I’ve used Tableau to create visualizations for years. It’s a great tool, but there are problems with it. It takes a long time to render in the browser. The learning curve is steep for some of the mapping and network visualization things that I want to do. As with many menu-driven point-and-click programs, an interface designed to make things easy actually makes it hard to see what’s happening beneath the hood.
D3 renders in the browser almost instantly, at least for simple charts, and it has given rise to a burst of creativity the developer community. Here’s my first attempt: a chart showing the frequency of use for each letter in the alphabet, based on the WordPress-d3 For Dummies tutorial for the WPD3 WordPress plugin.