Join the Data Visualization Contest and Win an iPod

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Chandoo writes a very interesting blog offering tips about how to make the best use of Microsoft Excel and to chart data in general. And he announced a data visualization contest
yesterday. Contestants have to map the sales data of a
fictional company using any software. The charts or dashboards created should
help a senior manager understand how the sales people have done in the
past 24 months. The winner gets an iPod Touch 8 GB. Cool, right?

Since Chandoo announced the contest is open for sponsors, we asked him if Zoho can be the sponsor. He immediately accepted. So, Zoho Reports is sponsoring this contest and we encourage all Zoho users and readers of this blog to participate in it.

Here’s the details about the contest. If you are comfortable
using spreadsheets, this should be easy for you. Try using Zoho Reports
for the task and see how different/easy the charting experience is when
compared to using Microsoft Excel. You can also try using our online
spreadsheet tool, Zoho Sheet.

Your comments welcome on how you charted the data, the approaches you followed, the software you used etc.

Zoho Reports : Connectors for Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL and MS Access Databases

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So much of your business data from many of your applications lie in a database like Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL or MS Access, behind a firewall. Getting meaningful reports out of such databases and taking corrective actions based on those reports is what business intelligence is all about. The databases themselves are typically costly and creating reports out of them isn’t that easy. Buying additional reporting tools, which you need to install and maintain, adds up to your costs. But by making your data available in Zoho Reports, you get these major benefits:

  1. Create meaningful reports easily using just drag-and-drop
  2. The reports you create are accessible from anywhere
  3. Enable collaborative analysis and reporting
  4. Share the reports over the web to whoever you want
  5. Very affordable, pay-as-you-go monthly pricing plans (Zoho Reports is actually free, as of now)

Zoho Reports makes it easy to push data from behind-the-firewall databases (and CSV files too) by providing you with an Upload Tool (a database
connector). Using the tool, you can easily connect and push data from your databases like Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL and MS Access to Zoho Reports. You can schedule data uploads in regular intervals so that you continue to get near-real-time reports based on your dynamic data.

As the diagram above shows, the tool works in a simple way. It is a database connector that pulls data from your databases and uploads it to Zoho Reports. Data gets transfered securely over the Internet to Zoho Reports using a secured connection (HTTPS).  You can then create powerful reports and analysis based on the data uploaded. Read more about how to move data from your in-house databases to Zoho Reports.

If you are interested in using Zoho Reports for your business intelligence and reporting needs, do contact us for a personalized demo.