Pallav Nadhani is the co-founder and CTO of InfoSoft Global. He co-authored a book on combining the power of Flash and .NET called ‘Flash.NET’ at the age of 17 and has written several technical articles for international journals ever since. An MS in Computer Science from the University of Edinburgh, he is the founder and lead developer of FusionCharts, the industry’s leading Flash charting component.
In this conversaton, Pallav talks about oomfo, an add-in for PowerPoint that adds animated and interactive charts.
Geetesh: What exactly is Oomfo, and how does it work within PowerPoint?
Pallav: oomfo is a charting add-in for Microsoft PowerPoint (2003, 2007 and 2010) that helps render animated and interactive charts within PowerPoint, all using a simple to use GUI. It is powered by FusionCharts Suite which is the industry leader in Flash Charting.
oomfo allows you to import data from Excel, CSV, HTML tables and many other data sources. You can use its smart GUI to enter data or convert data from various sources into a chart. The wide gamut of configuration option lets you configure the chart to look exactly like you want it to.
oomfo offers a variety of 2D and 3D chart types that are highly interactive. All charts support tool-tip. Pie and doughnut charts support dynamic rotation, slicing and transformation from 2D to 3D. The True 3D chart supports dynamic camera angle rotation. Plus, there are business oriented charts like waterfall/cascade charts which are not present in PowerPoint, as well as charts that let you visually drag-drop-n-change data during the course of your presentation – this is just perfect in scenarios like when you’re collectively trying to decide on sales projection for the next quarter.
Geetesh: How does Oomfo compare to PowerPoint’s native charts – and are they editable once inserted? Also how do they work within the upcoming PowerPoint 2010 version?
Pallav: PowerPoint has always offered charts and graphs as default. But then, there was only so much you could do with it. No matter how hard you tried, boring could never be beautiful. The need of the hour? To add some real oomph — oomfo. So, there you go! oomfo transforms mundane data into stunning visuals and adds the oomph quotient to your presentations. While at it, oomfo lets you edit and manipulate your data with incredible ease. It helps you captivate your audience in a unique way.
The charts are totally editable even after insertion. In fact, even when you export the charts to run on another machine (without oomfo), once oomfo is installed on that machine, you can edit those exported charts as well. Such is the flexibility and portability offered by oomfo. Additionally, you can also export the charts generated by oomfo within your slides as image if you want to upload to sites like SlideShare.
We’re currently also working on enabling drill-down charts within PowerPoint. Say for example, you’ve a chart that shows yearly sales of three years (say 2007,2008 and 2009). Now, in a typical PowerPoint slide, if you were to show detailed data of the year 2007, 2008 and 2009, you’ll possibly add one slide per such chart. With oomfo, you can create linked charts (containing detailed data of 2007, 2008 and 2009) that show up in your presentation when a particular year is clicked in the main chart. This lets you build full dashboards and reporting within your PowerPoint slides without the need for your IT team. And this can be shared with anyone across the world.
oomfo works flawlessly with PowerPoint 2010 as well.