Observable expands enterprise data visualization platform

Observable expanded its platform for larger organizations to collaborate on data projects that make information more intuitive to understand and use.

Observable expanded its data visualization platform on July 21 with launch of a new enterprise offering that is generally available now.

Based in San Francisco, the startup provides a SaaS cloud platform for data visualization that maps the relationship between different data points that can help users with data analytics and business intelligence applications.

Observable has targeted smaller data teams so far, and is now expanding with an enterprise offering that brings enhanced security controls and dedicated support.

Observable has a free tier that enables individuals to build data visualizations. On top of that is the Teams tier, which enables smaller groups to use private data sources and collaborate on data virtualization. The new Enterprise tier is intended for organizations with 25 or more users.

Among Observable's users is Sumitovant Biopharma Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company based in New York City.

Steve Prewitt, global head of digital innovation at Sumitovant Biopharma Inc., said his team brings data scientists and software developers together to address challenges such as looking for better ways to identify the best drugs and simulation modeling to help shorten clinical trials.

"Data is the lifeblood of the company," Prewitt said. "We think about data management as a strategic asset."

Screenshot of Observable data visualization interface
Observable enables users to create data visualizations for different data sources, via a web interface.

Bringing data observability to Sumitovant

Observable is based on the open source D3 (Data-Driven Documents) data visualization technology and provides templates as well as a user interface that makes it easier for organizations to build complex visualizations.

Prewitt noted that his team needs to build out what he referred as extremely custom visualizations. Observable helps his team do that.

"We were very interested in creating unique experiences for users that drew them into the data," Prewitt said.

Data is the lifeblood of the company. We think about data management as a strategic asset.
Steve PrewittGlobal head of digital innovation, Sumitovant Biopharma Inc.

Among the custom visualizations Prewitt's team has built with Observable is a visualization of the relationships that exist between academic researchers and the publications in which they publish their project results.

Observable has also helped to visualize a deeper understanding of populations with rare diseases for which Sumitovant has a potential drug therapy. Prewitt's team created a decision tree analysis data visualization to identify influential medical professionals who are important to help with a particular biopharmaceutical project or trial.

How Observable works to enable data visualization

Melody Meckfessel, CEO and co-founder of Observable, explained that the vendor's platform was designed to help organizations make sense of the data they have in a collaborative and visual approach.

"There's just too much data in the world and making sense of it is one of the most urgent business challenges today," Meckfessel said. "So how you unlock better decision-making is to use visualization because it just naturally taps into our human visual system, to help us explore, understand and gain new insights."

Observable works by enabling users to load data files into the platform or directly connect to a database.

Meckfessel noted that Observable also provides tools to help with data analysis and identifying useful data for visualization. One of the key features of the Observable platform is a set of templates that makes it easier to connect and import data from different sources.

"Our mission is to help everyone work with data and be more collaborative, and we will continue to find ways to bring more approachability to data visualization," Meckfessel said.

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