Lyra is, in my words, a proof of concept for developing rich D3-powered information display with a browser GUI.
Think of it as better than Excel and only 30% more complicated.
There's an online demo here, but if you want to set up a sandbox, here's how.
It's brought to you as "free and open source software" (their words) by the University of Washington Interactive Data Lab.
1) Set up your own micro Linux environment
A 512MB Debian 7 environment should be fine.
2) Login as root (or sudo su - root) and install your basics
apt-get install curl
curl -sL https://deb.nodesource.com/setup | bash -
apt-get install -y nodejs
apt-get install -y build-essential
npm install -g yo bower grunt-cli gulp
3) Get Lyra
(make a note of which folder to which you're installing, the default home directory should be fine for a playground)
4) Run it
python -m SimpleHTTPServer 1234
Now got to http://you.ip.address.here:1234