TIBCO Spotfire Review

It provides connectors and data driver support for about 40 unique data sources, including all of the common structured ones and non-structured ones.


Valuable Features

  • Ease of accessing, aggregating and visualizing data sources
  • The amount of data that the product can manage in memory

Spotfire provides connectors and data driver support for about 40 unique data sources including all of the common structured ones like Oracle, SQL Server, DB2, etc., plus non-structured sources like HTML, RSS feeds, data warehouses and fast data platforms. All of the different data sources can be merged or mashed up in one “viz”. The size limit of data is the 64-bit address space or 16 terabytes, basically unlimited. I ran one POC on a dataset over 100 GB and Spotfire performed as well as it does with small datasets. Note, the data load time is roughly proportional to the size of the dataset, but the access to the data once it is loaded in memory in Spotfire is just about the same on any size dataset.

Improvements to My Organization

Use of Spotfire has almost eliminated people doing cumbersome, manual ETL efforts in files and other products from transactional source systems and the corporate data warehouse.

Room for Improvement

Administration functionality can be improved more by moving the rest of the command-line effort to a web-based UI. Otherwise, just keep adding more functions that otherwise most customers have to create as custom functions. Add a Shut Down and Exit option in the event of an unresponsive session, usually due to data connectivity issues.

Use of Solution

I have been using it for eight years(starting with version 4.0).

Stability Issues

There is very little instability until the memory of the host reaches 0% availability.

Scalability Issues

No issues with scalability.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Almost perfect support, 9. The only issue I had was understanding some of the techs verbally due to “English not their primary language”. WebEx and chatting was the workaround.

Previous Solutions

I did not have any experience with a similar solution before Spotfire.

Initial Setup

Initial setup is very simple and works as documented.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

Negotiate, plan for three years out and triple whatever your best forecast is for growth. Spotfire usage typically will grow like a wildfire in high winds and dry forest.

Other Solutions Considered

I did not do the evaluations but a comparison of Tableau was evaluated and failed to meet data size requirements and in-memory capacity.

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