What Is VisiData?

VisiData is a free, open-source tool that lets you quickly open, explore, summarize, and analyze datasets in your computer’s terminal.

Note

You don’t need to be a programmer to use VisiData. Knowing a little bit of Python, however, will make VisiData even more powerful for you.

Why use VisiData?

  • It’s fast.
    • VisiData opens in a blink of an eye, and can load multi-megabyte datasets nearly instantly.
  • It’s nimble.
    • VisiData makes it easy to search, filter, sort, and join any table.
  • It’s great for getting a grasp of new datasets.
    • With just a few keystrokes, you can summarize any column.
  • It works with lots of data formats.
    • CSV, Excel, JSON, and more.
  • It’s keyboard-driven.
    • You never have to reach for a mouse.

Why not use VisiData?

VisiData isn’t for every task. You might want to choose another tool for:

  • Complex analysis.
    • You’re probably better off using Python, R, or another programming language.
  • “Literate” analysis.
    • Although VisiData lets you save and replay your analyses, it’s not as legible/flexible as Jupyter notebooks, R Markdown, or other tools.
  • Mission-critical analysis.
    • VisiData is well-engineered, but still a relatively young piece of software.
  • Geospatial analysis.
    • VisiData can read geospatial data, but doesn’t have many features for analyzing it.