Mobile phones and tablets are handy business tools. But if workers do business computing on touch-screen tablets, then they need to change the way they explore and analyze data. Without a two-button mouse, options and tools hidden in a cascading tree of menus are no longer effective. Data access and analysis have to be possible by touching, dragging and pinch zooming.
That is the design challenge that Zoomdata founder and CEO Justin Langseth undertook when he started the company in 2012. Langseth said he strove to make Zoomdata as intuitive as mapping app Google Earth, where people can go from a global view to finding their own house in under 10 seconds.
Langseth said the other major engineering challenge was to ensure that Zoomdata can display any type of data from any source, and the data represented on the tablet is updated in real time. The real-time stream processing system is built on Kafka, Storm and the visualization library d3.js, according to Langseth’s presentation at Strata Hadoop World in February.
In this interview with Data Informed staff writer Ian B. Murphy, Langseth discusses why he believes touch screens are the next big thing in business, how Zoomdata built a user experience for data exploration just for touch screens, and how having a tablet with a real-time view of all data can change how crucial decisions are made from top to bottom in a business. (Podcast running time: 16:56).
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