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Chartio Adds Salesforce to Visual Analytics Mix

By Pedro Hernandez     Feedback

The analytics startup integrates Salesforce data to enable real-time business intelligence gathering for users of the leading cloud CRM platform.

Chartio, a San Francisco-based visual analytics startup, is expanding its platform by adding support for a major source of data for a growing number of businesses. Starting today, Chartio users can connect to Salesforce and use data from the leading cloud customer relationship management (CRM) platform alongside other sources to draw business insights in real-time.

Chartio's cloud-based visual analytics service also supports MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, Amazon Relational Database System, Rackspace Databases, Heroku and Google Analytics.

Why would Chartio include Salesforce as an early data source?

Chartio founder Dave Fowler told Enterprise Apps Today that like any entrepreneurial startup, his company is fulfilling a pressing and largely unmet need in the market. "People are just really unsatisfied with the charting capabilities in Salesforce," he said.

During a preview, Fowler demonstrated how Chartio's drag-and drop chart creator, a graphical, mobile-friendly and browser-based tool, lets users generate custom reports instantly and in real-time.

For instance, users can select data sources and time ranges and drill down to a desired statistic without fiddling with a formula or database command. With only a few drop-down selections and a date range, iPad-toting workers can generate near-instant insights during a meeting or presentation. Experts are welcome, too. Chartio's interface enables data professionals to generate reports by pasting their own SQL queries, if they choose.

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Compared to Salesforce, whose standard interface only provides daily, weekly or monthly reporting, Chartio expands the reporting options. Another benefit, says Fowler, is that users can use Salesforce alongside other data sources. "You can easily map things in your database and things in Salesforce," Fowler said.

Hiccups in the Salesforce API no longer result in data blindness. By linking an internal and presumably well-maintained database, users can ensure they always have a complete picture of their company's performance.

In the end, integrating Salesforce furthers Chartio's goal, which is to be the Tableau Software of cloud-based analytics and business intelligence (BI). In recent years, Tableau has emerged as a rising star of BI software, largely on the merits of user-friendly apps which enable executives and average business users to explore business data with minimal IT or DBA intervention.

Call it the democratization of at-a-glance analytics and business intelligence. Chartio is "really focusing this for business users to use," said Fowler.

Fowler envisions that in much the same way Apple and Microsoft helped drive computer literacy, Chartio will help empower users to effectively apply analytics to their workday. "We like using the term 'data literacy'," he said.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

This article was originally published on February 21, 2013
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