TIBCO Data Science Review

A straightforward initial setup and good reporting but needs better documentation

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution to take the data for a week or month and develop reports for data support on the dashboard. Some dashboards go through leadership review. We also have developed certain predictive models so that data or the output can be displayed on Spotfire. 

What is most valuable?

We like the way we can drill down into each report to get back data on each project. From the portfolio level, I can see what is happening on it. That is a really important feature. I can look at indirect costs, for example, which are hitting each CIO portfolio. It's good to be able to see actual resources in terms of time as well as cost. 

What needs improvement?

It would be ideal if it could be put onto the NMP where you can make more of an analysis. Right now, people don't have enough time to go through the report and make an analysis. It should provide the information of what is on the report into some kind of a dialogue form. Then, a person can ask certain questions and it could interactively give the required report. 

In terms of performance, I can see there are some issues when you are working with big data. When we are taking it from the Data Lake, we have a lot of issues.

If you are doing certain operations of RDBMS, you suffer in terms of the latency of the data. That can be improved upon.

Users should be able to cross tables of the web pages they are developing on Spotfire and this needs to be really easy and convenient. Right now, you need to do a lot of tweaks.

The solution should be more user-friendly and require fewer tweaks, extensions, and workarounds.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for two to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is okay but it is not great when you compare to Tableau. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is okay, but it's not as good as Tableau. One of our customers does plan to increase usage in the future. However, they may choose to increase usage on Tableau as it's easier to use and they would be more comfortable using it.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support for the solution is good, but the community support offered is not as good as Tableau. I've noticed that on Spotfire, many issues are old but they are not being closed. Whereas, on Tableau, many people are available to provide solutions when you face problems.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward, but when we wanted to achieve certain use cases, it started becoming complex.

For example, we tried the PPM data, which was connected to Spotfire and we were supposed to have some feature columns or engineer columns. If I needed to put it on, I needed to create a calculated column for that. When we were working on the calculated column, the metrics wanted some more data to be taken from other tables. I needed to join two tables and calculate the calculated column.

When we started connecting the calculated column necessary, the source of all that the column was was not properly coming.

When we put it into reports, it was really slow. Whenever the client or someone was opening the report it would take around 15 to 20 minutes to open the first time. That was a problem. We needed to go for caching at the server level, and that's where we were able to improve the performance by 10 minutes. For cross tables, we had to identify some scripting so that certain columns could be displayed properly. 

Deployment ended up taking about 15 days.

What about the implementation team?

We had our own engineers that implemented the solution.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

This solution is less expensive than Tableau, which is quite pricey.

What other advice do I have?

Currently, we are using the on-premises deployment model, but we are shifting to the cloud. We're TIBCO partners.

Users considering the solution should be aware that if they get into Spotfire, it is easy to get in but if they wanted to do some advanced things, they need to have good community support or they need to have an expert on their team. There is a lot of tweaking needed in the solution. Help is also not direct so new users will need to do lots of research on Google. Somebody who is proactive enough to do that will succeed when using the solution. If they are not proactive and they expect a really easy solution, I'd suggest like Tableau or Power BI. 

I'd rate the solution seven out of ten. I'd rate it higher if they provided better quality information about their product. Right now, a lot of the information available online is out of date or is the wrong information. In comparison, Tableau has professional how-to videos and documentation that make working with the solution easier.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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