We've taken a look at MeLLmo's Roambi in the past and were fairly impressed with the instant interactive visualizations created for business data and statistics. With Roambi, you import data created in another program or system (often Excel or another CSV-based spreadsheet program for personal data, or large-scale business analysis systems in enterprise use), and the app generates the dynamic charts using that data. The free Roambi Lite service works with Excel files; Roambi Pro adds on-demand connectivity to Google Docs and Salesforce CRM; and Roambi ES3 links to IBM Cognys, Oracle, Microsoft and SAP business systems.
MeLLmo is adding new capabilities to the product line with Roambi Flow, a new app and content system which will create original documents using Roambi from the ground up. It's the sort of process imagined when the iPad was first conceived. Imagine creating a business analysis and having your static graphs spring to life. In theory, it could be used for anything from a science paper to a full corporate annual report; putting the deeper analysis of the Roambi graphs into the narrative content means that readers can construct their own interpretations of the data along with the conclusions or observations in the digital publication. The point-and-click interface is simple enough that most people will be able to create an elegant, interactive document either on the iPad or from a desktop browser.
The initial version of Roambi Flow will be available in June working with the Roambi ES3 enterprise system, which costs hundreds of dollars per user seat. Later in 2011, the Flow product will extend out to Roambi's software-as-a-service offering for non-enterprise customers. In the meantime, to give the basic Roambi visualizer a try, check out the free app on the App Store.