Inspiration

There is no shortage of people in the world who can think in a logical, structured way, but are not necessarily programmers. Chartnado was inspired by a desire to bring more visual tools to market, allowing more people to become data analysts without needing to code.

What it does

Chartnado brings a complete drag and drop dashboard builder to data analysis and visualization. Using our no-code designer, users can easily connect to a variety of data sources to create full small multiple visualizations. Using charts, maps, pivot tables and more, users can create interactive dashboards to effectively communicate an wealth of information. All calculations and custom formatting are done using without having to write any code in a completely visual design environment.

How we built it

Chartnado is built using TypeScript for the front end and ASP.Net Core for the back end. We integrate with Azure AD for authentication and single sign on allowing for seamless integration with Teams.

Challenges we ran into

Building desktop quality applications for the web is challenging. The decision to use 2d canvas, 3d canvas or SVG visualizations was investigated thoroughly. Ultimately SVG was chosen for scalable display quality in spite of the performance penalty.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We have strived to make the mental model of analyzing data a visual process. The overarching principle of Chartnado is that you should be able to visualize what's happening at any step of a calculation or conditional format. With many BI solutions the design process is mental gymnastics because of the need to mentally picture what the results of the calculations will be. With Chartnado everything is visual, at every step.

What we learned

Building desktop quality applications for the web is a challenging process, with many nooks and crannies requiring investigation. There are so many libraries and frameworks to choose from, with so much overlapping and oftentimes non-differentiating functionality. Ultimately we learned how to balance graphic quality, graphic speed, calculation speed and calculation complexity while keeping the end user's mental model in mind.

What's next for Chartnado for Teams

From here we'll be adding more visuals, a data frame based SQL Query builder, and a data frame based ETL tool similar to Power BI Data Flows and/or Power Query.

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