An Even Better (?) Data Visualization Tool — and it’s Free

Sorry, Tableau, I thought if I looked long enough and hard enough I’d finally find a more affordable solution for our operations metrics portal, and sure enough, once I figured out the right buzz words to search on (clue: instead of searching for “dashboard” or “operations metrics portal”, search for “data visualization software”), a whole new suite of solutions was presented to me.

(Hint to you “data visualization” gurus–users don’t use your terminology! You may want to think about selecting some customer carewords and employing them more so us clueless folks can find you better.)

Remember how I didn’t like Tableau’s pricing structure? Their “price per user” really limits what we can do with it.

Well, looking at all these solutions (and there are some very nice solutions!), I thought one of them must have realized that a pricing model that allows an unlimited number of users would open up a lot more applications for your product, and sure enough, one of them (just one) had: Logi XML.

I was wishing there was a way to deploy this neat data visualization within our own web-based application … 

Logi XML offers a solution that allows developers to quickly build interactive reports that you can deploy as part of your own software.

They offer a whole suite of solutions–I haven’t yet figured it all out, but it looks like we can at least start with the free version and then go from there.

What’s so cool about it?

It looks a little more complicated to set up than Tableau–you need a developer to do it. I haven’t tried it (and I’m not a developer, so I’ll never be using it myself–sigh.) I’m going from info I found on their web site. But LogiXML says you can:

  • Easily add proven Web 2.0-style reporting capabilities to your applications
  • Deliver Web-based reporting applications without coding for maximum productivity and easy maintenance
  • Distribute the reporting capability as a value-added component of your application at no charge to them or the user
  • Simplify integration by taking advantage of Logi Report’s XML-based reporting versus more complex, proprietary APIs

What’s the difference between the free version and the paid version?

That was my biggest question. Basically:

  • the free version doesn’t have all the cool AJAX stuff or the multi-layered security
  • the free version doesn’t include all the interactivity, sorting, etc. that the paid version does
  • the free version doesn’t have report scheduling to allow you to lighten the load on the server at busy reporting times
  • the paid version includes a “historical analysis” function that allows you to do time-series reporting
  • you have to be a developer to use the free version. Okay, that rules me out. I’m not a developer (by choice).

But still, it looks like a tool that might have promise for business intelligence solutions. We’d have to use some development resources with this solution, but then, it doesn’t have that limited-user pricing structure.

There are tradeoffs to everything. Sigh. One of my good friends told me her dad always said to her:

“You can have anything you want in life. But you can’t have everything.”

So, so true …


3 Responses to “An Even Better (?) Data Visualization Tool — and it’s Free”

  1. 1 Neil Charles February 23, 2011 at 5:08 am

    Just found your blog and I’m struggling with exactly the same problem. Some of these licence structures on dashboards are completely ridiculous! Thanks for the LogiXML tip-off, it looks interesting.

    Just had Spotfire on the phone, described what I was trying to do and asked for a ball-park licence cost and the guy actually laughed and then went on a long rambling explanation about why that was a difficult question. Surely, ‘what does your product cost?’ isn’t that difficult a question. I just want to deploy small web-based dashboards to a small number of clients instead of mailing them spreadsheets. Why is it so hard?

    If this was back in 2008, I’m just wondering, what did you eventually go with?

  2. 3 krauseann February 23, 2011 at 8:58 am

    Hi Neil,

    Thanks for your comments! We ended up going with Intellicus, which at the time wasn’t really that great, but it served the basic need for our biggest client and we haven’t ended up using it for anything else other than their operations metrics just yet. They recently upgraded it and the new Intellicus is MUCH better.

    Good luck with your search! I would be curious to know what you end up with.

    Thanks again,


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