For Tyler Cummings and Wallon Walusayi, inspiration for their virtual reality (VR) data visualization platform came from a desire to better understand the performance of their fantasy football teams. Now, after a successful two-year run with VR data visualization app DatavizVR, the duo is looking to expand its capabilities with a rebrand and product offering expansion. The renamed company, now 3Data, is a visualization platform where data points can be plotted in a three-dimensional environment using up to seven variables. The tool gives company data analysts and data scientists a compelling way to show data to C-level executives and stakeholders through an immersive experience.
It all started in my grandma’s garage…
The company’s origin story echoes elements of the classic tech dream: high school chums reuniting to create “the next big thing” in a grandmother’s Milwaukee basement and having good timing. Landing in Austin by way of Las Vegas, the company formed just as companies were starting to understand the powerful stories that data could tell. “This was the opportunity,” Cummings, chief operating officer and co-founder, told me. “We knew it was early, but we knew we had an opportunity to put our flag in the ground and really be the Coca-Cola of data visualization.” “And now that we’ve gone through to know what works and what doesn’t work, we’ve rebranded our collaboration platform,” Cummings said.
No headset? No problem.
The company says it’s the only fully collaborative, multi-user 3D data visualization platform that works across the cloud. It allows users to leverage webVR — a browser-based VR technology that doesn’t require a headset or any download. “We learned from all of these companies that they needed to be able to share insights in 3D graphs and charts with their team members or their clients or customers,” Cummings said. “And those team members and clients or customers might not have a VR headset. That was actually one of the big hurdles that we had to try to figure out over the course of the last year: How to make this tool and this platform accessible to anyone, anywhere, on any device and still take advantage of a virtual environment. And that’s why we decided to pivot toward the web and do webVR.” The demonstration of the platform was fairly clunky on my overloaded laptop, but Cummings told me that through a partnership with the business intelligence division of Microsoft, 3Data offers some clients computers to handle the process.
With its rebrand, the company has evolved what once was an app into a platform and updated what was a single-user experience to one for multiple users. The platform update also includes direct integration with user databases and new creator features. “Our customers had a need for the software to be used by a team, not just a single person,” Cummings said in a release announcing the news. “In 3Data, multiple people in a group can share and contribute to the data being visualized and presented. Team members can work together; supervisors and CEOs can contribute and/or leave notes; clients can make changes and give their input — all in the same 3D space, and in real time.” “While the highest-quality experience is still found through VR, we have omitted the need for a CEO to don a cumbersome headset in order to see the data being shared. The presentations you make can be accessed through just about any device, while the actual data remains safe and secure on premises,” he said.
Robin Kurzer started her career as a daily newspaper reporter in Milford, Connecticut. She then made her mark on the advertising and marketing world in Chicago at agencies such as Tribal DDB and Razorfish, creating award-winning work for many major brands. For the past seven years, she’s worked as a freelance writer and communications professional across a variety of business sectors.