TIBCO Spotfire Meets Our Needs, Across the Organization
Tim Daciuk profile photo
Updated September 11, 2017

TIBCO Spotfire Meets Our Needs, Across the Organization

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with TIBCO Spotfire

Spotfire is being used by several departments across the organization. Spotfire provides us with the ability to create visualizations and dashboards from the data that we have collected. In addition, it allows us to build and deploy complex predictive models. The business problems that it solves are: 1) what are the characteristics of our device performance and can we see/understand aberrations in that activity, and; 2) what do our financials look like and how are we as an organization performing, what are the issues we face, and, can we project/forecast upcoming performance and issues.
  • Easy to get data into Spotfire, and to combine data from many sources.
  • Easy to create and edit visualizations to meet the needs of the issue and/or end user.
  • Dashboards can be built that deliver insight along with flexibility to allow end users some capabilities to explore the visualizations or customize the inquiry.
  • Can provide or deploy advanced analytical models.
  • There is a need for additional graph types. The visualization set that comes with TIBCO Spotfire is becoming rather limited.
  • Working with R is rather difficult.
  • There is no ability for text display visualization; a word cloud or similar would be useful.
Our analysis suggested that TIBCO stacked up very well against all of the other vendors. When we looked at our evaluations, TIBCO did not win in any particular category. However, it did very well in all of the categories. Our evaluation also involved a pan-enterprise committee of potential users and we took into consideration their feedback, which was all positive. We also considered price and price flexibility and TIBCO did very well in this category. The choice between TIBCO and Information Builders was difficult, and the two scored very similarly on most categories. In the end TIBCO was preferred by a larger number of our user community.
We bring in data from a wide range of data sources. This includes everything from JSON data through to Excel spreadsheets. Tibco has been able ingest our data without many problems. Additionally once data has been brought in, there is a need typically to manipulate that data and we have found Tibco easy to use in that sense. Finally, Tibco provides reasonably good performance when working with large amounts of data.
We have a need to share a lot of reports and dashboard access. TIBCO has met these needs and gives us the ability to flexibly create and distribute shared resources across teams. TIBCO has worked with us to support our security model for access to the reports and dashboards that we have created. We are currently moving to Single Sign On and it would appear that this will be no issue with TIBCO.
Spotfire is good for data analytics in a simplified format.

TIBCO Spotfire Feature Ratings

Pixel Perfect reports
Not Rated
Customizable dashboards
9
Report Formatting Templates
8
Drill-down analysis
9
Formatting capabilities
9
Integration with R or other statistical packages
8
Report sharing and collaboration
9
Publish to Web
10
Publish to PDF
9
Report Versioning
8
Report Delivery Scheduling
Not Rated
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
8
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
8
Predictive Analytics
8
Multi-User Support (named login)
9
Role-Based Security Model
9
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
9
Responsive Design for Web Access
8
Dedicated iOS Application
Not Rated
Dedicated Android Application
Not Rated
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile
Not Rated

Using TIBCO Spotfire

25 - Product management, development and marketing.
3 - There are a range of skills needed. For most work, basic knowledge of the product, combined with some knowledge of visualization and computing functionality is what is required. For a few of our users, knowledge of R integration functionality and skills are needed. The integration of R is non-trivial, and may also involve some knowledge of statistics, data mining and/or predictive analytics.
  • General visualization of data
  • Financial reporting and analysis
  • Marketing visualization
  • Analysis and visualization of trends within customer usage data
  • Understand and analyze failure data
  • Trend analysis
  • Analysis and projections related to financial forecasting

For most visualization requirements the recommendations are correct and easy to understand. Most visualization needs are relatively simple (pie chars, bar charts, etc.). In these cases, the recommendations are fine and good to follow.

In some cases, one might like to create some more innovative visualizations, and the recommendation does not do as well. However, I am not sure how this issue would be addressed.

I would suggest that the data cleaning functionality in Spotfire is reasonable. It will find and help correct most basic data issues. As an advanced analytics user, Spotfire leaves a lot to be desired. There is no multivariate functionality for analyzing data cleaning issues or issues that are structural in nature with the data. However, that is a more advanced requirement and would not be an issue for most users.
The embedded R runtime is good, and does allow for the use of R within Spotfire. As with most products that allow for the use of embedded R, the functionality is somewhat "raw". Working with R is not a trivial exercise but there are some capabilities available in other packages that make the use of R a little easier. Additionally, some consideration of the integration of R based packages such as Weka or Knime may make the use of R a little easier.

Tibco Spotfire has some geographic capabilities. It has basic mapping, the ability to import maps and the ability to use the functionality of Spotfire on those maps. Additionally, with a bit of effort, it is possible to use some of the geographic analytical functions available in R, or using other functionality available on the net.

However, as it is not a GIS, some of the advanced features and more easy of use capabilities are not really there. Spotfire is fine for simple mapping and presentation, but, for more complex spatial analysis, one would probably look for another package.

In summary, Spotfire is probably suitable for about 90% of geographic uses, if not more. For the high end user, it will probably not work, but, for most people and their needs (including me) Spotfire can easily do what one needs.

Evaluating TIBCO Spotfire and Competitors

  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Positive Sales Experience with the Vendor
  • Analyst Reports
  • Third-party Reviews
The single most important factor was usability. Can the product work with our data and deliver the range of visualizations and analytics that we need in order to satisfy our internal stakeholders and our user community. We looked at a number of products leading to this requirement and took feedback from across our organization.
I think that if we had to do it again, I would try and involve an even broader set of people from across the organization. Additionally, I think that we would probably create some scenarios for product vendors to solve. In this evaluation we asked our vendors to take a set of our data and to create interesting dashboards with visualizations and at least one statistical model. I think that if we did it again we would probably look to more concrete scenarios.

TIBCO Spotfire Implementation

There is some need for implementation planning with the end in mind. We decided to have TIBCO install and configure the platform, and, I would recommend this approach. TIBCO has had experience with this type of work and we decided that rather than trying to "muddle through" we would have them work on it. One important thing is that you must identify those people supporting TIBCO Spotfire and literally have them work shoulder to shoulder with TIBCO in order to understand the installation and configuration.
Yes - We had a scoping exercise, a sizing exercise for our environment, installation, testing, configuration, testing and then a handover.
Change management was a minor issue with the implementation
  • Ensuring the appropriate environment setup
  • Configuring Spotfire to work with our data in our environment

TIBCO Spotfire Support

Support has been helpful with issues. Support seems to know their product and its capabilities. It would also seem that they have a good sense of the context of the problem; where we are going with this issue and what we want the end outcome to be.
ProsCons
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
None
Yes, our sales engineer is terrific. We have, on a couple of occasions, asked about the ability to do something in Spotfire, and, in a very short period of time, he has come back to us with a solution, or, just as importantly, come back to us with an explanation of why our request will not work or cannot be done. This has also saved us time "going down a black hole" in our analysis and/or visualization.