Best Free Test Data and Data Visualization Tools

It is very cumbersome and time-consuming to make up data for testing web applications or software in general. To make things easier next time around, I’ve searched on test data generators and found some good services to use. See them below.

For personal information, FakeNa.Me offers basic details like name, address, phone number, and email. The email is a ready-to-use but temporary account from Teleosaurs.Xyz. Additional info such as username, password, gender, date of birth, and even US social security number are also provided. Fake Name Ganarator is another site, but with more data and easier to use.

In e-commerce applications, Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover test credit card numbers can be obtained from Stripe and Paypal. You can assign any CVV, expiry date, and personal information to the number. Just make sure that the expiry date is in the future.

Mockaroo is a full-featured commercial data generator. You can add any type of field. And I mean any type, CC numbers, JSON arrays, formulas, even naughty strings. That means data that can cause errors, haha. You can download up to 1,000 rows of realistic test data in CSV, JSON, SQL, and Excel formats for free.

In the same mold is GenerateData, but it is limited to only 100 test data points. OnlineDataGenerator allows you to export a whopping 100,000 rows of test data. They have other generator tools. DatabaseTestData is another option.

ExtendClass is a developer’s dream. It is an all-in-one toolbox. It provides code testers, checkers, formatters, converters, etc. What I like is the CSV and JSON random data generators. It can definitely save a chunk of time. Also check out the RegEx Tester.

RegEx101 is another regex tester.

For email validation I use this: /[a-z0-9._%+-]+@[a-z0-9.-]+\.[a-z]{2,}$/.

For phone:  /^\+[1-9]{1}[0-9]{3,15}$/. To remove the \+ for international number support, if not needed.

For date with format DD/MM/YYYY: /^(?:(?:31(\/|-|\.)(?:0?[13578]|1[02]))\1|(?:(?:29|30)(\/|-|\.)(?:0?[13-9]|1[0-2])\2))(?:(?:1[6-9]|[2-9]\d)?\d{2})$|^(?:29(\/|-|\.)0?2\3(?:(?:(?:1[6-9]|[2-9]\d)?(?:0[48]|[2468][048]|[13579][26])|(?:(?:16|[2468][048]|[3579][26])00))))$|^(?:0?[1-9]|1\d|2[0-8])(\/|-|\.)(?:(?:0?[1-9])|(?:1[0-2]))\4(?:(?:1[6-9]|[2-9]\d)?\d{2})$/.

Data is more than just numbers and text, it is information that may be of value. It takes special skills to turn meaningless data into an understandable, impactful, and engaging presentation. Patterns, trends, and correlations are easily recognizable using data visualization tools and services.

I’ve been involved with quite a few web projects that require graphs, but with advancements like HTML5 and CSS3, data presentation goes beyond the standard lists, tables, and graphs that people are used to. There are now tools that take visualization to a whole new level.

Let’s begin with ones that require good old coding. Personally, I use ChartJS for my projects. Here are some self-hosted JavaScript (JS) based visualization libraries: Chiasm, Dygraphs and JavaScript InfoVis Toolkit(JIT). If you prefer Python, Bokeh is for you.

For non-developers, whine not, as there are online services that allow you to generate stunning visuals with less tinkering.

Vizydrop makes data visualization as elementary as it can be. As the name suggests, just drop your data and it will automatically generate a list of visual representations that best fit your dataset. They support CSV, JSON, and Excel file formats. Aside from uploading, you can also provide the URL of the data source or connect your cloud storage, or use built-in app connectors to popular services like Box, Dropbox, GitHub, Google Sheets, JIRA, OneDrive, TargetProcess, and Trello or you can create your own custom app connector.

After selecting a visual type, you can edit it using their Simple editor. All dynamic sources, like URLs and app sources, are updated on a daily basis to keep your visualizations up-to-date.

Tableau is a commercial service, but they offer Public for free. Public is an AJAX-based application that creates auto-updating visualizations. It can connect to dynamic data sources such as Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel 2007 or later, Microsoft Windows Azure Marketplace DataMarket, OData, .CSV files, Statistical Files such as SAS (*.sas7bdat), SPSS (*.sav), and R (*.rdata, *.rda) and Web Data Connectors.

It can support a whopping 15,000,000 rows of data per workbook. The finished visual is saved in your Tableau account, which allocates a whopping 10GB of storage space. The end product is also website embeddable. You can download the desktop app here.

Connect the Dots shows you how your data is connected by analyzing it as a network. Try it and be amazed. converts textual content into visuals.

GapMinder’s Bubbles have some interesting graphs about the population.

Use Knight Lab’s Timeline to create timelines, haha.

Microsoft is offering the desktop PowerBI for free.

How much easier can data visualization be with these tools? Duh.

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