Datavisu.al Helps Designers Do More Faster
A new product is coming on to market in Fall 2013 that will allow designers to use newer templates optimized to increase their productivity. The software is a product of Datavisual, a new company founded by Danne Woo, who has designed this product not only to help designers to process their work faster, but also to give them a starting point to modify the designs..
Tell us about the decision to apply for NYU LaunchPad.
NYU’s Summer LaunchPad program has been amazing for me so far. I have spent most of my life working as a graphic designer and front-end website developer. I have very little experience when it comes to starting a business. Frank, Lindsey and Micah, along with all the amazing guest critics and lecturers, have really taught me how to identify who my initial customer will be, the importance of user interviews and understanding what their needs really are. They also taught me how to properly put together a business model canvas, etc. Most of what we are learning is based on Steve Blanks lean startup model.
Tell us about the product that you are launching.
Datavisu.al was created mainly out of personal necessity. Before attending NYU’s ITP Masters Program, I was working at the Infinia Group as a Senior Designer on a number of very large data books and websites. I was using Adobe Illustrator to design all the charts and graphs for these projects, but considering that there were only about eight chart styles and hundreds of data sets associated with those styles, I was basically repeatedly redesigning the same chart. This process was incredibly time-consuming, expensive and just flat out boring. Datavisu.al is basically a tool that allows designers to design templates, quickly upload datasets to those templates and output final visualizations as high res images, vector PDF’s and embeddable dynamic code for the web. The system allows the designer to use templates that datavisu.al provides as a starting point and a GUI to modify the look and feel, or they can design in Adobe Illustrator and upload that design to the service to be modified by datasets. Datavisu.al can save designers months on the production schedule and, in turn, hundreds of thousands of dollars. Along with the design tool, there is an ever-growing library of beautifully designed templates for people with limited design skills to use.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
Data and the need to visualize it is huge and continually increases. According to Gartner, in 2011 the data market had grown to be a $12.2 billion industry. There are many tools out there that allow you to visualize and analyze data, but they all have very limited abilities for design customization, and the ones that allow you to customize require specific programming skills to do so. It really is important to have appropriate, easy to use tools, to allow everyone to visualize all the data that is being collected. What’s the point of collecting it if we can’t understand what it all means? The Pulse Initiative, for example, is a great step forward when it comes to taking all the millions of terabytes of data sets out there, and analyzing and visualizing them in a way that the general public can understand. Datavisu.al is trying to make it easy for everyone, not just programmers and developers, to create beautiful and clear visualizations so that we can actually learn from the data that we are all collecting.
What is your take on the current scene in New York today?
I really do feel quite lucky to be a part of the New York tech startup scene. There are constantly great tech startups popping up all over the city. At the LaunchPad alone we have nine amazing start ups that are focused on helping scientists to easily collect and organize their findings (BenchPals); improving the daily life of Type 1 diabetics (DataBetes); and make it easier for makers and technologists to quickly and easily print circuit boards (BotFactory). As for datavisu.al, mostly all of these companies in New York and around the world create data and have a need to present it in a pleasing manner. Whether it’s for a startup’s pitch decks,, analytical dashboards on websites or larger corporations putting together annual reports, they all need a tool to help them visualize their findings. I am excited to continue on with everyone at the LaunchPad program for another few weeks to really solidify Datavisu.als business model and continue to work on it for the foreseeable future.