interactive visualizations that allow users to explore their data in different ways. 
  • The Date Drill feature in Sprinkle Data allows users to analyze and explore their data based on the date which helps to find daily patterns and any changes in the existing patterns.  

Cons of Sprinkle Data: 

  • Dashboards can be made more attractive by incorporating different themes according to the user's needs. 



Python - data exploration tools

Image source 

Python is a popular programming language that has gained significant popularity in the field of exploratory data analysis (EDA). It offers numerous advantages for data analysts and data scientists, due to its extensive libraries, ease of use, and versatility.  

Pros of Python: 

  • Python provides an extensive collection of libraries such as Pandas, NumPy, Matplotlib, Seaborn, and Plotly. These libraries offer powerful tools that streamline the EDA process. 
  • Python can handle various types of data sources, including CSV files, Excel spreadsheets, SQL databases, JSON files, and web scraping.  
  • Python has a large and active community of developers who contribute to open-source projects regularly.  
  • Python seamlessly integrates with other popular tools used in data analysis workflows such as Jupyter Notebooks or Apache Spark. 
  • Python data visualization library consists of various libraries such as Matplotlib, and Scikit Learn that are used to visualize data.

Cons of Python: 

  • Compared to lower-level languages like C++ or Java, Python may be slower when executing certain operations due to its interpreted nature.  
  • It has a steep learning curve for those new to programming. Understanding the fundamentals and syntax of the language may require some initial effort. 
  • Python's memory management system may not be as efficient as in languages like C++, which can result in higher memory consumption for large datasets.  


Python itself is an open-source language and is free to use. Users only need to download and install Python from the official website without any additional costs.


R - Data Exploration Tools

Image source 

R is a powerful open-source programming language and software environment that is widely used in the field of data analysis. It offers a wide range of statistical and graphical techniques for exploring, summarizing, and visualizing data. R's flexibility and extensive library of packages make it a popular choice among data analysts and statisticians for conducting exploratory data analysis. 

Pros of R: 

  • R provides a vast array of built-in statistical functions and packages that allow users to perform various analyses. 
  • R has excellent visualization capabilities through its dedicated package called ggplot2. This package allows users to create highly customizable and publication-quality graphs, charts, plots, and maps.  
  • R promotes reproducibility by providing tools like Markdown or Sweave that enable users to document their entire analysis process along with the code used.  
  • R has a large community of active users who contribute to the development of new packages and provide support through forums, mailing lists, and online resources. 

Cons of R: 

  • Due to its extensive functionality and syntax complexity, learning R can be challenging for beginners with no prior programming experience. 
  • Processing large datasets can lead to slower execution times and potential crashes if the available system resources are insufficient. 
  • It has a dependency on additional packages that may require users to install and manage multiple packages, which can be time-consuming. 


R for EDA is an open-source software freely available for download from the official website.  


RapidMiner - Data Exploartion tools

Image source 

RapidMiner is a powerful tool that allows users to gain valuable insights from their data through visualizations, statistical analysis, and predictive modeling. It offers a user-friendly interface with drag-and-drop functionality, making it accessible for both data scientists and non-technical users.

Pros of RapidMiner: 

  • RapidMiner provides a visually intuitive interface in which users can simply drag and drop data into the workflow diagram and apply various analytical techniques. 
  • The software offers a wide range of data transformation and cleaning functionalities, including missing data value imputation, outlier detection, attribute selection, and feature engineering. 
  • RapidMiner incorporates a rich set of statistical algorithms and machine learning techniques such as clustering, classification, regression, time series analysis, text mining, and association rule discovery. 
  • The platform includes interactive visualization tools that allow users to create meaningful charts, graphs, heatmaps, scatter plots, histograms, and more.  

Cons of RapidMiner: 

  • There are certain limitations in terms of customization options or specific algorithms they want to implement. 
  • It has a steep learning curve and is not beginner-friendly. 


Image source 


KNIME - Data Exploration Tools

Image source 

KNIME is an open-source data analytics platform that provides a comprehensive suite of tools for exploratory data analysis (EDA). It allows users to visually design workflows, integrate various data sources, and perform data preprocessing tasks

Pros of KNIME: 

  • It has an intuitive visual workflow designer in which users can easily drag and drop nodes onto the canvas and connect them to create complex EDA workflows.  
  • It has a beginner-friendly interface that makes it easy for even non-programmers to build and modify analytical processes. 
  • KNIME offers a vast array of pre-built nodes that cover a wide range of EDA tasks. 
  • KNIME is designed to handle large datasets efficiently. It supports distributed computing on multi-core machines as well as cluster environments such as Apache Hadoop or Spark. 

Cons of KNIME: 

  • It does not offer the same level of performance optimization as specialized tools or programming languages.  
  • When dealing with large datasets, KNIME's memory usage can become a limiting factor.  
  • Workflows that involve iterative processes require careful management of memory allocation to avoid performance issues. 


Image source 

Apache Spark: 

Apache Spark - Data Exploration tools

Image source 

Apache Spark is an open-source big data processing framework widely used for exploratory data analysis (EDA). It provides a fast and distributed computing engine that allows users to process large volumes of data efficiently. Spark's in-memory processing capability, combined with its ability to handle various types of workloads, makes it suitable for EDA tasks. 

Pros of Apache Spark: 

  • Spark leverages in-memory computing, which enables faster data processing compared to traditional disk-based systems. 
  • Due to its fast speed dealing with large datasets and complex analytical queries is easy. 
  • Apache Spark is highly scalable, allowing users to analyze massive amounts of data across a cluster of machines.
  • It can handle both batch and real-time streaming workloads, making it versatile for different EDA scenarios.  
  • Spark offers a comprehensive ecosystem with numerous libraries specifically designed for data analysis tasks.  

Cons of Apache Spark: 

  • Setting up and configuring a Spark cluster can be complex compared to simpler frameworks like Pandas or R packages for minor EDA tasks. 
  • Due to its distributed nature and various programming interfaces, learning Spark can be challenging for individuals with limited experience in big data processing.  


Apache Spark itself is free and open-source software, allowing users to download, install, and use it without any licensing costs. 

SAS Visual Analytics: 

SAS Visual Analytics - data exploration tools

Image source 

SAS Visual Analytics is a powerful data visualization and exploration tool designed for businesses to gain insights from their data. It provides an interactive and intuitive interface that allows users to easily explore, analyze, and visualize data from various sources in real time. With its advanced analytics capabilities, SAS Visual Analytics helps organizations make informed decisions and drive business growth. 

Pros of SAS Visual Analytics: 

  • SAS Visual Analytics offers a drag-and-drop interface that enables users to quickly create visualizations and perform ad-hoc analysis.  
  • This tool provides various statistical techniques such as regression analysis, clustering, forecasting, and text mining. 
  • SAS Visual Analytics supports collaborative work environments where multiple users can simultaneously access and interact with shared dashboards. 
  • SAS Visual Analytics is built on a high-performance architecture that allows it to handle large datasets efficiently.  

Cons of SAS Visual Analytics: 

  • Due to its extensive functionalities and advanced features, SAS Visual Analytics may have a steep learning curve for new users who are not familiar with the platform  
  • SAS Visual Analytics has limited customization options compared to some other data visualization tools available in the market.  
  • Its pricing structure is prohibitive for small businesses or individuals with limited budgets.  


Image source 



Excel- data exploration tools

Image source 

Excel is a widely used software tool developed by Microsoft that allows users to analyze and manipulate data in a spreadsheet format. It offers a range of features and functions that make it suitable for various data analysis tasks, from basic calculations to advanced statistical analyses.  

Pros of Excel: 

  • It has a user-friendly interface which makes it easy for users to input and organize their data.  
  • The menu-driven commands make it accessible to users with limited programming knowledge. 
  • Excel offers a wide range of built-in functions and formulas that allow users to perform various data manipulation tasks. 
  • Excel includes a variety of tools for creating visualizations such as charts and graphs, which can help users better understand their data patterns and trends. 
  • Excel seamlessly integrates with other Microsoft Office applications like Word and PowerPoint, making it convenient to import/export data or create reports. 

 Cons of Excel: 

  • Excel has certain limitations in terms of the number of rows and columns it can accommodate.  
  • It does not have the extensive capabilities needed for complex analyses such as multivariate regression or non-linear modeling.  
  • Excel is prone to human errors, especially when dealing with large datasets or complex calculations.  
  • Collaborating on data analysis projects can be challenging in Excel as it lacks real-time collaboration features.  


Image source 

Orange Data Mining:  

Orange Data Mining - Data Exploration tools

Image source 

Orange data mining is an open-source machine learning and data mining toolkit that also provides functionalities for exploratory data analysis. It offers a visual programming interface with various widgets for performing diverse EDA tasks such as outlier detection, feature selection, clustering, etc. 

Pros of Orange Data Mining: 

  • It has an intuitive visual programming interface that allows both beginners and experienced analysts to easily manipulate and explore their data. 
  • The software offers a rich set of tools for various stages of the EDA process, including data visualization, preprocessing, feature selection, clustering, classification, regression, and more.  
  • It supports various statistical techniques such as correlation analysis and hypothesis testing for in-depth analysis. 
  • It allows users to extend its functionality by adding custom Python scripts or installing additional add-ons from the Orange ecosystem. 

Cons of Orange Data Mining: 

  • It lacks some advanced analytics techniques compared to specialized tools focused on specific domains.  
  • The software is not beginner-friendly and has a steep learning curve for new users. 
  • Orange data mining is suitable for small-sized organizations but due to its limited scalability, it is not a right fit for medium to large-sized organizations.   


Orange Data Mining is an open-source software and is available for free under the GNU General Public License (GPL).  


Tools are essential for effective Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA) as they simplify the process and provide numerous benefits. These tools enable data analysts and data scientists to efficiently explore, manipulate, visualize, and draw insights from large datasets. Utilizing tools for EDA is crucial in today's data-driven world. 

Sprinkle Data offers a wide range of features and capabilities that make it the best choice for conducting EDA. Its interactive interface allows users to easily navigate through data, apply various filters, perform calculations, and create customized visualizations.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - Tools for Data Exploration 

 What is a data exploration tool?  

A data exploration tool is a software application that allows users to analyze, interpret, and visualize data to gain insights and make informed decisions. 

What is data exploration in GIS?  

Data exploration in GIS (Geographic Information System) refers to the process of examining spatial data to understand patterns, relationships, and trends within a specific geographical area. It involves analyzing various layers of geographic information like maps, satellite imagery, and demographic data to extract meaningful insights for decision-making. 

What are the tools to show data?  

There are several tools available to show data effectively. Some popular ones include Sprinkle Data, Tableau, Power BI, Excel charts and graphs, and Python libraries like Matplotlib or Seaborn for visualization purposes. 

What is data exploration in SQL?  

In SQL (Structured Query Language), data exploration refers to querying databases using SELECT statements with different conditions and criteria to retrieve specific subsets of data. 

What are data exploration examples?  

Examples of data exploration may include analyzing customer purchase behavior to identify buying patterns. 

How to do data exploration in Excel?  

To perform data exploration in Excel, one can start by importing the dataset into an Excel spreadsheet. Then employ various Excel functions such as sorting and filtering the data, creating pivot tables for summarizing information, and generating charts or graphs for visual representation of the data distributions or trends. 

What is the first step in exploring data?  

The first step in exploring data is typically to gather and import the relevant dataset into a suitable tool. This may involve collecting data from various sources, cleaning and preprocessing the data, and organizing it to facilitate further analysis. 

What is the full form of EDA?  

EDA stands for Exploratory Data Analysis. It is an approach to investigate and understand datasets before applying formal statistical techniques or building predictive models.  

Are EDA and ETL the same?  

EDA (Exploratory Data Analysis) and ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) are not the same concepts. ETL refers to the process of extracting data from multiple sources, transforming it into a consistent format, and loading it into a target database for further analysis. On the other hand, EDA focuses on examining and understanding raw datasets to gain insights before any transformation or modeling takes place. 

Why is EDA used? 

EDA is used to explore datasets to gain insights into their structure, and relationships between variables, patterns, or trends present within them.  

Written by
Rupal Sharma


9 Best Data Exploration Tools: Their Advantages, Disadvantages & Pricing