TIBCO Delivers Spotfire 6.0

At the recent TUCON 2013 conference, TIBCO Software Inc. announced the latest version of its data discovery and visualization platform, TIBCO Spotfire 6.0. The release includes enhancements and new products designed to increase speed-to-value through automation, contextualization, and expanded deployment opportunities. For more info on Spotfire 5.0 capabilities, see my related 2012 blog post.

Catering to Business Users
With this new version, TIBCO was looking to broaden analytics capabilities. With the introduction of Spotfire Metrics, information is made available to business users through personal key performance indicator (KPI) statuses and alerts directly on users' mobile devices so they are able to monitor the metrics that are important to them, measure overall performance, and make decisions with accurate, real-time data.

With the consumerization of IT and increasingly mobile workforces, employees expect immediate access to accurate and relevant operational information at the right time, on any device, and personalized to the individual. Spotfire 6.0 delivers on these needs through an updated Web client now called TIBCO Spotfire Consumer, which presents up-to-date metrics on a comprehensive range of mobile devices, supporting capabilities such as offline KPI monitoring, contextual drill down, and social collaboration. Support is provided for mobile phones, tablets, and laptops for iOS, Android, and Windows 8 operating systems.

Additionally, with the new Web application TIBCO Spotfire Business Author, business users can visually explore and interact with data, whether residing in a simple spreadsheet or dashboard, a database, or a predefined analytic application.

Event-Driven and Location-Based Analytics
Another major part of the new version of Spotfire is the addition of Event Analytics, which allows users to identify new trends and outliers through continuous process monitoring. For example, with automated manufacturing yield analysis, users can analyze manufacturing data in Spotfire, deploy a model which compares live data to models of good behavior, and when actual manufacturing usage breaks the model, Spotfire can be used to understand why.

Spotfire 6.0 also allows more speed and ease-of-use in visualizing, exploring, and analyzing data in the context of geographic information and maps following on the May 2013 acquisition of Maporama. Users are able to expand situational understanding through the use of multi-layered maps, automatic geo-coding, and data overlay. Existing customers will gain access to the new location analytic capabilities when upgrading to Spotfire 6.0.

Deployment Choice
TIBCO Spotfire Cloud is a new set of cloud services for enterprises, work groups, and personal use. TIBCO Spotfire Cloud Enterprise provides a full-featured version of Spotfire in the cloud to allow analysis and collaboration for business insights, whether or not the data is hosted. For project teams seeking data discovery as a service, TIBCO Spotfire Cloud Work Group provides application-building tools so distributed teams can visually explore data and use analytic applications at a low cost. For individuals, TIBCO Spotfire Personal is a Web-based client for quick data discovery needs.

It will be interesting to watch the ongoing competition between Spotfire, Tableau, and QlikTech. In addition, SAP recently acquired a nifty visualization tool for business users, KXEN. Spotfire is more an application-type tool focused on advanced visualization, whereas SAP HANA is still a platform and more focused on throughput. Over time, however, the boundaries will start to blur, given that both products already have predictive analytics, in-memory computing, event stream analytics, and location/GIS analytics.
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