Introducing Chartly

What we are building and why we are building it.

Posted by Harris Reynolds on September 22, 2018

I love clarity.

When I was a kid I was good at sports. However, by the seventh grade I had slid from first to worst on the baseball team. My vision was terrible and I couldn't see the ball well at all. Hit the ball? No chance. I remember being tagged out once because I couldn't see the third base coach from first base and incorrectly interpreted his "signals". I jogged right to the short stop who was waiting to tag me out. Don't ask how I even made it to first base in the first place.

It was humiliating.

I got glasses in the eigth grade and it was a game changer. I was amazed when I could see the board in math class. WOW!! I don't have to guess at what the teacher is writing. Brilliant.

Things are much more difficult when you can't see clearly.

In addition to clarity, I also love beauty. I think we all do. It is part of being human.

Beautiful people. Beautiful homes. Beautiful vistas (like this one from from Trey Mountain I took on a recent hike on the Appalachian Trail).

Now...

What is **really** special is when clarity is combined with beauty. Then life becomes not only easier, but also more enjoyable.

Chartly exists for this purpose. We create clarity, and try to do it beautifully. This is difficult, and we are far from fulfilling our mission, but we are consistently improving our platform to support this central idea.

## Charts in Chartly

Charts are a widely known tool for bringing clarity to data, and particularly large sets of data. They have been around for a long time. Here is an early version of a bar chart that was created by William Playfair.

![http://chartly-blog.s3.amazonaws.com/photos/3/original.jpg?153764873](http://chartly-blog.s3.amazonaws.com/photos/3/original.jpg?153764873)

Furthermore, over the past twenty years, as software has been "snacking on the world", the development of tooling to create charts has progressed significantly. And there are some great tools available for skilled professionals to bring clarity to data with charts.

But.

We feel like it is still way more difficult than it should be for the "lay people" that don't have a title like *data hero*. Especially if they want to create something that is both clear and beautiful.

So in addition to clarity and beauty, we want to make things *easy*. "Automatic for the People" so to speak.

## What is Chartly?

Chartly is a data visualization platform. We want to make it easy for anyone to create charts and dashboards. Great ones.

To do this we need several things.

1. A great charting library
2. Data to visualize
3. Tooling to make things easy

Like everyone else, we've built our own charting library. There are good ones out there, but none that were as good out of the box as what we were looking for. And given our name is *Chartly*, we felt like it was kinda important to have great charts out of the box.

What makes a great chart?

First and foremost **clarity**. Second: *beauty*. And lastly we believe interactivity via tooltips and links between charts are mere tablestakes in 2018.

## Data

Charts are only a thing because of data. And data lives everywhere. So we've built a platform to make it easy to access your data anywhere. This is a challenge and will be part of our ongoing development.