For the Dig Into Data meetup this Wednesday, we’ll be talking about tools to use for analyzing data. If you’d like to follow along in the meeting, you can install these tools before you arrive.

The two applications are:

  • Tableau public, for analyzing tabular data. It is a great tool for basic data mining.
  • QGIS, for geographic data.

Tableau Public is the free, limited  version of  Tableau’s professional data mining tools. It is really easy to install, just visit their download page to get started.  Tableau Public runs only on Windows, but I run it on my Mac with Parallels. It does a bit of a learning curve, though.

QGIS is and open source GIS application. It is an excellent tool, but a bit rougher. For Windows users, there is a a Standalone Installer that works great. For Mac users, you’ll have to do more work — installing QGIS required installing two frameworks first. To install it, visit this page, then install both of the packages linked in the section titled “Requirements.” Then download and install the QGIS application in the last section.

If you are unfamiliar with these tools, you’ll get a detailed guide in the presentation on Wednesday, and I’ll be producing a few videos to demonstrate their use this week.