How often have you had the experience of opening a huge spreadsheet but wonder what all the data really means?
Now, there’s an easy way to make sense of thousands of rows and columns with Vizable, an iPad app developed by data analytics specialist Tableau.
Launched recently, the app makes it intuitive to explore data by using gestures such as pinching, swiping and dragging, letting you slice and dice data based on various facets within seconds.
There’s also a built-in animation that shows you the effects of each action on the next result. The animation varies based on the speed of your finger gestures, allowing you to jump straight into the data or slowly explore individual data points.
According to Tableau, Vizable is targeted at businesses and organisations who previously had data and questions, but no easy tool to answer those questions. They can now find insights to drive and improve their business, even while they’re on the go.
The first version works with data in CSV files and Excel (xls or xlsx) files. Visualisations created in Vizable can be shared with friends and colleagues through e-mail, instant message or social media.
Interestingly, some of the folks behind Vizable had previously worked at Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light and Magic, which explains the app’s well thought-out animation effects. Some members of the team have also worked with the animation tools used to make Pixar movies.
When I put the app through its paces using a sample spreadsheet of an online store’s sales records, I was immediately able to tell who had been the store’s top customers, their product preferences and their demographic profiles at one glance.
Drilling deeper into the data revealed insights such as specific products these customers bought most often, as well as products they requested most urgently. Using such data, the online store could quickly easily tailor customer relationship management programmes to better meet the needs of its most valued customers.
Vizable is now available in the Apple iTunes store in English. It supports data in many international formats, and will be translated to other languages in the future. An Android version is also in the works.