Aldecis is a young and dynamic team based in Paris I have been exchanging ideas with for some time now, not only about Sparklines but information visualization in general.
They have just released their creative Excel add-in : BeGraphic, which allows users to control precisely all parameters of a shape : Color, border, rotation, position etc... with a single cell.
Behind this simple idea, lays endless possibilities to create dynamic diagrams and enhance dashboards, reporting documents, presentations and scorecards with innovative visual data graphics... as easy as with your old Excel charts.
BeGraphic Lite is more an drawing engine than a ready-to-use solution.
BeGraphic gives the opportunity to handle parameters of any specific picture or shape. But first users must build their custom data visualizations. Then BeGraphic is able to transform any infographics into dynamic charts / animated graphics.
In order to show some quick usages in the 'lite version', two pre-built templates are offered: gauges and choropleth maps (+ 7.000 geographical maps given only to users who ask for it and provide their professional email). But all other automatic applications will be provided with the final release of BeGraphic, probably available in summer 2010.
Summarizing, I wouldn say that BeGraphic:
- works inside Excel and PowerPoint
- doesn't need macro (only have to know the right-click or ribbon)
- needs your imagination (to build the initial graphics)
Did I mention that BeGraphic also includes an embeded "Sparklines for Excel" menu...
The free version Begraphic Lite can be downloaded here... enjoy.