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For data visualization software startup Chartio, everything is working out the way it’s supposed to.

Chartio sought to get lots of people inside a company exploring data and making charts based on it, to observe trends about revenue sources or where all the money is going. And now that’s happened, leading the startup to think up ways to make it easy to for companies to set rules for what data each person has access to.

“We were just having companies with hundreds of users,” rather than just 20 or so, cofounder and chief executive Dave Fowler told VentureBeat today.

Now admins may determine which data sources and dashboards each employee can see, and to make these permissions easier to set, And admins can now group employees. So marketing employees see certain stuff, while top executives can see everything.

The new configuration represents a big step forward from forming new projects for different data and dashboards and less granular settings for users.

“It’s a less sexy feature, you know, less flashy and demo-able, but it’s really important,” Fowler said.

He’s right. Access controls for lots of people brings Chartio a bit closer to the sort of enterprise software that it could run up against — business-intelligence tools from legacy vendors like Oracle and IBM. It’s only natural for bigger companies to have concerns about excluding some employees from seeing certain information, and now Chartio can provide more fine-grained control, just as other enterprise-focused vendors have been doing for years.

At the same time, the development hints at the usefulness of Chartio as a simple but nevertheless, attractive tool for charting data. It shows what happens when more people actually start to use data within each company.

The new features could ensure people using Chartio only focus on the stuff that’s most relevant to them, potentially increasing productivity.

Limits to data access could well move to other startups with simple tools for visualizing and running basic statistical calculations on data. More and more startups are showing up in this area; for instance, DataPad emerged from stealth mode yesterday at VentureBeat’s DataBeat conference.

Chartio announced $2.2 million in venture funding in January. It sells monthly and annual subscriptions to its cloud-based software.

Next up, Chartio wants to make it possible for people to analyze data from more sources, Fowler said.


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