November 1st, 2010 marked the end of a great line of software products: Dundas Chart, Gauge, and Map for .NET. However, it highlighted the beginning of our focus on our new great product, Dundas Dashboard
. I thought I would share with you my experiences with the Dundas component line to commemorate this date.
I remember the first time I used Dundas Chart. I had just graduated from Carleton University. Eager to start making our mark on the world, four of my friends and I started a company called Invotrax. In short, we were providing a system to track the buying habits of shoppers who visited clothing retail stores. With all this wonderful data we were collecting, I was tasked with building some business intelligence reports
. As a start-up company, you generally try to develop software with as much free tools as possible. To help visualize the data, I used Crystal Reports for .NET 2.0 which was free with Visual Studio 2005. When I couldn’t get the chart to look right, I finally started looking at other 3rd party controls. I had some push back from my team because we weren’t in a position to just spend money freely; of course, one of the responses was, “We should build our own.” Thankfully I was an experienced software developer who understood that building a proper charting control was not trivial and would cost more to implement than to purchase – the classic build vs. buy dilemma.
I had a lot of developer colleagues and one recommended Dundas Chart. Wow. What a difference. I had full control over how to visualize my data. The price was a pittance compared to the time savings. This wouldn’t be the last time I would work with Dundas Chart.
They say that only about 8% of startups succeed. Unfortunately, Invotrax was part of the 92% side of the statistic. As I started looking for a full time job in Toronto, I discovered that Dundas was located in Toronto. The role they had available at the time was a product evangelist position. Based on my personality and technical knowledge, I felt that I would be a good fit. More importantly, I knew I would be proud to represent such a quality software line. Troy Marchand, the president of the company, thought so as well during my interview. Flash forward to now.
For four years I worked with a set of the easiest, most flexible data visualization products in the market. The product line had their idiosyncrasies but they were far superior to any that were on the market. I think I can back that statement up by mentioning Microsoft’s IP acquisition. This isn’t the end though. This is just the beginning of something even bigger. We now have Dundas Dashboard; a data visualization framework
that streamlines developing dashboards, scorecards, reports, and any other visualization solution. We already have large organizations adopting our technology and deploying them for external and internal use.
I’ve been product managing Dundas Dashboard since its release in Nov. 2009. I’m looking forward to the day it gains the same reputation as the components. I believe that future starts today.
keywords: data visualization
, Dundas Dashboard
, business intelligence
posted @ Tuesday, November 02, 2010 2:06 PM