Competitive intelligence tool review: Lovely Charts

Lovely Charts may not be a tool designed for competitive intelligence, but it has been tweeted about by a couple of competitive intelligence people recently. Among other things, it is useful for drawing up organisational charts, which are a staple of competitive intelligence projects.

The charts that can be drawn with Lovely Charts are not significantly different to those that can be drawn with PowerPoint. The strength of Lovely Charts is its ease of use for tasks that are fiddly and time consuming in PowerPoint. For example, if you insert a box into an organisational chart in Lovely Charts, the software can distribute the other boxes evenly better than PowerPoint can.

Lovely Charts is well-intentioned but I am not sure it is useful. The development team may have underestimated how addicted businesspeople are to PowerPoint. Lovely Charts would have to be awesomely good (like Tableau) to be used in addition to, or instead of, PowerPoint. In fact, the charts that can be produced are not particularly lovely. Some of the 'lovely' graphics are the cheesy PowerPoint kind that were popular in the 1990s. And Lovely Charts is not even free: the price is an eyebrow-raising €59 - about the same as PowerPoint itself.

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Overall, a lot of effort has gone into an application that is not particularly useful and might be better as part of a bigger software suite.

Lovely Charts scores

Usefulness: 3/10

Ease of use: 6/10

Comprehensiveness: 4/10

Overall score: 4/10