Spotfire is an excellent data visualization and data analytics tool
Updated December 09, 2016

Spotfire is an excellent data visualization and data analytics tool

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version


Overall Satisfaction with TIBCO Spotfire

  • Handles large data sets very well (ie. thousands to millions of rows of data)
  • Gives users flexibility on creating the types of visualizations they can create based on what questions they ask.
  • Can easily integrate with data sources, for example, connecting directly to databases.
  • Makes it easy for a user to spot trends or outlying data and identify it.
  • Empowers user with the ability see the data in a different way and make decisions.
  • Out-of-the-box, Spotfire does not do actual data analysis well, meaning it is really not meant to be used for complex calculations of data.
  • Requires a 3-tiered architecture (Oracle Database, Application Server, and thick client) for setting up.
  • It does not have a strong curve-fitting engine.
I do not have the control over these kinds of decisions. However once an organization invests time and resources to configure usable tools around this application, it would be tough to replace with another software package.
  • This is too difficult to measure in a pharma research environment.
  • In-person training
  • Self-taught
The in person training I have experienced with the vendor has usually been very good. In the past the west coast representatives would actually offer free on site seminars that are usually very helpful. Because my job role includes training scientists to use Spotfire on a regular basis, we usually do not use training from the vendor.
In my opinion, it is not a good idea to give this application to a user without training. In a previous review, there is a comment that this application has a short learning curve, but that reviewer is an engineer. If you are technical and are good with data analytics tools already, it should be easy to pick up. If you are a scientist whose main focus is to discover and develop pharmaceutical drugs, you don't have time to figure it out yourself. I find that at least the basic fundamentals of Spotfire need to be shown to most new users first to get the most out of the product.
I haven't had too much experience with contacting customer service or support. I couple of times I had sent in questions with no response. I heard recently that in an agreement with Perkin Elmer, Tibco was going to leverage their support team to take over customer support.
I rate usability fairly high for a product of this kind. However, it's probably not something that research scientists can just pick up on their own without specific training.
I've been around and used this application for many years. It is a great tool for data visualization, data dashboarding, tracking information, etc. It is just a very flexible data analytics tool.

One thing that has remained constant is that you need to realize it's a very expensive tool as well. Many small companies are shut out without budget. They also used to require a 3 year commitment up front, and it would of course be licensed per user, plus annual license and support for the server, database etc... not sure if this is still the case. I am fortunate not to have to worry about that.
Currently our company is using version 6.5 but will be upgrading in the near future. Tibco continues to improve on features.

TIBCO Spotfire Feature Ratings

Customizable dashboards
Report Formatting Templates
Drill-down analysis
Formatting capabilities
Integration with R or other statistical packages
Report sharing and collaboration
Publish to Web
Publish to PDF
Report Versioning
Report Delivery Scheduling
Not Rated
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
Predictive Analytics
Not Rated
Multi-User Support (named login)
Role-Based Security Model
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
Responsive Design for Web Access
Mobile Application
Not Rated
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile
Not Rated

Evaluating TIBCO Spotfire and Competitors

Using TIBCO Spotfire

1000 - Research
20 - 20 is an estimate, as we have a large global environment. This includes infrastructure support (DBA's, networking), and for user support we have informatics specialists to assist users.
  • In the pharmaceutical research industry, the application can be used for viewing experimental results to spot trends or ask specific questions against assay data to make decisions going forward on research projects. Also I’ve seen it used it for reporting of results, dashboarding for project progress tracking. It could also serve as a search tool against a database.
  • Data visualization of large data sets. pharmaceutical research.
  • Drilling down to answer questions against data.
  • Spotting trends or identifying anomalies in large data sets.
  • Using Spotfire as a search user interface where the current application does not have one developed yet. By connecting to the correct data tables in the application's database to serve as the data source to the Spotfire file, we then created a search tool by combining visualizations and filters to the data.

TIBCO Spotfire Implementation

I was not involved in our company's initial implementation. In my first experience with Spotfire, which actually was called Spotfire Decisionsite, the implementation was fairly easy. As long as you have expertise in house that can assist with setting up the database instance and the application server, it is not that difficult to implement with no customization.

TIBCO Spotfire Support

No - As long as there is enough internal expertise in your company, you probably wouldn't need to pay the vendor for premium support.

TIBCO Spotfire Reliability

Generally, the Spotfire client runs with very good performance. There are factors that could affect performance, but normally has to do with loading large analysis files from the library if the database is located some distance away and your global network is not optimal. Once you have your data table(s) loaded in the client application, usually the application is quite good performance-wise.

Integrating TIBCO Spotfire

  • Mostly creating information links to pull data directly from oracle databases.
Utilizing information links builder tools in the application makes it fairly easy to connect and query databases directly to bring in live up-to-date data.
  • No, not at this time. My main job function is to train users on the fundamentals and also how to use any custom tools built in house for Spotfire.

Relationship with TIBCO Software Inc.