Satisfied with Spotfire
Updated July 10, 2017
Satisfied with Spotfire
Score 10 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with TIBCO Spotfire
At Tapstone, Spotfire is primarily used to quickly visualize and amalgamate data used by other programs or from Excel documents that is stored in bulky table formats that are not optimally useful in their raw state. Spotfire aids in our ability to quickly summarize data into useful information, and point us in the direction of a useful drill down.
- Spotfire's marking capibilities on line charts make it very easy to identify associated points on cluttered line graphs.
- Spotfire's filtering makes it very easy to boil analyses down to specific subsets of data, and then build them back up to whole again.
- Spotfire has the capability to link to many different data sources, making it relatively easy to keep an analysis up to date by linking to a live data source.
- As an Excel user, it is an odd transition to shift from thinking in terms of cells to thinking in terms of tables and columns. Some things that would be intuitively easy with Excel (adding 4 random cells from a document by clicking on each of the 4 cells) become much more complicated when you have to think in terms rows and tables only.
- When linking multiple live data sources together, then adding calculated columns to those data sources, then moving columns from one data table to another in one project, Spotfire can take a long time to open a project. It is also relatively easy to end up with a document that does not calculate the intended results in the most efficient way, and methods to troubleshoot inefficiencies are not always immediately obvious.
- Scatter plot line formatting could be more customizable. By default, Spotfire wants to use the same line type for each series in a scatter plot, and it is not easy for this user to figure out if there is a way to change line types per series on a chart.
Many of the analysis that I do in Spotfire could also be done in Excel. Each of these programs have areas where they are especially useful. Specifically, the experience of building and customizing graphs from raw (not pivoted) data is much more pleasant in Spotfire than it is Excel. Once the data has been successfully loaded into Spotfire, it will also render graphs very quickly and handle extremely large amounts of data without slowing down the computer too much.
Spotfire has the ability to connect to all data sources I have tried to connect it to. I give it an 8/10 because once you connect to a data source, there does not appear to be a simple way to edit that data connection (meaning if you wrote SQL to remove a subset of data, I have not found the way to alter that SQL later to change the subset of data).
I have collaborated on only a handful of projects so my experience is minimal. From what I have experienced I have two noteworthy comments. First, I have worked side by side with a coworker taking turns making changes in a project, and this worked fine. We were both able to make and save changes without issue. Second, I wanted a few coworkers with no Spotfire experience to interact with an analysis I had put together, but they did not have any Spotfire license, and thus were not able to do so - which is a minor annoyance with an obvious solution.
I would definitely recommend Spotfire to a colleague that has a large set of raw data and wants to quickly consolidate that set of data into meaningful graphs or charts - especially if the data as a whole is likely to bring up questions that could be addressed by drilling deeper into more specific categories of data. It also appears to be especially useful for keeping somewhat repetitive and common analyses live and quickly accessible.
TIBCO Spotfire Feature Ratings
Using TIBCO Spotfire
The mapping features in Spotfire are a convenient way to add a quick visualization to an existing Spotfire analysis. The ability to add many layers, adjust transparencies / colors, the ability to add tooltips, and to color, size, and shape by just about anything are very useful. However, some of the customization is inferior to a geographic mapping specific software such as ArcGIS. The specific functionality that I wish was more customizable is the labels - such as being able to customize angle of text, whether it is in a text box, where each individual label shows up on a map, etc.
Using TIBCO Spotfire
Basic tasks like generating meaningful information from large sets of raw data are very easy. The next step of linking to multiple live data sources and linking those tables and performing on the fly analysis of the imported data is understandably more difficult.
Like to use
Easy to use
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
- Plotting raw data meaningfully
- Coloring graphs by category
- Drilling down to next level of analysis