Widgenie manages to make this common task relatively enjoyable. The service allows you to upload spreadsheets and create nice looking visualization widgets that can be embedded on web pages.Making charts and graphs might not seem like an exciting way to spend your time, but new service
You might not make graphs very often, but the next time you do - this service is worth a look. There are a lot of graph making tools online, but few are as easy to use and attractive as this one.
Currently, Widgenie users are limited to uploading Excel or CSV files. In the near future the company says it will support graph creation from 3rd party data sources, including dynamic ones like Google Spreadsheets. The company says this functionality is likely to become available in the final months of this year.
Obviously my little sample spreadsheet isn't particularly well suited for a pie chart, but the chart is attractive enough, is it not?
We had some file uploading problems the first few times we tried the service, but it appears to be working now. The embed code for the primary widget is broken, we used the code for Blogger, but the company says that's a bug that will be fixed later this week. If everything about the service worked like it ought to then it wouldn't be a startup, would it?
One of the most charming details here is the provision of viewership analytics. It's pretty simple, but Widgenie shows you how many viewers your widgets have had, from what sites and when. That's a pretty handy and fun feature for a free service.
There is so much data flying around on the web that good tools for visualizing it are important. That's why we said at the start of the year that Data Visualization was going to be a key trend in 2008. We're not sure how well that prediction has played out, but it does help us appreciate the need for good services like Widgenie.