Highly visual proximity to the data for an advanced analyst
April 06, 2016

Highly visual proximity to the data for an advanced analyst

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

Overall Satisfaction with TIBCO Spotfire Platform

Spotfire was used to provide transparency to our ERP data for marketing/sales support, purchasing, and inventory management.
  • Spotfire provides a lot of proximity to the data. I can quickly throw up a dozen different visualizations to evaluate the data from multiple perspectives, with drill-down visualizations easily created and defined by data "markings" rules.
  • My favorite is the on-demand link capability, which enables me to easily trawl through data sets (where I've pre-defined a connection.)
  • Spotfire has excellent drill-down capability. Two clicks and you have set up a secondary visualization that explores a sub-set of the data from a different perspective.
  • Spotfire has a system of markings that can define what data shows up in what visualization or circumstance. It is very handy to rapidly explore the "corners" of your data, if you will, to see the odd features or characteristics of the data.
  • Flow of data. What I mean is, I end up with these large files with a dozen tabs where I'm splitting off a chunk of data, performing calculations in a cross-table, exporting and saving it as a .csv, re-importing it, doing more calculations, and then merging these results back into another data set. And then I'm only interested in a subset of this new data, but I'm opening up the entire massive report and adding a new tab to view it.
  • Tibco Enterprise Runtime for R. This isn't a "try-it-you'll-figure-it-out-as-you-go-along" application. At least, I never could.
  • Getting questions answered. The community, availability of experts, and easily-googled reference questions. Getting "OVER" statements correct can be tricky. Understanding how to approach a particular situation within Spotfire can be uncertain. The paid training, I thought, was excellent -- but it was relatively expensive, and (at least a year ago, maybe it's gotten better, because this has been consistent feedback) it seemed there should have been far more training freebies.
  • Spotfire is a nice all-in-one package (extraction, visualization, and heavier-hitting advanced capabilities) but we've hit a point where we want a dedicated ETL tool, and easier-to-use visualization tools for non-quant, non-analytics people. (But quantitative analysts like myself are the losers in this transition-- we really like our Spotfire!)
Tableau is pretty but very shallow. Alteryx is very nice, but doesn't have the proximity to the data through visual exploration. Alteryx is more like a drag'n'drop analogy to programming, where you are placing icons in a workflow instead of writing code lines in a program. So Alteryx doesn't have the immediate visual display, so I don't feel as close to the data (not as certain of what is happening in there.)
It doesn't seem to have a problem with pulling in files or connecting to our SQLServer. I like the extraction layer.
Most of our people wanted Excel spreadsheets in an e-mail, and we're small enough that I didn't have analysts to collaborate with. There is a "Bookmark" feature, but not much space to describe what you bookmarked and why. The Bookmark also had a tendency to crash my reports. Also, there is no way to write an annotation directly on, or hover a textbox, on top of or next to a visualization to point out the interesting thing you were looking at. You could create a text field, where I'd keep a running log of the things you'd see on that page, but it wasn't really collaborative.

TIBCO Spotfire excels with providing proximity to data for visual exploration by advanced analysts. For this reason I like to use it for cleaning data sets --- I'm not just relying on some summary statistics, but I can rapidly highlight the unusual data points or kink in the graph and explore with several visualizations and then look at the underlying data rows. It's also highly extensible, including a pretty impressive range of management through relatively simple IronPython scripts.

In my experience, the people who prefer Spotfire are the more advanced analysts. They really like to explore what is happening and poke it from a bunch of angles. Regular business people, and simpler analysts, find it a little too complicated and not as "beautiful" in the graphics.

TIBCO Spotfire Feature Ratings

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