Businesses create more data than ever before. And even if you've not consciously set out to gather more information, your company probably has more statistics in more spreadsheets than you know what to do with.
There's knowledge buried in that data. The challenge is getting at it.
Visualisations can help
One of the problems with trying to interpret data is that it can be overwhelming. Contained in a spreadsheet or a text document, the figures can be tremendously daunting.
How do you identify the meaning in a list of hundreds or thousands of numbers?
A good way to start is by finding a way to visualise that data. Graphs and charts make it easier for us to see the trends and patterns buried in figures.
(This doesn't always work, mind you – just witness the flood of bad infographics that have peppered the web over the last couple of years.)
Still, it's worth a try. And now a new tool has come along to make visualising data that bit quicker and easier.
It's not a fully-featured charting app — it's nowhere near as flexible as Excel's chart functions, for instance — but that's kind of the point.
What it lacks in features, it makes up in ease of use. Creating a chart in Charted is exceptionally straightforward. All you need to do is give it the URL of a shared document.
This can be a file that you've saved and shared on Google Drive, shared on Dropbox – or uploaded to any cloud storage service that lets you share files.
Once you've shared the document, just go to the Charted website and paste the URL into the big box there. Then hit Go. You'll see a clear representation of your data, along with a couple of options.
Charted is great for sharing visualisations, because you can just send the Charted link to anyone you like.
The chart automatically resizes to fit the window in which it's displayed. And if your source data changes, so does the chart (it updates itself every 30 minutes).
It's easy to give it a go, right here.