Berg Palm told The H that the project has its roots in his Nomnom project, which was created to aggregate and visualise data about the Roskilde festival where he volunteers as part of a "sysadmin/devops group". Nomnom was "much like jSlate" but used couchdb as a backend and required data to be stored in an easily visualised way.
Berg Palm wanted to create something that worked as a "blank slate", capable of working with people's existing storage or BI systems. Building on Nomnom, he went on to create the backend agnostic jSlate. He already uses jSlate to visualise information at work as it has "satisfied my usecase".