Panorama: In-Depth Analysis Within Google Docs
If you needed another reason to use Google Docs, Panorama has one for you: deep analysis. In short, it's a simplified way of creating pivot tables on spreadsheets. Start by setting up a spreadsheet in Google Docs, just like you would in Microsoft Excel. Select all or a portion of your table, create a gadget, choose your parameter and apply. You'll see your data presented in bar charts, pie charts ... however you decide to view and analyze it.
These charts can be used to organize and analyze personal finance data, business data, stock and inventory, ship dates - just about anything you want. "There's both a consumer flavor to it, as well as an enterprise flavor," said Panorama VP of Strategy and Marketing, Oudi Antebi.
There are similar tools. But many of them can reach costs of tens of thousands of dollars. Even Microsoft Office tools can cost hundreds of dollars. Panorama for Google Docs is free, and there's nothing to download or install. According to Antebi, you get about 80% of the functionality of the paid tools. But the real power lies in Google Docs itself: these charts and documents are designed to be completely collaborative. There will be a premium, paid version of the tool available, somewhere in the $30 range that will extend the functionality even further. See the video below for a quick tutorial on how to get started analyzing your Google Doc data.