Programming and Tools

Introduction to Data Visualization

Data visualization is a key part of any Data science workflow, but it is frequently treated as an afterthought or an inconvenient extra step in reporting the results of an analysis as mostly said as the cliché goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Data visualization should really be part of your workflow from the very beginning, as there is a lot of value added and insights to be gained from just looking at the data. Summary statistics, which sometimes is bulky with too much information in a spreadsheet often can’t tell the whole picture of the story; Anscombe’s quartet is an unforgettable demonstration of this principle. Furthermore, the impact of an effective visualization is difficult to match with words and will go a long way toward ensuring that your work gets the recognition it deserves.

In  any data visualization, there are three basic types of variables:

  1. Quantitative: basically numerical data which represent a measurement. Quantitative variables can be discrete (e.g., units sold in 2018) or continuous (e.g., average units sold per person).
  2. Categorical: The values such variables are names or labels. There is no inherent ordering of the labels. Examples of such variables are countries in a sales database and the names of products.
  3. Ordinal: Variables that can take on values that are ranked on an arbitrary numerical scale/index. The numerical index associated with each value has no meaning except to rank the values relative to each other. Examples include days of the week, levels of satisfaction (least satisfied, satisfied, very satisfied), and customer value (low, medium, high).

When visualizing data, keep in mind the main factor which is the purpose of the visualization, as this will guide in choosing the best plot type. Secondly, once you know the purpose and choose the plot type, another critical guiding principle to follow is that simpler is almost always better. Often, the most effective visualizations are those that are easily digested — because the clarity of thought processes is reflected in the clarity of the work. Additionally, overly complicated visuals can be misleading and hard to interpret, which might lead the audience to tune out of the intended results. For such reasons, restrict plots to two dimensions (unless the need for a third one is absolutely mandatory), avoid visual noise (such as unnecessary tick marks, irrelevant annotations and clashing colors), and make sure that everything is legible.

Audio & Video

  • Cumulus – SoundCloud player in your menubar.
  • Gokotta – Music player.
  • Google Play Music Desktop Player – Unofficial Google Play Music app.
  • google-music-electron – Unofficial Google music app.
  • Headset – Discover, collect and listen to music from YouTube.
  • Kakapo – Ambient sound mixer for relaxation or productivity.
  • Kaku – an Integrated music player that supports different online platforms like YouTube, SoundCloud, Vimeo and more.
  • Kap – Screen recorder with GIF support.
  • Loop Drop – MIDI looper and synth for live electronic music performances.
  • LosslessCut – Lossless video trimming & cutting.
  • Museeks – Music player.
  • Nuclear – Music player that streams from free sources.
  • SmartMirror – A voice controlled life automation hub, most commonly powered by the Raspberry Pi.
  • Snapper – Screen capturing & recording for Android devices.
  • Toby – YouTube player.
  • VOX – Unofficial VOX music player.


  • Beaker – Browser with peer-to-peer web protocols.
  • Brave – a Privacy-focused web browser.
  • Min – a Minimal web browser.
  • Wexond – Web browser with material UI and extensions API.

Developer Tools

File Sharing

  • nuTorrent – BitTorrent client.
  • Sia-UI – Decentralized file storage system based on cryptocurrency technology.
  • WebTorrent – Streaming torrent client.

File Transfer and Networking

  • James – HTTP proxy to view and intercept browser requests.
  • Yoda – Browse and download YouTube videos.


Messaging and Chat

  • alienbox – Reddit inbox & notifier in your menubar.
  • Caprine – Unofficial Facebook Messenger app.
  • DTCP – Unofficial Twitter client.
  • Electronic WeChat – Unofficial WeChat app.
  • Friends – P2P chat.
  • GroupMe – Unofficial GroupMe app.
  • Inbox – Unofficial Google Inbox app.
  • Inboxer – Unofficial Google Inbox app.
  • Nocturn – Unofficial Twitter client.
  • Rambox – Chat and email app that combines multiple services like Discord, Hangouts, Gmail and Outlook.
  • Wire – Messenger and calling app.
  • Wmail – Unofficial Gmail & Google Inbox app.
  • YakYak – Unofficial Google Hangouts app.


  • Abricotine – Markdown editor with inline preview.
  • Buka – E-book management.
  • Buttercup Desktop – Password manager.
  • Inpad – Notes app with GitHub flavored markdown.
  • KeeWeb – Free cross-platform password manager compatible with KeePass.
  • Leanote – Cloud notepad.
  • Mailspring – Extensible email client. (Fork of Nylas Mail)
  • Manta – Invoicing for freelancers with beautiful and customizable templates.
  • Mark Text – Real-time preview Markdown editor.
  • Marky – Markdown editor.
  • Pomodoro – Timer based on the Pomodoro Technique.
  • Proton – Markdown editor with live preview.
  • ProtonMail Desktop – Unofficial ProtonMail app.
  • Shiba – Live Markdown preview with linting.
  • Simplenote – Note keeper.
  • Tusk – Unofficial Evernote app.
  • Vmd – Preview Markdown files.


  • Tockler – Automatically track applications usage and working time.
  • Cerebro – Launcher with inline previews.
  • Crypter – Secure encryption client.
  • Desktop Dimmer – Control the brightness of any display.
  • Dext – Launcher.
  • FreeMAN – File manager for power users.
  • Ghost Desktop – Professional publishing platform.
  • Hain – Launcher for Windows.
  • iStats – CPU and memory stats on your menubar.
  • Kart – Front-end for RetroArch.
  • Mattermost Desktop – Native desktop application for Mattermost running on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
  • MediumDesk – Unofficial Medium app.
  • PB for Desktop – Pushbullet client.
  • Pomotroid – Pomodoro timer.
  • Ramme – Unofficial Instagram app.
  • Slide Beacon – Electron app to broadcast URLs as an Eddystone Physical Web beacon.
  • Temps – Weather forecast in your menubar.
  • Toshocat – Anime and Manga list app for desktop.
  • Zazu – A fully extensible and open source launcher for hackers, creators, and dabblers.



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