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Data Visualization

Instructors and students in any academic discipline can use data visualization tools to explore data and create powerful visual representations that make the story behind the data more compelling. Having students work with real-world data helps them apply what they learn to real-world issues.

We are exploring tools that make data exploration and visualization easier for students. Because the user interfaces of these tools are easier to learn, instructors can spend less time teaching the basics of tool use, and more time having students work directly with real data. Both of these tools can be connected to data sets available on the Internet, so that students can immediately begin working with data that relates to their interests and chosen disciplines.


JMP Pro (by the makers of SAS) combines powerful statistics with dynamic graphics, in memory and on the desktop. Interactive and visual, JMP Pro reveals insights that raw tables of numbers or static graphs tend to hide.

More information about JMP Pro – on the JMP Pro site

UMass Amherst has an academic site license for JMP Pro. If you are UMass Amherst student, staff, or faculty you can download a copy of JMP Pro and install it on your computer.

Download a UMass-licensed copy of JMP Pro (for faculty and students at UMass Amherst)

Getting Started with JMP Pro – provided by JMP Pro

Tableau Public

Tableau Public is a data exploration and presentation tool that can be used to create web-based interactive charts. As part of a campus pilot of Tableau as an administrative data assessment tool, we are exploring the free version, Tableau Public, as a tool for students. Tableau Public allows students to easily import data in common data formats, (CSV, XLS, SAV, and more), and can be directly connected to Google Sheets, and online public data sets.

Details about Tableau Public – on the Tableau site

Download Tableau Public Software – free from Tableau

Tableau Training Resources – provided by Tableau


Instructional Innovation is exploring these tools and has provided some events related to them.  Faculty and students who are interested in using these tools will find excellent support through the companies listed above. Contact Instructional Innovation if you have success stories or cautionary tales that you would like us to share with others.