Interactive Data Visualization Blog Q&A

By September 16, 2008Other

I have received several questions over the years and finally have taken the time to write a Q&A for this blog.

Q: What is the purpose of the Interactive Data Visualization / Ryan Goodman blog?

A: I started this blog in 2006, one year after the acquisition of Xcelsius, a dashboard development technology for which I was lucky to evangelize and sell working for Informmersion and then Business Objects. The original goal was to write about my personal/professional interests around data visualization, dashboards, Xcelsius, etc. Very quickly I found that most people visited for my tricks, templates, and advisement on dashboard development. Now I have added mobile visualization to the mix as I expand my own business and interests.

Q: Are you paid by BOBJ to write nice things and market Xcelsius?

A: Absolutely not! Though I do make money from consulting and software sales with Centigon Solutions, I write this blog because I truly enjoy sharing my ideas and work for the greater good of the community. If something doesn’t work, I usually suggest how it could be better. I only post articles with hopes that you walk away with a more tools and information to build the best possible solutions for your own customers.

Q: Do you provide consulting services?

A: I do provide consulting services through Centigon Solutions. If you are interested in these services, please contact me

Q: What is your association with Centigon Solutions?

A: I am the founder of Centigon Solutions Inc., a business that I started shortly after leaving Business Objects in 2007. We initially targeted the Xcelsius marketplace and have since expanded our strategic focus to include geographic analysis and rich internet applications. If you are interested in contacting me about business opportunities related to Centigon Solutions. Visit to learn more about Xcelsius solutions.

Q: Why didn’t you answer my email?

A: If I have not answered your email, I do deeply apologize and hope that you were able to obtain assistance. I get a large volume of emails from the blog, and reply to them when ever I get a free time. If for some reason you do not get a response within 2-3 days of submission, feel free to email me directly at

Q: What is your take on Stephen Few’s negtive views on Xcelsius?

A: I get this question quite a bit since I have written a few articles specific to dashboard design. Unfortunately, I am somewhere in the middle of the road since my background in UI design/Flash development and early exposure to Tufte’s and Kaplan’s work have both influenced how I design dashboards. I am guilty as charged for building some bad dashboards…though none as bad as the poor examples I have seen on Stephen’s blogs. Stephen Few is an expert in the data visualization field and has poured his passion into a maturing dashboard solution marketplace. His honest, sometimes critical view of the world has made his blog popular. For organizations who want to learn about dashboard development, his books are still at the top of my list.

Q: What is your background?

A: During my under-grad, I studied graphic information technology and business. My early career was spent consulting using early versions of Flash 3. In the early-mid 2000s I worked on a small Information Origination/Research and Development team where I helped design innovative HCI solutions for business analysts using voice recognition, multi-touch, and data visualization techniques. I started using Xcelsius in 2004 to develop desktop widgets and financial dashboards and knew immediately that this technology would be game changing. It was in 2004 that I first met the Xcelsius team and finally joined them them in 2005. 3 years and two acquisitions later, I founded Centigon Solutions Inc. to pursue using these experiences to innovate and release to market solutions that will assist organizations to effectively assimilate information.


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