NodeFly Buzz: Chris Neumann and Datahero

Node.js rocks, and we want the world to know it. And to help spread the word, NodeFly profiles cool Node.js projects or products every two weeks in NodeFly Buzz.

While we were using our patented Nodevision to find new Node.js things, we found this promising statement: “Datahero connects directly to the services you use everyday, giving you instant access to your data no matter where it is.” Intrigued, we investigated and chatted with Chris Neumann, DataHero founder.

NodeFly: The NodeFly team certainly likes superheroes. Can you tell us about Datahero and how it performs superheroics with data?

Datahero: Datahero’s mission is to empower anyone to get insights from their data. There’s nothing to download or install - you can connect to online services you use or upload data from your computer and, within minutes, get the answers you need. We think data-driven decisions for the masses are pretty heroic.  

NodeFly: We like that you’re making data accessible to the average citizen. How are you making this happen?

Datahero: Datahero represents something that’s never before been built: a data analytics platform designed from day one to be used by literally anyone. This meant making usability the centerpiece of our development process (something that’s rarely done in the data world). Using customer-centric design from the beginning makes all the difference in terms of ease of use, especially for people without technical backgrounds.

NodeFly: You’ve built your product with Node.js. What made you decide to go in this direction?

Datahero: We knew that to realize our vision meant we’d have to push the envelope in both UI and data analytics. Using Node.js allowed us to use Javascript throughout our codebase and to develop in an environment optimized for the type of asynchronous workflows we were architecting, helping us to realize both those goals.

NodeFly: What opportunities did Node.js provide?

Datahero: Beyond performance, the biggest opportunity that Node.js gave us was the chance to do more with a smaller team. Having Javascript both client- and server-side definitely cut down on a lot of unnecessary development. Moreover, whereas other server-side technologies have “adapted” to the needs of today’s complex web applications, Node.js is designed for them. It lets us do more, faster.

NodeFly: What has development been like with Node.js? Did Node.js itself throw any challenges your way?

Datahero: We had some struggles early on with limitations in Node.js’ database support at that time (which was pretty significant for us, as a data analytics platform). But that’s the price you pay when using a new technology. The Node.js ecosystem has improved by leaps and bounds since then, and we try to do our part to contribute. For example, we’ve contributed a number of authentication plugins to everyauth.

NodeFly: Datahero manages to effectively communicate with Dropbox, Google Drive, MailChimp, Stripe and others. Can you tell us about how you managed to interact with such diverse products?

Datahero: We knew that we had to make it incredibly simple for our users to be able to quickly and easily access their data from anywhere. We built something called our “Data Decoder”, which uses machine learning algorithms to classify the data. Each time you upload or import something, Datahero analyzes the structure of the data to identify headers and automatically detect datatypes (countries, currency, email addresses, etc.). By combining that with custom integrations with our partners, Datahero enables our users to import any data in literally one click!

NodeFly: You’ve received some great reviews. What have Datahero users said about your product?

Datahero: We’ve gotten some really encouraging feedback on our design and usability. One user recently wrote that Datahero “…was my best experience of using a new product since I sat for the first time in an Uber cab” (which is pretty high praise if you’ve ever used Uber!). People who are not familiar with data analysis find that they can get insights quickly and easily out of Datahero, which is exactly what we’re going for. There is obviously always room for improvement and we appreciate all the feedback and suggestions we get from our users.

Overall, we’re spurred on by the enthusiasm we’ve seen so far; it makes us feel like we’re moving in the right direction.

NodeFly:  Any future plans for Datahero that you’d like to share?

Datahero: We push out a new release each week, so we’re constantly building and improving Datahero.  Beyond that, we’re working on a number of exciting features that we’ll be rolling out this summer, so stay tuned!


And with that, we encourage you to transform your data visibility from mild-mannered to heroic. Just go to http://www.datahero.com and try it out.

In the meantime, if you know of any cool, creative and fun uses for Node.js that you think the world should know about, email us at feedback@nodefly.com. You can also search our blog for more NodeFly Buzz articles at http://blog.nodefly.com or use our dashboard at http://www.nodefly.com to monitor your own Node.js product!