Data visualization has been done — there are publicly traded, interactive, real-time and, heck, even artificially intelligent companies promising data visualization. But despite all the noise, Portland-based Reflect is making a go of it in the space, opening up its public beta today. By putting developers first and letting them integrate and customize visualizations in their own creations, Reflect wants to be so useful it becomes part of the developer toolkit.
After raising $2.5 million in seed capital last year from Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Reflect CEO Alex Bilmes set off on a listening tour to hear from more than 2,000 customers. His take-away was that an entire market was being ignored by Tableau and that companies are willing to pay for the ability to build products on top of data visualization as a service.
It’s handy to think about mobile and web analytics companies as a proxy for where a service like Reflect would be welcome. Even outside of software, consumer campaign-based analytics like Spotify’s year-in-review could be built on Reflect. In fact, the company powered a similar campaign for GitHub called “Report Card.”
“We are focusing on companies that have data as their value proposition, that are investing in collecting tons of data and that see data as core to what they are,” said Bilmes.
Initially, Reflect’s model required companies to give it more data than most enterprises were comfortable with. After some necessary retooling, Reflect gained the ability to integrate directly into a customer’s architecture, skipping the step where data has to move off servers. This way companies don’t have to open up vulnerabilities by sending Reflect security credentials.
One of the benefits of Reflect is that its developer-first approach doesn’t create a zero sum game for non-technical employees. Once a visualization is implemented, anyone can go in and edit features to their liking using the Reflect design studio.
Reflect employs a lean team of 10 and has worked with companies like GM, Barracuda Networks, Zendesk, Simply Measured and TUNE.