Tools for Teachers: Data Education

by | Apr 19, 2020 | Tools for Teachers | 0 comments

The Data Education in Schools team from the University of Edinburgh will be populating this post with links to software that can be used to support learners. There is another post that contains links to data sets that are openly available for learners and teachers.


Spreadsheet Software
ToolLink to accessProsCons
ExcelPart of Microsoft suiteCan set up relationships between data tables

Wide arrange of graphics options

Can write code using VBA

Version control not automatic

Cost if not a member of a free programme

Need to apply for free access

Google for everyone

Can publish to the web

Can write code using Apps Script

Limited dataset size: 5m cell max – excel is 17bn

Limited range of chart options


 Point and click data analysis software
ToolLink to accessProsCons
CODAPcodap.concord.orgFree, open-source and designed for educational purposes

Lots of examples

Intuitive data exploration

Good data manipulation capability, online capability

Data security

Version control

Not very attractive – designed by academics, not designers

Orangeorange.biolab.siVery detailed data analysis capability

Enables predictive modelling

Need to download, not web-based

A small learning curve


 Commercial visualisation software
ToolLink to accessProsCons
Power training materials

Works well online

Intuitive interface

Need to apply for free access

Lack of data preparation tools

Tableautableau.comCan write R code

Easy to use

Integrates well with databases

Need to apply for free access

Need to structure data first

Version control not easy

Qlikqlik.comAttractive and easy to useNeed an account for free access

Syntax not very clear

Infograminfogram.comFree basic account

Simple to use online

Basic package has limited functionality


 Programming environments for data science
ToolLink to accessProsCons


Great interactive development environment (IDE)

Packages enable all types of analysis and visualisations

Rshiny is used for dashboard and web applications

Steep learning curve

Requires some coding capability


Add on packages available to support data science

Many different packages for visualisation

Plotly is used for interactive plots

Complexity – a full programming language

No centralised IDE

Steep learning curve

Requires some coding capability


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