Interview with Claude-Henri MELEDO, manager
Currently there is only the free version of BeGraphic on the web site BeGraphic. Why is that?
Anybody can download the free version of BeGraphic (called version lite) because it's the best way to get feedbacks from users. Our new tool is so open that almost every business chart can be made with it. Our target is to help heavy presentation users to build innovative charts and custom graphics. The free version helps us to know which data visualizations are the most required. Since the beginning of 2010, we have exchanged hundreds of mails with users.
Enjoy the free version and feel confident: BeGraphic lite will continue in 2011, even when the version pro will be launched!
Download it right away here.
11,000 maps within BeGraphic: How can you propose the largest collection of maps for Office users?
Yes it is incredible to propose 11,000 maps with the free version of BeGraphic. Three years ago we built few hundreds maps when we discovered a similar project. An university professor was building the largest free collection of blank maps. As any free form, outline maps can be data-driven by BeGraphic (becoming a lite Geographical Information System). This is how we made this fantastic bundle that let Microsoft Office users take advantage of 11,000 editable geographical cliparts (world, continents, countries, states, counties, towns...).
Any business user can demand these 11,000 maps just by writing his professional email on the following Web page.
Why is BeGraphic inside PowerPoint or Excel?
Business users want to know only five tools (Word processor, Spreadsheet, Presentation tool, email manager and web browser). The Office package is Microsoft's main source of revenues. It's also our easiest solution to get access to professional users.
Microsoft Office is not only a large business success, but a laboratory. Microsoft uses this bundle to test advanced functions, and sometimes removes successful ones (to relaunch them in additional software). Many tools have been briefly seen inside Excel: data maps (in Excel 2000), flow charts and process maps (made with Drawing toolbar)... BeGraphic gives the opportunity to get these functions again inside Excel and PowerPoint.
Why are Business Intelligence experts currently investing so much in Data Visualization?
Inside international companies, most analytics steps are already built. Business Intelligence is a mature market for data extraction (ETL), databases (data warehouse) and query makers... but not for the final presentation. At the end of the decision-making process, you still find paper and slides. In the current information era, the drastic data increase pushes business people to invest in Data Visualization. Charts and graphics are the only solution to densify information on one page. The motto could be "More information per pixel!"
The next information revolution is about Data Visualization. To give you an example, CIA is investing around 25% of its technological funds in Data Visualization. Throughout its IQT.org portfolio, you can see how this agency which launched Cray computers and Oracle database, has new focus: Its current challenge is to understand context and to evaluate relationships by visual reasoning (showing relevant information side by side).
What is the road-map of BeGraphic?
2011 is the big year. We will launch the pro Version:
- Some users are expecting to get a 100% pure PowerPoint add-in (even if the Excel add-in will still be an option).
- We will also launch new types of charts that will revolutionize dashboards and presentations.
But I can't say more until next january.