If your company needs charts and diagrams on a regular basis, you’re in luck. These days, there are a number of platforms available that make it easy for users to create visual representations of all kinds of information from scratch and in very little time.While HighCharts is one of the most popular options out there, as you’re about to see, it’s far from the only one. There are a number of different platforms available these days that will give your staff everything they need to create amazing charts and graphs yet won’t tax your budget to the degree HighCharts might. Keep reading to find out more about these three alternatives to HighCharts.
The Importance of Chart and Diagram Software
For those who aren’t yet sold on the need for this kind of software, though, it’s worth exploring why so many companies use programs that allow them to make charts and graphs on demand.To many, their main problem with paying for software to build charts and diagrams is that it just doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense to spend money on them. After all, just about every office suite of software out there makes it possible to build some type of chart from scratch. Most of you have probably made some version or another at some point.The problems with this are manifold, though. For one thing, charts made from office suite programs usually look lackluster at best. They also give you very few options for the sake of trying to customize the finished result. Most companies would benefit from being able to build charts or diagrams that come with some unique features. After all, if you have to explain what a chart is trying to show, that chart probably isn’t really doing its job in the first place.There are all kinds of reasons companies may need to build charts and diagrams, but two very important ones will resonate with most. First, there’s the need to communicate information on a client-facing level. You want to effortlessly show them anything from competition analyses to revenue forecasts. Without a compelling diagram, your presentation is going to lack for results.Another good reason to invest in this type of software is that you can use a diagram to outline sitemaps. Today, most companies would benefit from having more involved websites, especially when it comes to deploying a sales funnel. Getting everyone on the same page about how a website will look and function is much easier when you use a diagram for doing so. Of course, this is an extremely helpful function to have when your company makes websites for clients.
Finding an Alternative to HighCharts
The team behind Lucidchart has quickly expanded over the years to a company of over 50 employees thanks to all the demand they’ve faced for their software. Today, they have a staff dedicated to customer service, front-end and back-end engineering, sales and marketing and, of course, quality assurance. This attention to their customers and dedication to handling any needs they may have in the future is one of the reasons Lucidchart has become such a favorite among those who need help creating diagrams and charts.One of the main selling points of this chart and diagram software is how easily it allows users to work with their fellow staff members in collaborative environments. By being able to create and edit your graphs and charts in real time, more can get done by more people in less time. You also don’t need to worry about having to go back and revisit the diagram in a group setting before you know that everyone is getting their voices heard for the best possible result.Better still is the fact that Lucidchart is also extremely user-friendly. Just about anyone is going to be able to get up and running with the software in no time. So even if you have staff that have never used chart and diagram software before, they can become relatively proficient right away and start adding results to your company. Plus, as you’ve seen, if you do need help, customer support is never far away with assistance.Along the same lines, Lucidchart will perform on any device your employees prefer: iPad, iPhone, Mac, Windows devices and Linux devices. They can even use it remotely on the World Wide Web. This is especially helpful for those of you who have employees who work remotely or otherwise hire freelancers from time to time. The program can seamlessly integrate with Google apps and even offers total support for Microsoft Visio documents. The accompanying app and Internet support will allow your staff to take part in collaborations even when they’re on the move.For those of you who are trying to make the most out of a tight budget, Lucidchart will not disappoint. In fact, you can use it for free if you go with the most minimal version. You’ll get 60 objects to choose from, an extensive library of shapes, 25 MB of storage and even support over the web. This isn’t a trial version either; as long as your needs don’t exceed those parameters, your budget will never have to know about Lucidchart.Even the basic version is extremely affordable, though. At only $3.33 a month, you’ll get unlimited objects and 100 MB of storage to use. There are mind mapping programs you’ll love, support over the web and through the Internet plus local backups. The extensive library of shapes is also available.With the pro version, you’ll only spend $8.33 a month to get unlimited objects and that shape library we keep bringing up. However, you’ll also get the local backups and a full GB of storage all to yourself. The company will provide you with web and email support too. There’s also the mind mapping, wireframing, Visio import/export and revision features to look forward to.Some companies may want a bit more features and have a team they want to give them too. If that sounds like your organization, then the team account of Lucidchart is definitely worth looking into. While you’ll pay $252 a year for it, keep in mind that this will be good for five users. You’ll get all the specs we mentioned in the pro version plus compatibility with JIRA, Confluence and Google Apps. Shared templates and images are also available, which will make collaboration between your team members extremely easy.The above probably makes it fairly clear why some three million customers from all over the world have made Lucidchart their program of choice. For the most part, you’ll at least want the basic version because it promises you the opportunity to use more than 60 objects and take advantage of the software’s collaborative features. Again, though, even if you decide to, your budget should be just fine.Once you decide on the version that best meets your unique needs, the program will take over in terms of walking you through setup. As we already talked about, this software is extremely easy to use. Basically, if you can drag and drop, you can move elements around the page, create shapes as necessary and draw lines in order to create the chart or graph you had in mind. Of course, you can also write text in these boxes and otherwise add labels.Whether you want a simple chart in black and white or to make something more complicated with lots of different colors and styles, Lucidchart will not disappoint. Once you’re happy with what you have created from scratch, save your results and export them into .png or .jpg. For something really unique, load the chart into Photoshop or Illustrator and really get creative.When it comes to creating charts and graphs for your company, it’s tough thinking of better software than Lucidchart. Millions have already decided to entrust this platform with their needs in this area.
The name really says it all with this platform. There is a lot to love about using Lovely Charts, but one of the reasons so many companies prefer using it over other options is simply how great the finished results look. When you want to create sitemaps, flowcharts, .org charts, wireframe visuals and more, you’re going to have an easy time choosing Lovely Charts.With a lot of other programs, you’ll quickly find that creating even the simplest of charts is extremely laborious. You have to do everything from choosing the right colors to drawing arrows where you want them, picking the correct symbols and much, much more.At the end of the day, many would agree that all of this extra work is just superfluous and that it stands between the user and the finished result they can see in their mind. Of course, it also takes up lots of time too. So you’re investing hours you may not necessarily have available for a product that you may not even be happy with.Like Lucidchart, Lovely Charts operates on an intuitive frame that requires little more than dragging and dropping elements into place until you arrive at exactly what you want. There’s absolutely no need to draw anything or otherwise bring artistic talent to the table. This way, Lovely Charts ensures that people from every background can pick up their software and begin making truly beautiful charts and diagrams for whatever reason. Best of all, Lovely Charts works on a number of different devices. For example, at just $3.99, you can have the iPad version of Lucky Charts at your disposal. Keep in mind, that’s just a onetime fee. It’s not going to be a monthly subscription setup of $3.99 a month. Just pay it once for a single user and you’re done.That small amount will bring plenty of powerful features with it, though. You’ll have drawing guides that give even the most artistically-challenged a real chance at showing off some beautiful designs. Zooming and planning support will also help the true novice use Lovely Charts like they had been doing so their entire lives. iPad users will get all kinds of helpful elements like connection styles that include dotted, dashed and colored arrows too. Finally, there are some really expansive libraries to help you make flowcharts, wireframes, sitemaps and BPMN in a matter of seconds. You only have to spend $29 to get the online version and, again, this is a single fee you pay once in order to get to always use this software whenever you want. The drag and drop system of diagram creation is paired with “snappable” drawing grids making it even easier to go from rookie to experienced veteran with this software. Add in the support for zooming and planning and you’ll be creating some truly impressive charts and diagrams with little help. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll love how quick keyboard shortcuts make it for you to jump through the creation process.If you’d prefer to use Lovely Charts on your desktop, it’s just a one-time fee of $59 for a single user. Aside from all of the above elements you have to look forward to, you have the option to import images of your choice in PNG, GIF and JPG formats. One of the cool things you can use this feature for is including your logo and that of your competitors’ to help show things like competitive analyses in eye-catching charts. Making this even easier is the access to iconfinder.com you get, so you won’t have to look for long to get the image you want for your chart or diagramWith this version, you’ll also be able to import entire third-party libraries. You get unlimited exports too and can even share the diagrams you create for collaboration with just one about anyone. When you’re on the move, work offline without missing out on any of the major features for creating your charts.Lastly, there’s a ton of customization to enjoy with Lovely Charts. Change fonts, shapes, formatting and more until you get the perfect look for your creations.All this and more is waiting for your company at an affordable price when you decide to go with Lovely Charts. Start with the most affordable option, if you like, to test the waters. You can always decide later to upgrade to something better if your budget allows. In any case, they’re just one-time payments.
Thanks to Pentalogic PivotPoint, it’s extremely easy to create charts and tables in SharePoint. Take whatever list you may have—no matter how long and complex—and create charts and tables that anyone will be able to look at and immediately understand. You don’t even have to export it into excel in order to enjoy a dynamic interface everyone can work with.Once you have your information selected and begin working with it, you may find you’d really benefit from being able to manipulate it for the sake of conducting various calculations. Whether you want to know the count, sum, average, percentage, etc., Pentalogic PivotPoint can do it all without having to extract the information from the software and then start the chart all over again. With the program’s Tool Tips, you can do multiple calculations all at the same time.You can also do groupings too. For example, if you’re doing a financial report, it may help to organize the information by month, quarter or year. Again, none of this needs to involve you extracting the information to the point where you can no longer proceed with using the data in your chart or diagram.Along the same lines, the team behind Pentalogic PivotPoint understood how helpful it can be to reassess data as time goes on. This shouldn’t have to mean, though, that you need to completely abandon the chart or diagram you created earlier and start all over again from scratch. For example, you may want to add a new list item right from the web to your diagram. Pentalogic PivotPoint makes this possible and easy to do. As the list you’re using changes, you can also expect your tables and charts to be updated as well. Drill down from the cells of these tables or charts to get better detail on any piece of information.Although Pentalogic PivotPoint costs quite a bit more than the options we mentioned above, only one version is more expensive than what HighCharts has to offer. Plus, for many companies, you absolutely need all the features this program brings to the table and would actually end up losing money if you tried going with one of the other titles we’ve outlined here. In fact, if your business uses SharePoint, you’ll most likely have a hard time considering any other platform that isn’t Pentalogic PivotPoint.The most affordable version is the single server bundle. For a one-time fee of $745, a user gets access to pivot tables and three different chart types (column, bar and line) as well as funnels. These include a wide range of formatting options and effects too.You also have the dynamic list interface and calculator we mentioned above. Once you have the information you want, you can display it in 2007, 2010 and 2013 versions of SharePoint or print it off with ease.Next is the three pack. This bundle is $1,750 for a single user and comes with all the features above plus a number of others and, obviously, the increase in users that can collaborate with the software at the same time.Finally, there’s the site license version of Pentalogic PivotPoint. It costs $3,725 and will give you the same as the last package, except, obviously, it is an enterprise-sized application. So if your company needs to regularly produce graphs and charts and you want a wide range of employees to be able to do so, the site license bundle is probably going to be the best fit for your organization.Since 2005, Pentalogic Technology, Ltd. has been operating out of England, but serving clients all over the world. Their customers include all kinds of government bodies, corporations, non-profit organizations and community foundations. They are a Microsoft Certified Planner that works to address the daily needs of companies that use SharePoint—whether they be end users or power users. So again, if your company is large and relies heavily on SharePoint, you’ll have a hard time finding a better program for creating the charts and diagrams you need.Don’t let your company’s communication suffer—whether with customers or internally—because you don’t have diagrams and graphs to help with the job. Instead, consider the three alternatives to HighCharts we just covered to make efficient communication a certainty.
Diagrams & Charts Software Alternatives for Highcharts