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MATLAB

Data Analysis and Visualization

MATLAB provides tools to acquire, analyze, and visualize data, enabling you to gain insight into your data in a fraction of the time it would take using spreadsheets or traditional programming languages. You can also document and share your results through plots and reports or as published MATLAB code.

Analyzing and Visualizing Data with MATLAB 3:26
Explore, visualize, and model your data with MATLAB®.

Acquiring Data

MATLAB lets you access data from files, other applications, databases, and external devices. You can read data from popular file formats such as Microsoft Excel; text or binary files; image, sound, and video files; and scientific files such as netCDF and HDF. File I/O functions let you work with data files in any format.

A mixed numeric and text file for import into MATLAB using the Import Tool.
A mixed numeric and text file for import into MATLAB using the Import Tool. MATLAB automatically generates a script or function to import the file programmatically.

Using MATLAB with add-on products, you can acquire data from hardware devices, such as your computer's serial port or sound card, as well as stream live, measured data directly into MATLAB for analysis and visualization. You can also communicate with instruments such as oscilloscopes, function generators, and signal analyzers.

Analyzing Data

MATLAB lets you manage, filter, and preprocess your data. You can perform exploratory data analysis to uncover trends, test assumptions, and build descriptive models. MATLAB provides functions for filtering and smoothing, interpolation, convolution, and fast Fourier transforms (FFTs). Add-on products provide capabilities for curve and surface fitting, multivariate statistics, spectral analysis, image analysis, system identification, and other analysis tasks.

Fitting a surface to data with a custom model using MATLAB and Curve Fitting Toolbox.
Fitting a surface to data with a custom model using MATLAB and Curve Fitting Toolbox.

Visualizing Data

MATLAB provides built-in 2-D and 3-D plotting functions, as well as volume visualization functions. You can use these functions to visualize and understand data and communicate results. Plots can be customized either interactively or programmatically.

The MATLAB plot gallery provides examples of many ways to display data graphically in MATLAB. For each example, you can view and download source code to use in your MATLAB application.

Editing the title of a surface contour plot using the MATLAB interactive plotting environment.
Editing the title of a surface contour plot using the MATLAB interactive plotting environment.

Documenting and Sharing Results

You can share results as plots or complete reports. MATLAB plots can be customized to meet publication specifications and saved to common graphical and data file formats.

You can automatically generate a report when you execute a MATLAB program. The report contains your code, comments, and program results, including plots. Reports can be published in a variety of formats, such as HTML, PDF, Word, or LaTeX.

MATLAB program published as HTML using the MATLAB Editor.
MATLAB program (left) published as HTML (right) using the MATLAB Editor. Results that display in the Command Window or as plots are captured and included, and the code comments are turned into section headings and body text in the HTML.
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