RoamBi iPhone app makes data uberpretty

Interactive and gorgeous, the new RoamBi report viewer for iPhone and iPod Touch will catch the eye of field employees and data nuts alike.

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Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Commerce & Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Commerce, How-To and Performance Optimization. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
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RoamBi iPhone app--pie chart

A data report reader may not seem like the most exciting candidate for an iPhone app, but if you're working in the field--or are even just a numbers nut--the new RoamBi app will catch your eye.

RoamBi (short for 'roaming business intelligence') is good-looking, all right, and it manages to cram a breadth of information into its gorgeous charts and graphs. Unlike many mobile versions of spreadsheet readers, you'll almost never need to scroll through a tiny spreadsheet to analyze your data.

The service also includes a Web publisher where individual operators or corporate employees can import reports in four visual templates--the pie chart, graph, card file, or list. The data can then be e-mailed to the phone or pushed through the RoamBi account.

On the iPhone or iPod Touch itself, report-seekers can search and sort reports, or open them by the visual style if the report's name is hard to remember. On top of the features that let you drill down deep into each report's components on successive screens are visual trills to customize color, hide columns, and drag and drop elements to rearrange them. There's bookmarking information to keep a data point handy, graphs you can double-tap to see a new view, and sometimes secondary graphs that swing up when you tap a button. Though highly interactive, it isn't always intuitive. If you don't know to tap a graph or spin the pie chart to view more details, you may at first miss out. Plus, as RoamBi is currently view-only, it's not yet ready to be used as a collaborative tool across a mobile team.

Though free for individual use, RoamBi's largest user segment will be the corporate set. Integration with Salseforce.com, Excel, Crystal Reports, and your company's enterprise server will come at a cost, as will the premium version of RoamBi expected to issue forth later this year.