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What software do you use for visualisation of data?

We provided a list of packages, responses were one of: not used, occasionally used, frequently used or essential.

Note that we've combined the numbers of people who use each tool, the frequency of use is colour coded.



  1. The three most frequently used tools (gnuplot, MATLAB, Jmol) account for 26% of the responses.
  2. Conversely, there is a tail of 31 packages that also accounts for 26% of the responses.
  3. The top four Essential tools (gnuplot, MATLAB, VMD, xmgrace) account for 42% of the responses.

We need to ask why is there a long tail? Are there any useful features provided by the less popular tools that are not provided by gnuplot, MATLAB or Jmol? This is answered in the comments of questions 5 and 6.

Respondents were given the opportunity to mention any tools not listed:


41 tools are mentioned, used by a total of 76 respondents. It is again interesting to discover why these tools are used. We attempt to answer this with the comments of questions 5 and 6.

Other new tools listed are:

  1. plotly https://plot.ly/