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The Spicy Future for Data

What’s the price of spice? If you’ve never seen a data app, that’s the question you should be asking yourself. Data apps are living documents that weave narratives around data and charts to explain, persuade, or empower.

Imagine your future self. You work for a large company selling spices and you’re tasked with exploring the impact of pricing changes. Most importantly, you’ll present the results to executives who will no doubt pepper you with questions about what-ifs.

You toss aside the presentation software, opting instead for a data notebook because this won’t be the last time you’ll be asked to analyze prices. With a notebook, you’ll be able to reuse your work.

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First, you plot the historical revenues of the company on the Imperial Market: $189B solari is no small amount of spice. Revenues are flattish though.

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Next, you unmask the reason for the tepid growth: prices have been static for the past six months or so, even though high-value customers transact just as frequently as smaller spice buyers.

image You anticipate the CFO will ask questions about a particular customer or two, to test the integrity of the data. No problem. Type in any customer name into this section of the app to plot historical purchasing behavior. This customer’s pricing is clearly suboptimal.

image Last, you decide to write a series of simple models to gauge revenue impact if the business varies cost and price increases. Now, you’re prepared. You share the app ahead of the meeting to pre-brief the key stakeholders.

This workflow is why data apps are the future. They meld the best attributes of collaborative documents, familiar web interfaces, and repeatable data analysis. I embedded screenshots of the What’s the Price of Spice app, but play around with it and you’ll understand the magic immediately.

Today, Hex announced their $52m Series B, an important milestone for the company leading the data apps movement. Congratulations to the team. If you’re interested in building software that empowers the next generation of spice analysts and all technical analysts, join Hex.