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Venngage is raising $1M to make data more fun to look at

By Nathaniel Mott , written on October 22, 2012

From The News Desk

Venngage, a data analytics and visualization company, has closed $600,000 of a $1 million round. The company is the evolution of Vizualize.me, an online tool that previously interpreted and compiled LinkedIn data into visual resumes. After growing at a rate of 1,000 users per week and building resumes for some 300,000 people, the Vizualize team decided to pivot and change its focus from consumers to businesses.

Venngage CEO Eugene Woo says that the company is going after two types of customers: content marketers that want to present data with infographics and people who need an easy way to present complicated data, such as project "post-mortems" and quarterly sales reports.

Initially, after the company decided to shift its focus from consumers to enterprise companies, many of its clients simply wanted Venngage’s designers to build custom infographics. Unfortunately, that model doesn’t scale. Woo says that companies really only want to commission a few infographics each year, if they decide to produce any at all.

Now, rather than building infographics or online resumes, Venngage offers users a drag-and-drop interface that allows them to present their data in a clear, well designed way. In an ironic twist of fate, Woo says that some customers actually find Venngage harder to use than other solutions because they're used to working with Microsoft's Excel. While new users may appreciate the service's simplicity, people used to specific tools may have trouble adjusting to a different way of doing things. (This is why Microsoft's Office suite tends to change at a glacial pace -- the company has to make sure anyone that uses its products isn't thrown through a loop when they try to do something.)

Venngage is also working on natural language data search, taking a Siri or Google Now-like approach to interacting with large amounts of data. Instead of having to build complex queries or stringing lines of code together to get at one piece of information, Venngage is hoping to make that information available in a way that makes sense to the average user.

Making data easily accessible is the company's core mission. Data can be unwieldy and difficult to manage or present, and looking at a spreadsheet is almost enough to make any but the most columnophilic (is that a thing?) onlookers' eyes start to glaze over. Instead of making people sit through a boring presentation or spending weeks or months building a decent infographic, Venngage is hoping that businesses will turn to its solution to make large amounts of data easier to create and consume.

[Image via Venngage]