Collaborating on data is burdensome and often results in increasingly unwieldy email chains loaded with multiple PowerPoint and Excel attachments. A startup called Chartcube wants to make sharing and editing charts as easy as texting.
Its app, which just expanded to desktop and iPhone (an Android version is slated for release soon) lets groups of users share and annotate charts, comment on data, and see side-by-side comparisons of metrics.
The app currently lets users upload Microsoft Excel and CSV files (more formats will be added soon), which they can then turn into interactive pie charts and bar graphs with a few clicks. Once it is shared, other team members can edit charts, make new ones, and chat about the data in real-time.
After Chartcube releases its Android smartphone and tablet apps, it will also create a version for Windows Phone. Next in the pipeline are features requested by users, including a presentation mode for Apple AirPlay.
Chartcube’s competitors are companies such as Tableau, which makes cloud-based data tools. It is also up against enterprise messaging apps like Slack, which don’t let users create and edit charts, but make it easy to share files.
Co-founder Pankaj Tibrewal says his company differentiates by “bringing together conversation with data.”
Before launching Chartcube, Tibrewal was chief operating officer and business head of Pantaloons, one of India’s largest fashion retail chains. He also spent three years as a McKinsey consultant. In both positions, he saw how frustrating it is for teams to discuss data when they have to email spreadsheets and graphs back and forth.
“We are targeting data collaborations because we feel it is completely broken. At company after company, I saw the same problem,” he says. “They use PowerPoint to tell a story, but then the connection with the data is not there anymore.”
“Data now needs to be shared with more people to make it functional, with international teams and cross-functional teams,” he adds. “More collaborations are needed on a daily basis.”