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  • 10.23.15

An Easy, Intuitive Tool For Making Sense Of Your Data

Tableau’s new Vizable app transforms spreadsheets into information you can actually use and understand.

Tableau, the Seattle-based software firm that helps major businesses make sense of their data, is now bringing its data visualization expertise to the everyday user. Their new app, Vizable, converts spreadsheets into easily manipulatable charts and graphs, making it dead simple for small businesses or individual users to parse through and understand large amounts of data.

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“It starts with a simple question,” says Dave Story, Tableau’s vice president for mobile growth. “If you get emailed a spreadsheet, how to you see and understand it? Vizable will make something useful out of it and teach you what it’s doing, so that you feel smart when you use it.”

To use the app, upload CVS or Excel files; Vizable will convert the data into a line or bar graph in a matter of seconds. Users can choose to view the data based on different categories from a drop down menu on the left side. By pinching fingers, swiping, scrolling or dragging, it’s easy to move through the data intuitively, and find insights not otherwise immediately apparent. For small businesses, this might mean being able to see the best-selling products of the week, broken down by hour and then compared to other weeks. For individuals curious about their own data, it might mean being able to examine Fitbit data, Mint budgets or Amazon purchases from every different angle imaginable.

Tableau worked with Seattle-based design firm Artefact on the design of the app, which is meant to portray the “zen of the product.” That’s where the pinching and swiping come in, but it’s also the idea behind the warm, playful color palate and rounded edges of the bar graphs.

Ultimately, Vizable wants to make deciphering data approachable, intuitive, even enjoyable. “We want to reach a group of people who don’t think they can see and understand this type of data,” says Story. “If someone’s kid walks into a room and the app was open, we’d want them to think it’s a fun game.” With thoughtful visuals, simple functionality and seemingly unlimited data viewing options that encourage users to interact and explore, it’s certainly a lot more fun than sifting through an clunky Excel spreadsheet.

Check out Vizable here.

About the author

Meg Miller is an associate editor at Co.Design covering art, technology, and design.

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