Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

Roambi Helps Make Mobile Data More Useful, And Memorable

Pivot tables. Macros. Pie charts. When you think of beautiful product design and unforgettable user experiences, spreadsheets probably aren’t the first thing to come to mind. But with more and more complex data being accessed on more and more smartphones and tablets, big data is going mobile. And that means businesses must figure out a way to unlock the groundswell of information.

If you’ve ever tried to access something as simple as a to-go menu that hasn’t been optimized for a mobile display, you know firsthand that all the pinching, zooming, and scrolling in the world just doesn’t cut it. Now think about complex data. Without the right interface, you’re left with trying to take something designed for a much larger screen and shrink it down. And we all know from experience that never works. Besides all of the unnecessary eye strain, just think about all of the time you’re wasting trying to retrieve and interpret those complex reports from your phone.

Beyond the increasing need to access data from mobile devices, businesses are also looking for solutions that will help them unlock the story behind the numbers, to move from just "consuming" data to creating an interactive and immersive experience that will resonate with their customers, employees, and shareholders. Demand that’s helped Roambi, the Sequoia-Capital-backed data visualization app from MeLLmo, experience considerable growth and adoption by 20% of the Fortune 50.

By focusing on user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design, they have been able to turn existing reports and spreadsheets into a thing of beauty and make information much more accessible (and digestible). In other words, you won’t have to be a quant jock or an accountant to get your point across.

"When people are able to really interact with the data instead of just staring at files, they are more much more likely to remember the information" says Dave Becerra, VP of Strategy and Business Development for Roambi. "As we continue the shift to a mobile workforce, sales teams and executive management will be giving more presentations and carrying more data on their smartphones and tablets. That means we’re going to have to reimagine the way we think about business information."

I never thought I’d say big data could be visually stunning, but thanks to apps like Roambi I might have to reconsider. Their focus on UX and UI design is helping to transform the way businesses access, consume, and communicate complex information.

Shawn Graham is a marketing and brand strategist for startups and small businesses. Find Shawn at or continue the conversation on Twitter.

[Image: Flickr user Andy Ihnatko]