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TIBCO Spotfire Review: "Robust visualization and analytics available for a small budget"
https://www.trustradius.com/business-intelligenceTIBCO SpotfireUnspecified8.4490101
Alex Naumov profile photo
Updated December 17, 2016

TIBCO Spotfire Review: "Robust visualization and analytics available for a small budget"

Score 9 out of 101
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with TIBCO Spotfire

  • Spotfire provides advanced visualization that can be further customized with custom expressions, which is a very powerful and versatile functionality. Coupled with property controls that allow users make various selections and changes to variables, this functionality allows creating pretty robust 'what if' scenarios. Such has multiple applications ranging from price analysis and price development to budgeting to cash flow to engineering.
  • Spotfire is very good at data transformations and enrichment. This allows aligning multiple otherwise disparate data sources and analyzing data from those data sources side by side and on the same view. That in turn provides deeper insight into data.
  • Spotfire offers a wide range of formula types including statistical formulas that allow for high degree of customization and flexibility in building visualizations and/or logic. This in turn again allows getting more insight into/from data.
  • Combination chart does not allow stacked bars along with a line. So, if the user does stacked bars i.e., based on one column but broken down with the column's individual values by color, then the line is not possible to do.
  • The statistical table of the box plot visualization, though very useful and customizable, cannot be formatted and the default formats aren't based on the columns' formats either.
  • Data transformations, though extremely useful and critical for data alignment for multiple data sources, cannot be changed once implemented for a data table. If changes are due, the entire data table must be re-done.
  • There are multiple bugs that either unexpectedly shut down a Spotfire session or otherwise interfere. For example, if a data table has data transformations and columns inserted from external tables and if such a data table is embedded then it may become un-refreshable. Sometimes, that can be corrected by selecting "Linked to Source", saving the file and re-opening. But sometimes, it becomes un-refreshable for good, meaning that the data table must be re-done from scratch.
  • If a column that is being used in any expression or as a matched column is deleted, the entire data table becomes embedded and will have to be re-done from scratch.
  • There's limited functionality to personalize visualizations with colors, shapes, fonts, etc.
Tableau
QlikView
Business Objects
We picked Spotfire because it provided the most robust visualization development functionality with a lot of flexibility of custom expressions. It also allows enriching data with lookups in a much more flexible way than either Tableau or QlikView. Finally, it is a more scalable solution that works better with more data sources and databases.
Even though Spotfire does have bugs and inconsistencies and other shortcomings, it's certainly doing a great job overall. It provides great value for the money and is user-friendly enough.
  • In the first year of the usage of analytics developed on the Spotfire platform, we're expecting over 500-600% ROI, which is pretty hefty. It's not necessarily all the benefits directly from Spotfire but the analytics and logic built into it.
  • Online training
  • In-person training
They did go above and beyond for us and not only did they train my team well but they also provided some solutions to our problems.
They provide excellent training online. There are multiple different courses available, which cater to any level and are easy to follow.
Great with very large sets of data such as 1 to 10 million rows. Spotfire has very extensive capabilities including formulas, statistics, k means, regression and even custom programming. Visualizations are really easy and versatile too. I much prefer spotfire to Tableau.

Using TIBCO Spotfire

Users and Roles

200 - Pricing and marketing; business intelligence; commercial organization; sales

Support Headcount Required

10 - Functional owner (me), business analysts, and data engineers and developers.

Business Processes Supported

  • Analytics of Historical Prices: Price and strategy development.
  • Analytics of Competitive Prices: Price and strategy development and competitive bids
  • Customer Analysis: Orders and sales performance per technology, product line, region, etc., revenue per installed base.
  • Competitive and win/loss analysis: Reasons for wins and losses, what competitors we're up against per technology, segment, product line, why we win and lose against individual competitors, etc., competitors' capabilities, geographic coverage, etc.

Evaluating TIBCO Spotfire and Competitors

Products Replaced

Metreo and Excel.

TIBCO Spotfire Implementation

Implementation

8
Overall, it was a good implementation but several bugs on the server side persisted a long time without proper identification.

Implementation Details / Implementation Partner

  • Implemented in-house

TIBCO Spotfire Support

Support

8
It's very responsive. But it doesn't always solve the problem quick enough. And they sometimes try to avoid admitting to having bugs.

Premium Support

No - Working for a large copmany, we get good support without paying a premium.

Using TIBCO Spotfire

Usability

9
There's a wide range of uses the tool can provide. Building simple visualizations and dashboards is extremely easy, probably as easy as it gets. More customized visualizations take some time to learn and understand but that's expected compared to other tools.

TIBCO Spotfire Reliability

Reliability and Availability

8
Even though, it's a rather stable and predictable tool that's also fast, it does have some bugs and inconsistencies that shut down the system. Depending on the details, it could happen as often as 2-3 times a week, especially during the development period.

Performance

9
With a small or medium amount of data (up to 200-300K rows and 50 columns), its speed is comparable to QlikView and Tableau or even slightly slower - though hardly noticeable. With larger data volumes (up to 1M rows and 50 columns), it's getting faster than many others. Spotfire 4.02 gets really bogged down after 5-10M rows though.

Integrating TIBCO Spotfire

Future Integration Plans

  • MS Excel.
  • MS Access.
To my knowledge, the integration capabilities of Spotfire 4.02 with either MS Excel or Access is pretty limited.

Relationship with TIBCO Software Inc.

Key Negotiation Points

Can't be disclosed.

Upgrading TIBCO Spotfire

Upgrade Process

Yes - I wasn't involved in the IT side of the upgrade. But when it was done by IT which took about a week the transition went quick and smooth. We upgraded to version 6.5 a year ago. Much better and faster than 5.5