We recently caught up with Chris Neumann - CEO and Cofounder of DataHero. We were keen to learn more about how DataHero is working on Democratizing Data Visualization And Analysis...
Hi Chris, firstly thank you for the interview. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on DataHero.
Q - Why did you start DataHero?
A - DataHero was founded with a singular goal: to empower anyone to be able to get answers from the data that matters to them. Data is fast becoming a central aspect of our jobs and our lives, and we believe that everyone should be able to work with data - not just people with backgrounds in statistics, computer science and the like.
Q - What does DataHero do/make that users want?
A - The foundation for DataHero is based on three pillars: UI, UX and data processing algorithms. Whereas traditional data analytics products start with the data and algorithms and layer the UI on top, we start with our users. Our UI and UX teams get feedback from hundreds of our users on each prototype and are constantly iterating to make sure that DataHero is the easiest-to-use data analysis and visualization product around. This user-centric approach drives our development process and the classification, data processing, and machine learning algorithms we build to support the needs of our users.
Q - How does DataHero empower people?
A - DataHero empowers users by letting them focus on the questions they want to ask of their data, rather than the process of data analysis. For example, when a user imports data into DataHero (either by connecting to one of many popular SaaS services we support or by just dragging a spreadsheet or other data file into their web browser), our data classification algorithms automatically process the data to identify patterns and suggest visualizations of interesting insights in the data. Users can either start with a suggested chart or create their own by simply dragging the attributes they want to visualize onto the chart canvas and DataHero does the rest! By combing an interface with the sensibilities of a consumer web application, advanced data processing algorithms and powerful recommendation engines, we've created a product that takes the complexity out of data visualizations and empowers users of any technical ability (or lack thereof) to be able to work with data on their own.
Q - What tools do you use both for back and front of the stacks as well as for the data visualizations?
A - On the backend, DataHero is built entirely in node.js (more on that here: http://strongloop.com/strongblog/in-the-loop-datahero-providing-instant-access-to-your-data-via-node-js/), with a variety of data stores used to process and analyze the data. DataHero's client side app uses the backbone.js framework and several different visualization libraries to create the charts. For example, we use HighCharts for most of the "standard" chart types and Google's Geochart library for maps. We're currently working on prototypes to leverage D3.js in some of our newer visualizations.
Q - At Strata2014 Santa Clara, DataHero has been selected to present at the Startup Showcase as one of the Finalist Companies - what does this mean to you?
A - We're thrilled and humbled to be chosen as one of the top data startups of the year by O'Reilly. All of the companies selected for this year's Startup Showcase are doing exciting and important things, so we're honored to be able to present alongside them.
Editor Note - DataHero won the judges choice for best startup this year at Strata2014! Many congratulations to Chris and the DataHero Team!
Q - What do you think of the future of data visualization??
A - Today, we sit at an important inflection point in the use of data in our world. Everyday people are increasingly expected to be able to work with data in their day-to-day jobs, yet not everyone studied statistics or computer science in school. Data visualization provides a window through which everyone can understand data, yet up until now only experts could create them. Tools like DataHero bring the ability to work with data and create data visualizations to a broader audience, which we feel is incredibly important as our world and our lives become more data driven.
Chris - Thank you so much for your time! Really enjoyed learning more about DataHero and Data Empowerment through Data Visualization. Chris can be found online on Twitter. DataHero can be found online at the DataHero website and on Twitter.