Chartio Improves The Way You Visualize Your Data

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Y Combinator startup Chartio has come out of quiet mode with its web-based service for connecting databases to create charts and graphs without ever needing to upload data.

Chartio competes in the business-intelligence market and supports MySQL, PostgresSQL, Amazon Web Services, Amazon Relational Database Services, Rackspace Cloud, Heroku, Google Analytics and Oracle. The update enhances the dashboard user interface and includes dashboard filters with new features, such as a slide-rule capability and automatic drill downs.

The Connectors are the key here. The drag and drop interface enables users to, for instance, pull data from Google Analytics and then compare it to sales data from an Oracle database. Data can be viewed in real time or set to be updated on a scheduled basis. Chartio also provides an interface to clean up the data. Once in place, customers may see the data in a variety of formats such as line charts, bar charts and area bar charts.

The Chartio team, with the help of Nate Agrin, an engineer who worked at Twitter and Splunk, has put a premium on ease of use. Data is visualized in HTML5. The UI optimizes the charts to fit according to the size of the browser window. The goal is to provide as much data density as possible with as many charts as can fit above the fold. It’s like any data presentation — get the information in front of people so they can see it.

Chartio competes in an emerging space with the likes of GoodData, RJMetrics and Birst. All are competing for a new market that has opened with the flood of data people now manage. Being able to visualize that data represents the best way to use it.

Fowler and Dan Levine, who now works at Accel Partners, founded the company in 2010. A year later, Chartio raised $3.15 million in a Series A round led by Avalon Ventures, with Bullpen Capital participating (which brought the company’s total funding to $4.38 million). Earlier in his career, Levine worked at TechCrunch as a research analyst. Alexia Tsotsis, who first covered the company when it called itself Chart.io, wrote that working on CrunchBase gave Levine the idea for starting the company.

Chartio will face a challenge with larger enterprise shops that put a premium on security. But it’s my guess that the main users will come from the business groups that seek fast and easy access to data for creating rich charts and graphs from Chartio’s growing charting library.