Spotfire: Easy to Dive in, A Little Harder to Master
December 28, 2016

Spotfire: Easy to Dive in, A Little Harder to Master

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version

Desktop

Overall Satisfaction with TIBCO Spotfire

We are using Spotfire across our entire organization, but the primary purpose is for trouble shooting the process. Our engineering groups have linked Spotfire to the myriad of data sources used throughout our company to get a comprehensive view of the process and the various impacts different events have on the process. We have used Spotfire to clearly and definitively show performance differences between units that are creating the same product. Migrating Pareto charts for yield impacts from Excel to Spotfire was very easy, and now our Pareto charts are interacting through Spotfire.
  • Creating aesthetically pleasing visualizations is immensely easier than Excel. Also, the Spotfire interface is similar enough to Excel that our engineers did not have any trouble learning the new software.
  • Slicing the data to perform different aggregations is one of the most elegant aspects of Spotfire. The GUI that drives the underlying SQL server is designed and implemented very well. It appears like a normal "What You See Is What You Get", but all of the commands performed using the mouse can be found as properties within the analysis file, allowing easy modifications of the default properties.
  • Spotfire is very fast. It utilizes multi-threading to perform calculations on and rendering of hundreds of thousands of records in seconds and never interrupts the GUI, allowing the user to merrily continue working on the analysis.
  • Several of the visualizations are visually similar to what a user would be familiar with if they have used Microsoft Office charts. However, the Spotfire versions do not allow for the customization of some of the basic appearance properties. For example, there is a visualization that looks like a table, but you are not able to change the text alignment within the cells (I believe the latest version of Spotfire has added this feature).
I have not used or experienced anything like Spotfire, so this is a rather exciting discovery.
  • In-person training
  • Self-taught
The training was very in depth and useful. However, the largest draw-back was the syllabus. The instructor rigidly followed the course outline. If you asked a question that was not part of the course, especially if it was covered in a subsequent course, the instructor would not answer the question, and would recommend attending that course for the answer.
If you are proficient in database design and function and also proficient in SQL query writing, the underlying principles of how Spotfire functions will be easily understood. If you are familiar with Microsoft Office products and understand GUI layout and design, the basics of user interaction with the Spotfire software will be fairly easy to grasp. However, there are very advanced programming capabilities that are not easily understood, and a high level of programming skill may be necessary for comprehension.
Once you understand the data format that is most desirable for Spotfire visualizations, there isn't much that it is not able to do. Even if the data is not in a good format, there are built-in functions and tools to massage the data into the correct format. Spotfire is best suited for very quick aggregations of data. For example, if you want to see the sales numbers by year, quarter, month, et cetera, it's as simple as changing a couple of parameters in the visualization.

TIBCO Spotfire Feature Ratings

Customizable dashboards
9
Drill-down analysis
9
Formatting capabilities
7
Integration with R or other statistical packages
9
Report sharing and collaboration
9
Publish to Web
9
Publish to PDF
9
Report Delivery Scheduling
9
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
9
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
9
Predictive Analytics
9
Multi-User Support (named login)
9
Role-Based Security Model
9
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
9
Responsive Design for Web Access
9
Mobile Application
9
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile
9