One of the most common questions we get is how to choose the right weather data plan. While we are pleased to offer different plan options to meet the varying needs of our customers, choosing the right plan can be confusing in some cases. In this article, we will discuss what weather data plans are available and how to pick the right plan to meet your needs. All Visual Crossing Weather plans give you access to the same high-quality weather data and the same powerful weather data API that you can use to automate weather data retrieval. Also, you can change your plan at any time. It is not like an old cell phone contract that locks you in for years. So, there is no way to make a bad choice.
Types of weather data plans
There are two primary types of weather data plans. The first type is pre-paid and the second type is post-paid. These terms mean exactly what you are accustomed to based on your experience with other services. Pre-paid plans are ones in which you pay a fixed amount up front for service that will you will receive over the coming weeks or months. These plans are billed monthly or annually. Post-paid plans are ones where you consume the service first and then receive a bill periodically based on the amount of service that you consume.
It is worth noting here that In addition to our standard plans, there is also an option for enterprise-level access to weather data. This option allows virtually any combination of features, support, uptime. and query volume for people who have custom needs. We can even provision dedicated weather services for your exclusive use. While this article will not address enterprise-level plans, we would be happy to work with you to find the best solution to your custom weather data needs. Just reach out to our weather experts, explain your use case, and we’ll get back to you quickly with custom options tailored specifically for you.
The Professional plan is designed to meet the needs of an individual user either working on their own or within a small team. The most common use of the Professional plan is to download data for analysis in an Excel sheet or other personal data analysis tool. While this type of account does not allow the raw weather data to be published or shared, analysis of that data can be shared with others to enable better decisions for business activities as well as home and hobby projects. Any task such as optimally resourcing outdoor projects for a small landscaping firm to scheduling games for a youth soccer league fits well in the domain of the Professional plan.
The Professional plan is highlighted by its low cost and high monthly record limit. This allows for all types of analysis and planning where large volumes of weather data are needed. However, the low concurrency limits and the restrictions of storing and sharing raw data makes this plan most useful to individual users and small teams with a single person doing weather analysis. It is not suitable for public websites or business applications that require storing and sharing weather data with multiple analysts.
The Corporate plan is designed to power sophisticated business analysis and data sharing across an entire team or or business. Common use cases for this plan are to load weather data into a database for business analysis and to train machine learning algorithms. For those who need history data, the Corporate plan is by far the cheapest way to get large volumes. This plan also allows up to ten logins so that multiple analysts within your organization can make direct weather queries and manage your system. The Corporate plan also includes technical help from our weather experts via support and enhanced functionality such as Growing Degree Days calculations and access to bulk data downloads.
While Corporate is powerful weather service, it is not ideal for every situation. In cases where high concurrency is required such as public websites and apps, the Corporate plan’s limit on concurrency will be a limiting factor. Also, for those businesses that require enhanced SLAs and custom use agreements, the Corporate plan may not be suitable. In those cases please reach out to us so that we can make you a custom set of weather options to exactly meet your needs.
The Pay-as-you-go plan is an option that is as flexible as it is powerful. It’s hallmark is that you only pay for the exact data that you query, and you even start off each day with a generous free data limit. As long as you stay below that daily free level, you will never pay for the service at all. If you do exceed the daily limit, the extremely low cost of $0.0001 per record with no minimum ensures that you will never be billed more than you expect.
The Pay-as-you-go plan is ideal for many types of customers. For customers who need a small amount of data and a low-cost way to get started with the service, they don’t need to pay even a penny. For customer such as website and app developers who need high query concurrency and unlimited scalability, Pay-as-you-go ensures that your application will never be limit by access to data. It is also ideal for one-time or occasional users who just need some essential weather data for their project without worrying about the complexity of a subscription. As you only pay for the data that you query, there is no account to cancel and you will never receive an unexpected bill. Simply create an account and use weather data as frequently or infrequently as you wish. There is never a minimum.
While Pay-as-you-go is an excellent choice for low and medium volume users and heavy forecast users, it is not the most cost effective way to query large amounts of weather history data. While each 15-day forecast counts as only a single record, each historical weather records counts individually. Thus, if you need large quantities of weather history data, a monthly plan will be more cost effective. Also, if you are need support, an SLA, custom terms, or data-redistribution rights, you will need to reach out to us for custom terms.
Packaged data options
If you have a very specific or one-time use case our Packaged options may be appropriate for you. These options include one-time downloadable datasets, cross-checked data for legal presentations, and recurring bulk data downloads. While in some cases these options may be more expensive than using a traditional data service plan, they are extremely convenient and tailored to your exact need. Also, fixed, non-recurring pricing is easy to expense to your employer or bill to a client. If you would like to learn more about these options, please read our article on Packaged data services.
Finding the best Visual Crossing Weather plan is easy as long as you keep in mind your use case requirements. If you are looking for a great way to get started with little or no cost, Pay-as-you-go is likely your choice best. Likewise, if you need high concurrency queries for a website or app, Pay-as-you-go is designed exactly for you. If you are a single analysts who needs a large amount of weather history and forecast data for personal use, then the Professional plan is well suited for you. The Corporate plan expands on the Professional plan by offering very large quantities of weather data that can be loaded into a database and used to power data analytics, business intelligences, and machine learning applications with ease. Finally, if you have a one-time need for a weather dataset, the convenience of our Packaged options are designed just for you. Of course, if you have custom requirements or need a combination of the best characteristics of multiple options, then our enterprise options can be customized to give you exactly what you need at a cost-effective price.
If you have questions or need more help picking a plan, our weather experts will be glad to help. Just send us the details of your use case, and we’ll help you find the weather data plan that is ideal for your needs. Our combination of high-quality weather data, powerful features, and low-cost pricing ensures that Visual Crossing Weather can be the perfect weather data provider for your specific use case, whatever that may be.