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It often occurs to me that if I had a good tool for viewing CSV data in graphical format, and comparing two sets of numbers to each other, I could do a great deal of meaningful trend watching and data interpretation.

For example, perfmon can output quite a lot of data about a server into a CSV file, but there's no good way to view it. A lot of scripts could/have been written that would populate CSV files. I could write these all day long.

My problem is that I need a great viewer. I've seen quite a few things that will take a CSV file and after a lot of tweaking and user adjustment produce a static gif/png image. A static image doesn't do me a lot of good, because I have to look at it, then re-calibrate the parameters of the program, regenerate the image, repeat. That sucks. I could do this in Excel.

Ideally, I would want a FLUID graph viewer. On the fly, I can adjust how much of my timeline I'm viewing. I could adjust the scaling so that one big spike doesn't make 99.9% of the data an unreadable line across the bottom of the X axis. Stuff like that. I should be able to say "show me CSV column 3 and column 5 as graphs. Show me the data scaled for 20 or 150 entries, and let me slide that window up and down the column of data. Auto scale to fit 95% of data within the Y axis and let crazy spikes go off the screen."

Maybe I'm terribly spoiled by how you can drag, zoom, and slide data around on my iPad. I want to be able to view a spreadsheet of data with that fluidity and not have to guess at what sort of static snapshot I want to create from it. I don't want to have to make a study of how to tweak some data plotting program to let me import my file and do what I could just do in Excel. I want to scale, zoom, and transform my graph on the fly and then export a snapshot of it once I have it the way I want it.

Is there anything out there that fills this need? I'll take linux, osx, win32 or even iOS suggestions.

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2 Answers

Uh, that sounds a lot like Microsoft Excel...

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You can use gnuplot

more

Data visualization tools for Linux

you can load CSV files in MySQL (LOAD command) and process it with scripts (even shell scripts) and can generate also CSV

you can also generate pictures with data using PHP with the GD2 library - web based

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