Tibco Spotfire: A data analytics tool


This blog post was written by Stephen Dekker.

“It’s tempting to think you can identify the important trends in a small subset of the data, but big data analytics is about considering all of the data so you also see exceptions and outliers. It’s in the outliers that you find fraud, risk, and the things that are growing wrong.”

-Steve Farr, Tibco Spotfire Senior Marketing Manager

Tibco Spotfire, a data analytics tool, is used to develop, analyze, and visualize large data sets quickly and efficiently. The tool is integrated with built-in visualizations along with the option to extend functionality using programming languages such as Iron Python, R, S+, and JavaScript. Pages are created with visualizations which can be shared using either a Spotfire Data Analysis file (.dxp) or over a Spotfire Web Player instance.

Spotfire also integrates with different data sources in order to retrieve data for analysis. It can be paired with SQL Server, MySQL, MariaDB, and many other databases in order to retrieve data before or during the analysis. The dynamic interface allows filtering and manipulation of data in order to visualize and analyze input data as well as data trends and forecasting.


The tool is lightweight and efficient in order to handle large amounts of data in an organized and simple to use methodology, combining drag and drop features with property dialogues and selectable data filters. Adding new filters, graphs, and features is as easy as clicking a button and formatting the output to meet the necessary criteria. Built in capabilities allow new users to quickly pick up the application and build complete dashboards while still giving more experienced users the room to develop and extend the platform.


Common statistical charts, such as Shewart Controls Charts, can be integrated to look at specific details of the data such as whether a system or process is in control. The image below shows this using dynamic subgrouping of data points to look at the trend of the subgroup means. The Chart Options can dynamically change the graph’s subgrouping size to look at individual data points or subgroup means and how they relate to the grand average of the source.


With Spotfire, the integration and analysis of data becomes a user experience of exploring and manipulating the data to find the insights needed. Between built-in tools, extensions to the platform, and additional languages such as S+ and R, Spotfire provides a unique and expansive platform for data analysis.