A command-line data visualization tool

Data Exploration

© Photo by Dane Deaner on Unsplash

© Photo by Dane Deaner on Unsplash

Article from Issue 277/2023

VisiData lets you easily manage, process, and view tabular data from multiple sources, all from the command line.

If you are looking for a way to manage your data from multiple sources, VisiData [1] can do the job. VisiData is a command-line tool that analyzes, reformats, and merges datasets in many different formats. It supports plain text files that contain JSON, XML, or Comma/Tab Separated Value (CSV/TSV) data; Python pandas DataFrames [2]; HTML tables; SQL databases; geospatial sets; OpenDocument or Microsoft Office spreadsheets; and more.

If data can be structured as tables consisting of rows and columns [3], VisiData can be the most efficient way to process the data in many cases. Being a command-line tool, VisiData is very fast, even with very big tables. You also can use VisiData across SSH connections or inside scripts, and it is easy to extend with Python functions. Finally, VisiData can process and even join datasets with different formats in the same session.

It helps to know a a little bit of Python, but you don't need to actually code anything to do lots of useful and fun stuff with VisiData. In this article, I will cover the main VisiData commands and tools, and then I'll show you VisiData's power with some simple examples using my personal database.


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