The plethora of data visualization tools available these days creates a high-quality problem: a lack of resources to create visualizations becomes a hard task of choosing which of the many to use.

Sharon Machlis of Computerworld offers a rapid-fire, well organized and nearly comprehensive inventory of data visualization tools that can be deployed for little or no money by journalists of any skill level. For almost every tool, she’s catalogued the cost, skill level, biggest advantages and weakest aspects. Check out her tool chart at http://bit.ly/DataVizToolChart,

Kevin Hirten rounds out the compendium with a few more tools, and takes the session from toolbox to showcase with a roster of published data visualizations projects. The Power Point for the session is teeming with links to these showcase projects, and to the tools themselves.

The best way to figure out which tools are right for your project or skill level is to start experimenting, and tap into the collective wisdom of your colleagues here at IRE.