Spotfire


Tableau Software (symbol DATA) did something that nobody or almost nobody in BI and/or Data Visualization (DV) field did before with this or larger size of Revenue. Tableau in their last Quarter of 2013 Fiscal Year (reported last week) increased their Year-over-Year Ratio for both Quarterly accounting (95%) and Yearly accounting (82%, way above all DV and BI competitors) while dramatically increased their Revenue to $232M per Year, see it here: http://investors.tableausoftware.com/investor-news/investor-news-details/2014/Tableau-Announces-Fourth-Quarter-and-Full-Year-2013-Financial-Results/default.aspx.

You can compare on diagram below the growth of 3 competitors over last 6 years (2008-2013, Spotfire sales unavailable since TIBCO (symbol TIBX) bought it): BI veteran Microstrategy (bluish line slowing down last 2+ years), largest DV vendor Qliktech (symbol QLIK, red line, decreasing Year-over-Year growth) and fastest growing DV Vendor Tableau (yellow line with Record Year-over-Year growth):

DVMomentum2008_2013a

Tableau stock was and is overpriced since its IPO (e.g. today EPS is -0.19 and P/E ratio is very high, see it here: http://ycharts.com/companies/DATA/pe_ratio). If you follow Warren Buffet (Buy Low, Sell High), today is a good day to sell a DATA stock, unless you intend to hold it for long or forever. However many people ignore Warren and volume of buying for last few days was above average (780K for DATA) and above 1 million shares per day (e.g. on 2/5/14 it was 4.4M of shares). On OpenInsider you can find at least 2 people, who agreed with Warren and sold during last few days 700000 Tableau’s shares for total $62M+ (guess who it can be? Chris and Christian – part of 1% since 5/17/13 IPO…):

http://openinsider.com/screener?fd=0&td=365&s=DATA&o=&sicMin=&sicMax=&t=s&minprice=&maxprice=&v=0&sortcol=0&maxresults=500

As the result, the $DATA (Tableau’s Symbol) jumped up $10+ from already overvalued share price to $97+ after 2/14/14, today it added $5 (click on image below to enlarge it) to share price and keeps going up:

DATAvsQLIKvsTIBXvsDWCH_110413to021414

BY end of 2/14/14 Tableau’s Market Capitalization went over $5.96B, twice more then Qliktech’s MarketCap (which is almost the same as a year ago) and $2B more then TIBCO’s MarketCap (which is almost the same as a year ago)! Basically, Tableau’s MarketCap as of end of trading day today is almost the same as combined MarketCap of QLIK and TIBX.

For me the more important indicator of company’s growth is a “HRI” (Hiring Rate Indicator as the ratio of the number of open positions to the number of Full-Time employees of the company). As of today, Tableau has 216 job openings (current estimate is has about 1100 employees), Qliktech has 101 openings (while employed 1700 people) and Spotfire has about 34 open positions (current estimate of number of Spotfire Employees is difficult because it is completely inside TIBCO, but probably still below 500). It means that Tableau’s HRI is 19.6%, Qliktech’s HRI is 5.9% and Spotfire’s HRI is below 6.8%.

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This is a repost from Data Visualization Consulting Page.

Visitors of this blog generated a lot of requests for my Data Visualization “Advice” (small projects for a few hours or days, no NDA [Non-Disclosure Agreement] involved), for Data Visualization Consulting projects (a few weeks or months; I tend to avoid the NDAs as they can interfere with my blogging activities) and even for Full-time work (for example my latest full-time job I got because my employer often visited and read my blog; NDA needed).

Additionally, sometimes I am doing free-of-charge work, if involved projects are short, extremely interesting for me and beneficial for my Data Visualization Blog, like this project:

https://apandre.wordpress.com/2014/01/12/motion-map-chart/

Obviously all these projects can be done only when I have spare time either from full-time work and/or other projects, duties and activities.

I also cannot relocate or travel, so I can do it mostly from my home office – telecommuting (RDP, Skype, phone, WebEx, GoToMeeting etc.) or if client is local to Massachusetts, then sometime I can visit Client’s site, see below the Map of my Local “Service Area” – part of Middlesex County between Routes 495, 3 and 20 – where I can commute to Client’s Location (please click on map below to enlarge the image) :

DVServiceArea

If I do have time for short-term advisory projects (from 2 hours to 2 weeks), clients usually pay by the highest rate, similar to what Qliktech, Spotfire, Tableau or IBM charging for their Consulting Services (I consider my consulting as better service than theirs…). If you will go to this thread on Tableau Community:

http://community.tableausoftware.com/thread/127338 then you will find these Indicative Rates for Consulting Tableau Work (Qlikview and Spotfire Rates are very similar):

Low $125,  Max $300,  Average around $175 per hour.

Here are the most popular requests for my Advisory work:

  • Visual Design and Architectural Advice for Monitoring or Operational Dashboard(s);
  • Review of Data Visualization Work done by my Clients;
  • Prototyping of Data Visualizations (most requested by my visitors);
  • My opinion on Strengths and Weaknesses of Data Visualization Vendor/Product, requested by trader, portfolio or hedge fund manager(s)
  • Advice about what Hardware to buy (say to get the most from Tableau License client has);
  • Advice what Charts and Filters to use for given Dataset and Business Logic;
  • Technical Due Diligence on Data Visualization Startup for Venture Capitalists investing into that Start-up.
  • Etc…

3Paths4Options

For mid-size projects (from 2 weeks to 6 months) clients getting a “Progressive” discount – the longer the project then the larger the discount. Here are the most popular requests for my Consulting Data Visualization Work:

  • Comparing Data Visualization Product vs. Other Visualization Product for specific Client’s needs and projects;
  • Comparing Clients’s Visualization Product vs. Competitor(s) Visualization Product (most requested);
  • Benchmarking one or more Visualization Product(s) vs. specific data and application logic.
  • Managed Clients migration of their Reporting and Analytical IT Infrastructure from obsolete BI Platforms like Business Objects, Cognos and Microstrategy to modern Data Visualization Environments like Tableau, Qlikview and Spotfire.
  • Etc.

Solution

Full-time work (1 year or more engagements) is not exactly a Consulting but Full-time job when clients asking me to join their company. These jobs are similar to what I had in the past: Director of Visual Analytics, Data Visualization Director, VP of Data Visualization, Principal Data Visualization Consultant, Tableau Architect etc. Here are samples of full-time projects:

  • Created, Maintained and Managed the Data Visualization Consulting Practices for my company/employer;
  • Led the growth of Data Visualization Community (the latest example – 4000 strong Tableau Community) with own Blog, Portal and User Group behind the corporate firewall, created Dozens of near-real-time Monitoring Dashboards for Analytical and Data Visualization Communities;
  • Designed and Implemented myself hundreds of Practical Data Visualizations and Visual Reports, which led to discovery of trends, outliers, clusters and other Data Patterns, Insights and Actions;
  • Created hundreds of Demos, Prototypes and Presentations for Business Users;
  • Designed Data Visualization Architecture and Best Practices for Dozen of Analytical Projects;
  • Significantly improved the Mindshare and increased the Web Traffic to website of my company, Created and Maintained the Data Visualization blog for it.

You can find more observations about relationship between Full-Time salary and Hourly Rate for consulting in my previous post (from 6 months ago) here: https://apandre.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/contractors-rate/

2 months ago TIBCO (Symbol TIBX on NASDAQ) announced Spotfire 6 at TUCON 2013 user conference. This as well a follow-up release  (around 12/7/13) of Spotfire Cloud supposed to be good for TIBX prices. Instead since then TIBX lost more then 8%, while NASDAQ as whole grew more then 5%:

TIBXvsNasdaqFrom1014To121313

For example, at TUCON 2013 TIBCO’s CEO re-declared “5 primary forces for 21st century“(IMHO all 5 “drivers” sounds to me like obsolete IBM-ish Sales pitches) – I guess to underscore the relevance of TIBCO’s strategy and products to 21st century:

  1. Explosion of data (sounds like Sun rises in the East);

  2. Rise of mobility (any kid with smartphone will say the same);

  3. Emergence of Platforms (not sure if this a good pitch, at least it was not clear from TIBCO’s presentation);

  4. Emergence of Asian Economies (what else you expect? This is the side effect of the greedy offshoring for more then decade);

  5. Math trumping Science  (Mr. Ranadive and various other TUCON speakers kept repeating this mantra, showing that they think that statistics and “math” are the same thing and they do not know how valuable science can be. I personally think that recycling this pitch is dangerous for TIBCO sales and I suggest to replace this statement with something more appealing and more mature).

Somehow TUCON 2013 propaganda and introduction of new and more capable version 6 of Spotfire and Spotfire Cloud did not help TIBCO’s stock. For example In trading on Thursday, 12/12/13 the shares of TIBCO Software, Inc. (NASD: TIBX) crossed below their 200 day moving average of $22.86, changing hands as low as $22.39 per share while Market Capitalization was oscillating around $3.9B, basically the same as the capitalization of 3 times smaller (in terms of employees) competitor Tableau Software.

As I said above, just a few days before this low TIBX price, on 12/7/13, as promised on TUCON 2013, TIBCO launched Spotfire Cloud and published licensing and pricing for it.

Most disappointing news is that in reality TIBCO withdrew itself from the competition for mindshare with Tableau Public (more then 100 millions of users, more then 40000 active publishers and Visualization Authors with Tableau Public Profile), because TIBCO no longer offers free annual evaluations. In addition, new Spotfire Cloud Personal service ($300/year, 100GB storage, 1 business author seat) became less useful under new license since its Desktop Client has limited connectivity to local data and can upload only local DXP files.

The 2nd Cloud option called Spotfire Cloud Work Group ($2000/year, 250GB storage, 1 business author/1 analyst/5 consumer seats) and gives to one author almost complete TIBCO Spotfire Analyst with ability to read 17 different types of local files (dxp, stdf, sbdf, sfs, xls, xlsx, xlsm, xlsb, csv, txt, mdb, mde, accdb, accde, sas7bdat,udl, log, shp), connectivity to standard Data Sources (ODBC, OleDb, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server Compact Data Provider 4.0, .NET Data Provider for Teradata, ADS Composite Information Server Connection, Microsoft SQL Server (including Analysis Services), Teradata and TIBCO Spotfire Maps. It also enables author  to do predictive analytics, forecasting, and local R language scripting).

This 2nd Spotfire’s Cloud option does not reduce Spotfire chances to compete with Tableau Online, which costs 4 times less ($500/year). However (thanks to 2 Blog Visitors – both with name Steve – for help), you cannot use Tableau online without licensed version of Tableau Desktop ($1999 perpetual non-expiring desktop license with 1st year maintenance included and each following year 20% $400 per year maintenance) and Online License (additional $500/year for access to the same site, but extra storage will not be added to that site!) for each consumer. Let’s compare Spotfire Workgroup Edition and Tableau Online cumulative cost for 1, 2, 3 and 4 years for 1 developer/analyst and 5 consumer seats :

 

Cumulative cost for 1, 2, 3 and 4 years of usage/subscription, 1 developer/analyst and 5 consumer seats:

Year

Spotfire Cloud Work Group, 250GB storage

Tableau Online (with Desktop), 100GB storage

Cost Difference (negative if Spotfire cheaper)

1

$2000

$4999

-$2999

2

$4000

$8399

-$4399

3

$6000

$11799

-$5799

4

$8000

$15199

$7199

UPDATE: You may need to consider some other properties, like available storage and number of users who can consume/review visualizations, published in cloud. In sample above:

  • Spotfire giving to Work Group total 250 GB storage, while Tableau giving total 100 GB to the site. 2 or more subscriptions can be associated with the same site, but it will not increase the size of storage for the site from 100 GB to more (e.g. 200 GB for 2 subscribers). 
  • Spotfire costs less than Tableau Online for similar configuration (almost twice less!)

Overall, Spotfire giving more for your $$$ and as such can be a front-runner in Cloud Data Visualization race, considering that Qlikview does not have any comparable cloud options (yet) and Qliktech relying on its partners (I doubt it can be competitive) to offer Qlikview-based services in the cloud. Gere is the same table as above but as IMage (to make sure all web browsers can see it):

SFvsTBCloudPrice

It is important to consider another advantage of Spotfire Cloud: ability to share visualizations with everybody on internet by publishing them into Public Folder(s). By contrast, Tableau has limited licensing for this: in order to access to published workbooks on Tableau Online site, the Tableau Software by default requires the extra subscription, which is wrong from my point of view, because you can just publish it on Public Folder of such site (if such option allowed). By default (and without additional negotiations) Tableau Online does not allow the usage of Public Folder.

3rd Spotfire’s Cloud option called Spotfire Cloud Enterprise, it has customizable seating options and storage, more advanced visualization, security and scalability and connects to 40+ additional data sources. It requires an annoying negotiations with TIBCO sales, which may result to even larger pricing. Existence of 3rd Spotfire Cloud option decreases the value of its 2nd Cloud Option, because it saying to customer that Spotfire Cloud Work Group is not best and does not include many features. Opposite to that is Tableau’s Cloud approach: you will get everything (with one exception: Multidimensional (cube) data sources are not supported by Tableau Online) with Tableau Online, which is only the option.

Update 12/20/13:  TIBCO announced results for last quarter, ending 11/30/13 with Quarterly revenue $315.5M (only 6.4% growth compare with the same Quarter of 2012) and $1070M Revenue for 12 months ended 11/30/13 (only 4.4% growth compare with the same period of 2012). Wall Street people do not like it today and TIBX lost today 10% of its value, with Share Price ending $22 and Market Capitalization went down to less then $3.6B. At the same time Tableau’s Share Price went up $1 to $66 and Market Capitalization of Tableau Software (symbol DATA) went above $3.9B). As always I think it is relevant to compare the number of job openings today: Spotfire – 28, Tableau – 176, Qliktech – 71

My previous blogpost, comparing footprints of DV Leaders (Tableau 8.1, Qlikview 11.2, Spotfire 6) on disk (in terms of size of application file with embedded dataset with 1 million rows) and in Memory (calculated as RAM-difference between freshly-loaded (without data) application and  the same application when it will load appropriate application file (XLSX or DXP or QVW or TWBX) got a lot of feedback from DV Blog visitors. It even got mentioning/reference/quote from Tableau Weekly #9 here:

http://us7.campaign-archive1.com/?u=f3dd94f15b41de877be6b0d4b&id=26fd537d2d&e=5943cb836b and the full list of Tableau Weekly issues is here: http://us7.campaign-archive1.com/home/?u=f3dd94f15b41de877be6b0d4b&id=d23712a896

The majority of feedback asked to do a similar Benchmark – the footprint comparison for larger dataset, say with 10 millions of rows. I did that but it required more time and work,  because the footprint in memory for all 3 DV Leaders depends on the number of visualized Datapoints (Spotfire for years used the term Marks for Visible Datapoints and Tableau adopted these terminology too, so I used it from time to time as well, but I think that the correct term here will be “Visible Datapoints“).

3Footprints

Basically I used the same dataset as in previous blogpost with main difference that I took subset with 10 millions of rows as a opposed to 1 Million rows in previous Benchmarks. The Diversity of used Dataset with 10 Million rows is here (each row has 15 fields as in previous benchmark):

I removed from benchmarks for 10 million rows the usage of Excel 2013 (Excel cannot handle more the 1,048,576 rows per worksheet) and PowerPivot 2013 (it is less relevant for given Benchmark). Here are the DV Footprints on disk and in Memory for Dataset with 10 Million rows and different number of Datapoints (or Marks: <16, 1000, around 10000, around 100000, around 800000):

Main observations and notes from benchmarking of footprints with 10 millions of rows as following:

  • Tableau 8.1 requires less (almost twice less) disk space for its application file .TWBX then Qlikview 11.2 (.QVW) for its application file (.QVW) or/and Spotfire 6 for its application file (.DXP).

  • Tableau 8.1 is much smarter when it uses RAM then Qlikview 11.2 and Spofire 6, because it takes advantage of number of Marks. For example for 10000 Visible Datapoints Tableau uses 13 times less RAM than Qlikview and Spotfire and for 100000 Visible Datapoints Tableau uses 8 times less RAM than Qlikview and Spotfire!

  • THe Usage of more than say 5000 Visible Datapoints (even say more than a few hundreds Marks) in particular Chart or Dashboard often the sign of bad design or poor understanding of the task at hand; the human eye (of end user) cannot comprehend too many Marks anyway, so what Tableau does (in terms of reducing the footprint in Memory when less Marks are used) is a good design.

  • For Tableau in results above I reported the total RAM used by 2 Tableau processes in memory TABLEAU.EXE itself and supplemental process TDSERVER64.EXE (this 2nd 64-bit process almost always uses about 21MB of RAM). Note: Russell Christopher also suggested to monitor TABPROTOSRV.EXE but I cannot find its traces and its usage of RAM during benchmarks.

  • Qlikview 11.2 and Spotfire 6 have similar footprints in Memory and on Disk.

More than 2 years ago I estimated the footprints for the sample dataset (428999 rows and 135 columns) when it encapsulated in text file, in compressed ZIP format, in Excel 2010, in PowerPivot 2010, Qlikview 10, Spofire 3.3 and Tableau 6. Since then everything upgraded to the “latest versions” and everything 64-bit now, including Tableau 8.1, Spotfire 5.5 (and 6), Qlikview 11.2, Excel 2013 and PowerPivot 2013.

I decided to use the new dataset with exactly 1000000 rows (1 million rows) and 15 columns with the following diversity of values (Distinct Counts for every Column below):

Then I put this dataset in every application and format mentioned above – both on disk and in memory. All results presented below for review of DV blog visitors:

Some comments about application specifics:

  • Excel and PowerPivot XLSX files are ZIP-compressed archives of bunch of XML files

  • Spotfire DXP is a ZIP archive of proprietary Spotfire text format

  • QVW  is Qlikview’s proprietary Datastore-RAM-optimized format

  • TWBX is Tableau-specific ZIP archive containing its TDE (Tableau Data Extract) and TWB (XML format) data-less workbook

  • Footprint in memory I calculated as RAM-difference between freshly-loaded (without data) application and  the same application when it will load appropriate application file (XLSX or DXP or QVW or TWBX)

In past Vikings discovered America, conquested or colonized parts of England, Russia, Ireland, Scotland, even Southern Italy and Iceland… But in 21st century (as far as this blog is concerned) Sweden became a Motherland of Data Visualization:

4SwedishDVVendorsLogosLet’s start with most famous Data Viking and most known Storyteller in Data Visualization field – prof. Hans Rosling from Karolinska Institutet and chairman of the Gapminder Foundation (in Stockholm). Gapminder’s team invented the popular and useful 6-dimensional Motion Chart and developed Trendalizer which was bought by Google in 2007, see it here: https://developers.google.com/chart/interactive/docs/gallery/motionchart . The recent example of Prof. Rosling Storytelling you can see  here:

In Stockholm you can find another Data Visualization Innovator – Panopticon is a leader in Complex Even Processing and real-time Visual Analytics. Among other innovation here is the example of Panopticon’s invention (by its senior developer Hannes Reijner) of Horizon Chart, see sample here:

HorizonGraph

and short video about it here:

In 2012 Panopticon posted 112% Year-Over-Year revenue growth (comparable with Tableau). In 2013 (the all stock deal closed by the end of September, 2013.) Datawatch bought Panopticon for $31.4M and I assume it will try to move some R&D from Sweden to Chelmsford, MA.

In  Göteborg/Gothenburg you can find R&D office of another DV Leader – Spotfire with 60+ Data Vikings. In 2007 TIBCO bought Spotfire for $195M but even now in 2013 unable to move R&D into USA. So now Spotfire actually has 3+ main offices: TIBCO Corporate Headquarters in California, Spotfire Headquarters in Somerville, MA (estimate is 15% of Spotfire workforce) and main R&D office in Sweden. In addition, lately TIBCO choose the strategy to buy rather then build new features, for example, just in 2013 they added to Spotfire portfolio the following new companies and as result they have even more distributed R&D team now:

  • Extended Results (PushBI) in Redmond, WA
  • MAPORAMA in Paris, France
  • StreamBase Systems, Inc. in Waltham, MA

As a result, despite the fact that Spotfire 6 is the most mature Data Visualization platform on market, people in TIBCO Corporate Headquarters running into risk of do not have enough knowledge of their own major Intellectual Properties.

In southern Sweden – Lund, we can find Swedish Headquarters of the major DV Leader – Qliktech, who occupied almost half of Data Visualization market in terms of sales. At least 140 Data Vikings located in Lund and may be another 200 elsewhere in Sweden. Qliktech’s Data Vikings are major innovators with features like the fastest in-memory Data Engine, most natural Visual Drill-down, Associative Query Language to name a few. This also presents a major problem for Qliktech, because they have Headquarter in Radnor, PA (where only 150+ employees work (estimate), which is less then 10% of Qliktech’s workforce!), Main marketing, sales and support office in Newton, MA (estimate: less then 5% of workforce) and most R&D in Lund (estimate: at least 10% of workforce).

This means that almost 500 technically advanced Data Visualization experts (engineers, developers, architects etc., which is at least 23% of total Qliktech+Spotfire workforce) are still in Sweden. The simple observation of Tableau’s TCC13 conference in September 2013 shows that Tableau’s top managers and officers know their product deeper and more intimately then their counterparts in Qliktech and Spotfire. That is very easy to explain: because 650+ Tableau’s employees (almost 65% of their workforce and most developers, managers and officers) work in the same Main HQ office in Seattle, WA and they obviously talking to each other in-person and often!

My humble advice to Qliktech, Spotfire and Datawatch is simple – gradually relocate as much Data Vikings from Sweden to appropriate headquarters in USA or find and hire local american equivalents of those Swedish geniuses…

As a background for this advice, please consider this information (updated on 11/17/13): statistics of job openings clearly showing that all 3 DV Leaders keep doing (by inertia) what they did in past with only difference that it worked recently for Tableau and does not work for Qliktech and Spotfire. Here are specific examples:

  • Tableau has 176 job openings (much more then Qlikview (only 80) and Spotfire(only 18) combined)!

  • 97 (55%) of Tableau openings are in Seattle, more then half of Tableau’s openings are engineering and technical positions!

  • Qliktech has 17 (21%) positions opened in Lund, only 10 (12%) in Radnor and 4 (5%) in Newton, MA. Only 11 (14%, 9 times less then at Tableau in absolute numbers) Qliktech’s openings are engineering and technical.

  • Spotfire has only 18 openings (1 in Göteborg, 5 in CA, 4 in MA) and only 4 Spotfire’s positions (out of 18, 22% that is) are engineering or technical.

This statistics clearly showing that neither Qliktech no TIBCO see the wrong pattern and huge problem here and that can be a reason for disruption in the future and the gradual  relocation of Data Vikings is only way to prevent the danger… And of course, if you can afford, find and hire equal talents in USA Headquarters then by all means keep geniuses in Sweden without relocation which is a half-similar to what Tableau does (HALF is because Tableau historically does not need to maintain the significant R&D office outside of USA)!

Something dramatic happened during October 2013 with Data Visualization (DV) Market and I feel it everywhere. Share Prices for QLIK went down 40% from $35 to $25, for DATA went down 20% from $72 to below $60, for MSTR went up 27% from $100 to $127 and for DWCH went up  25% from $27.7 to $34.5. This blog got 30% more visitors then usual and it reached 26000 visitors per month of October 2013!

dwchPlus3DVPricesOctober2013So in this blog post I revisited who are actually the DV leaders and active players in Data Visualization field, what events and factors important here and I also will form the DVIndex containing 4-6 DV Leaders and will use it for future estimate of Marketshare and Mindshare in DV market.

In terms of candidates for DV Index I need measurable players, so I will prefer public companies, but will mention private corporations if they are relevant. I did some modeling and it turned out that the best indicator for DV Leader if its YoY (Year-over-Year Revenue growth) is larger than 10% – it will separate obsolete and traditional BI vendors and me-too attempts from real DV Leaders.

Let’s start with traditional BI behemoths: SAP, IBM, Oracle and SAS: according to IDC, their BI revenue total $5810M, but none of those vendors had YoY (2012-over-2011) more then 6.7% ! These 4 BI Vendors literally desperate to get in to Data Visualization market (for example SAP Lumira, IBM is getting desperate too with Project Neo (will be in beta in early 2014), Rapidly Adaptive Visualization Engine (RAVE), SmartCloud Analytics-Predictive Insights, BLU Acceleration, InfoSphere Data Explorer or SAS Visual Analytics) but so far they were not competitive with 3 known DV Leaders (those 3 are part of DVIndex for sure) Qlikview, Tableau and Spotfire

5th traditional BI Vendor – Microsoft had BI revenue in 2012 as $1044M, YoY 16% and added lately a lot of relevant features to its Data Visualization toolbox: Power Pivot 2013, Power View, Power Query, Power Map, SSAS 2012 (and soon SQL Server 2014) etc. Unfortunately Microsoft does not have Data Visualization Product but pushing everything toward Office 365, SharePoint and Excel 2013, which cannot compete in DV market…

6th Traditional BI vendor – Microstrategy made during October 2013 a desperate attempt to get into DV market by releasing 2 free Data Visualization products: Microstrategy Desktop and Microstrategy Express, which are forcing me to qualify Microstrategy for a status of DV Candidate, which I will include (at least temporary) into DVIndex.  Microstrategy BI revenue for TTM (Trailing 12 months) was $574, YoY is below 5% so while I can include it into DVIndex, I cannot say (yet?) that Microstrategy is DV Leader.

Datawatch Corporation is public (DWCH), recently bought advanced Data Visualization vendor – Panopticon for $31M. Panopticon TTM Revenue approximately $7M and YoY was phenomenal 112%  in 2012! Combining it with $27.5M TTM Revenue of Datawatch (45% YoY!) giving us approximately 55% YoY for combined company and qualifying DWCH as a new member of DVIndex!

Other potential candidates for DVIndex can be Panorama (and their Necto 3.0 Product), Visokio (they have very competitive DV Product, called Omniscope 2.8), Advizor Solution with their mature Advizor Visual Discovery 6.0 Platform), but unfortunately all 3 companies choose to be private and I have now way to measure their performance and so they will stay as DV Candidates only.

In order to monitor the progress of open source BI vendors toward DV Market, I also decided to include into DVIndex one potential DV Candidate (not a leader for sure) – Actuate with their BIRT product. Actuate TTM revenue about $138M and YoY about 3%. Here is the tabular MarketShare result with 6 members of DVIndex:

MarketShareIndex

Please keep in mind that I have no way to get exact numbers for Spotfire, but I feel comfortable to estimate Spotfire approximately as 20% of TIBCO numbers. Indirect confirmation of my estimate came from … TIBCO’s CEO and I quote: “In fact, Tibco’s Spotfire visualization product alone boasts higher sales than all of Tableau.” As a result I estimate Spotfire’s YoY is 16% which is higher then 11% TIBCO has. Numbers in table above are fluid and reflect the market situation by the end of October 2013. Also see my attempt to visualize the Market Share of 6 companies above in simple Bubble Chart (click on it to Enlarge; where * X-axis: Vendor’s Revenue for last TTM: 12 trailing Months, * Y-axis: Number of Full-Time Employees, working for given Vendor, * Sized by Market Capitalization, in $B (Billions of Dollars), and * Colored by Year-Over-Year revenue Growth):

MarketShare

For that date I also have an estimate of Mindshare of all 6 members of DVIndex by using the mentioning of those 6 companies by LinkedIn members, LinkedIn groups, posted on LinkedIn job openings and companies with Linkedin profile:

MindShareIndex

Again, please see below my attempt to represent Mindshare of those 6 companies above with simple Bubble Chart ((click on it to Enlarge; here 6 DV vendors, positioned relatively to their MINDSHARE on LinkedIn and where * X-axis: Number of LinkedIn members, mentioned Vendor in LinkedIn profile, * Y-axis: Number of LinkedIn Job Postings, with request of Vendor-related skills, * Sized by number of companies mentioned them on LinkedIn and * Colored by Year-Over-Year revenue Growth):

MindShare

Among other potential DV candidates I can mention some recent me-too attempts like Yellowfin, NeitrinoBI, Domo, BIME, RoamBI, Zoomdata and multiple similar companies (mostly private startups) and hardly commercial but very interesting toolkits like D3. None of them have impact on DV Market yet.

Now, let’s review some of October events (may add more October events later):

1. For the fourth quarter, Qliktech predicts earnings of 28 cents to 31 cents a share on revenue between $156 million and $161 million. The forecast came in significantly lower than analysts’ expectations of 45 cents a share on $165.78 million in revenue. For the full year, the company projects revenue between $465 million and $470 million, and earnings between 23 and 26 cents a share. Analysts had expectations of 38 cents a share on $478.45 million. As far as I concern it is not a big deal, but traders/speculants on Wall Street drove QLIK prices down almost 40%

2. Tableau Software Files Registration Statement for Proposed Secondary Offering. Also Tableau’s Revenue in the three months ended in September rose to $61 million, 10 millions more then expected – Revenue jumped 90%! Tableau CEO Christian Chabot said the results were boosted by one customer that increased its contract with the company. “Our third quarter results were bolstered by a large multimillion-dollar deal with a leading technology company,” he said. “Use of our products in this account started within one business unit and over the last two years have expanded to over 15 groups across the company. “Recently, this customer set our to establish an enterprise standard for self-service business intelligence, which led to the multimillion-dollar transaction. This deal demonstrates the power and value of Tableau to the enterprise.” However DATA prices went down anyway in anticipation of a significant portion of these Shares Premium prices should quickly evaporate as the STOCK Options lock-up will expire in November 2013.

3. TIBCO TUCON 2013 conference somehow did not help TIBCO stock but in my mind brought attention to Datawatch and to the meteoric rise of DWCH stock (on Chart below compare it with QLIK and TIBX prices, which basically did not change during period of March-October of 2013) which is more then tripled in a matter of just 8 months (Datawatch bought and integrated Panopticon during exactly that period):

DWCHvsQLIKvsTIBXMar_Oct20134. Datawatch now has potentially better software stack then 3 DV Leaders, because of Datawatch Desktop is integrated with Panopticon Desktop Designer and Datawatch Server is integrated with Panopticon Data Visualization Server; it means that in addition to “traditional” BI + ETL + Big Data 3V features (Volume, Velocity, Variety) Datawatch has 4th V feature, which is relevant to DV Market: the advanced Data Visualization. Most visualization tools are unable to cope with the “Three V’s of Big Data” – volume, velocity and variety. However, Datawatch’s technology handles:

  • Data sources of any size (it has to be tested and compared with Qlikview, Spotfire and Tableau)

  • Data that is changing in real time (Spotfire has similar, but Qlikview and Tableau do not have it yet)

  • Data stored in multiple types of systems and formats

We have to wait and see how it will play out but competition from Datawatch will make Data Visualization market more interesting in 2014… I feel now I need to review Datawatch products in my next blog post…

Yesterday TIBCO announced Spotfire 6 with features, competitive with Tableau 8.1 and Qlikview.Next (a.k.a Qlikview 12). Some new features will be showcased at TUCON® 2013, TIBCO’s annual user conference, October 14-17, 2013 (2100 attendees). Livestream Video is here: http://tucon.tibco.com/video/index.html , tune in October 15th and 16th from 11:30am – 3:30pm EST.

More details will be shown in webcasts and webinars (I personally prefer detailed articles, blogposts, slides, PDFs and Demos, but TIBCO’s corporate culture ignores my preferences for years) on 10/30/13 by Steve Farr

Spotfire 6.0 will be available in mid-November, presumably the same time as Tableau 8.1 and before then Qlikview.Next so TIBCO is not a loser in Leap-frogging game for sure…

TIBCO bought the Extended Results and will presumably will show the integration with PSUHBI product, see it here: http://www.pushbi.com/ ; TIBCO called it as Delivery of  personal KPIs and Metrics on any mobile phone, tablet or laptop, online or offline (new name for it will be TIBCO Spotfire® Consumer):

ipadiphoneAnother TIBCO’s Purchase is MAPORAMA and integration with it TIBCO called (very appropriately) as the Location Analytics with promise to

  • Visualize, explore and analyze data in the context of location

  • Expand situational understanding with multi-layered geo-analytics

  • Mashup new data sources to provide precise geo-coding across the enterprise

la1Spotfire Location Services is the Agnostic Platform and supports (I guess this needs to be verified, because sounds too good to be true) any map service, including own TIBCO, ESRI (Spotfire integrates with ESRI previously), Google:

GeoCodingSP6TIBCO has Event processing capabilities (e.g BusinessEvents (5.1.2. now), ActiveSpaces ( currently v. 2.2) and realtime streaming of “Big Data” StreamBase (7.3.7) , they bought (StreamBase that is) a few months ago, see it here: http://www.streambase.com/news-and-events/press-releases/pr-2013/tibco-software-acquires-streambase-systems/#axzz2hiEjnr9X) and it will be interesting to see the new Spotfire Events Analytics (to Spot Event patterns)  product (see also: http://www.streambase.com/products/streambasecep ) integrated with Spotfire 6:

  • Identify new trends and outliers with continuous process monitoring

  • Automate the delivery of analytics applications based on trends

  • Operationalize analytics to support continuous process improvement:

ea1

One more capability in Spotfire mentioned (this claim needs to be verified) in recent TIBCO blogpost http://www.tibco.com/blog/2013/10/11/connecting-the-loops-the-next-step-in-decision-management/ as the ability to overlap 2 related but separated in real-life processes: the processes of analysis (discovery of insights in data) and execution (deciding and actions) could be separated by days, but with Spotfire 6.0 the entire decision process can happen in real time:

spotfireloops

For business user Spotfire 6 has new web-based authoring (Spotfire has a few “Clients”, one called Web Player and another called Enterprise Player, both are not free unlike Tableau Free Reader or Tableau Public). Bridging the gap between simple dashboards and advanced analytic applications, Spotfire 6.0 provides a new client “tailored to meet the needs of the everyday business user, who typically has struggled to manipulate pivot tables and charts to address their data discovery needs”.

With this new web application, known as 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. It will definitely compete with Web Authoring in Tableau 8.1 and incoming Qlikview.Next.

For me personally the most interesting new feature is new Spotfire Cloud Services (supposedly the continuation of Spotfire SIlver, which I like but it is overpriced and non-competitive storage-wise vs. Tableau Public and Tableau Online cloud services). Here is the quote from yesterday’s Press Release: “TIBCO Spotfire® Cloud is a new set of cloud services for enterprises, work groups, and personal use (see some preliminary info here: https://marketplace.cloud.tibco.com/marketplace/marketplace/apps#/sc :

  • Personal: Web-based product, Upload Excel, .csv and .txt data, 12 visualization types, 100 GB of data storage. However, Spofire making a big mistake by denying access to Spotfire Analyst desktop product and making it as not free but only as “free trial for 30 days”, after which you have to pay a fee. That will benefit Tableau for sure and may be even Datawatch. As of 11/13/13, Spotfire still did not posted prices and fees for Spotfire Cloud Personal etc. and suggested to contact them over email, which I did but they never replied…
  • Workgroup: Web-based and desktop product, Connect and integrate multiple data sources, All visualization types, 250 GB of data storage.
  • Enterprise: Web-based and desktop product, Connect to 40+ data sources, All visualization types, Advanced statistics services, 500 GB of data storage

TIBCO Spotfire® Cloud Enterprise provides a secure full-featured version of Spotfire in the cloud to analyze and collaborate on business insights, whether or not the data is hosted. For project teams seeking data discovery as a service, TIBCO Spotfire® Cloud Work Group provides a wealth of application-building tools so distributed teams can visually explore data quickly and easily and deploy analytic applications at a very low cost. For individuals looking for a single step to actionable insight, TIBCO Spotfire®Personal is a cost-effective web-based client for quick data discovery needs.”

Please don’t forget that Spotfire 6 has TIBBR v.5 as of now: https://tibco.tibbr.com/tibbr/web/login (social computing platform built for the workplace and integrated with Spotfire; Ram Menon, President of Social Computing at tibbr, says, “We now have 6.5 million users for tibbr as of October [2013]” and accessed from 7,000 cities, and 2,100 different device models. “A typical tibbr post is now seen by 100 users in the span of 24 hours, in 7 countries and over 50 mobile devices.” This fulfills TIBCO’s mission of getting the right information to the right people, at the right time. Related: integration between TIBBR and HUDDLE: http://www.huddle.com/blog/huddle-and-tibbr-unite-to-bring-powerful-collaboration-to-enterprise-social-networking/ )

And finally – enterprise-class, R-compatible statistical engine: TIBCO Enterprise Runtime for R (TERR) which is  the part of excellent TIBCO Spotfire Statistics Services (TSSS). TSSS allows Integration of R (including TERR), Spotfire’s own S+ (SPlus is Spotfire’s commercial version of R), SAS® and MATLAB® into Spotfire and custom applications. TERR, see http://spotfire.tibco.com/en/discover-spotfire/what-does-spotfire-do/predictive-analytics/tibco-enterprise-runtime-for-r-terr.aspx supports:

  • Support for paralelized R-language scripts in TERR

  • Support for call outs to open source R from TERR

  • Use RStudio – the most popular IDE in the R Community-to develop your TERR scripts

  • Over a thousand TERR compatible CRAN packages

Among other news is support for new Data Sources: http://spotfire.tibco.com/en/resources/support/spotfire-data-sources.aspx including SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse v.7.0.1 (required TIBCO Connector Link).

General notes:

  1. I maintain my opinion that the best way for TIBCO to capitalize on tremendous hidden market value of Spotfire is to spin-it off as EMC did with VMWare.

  2. My other concern is too many offices involved with Spotfire: (Parental) TIBCO’s HQ in California, Swedish HQ (mostly R&D) office in Sweden and Large Marketing, Sales, Support and Consulting office in Newton, Massachusetts. My advise to have only one main office in MA, which is compatible with spin-off idea. Tableau has advantage here with concentrating their main office in Seattle.

  3. Update 11/13/13: TIBCO’s Spotfire propaganda so far did not help TIBCO stock shares at all, but seems to me that it helps a lot to Datawatch stock prices (Datawatch bought recently a very capable (technically) DV Vendor Panopticon and integrated its own software with Panopticon Software; Datawatch has 40000+ customers with 500000+ end users)

After announcement of Tableau 8.1 ( and completion of TCC13) this week people asked me to refresh my comparison of leading Data Visualization tools and I felt it is the good time to do it, because finally Tableau can claim it has 64-bit platform and it is able now to do more advanced Analytics, thanks to Integration with R (both new features needs to be benchmarked and tested, but until my benchmarks are completed I tend to believe to Tableau’s claims).  I actually felt that Tableau may be leapfrogged the competition and now Qlikview and Spotfire have to do something about it (of course if they care).

I enjoyed this week Tableau’s pun/wordplay/slogan “Data to the People” it reminds, of course, other slogan “Power to the People” but also indirectly refers to NYSE Symbol “DATA” which is the SYMBOL of Tableau Software Inc. and it means (indirectly): “Tableau to the People”:

DataToThePeople2

In fact the “keynote propaganda” from Christian Chabot and Chris Stolte was so close to what I am saying for years on this blog, that I used their slogan FEBA4A (“Fast, Easy, Beautiful, Anywhere for Anyone”) as the filter to include or remove from comparison any runner-ups, traditional, me-too and losing tools and vendors.

For example despite the huge recent progress Microsoft did with its BI Stack (updates in Office 2013, 365 and SQL 2012/14 of Power Pivot/View/Map/Query, SSAS, Data Explorer, Polybase, Azure Services, StreamInsight, in-Memory OLTP, Columnstore Indexing etc.) did not prevent me from removal of Microsoft’s BI Stack from comparison (MSFT still trying to sell Data Visualization as a set of add-ins to Excel and SQL Server as oppose to separate product), because it it is not FEBA4A.

For similar reasons I did not include runner-ups like Omniscope, Advizor, Panopticon (it is part of Datawatch now), Panorama, traditional BI vendors, like IBM, Oracle, SAP, SAS, Microstrategy and many me-too vendors like Actuate, Pentaho, Information Builders, Jaspersoft, Jedox, Yellowfin, Bime and dozens of others. I even was able finally to rule out wonderful toolkits like D3 (because they are not for “anyone” and they require brilliant people like Mike Bostock to shine).

I was glad to see similar thinking from Tableau’s CEO in his yesterday’s interview here: http://news.investors.com/091213-670803-tableau-takes-on-big-rivals-oracle-sap-ibm-microsoft.htm?p=full and I quote:

“The current generation of technology that companies and governments use to try to see and understand the data they store in their databases and spreadsheets is without exception complicated, development-intensive, staff-intensive, inflexible, slow-moving and expensive. And every one of those adjectives is true for each of the market-share leaders in our industry.”

Here is my brief and extremely personal (yes, opinionated but not bias) comparison of 3 leading Data Visualization (DV Comparison) platforms (if you cannot see in your browser, see screenshot below of Google Doc:

I did not add pricing to comparison, because I cannot find enough public info about it. This is all I have:

  • https://tableau.secure.force.com/webstore

  • http://www.qlikview.com/us/explore/pricing

  • https://silverspotfire.tibco.com/us/get-spotfire/silver-spotfire-feature-matrix

  • additional pricing info for Tableau Server Core Licensing: “8 core server (enough to support 1,000 users, or 100 concurrent) for Tableau is $180k first year, about $34k every year after year 1 for maintenance”. With 8 core licensing I actually witnessed support for more then 1000 users: 1300+ active interactors, 250+ Publishers, 3000+ Viewers. I also witnessed (2+ years ago, since then price grew!) more than once that negotiation with Tableau Sales can get you down to $160K for 8 Core license with 20% every year after year 1 for maintenance (so in 2010-2011 total price was about $192K with 1 year maintenance)

  • Also one of visitors indicated to me that current pricing for 8 core Tableau 8.0 license for 1st year is $240K  now plus (mandatory?) 20-25% maintenance for 1st year… However negotiations are very possible and can save you up to 20-25% of “discount”. I am aware of recent cases where 8-core license was sold (after discount) for around $195K with maintenance for 1st year for about $45K so total sale was $240K with 1st year maintenance (25% growth in price for last 3 years).

Below is a screenshot of above comparison, because some browsers (e.g. Safari or Firefox before version 24) cannot see either Google Doc embedded into WordPress or Google Doc itself:

DVComparisonSeptember2013

Please note that I did not quantify above which of 3 tools are better, it is not possible until I will repeat all benchmarks and tests (I did many of those in the past; if I will have time in the future, I can do it again) when actual Tableau 8.1 will be released (see latest here: https://licensing.tableausoftware.com/esdalt/ ). However I used above the green color for good and red color for bad (light-colored backgrounds in 3 middle columns indicated good/bad). Also keep in mind that Qliktech and TIBCO may release something new soon enough (say Qlikview 12 or they called it now Qlikview.Next and Spotfire 6), so leapfrogging game may continue.

Update 10/11/13: interesting article about Tableau (in context with Qlikview and Spotfire) by Akram Annous from SeekeingAlpha: http://seekingalpha.com/article/1738252-tableau-a-perfect-short-with-a-catalyst-to-boot . Akram is very active visitor to my blog, especially to this article above. This article only 1 month old but already needs updates due recent pre-announcements about Qlikview.Next (Qlikview 12) and Spotfire 6, which as I predicted showing that leapfrogging game continue at full speed. Akram is brave enough by “targeting” pricing for DATA shares as $55 IN 30 DAYS, $35 IN 6 MONTHS. I am not convinced yet.

frogleap4if you will see the AD below, it is not me, it is wordpress.com…

My best wishes for 2013!

hny2013abp

2012 was extraordinary for Data Visualization community and I expect 2013 will be even more interesting than 2012. For Data Visualization vendors 2012 was unusual YEAR and surprised many people.

We can start with Qliktech, which grew only about 18% in 2012 (while in 2011 it was 42% and in 2010 it was 44%) and QLIK stock lost a lot… Spotfire on other hand grew faster then that and Tableau grew even faster than Spotfire. Tableau doubled its workforce and its sales now more than $100M per year. Together the sales of Qlikview, Spotfire and Tableau totaled to almost $600M in 2012 and I expect it may reach even $800M in  2013. All other vendors becoming less and less visible on market. While it is still possible to have a breakthrough from companies like Microsoft, Microstrategy, Visokio and Pagos, it is highly unlikely.

If you will search in web for wishes or wishlists for Qlikview or Tableau or Spotfire, you can find plenty of wishes, including even very technical. I will partially repeat myself, because some of my best wishes are still wishes and may be some of them will be never implemented. I will restrict myself to 3 best wishes per vendor.

Let me start with Spotfire, as the most mature product. I will use analogy: EMC did spin-off VMWare and (today) market capitalization of VMWare is close $40B, about 75% (!) of Market Capitalization of its parent company EMC! I wish that TIBCO will do the same to Spotfire as EMC did to VMWare. Compare with this wish all other wishes look minimal, like making Free Spotfire Desktop Reader (similar to what Tableau has) and make part of Spotfire Silver is completely Public and Free similar to … Tableau Public.

For Qliktech I really wish them to stop bleeding capitalization-wise (did they lost $1B of MktCap during last 9 months?) and sales-wise (growing only 18% in 2012 compare with 42% in 2011). May be 2013 is good time for IBM to buy Qliktech? And yes, I wish Qlikview Server on Linux (I do not like new licensing terms of Windows 2012 Server) and I wish (for many years!) free Qlikview Desktop Viewer/Reader (similar … to Tableau Reader) in 2013 to enable  server-less distribution of Qlikview-based Data Visualizations!

For Tableau I wish a very successful IPO in 2013 and I wish them to grow in 2013 as fast as they did in 2012! I really wish Tableau (and all its processes like VizQL, Application Server, Backgrounder etc.) to became 64-bit in 2013 and of course I wish Tableau Server on Linux (see my wish for Qlikview above).

hny2013blue

Since I still have my best wishes for Microsoft (I guess they will never listen me anyway), I wish them to stop in 2013 using the dead product (Silverlight) with Power View (just complete the switch to HTML5 already), to make it completely separate from SharePoint and make it equal part of Office (integrated with PowerPivot on Desktop) the same way as Visio and Access are parts of Office and as a result I wish Microsoft to have a Power View (Data Visualization) Server (integrated with SQL Server 2012 of course) as well.

Also here are Flags of 21 countries from where this blog got most visitors in 2012:
21CountriesFromWhereDVBlogGotMostVistors

Today TIBCO announced Spotfire 5, which will be released in November 2012. Two biggest news are the access to SQL Server Analysis Services cubes and the integration with Teradata “by pushing all aggregations, filtering and complex calculations used for interactive visualization into the (Teradata) database”.

Spotfire team “rewrote” its in-memory engine for v. 5.0 to take advantage of high-capacity, multi-core servers. “Spotfire 5 is capable of handling in-memory data volumes orders of magnitude greater than the previous version of the Spotfire analytics platform” said Lars Bauerle, vice president of product strategy at TIBCO Spotfire.

Another addition is “in-database analysis” which allows to apply analytics within the database platforms (such as Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server and Teradata) without  extracting and moving data, while handling analyses on Spotfire server and returning result sets back to the database platform.

Spotfire added new Tibco Enterprise Runtime for R, which embeds R runtime engine into the Spotfire statistical server. TIBCO claims that Spotfire 5.0 scales to tens of thousands of users! Spotfire 5 is designed to leverage the full family of TIBCO business optimization and big data solutions, including TIBCO LogLogic®, TIBCO Silver Fabric, TIBCO Silver® Mobile, TIBCOBusinessEvents®, tibbr® and TIBCO ActiveSpaces®.

I used LinkedIn for years to measure of how many people mentioning Data Visualization tools on their profiles, of how many LinkedIn groups dedicated to those DV tools and what group membership is. Recently these statistics show dramatic changes in favor of Qlikview and Tableau as undisputed leaders in people’s opinions.

Here is how many people mentioned specific tools (statistics were updated on 9/4/12 and numbers changing every day) on their profiles:

  • Tableau – 18584,
  • Qlikview  – 17471,
  • Spotfire – 3829,
  • SAS+JMP – 3443,
  • PowerPivot – 2335

Sample of “People” search URL: http://www.linkedin.com/search/fpsearch?type=people&keywords=Tableau or http://www.linkedin.com/search/fpsearch?type=people&keywords=SAS+JMP

Here is how many groups dedicated to [in brackets a “pessimistic” estimate of total non-overlapping membership]:

  • Qlikview – 169 [13000+],
  • Tableau – 76 [6000+],
  • Spotfire – 29 [2000+],
  • SAS (+AND+) JMP – 23 [2000+],
  • PowerPivot – 16 [2000+]

Sample of “Group” search URL: http://www.linkedin.com/search-fe/group_search?pplSearchOrigin=GLHD&keywords=Qlikview

(this is a repost from my other Data Visualization blog: http://tableau7.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/tableau-as-container/ )

Often I used small Tableau (or Spotfire or Qlikview) workbooks instead of PowerPoint, which are proving at least 2 concepts:

  • Good Data Visualization tool can be used as the Web or Desktop Container for Multiple Data Visualizations (it can be used to build a hierarchical Container Structures with more then 3 levels; currently 3: Container-Workbooks-Views)

  • It can be used as the replacement for PowerPoint; in example below I embedded into this Container 2 Tableau Workbooks, one Google-based Data Visualization, 3 image-based Slides and Textual Slide: http://public.tableausoftware.com/views/TableauInsteadOfPowerPoint/1-Introduction

  • Tableau (or Spotfire or Qlikview) is better then PowerPoint for Presentations and Slides

  • Tableau (or Spotfire or Qlikview) is the Desktop and the Web Container for Web Pages, Slides, Images, Texts

  • Good Visualization Tool can be a Container for other Data Visualizations

  • Sample Tableau Presentation above contains the Introductory Textual Slide

  • Sample Tableau Presentation above  contains a few Tableau Visualization:This Tableau Presentation contains a Web Page with the Google-based Motion Chart Demo

    1. The Drill-down Demo

    2. The Motion Chart Demo ( 6 dimensions: X,Y, Shape, Color, Size, Motion in Time)

  • This Tableau Presentation contains a few Image-based Slides:

    1. The Quick Description of Origins and Evolution of Software and Tools used for Data Visualizations during last 30+ years

    2. The Description of Multi-level Projection from Multidimensional Data Cloud to Datasets, Multidimensional Cubes and to Chart

    3. The Description of 6 stages of Software Development Life Cycle for Data Visualizations

TIBCO said Spotfire 4.5 will be available later this month (May 2012).

Among news and additions to Spotfire: it will include ADS connector to Hadoop, integration with SAS, Mathworks and Attivio engines and new deployment kit for iPad.

The short version of this post: as far as Data Visualization is a concern, the new Power View from Microsoft is the marketing disaster, the architectural mistake and the generous gift from Microsoft to Tableau, Qlikview, Spotfire and dozens of other vendors.

For the long version – keep reading.

Assume for a minute (OK, just for a second) that new Power View Data Visualization tool from Microsoft SQL Server 2012 is almost as good as Tableau Desktop 7. Now let’s compare installation, configuration and hardware involved:

Tableau:

  1. Hardware:  almost any modern Windows PC/notebook (at least dual-core, 4GB RAM).
  2. Installation: a) one 65MB setup file, b) minimum or no skills
  3. Configuration: 5 minutes – follow instructions on screen during installation.
  4. Price – $2K.

Power View:

  1. Hardware: you need at least 2 server-level PCs (each at least quad-core, 16GB RAM recommended). I will not recommend to use 1 production server to host both SQL Server and SharePoint; if you desperate, at least use VM(s).
  2. Installation: a) Each Server  needs Windows 2008 R2 SP1 – 3GB DVD; b) 1st Server needs SQL Server 2012 Enterprise or BI Edition – 4GB DVD; c) 2nd Server needs SharePoint 2010 Enterprise Edition – 1GB DVD; d) A lot of skills and experience
  3. Configurations: Hours or days plus a lot of reading, previous knowledge etc.
  4. Price: $20K or if only for development it is about $5K (Visual Studio with MSDN subscription) plus cost of skilled labor.

As you can see, Power View simply cannot compete on mass market with Tableau (and Qlikview and Spotfire) and time for our assumption in the beginning of this post is expired. Instead now is time to remind that Power View is 2 generations behind Tableau, Qlikview and Spotfire. And there is no Desktop version of Power View, it is only available as a web application through web browser.

Power View is a Silverlight application packaged by Microsoft as a SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services Add-in for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise Edition. Power View is (ad-hoc) report designer providing for user an interactive data exploration, visualization, and presentation web experience. Microsoft stopped developing Silverlight in favor of HTML5, but Silverlight survived (another mistake) within SQL Server team.

Previous report designers (still available from Microsoft:  BIDS, Report Builder 1.0, Report Builder 3.0, Visual Studio Report Designer) are capable to produce only static reports, but Power View enables users to visually interact with data and drill-down all charts and Dashboard similar to Tableau and Qlikview.

Power View is a Data Visualization tool, integrated with Microsoft ecosystem. Here is a Demo of how the famous Hans Rosling Data Visualization can be reimplemented with Power View:

Compare with previous report builders from Microsoft, Power View allows many new features, like Multiple Views in a Single Report, Gallery preview of Chart Images, export to PowerPoint, Sorting within Charts by measures and Categories, Multiple Measures in Charts, Highlighting of selected data in reports and Charts, Synchronization of Slicers (Cross-Filtering), Measure Filters, Search in Filters (convenient for a long lists of categories), dragging data fields into Canvas (create table) or Charts (modify visualization), convert measures to categories (“Do Not Summarize”), and many other features.

As with any of 1st releases from Microsoft, you can find some bugs from Power View. For example, KPIs are not supported in Power View in SQL Server 2012, see it here: http://cathydumas.com/2012/04/03/using-or-not-using-tabular-kpis/

Power View is not the 1st attempt to be a full player in Data Visualization and BI Market. Previous attempts failed and can be counted as Strikes.

Strike 1: The ProClarity acquisition in 2006 failed, there have been no new releases since v. 6.3; remnants of ProClarity can be found embedded into SharePoint, but there is no Desktop Product anymore.

Strike 2: Performance Point Server was introduced in November, 2007, and discontinued two years later. Remnants of Performance Point can be found embedded into SharePoint as Performance Point Services.

Both failed attempts were focused on the growing Data Visualization and BI space, specifically at fast growing competitors such as Qliktech, Spotfire and Tableau. Their remnants in SharePoint functionally are very behind of Data Visualization leaders.

Path to Strike 3 started in 2010 with release of PowerPivot (very successful half-step, since it is just a backend for Visualization) and xVelocity (originally released under name VertiPaq). Power View is continuation of these efforts to add a front-end to Microsoft BI stack. I do not expect that Power View will gain as much popularity as Qlikview and Tableau and in my mind Microsoft will be a subject of 3rd strike in Data Visualization space.

One reason I described in very beginning of this post and the 2nd reason is absence of Power View on desktop. It is a mystery for me why Microsoft did not implement Power View as a new part of Office (like Visio, which is a great success) – as a new desktop application, or as a new Excel Add-In (like PowerPivot) or as a new functionality in PowerPivot or even as a new functionality in Excel itself, or as new version of their Report Builder. None of these options preventing to have a Web reincarnation of it and such reincarnation can be done as a part of (native SSRS) Reporting Services – why involve SharePoint (which is – and I said it many times on this blog – basically a virus)?

I am wondering what Donald Farmer thinking about Power View after being the part of Qliktech team for a while. From my point of view the Power View is a generous gift and true relief to Data Visualization Vendors, because they do not need to compete with Microsoft for a few more years or may be forever. Now IPO of Qliktech making even more sense for me and upcoming IPO of Tableau making much more sense for me too.

Yes, Power View means new business for consulting companies and Microsoft partners (because many client companies and their IT departments cannot handle it properly), Power View has a good functionality but it will be counted in history as a Strike 3.

Qliktech made its price list public on its website. In a move that calls for “other enterprise software and business intelligence vendors to follow suit, QlikTech is taking the mystery out of purchasing software“.

I expanded this post with comments and comparison of pricing from Qlikview and Tableau.

I have to mention that Tableau has pricing on its website for years. I wish Tableau will publish on its website the pricing for Core License (for Tableau Server) and more detail for Tableau Digital and Server pricing, but other than that, Tableau is a few years ahead of Qliktech in terms of “pricing transparency”… Also talking with Qliktech sales people until today was more time consuming then needed and I hope that public pricing will make it more easy.

One note about Qlikview pricing: Qliktech has a very weird requirement to buy a Document License ($350 per named user, per 1 (ONE) document) for each document is a potential time-bomb for Qlikview. But they are very good at sales  (Total Q4 2011 revenue of $108.1 million increases 33% compared to fourth quarter of 2010, see http://investor.qlikview.com/secfiling.cfm?filingID=1193125-12-65355&CIK=1305294) and not me, so I will be glad if Qliktech will prove me wrong!

 Again, for now, just review this:

http://www.qlikview.com/us/explore/pricing

I tried to compare the cost of average Deployment  for Qlikview-based and Tableau-based Data Visualization Systems using currently Published prices of Qlikview and Tableau (I actually have an estimation for Spotfire-based deployment too, but TIBCO did not published its pricing yet). See prices in table below, and comparison of average deploymnet after/below this table:

I took as average the deployment with 46 users (it is my estimate of average Qlikview Deployment), 3 desktop clients, 10 documents/visualizations available to 10 (potentially different) named users each, 1 Application Server and maintenance for 3 years.

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My estimate of total cost for 3 years came up as about $118K for Qlikview Deployment and $83K for Tableau Deployment (both before discounts and taxes and both do not include any development, training, consulting and IT cost).

Note 3/8/12: you may wish to review this blog post too:

http://i3community.com/blogs/entry/qlikview-user-license-named-client-access-license-cal

Since Gartner keeps doing its “Magic Quadrant” (MQ; see MQ at the very bottom of this post) for Business Intelligence Platforms every year, it forces me to do my

“Yellow Square for DV, 2012”

for Data Visualization (DV) Platforms too. I did it last year and I have to do it again because I disagreed with Gartner in 2011 and I disagree with it again in 2012. I have a few different (from Gartner) views, but I will mention 3.

1. There is no such thing as Business Intelligence as a software platform. It is a marketing term, used as an umbrella for multiple technologies and market segments. Gartner released its MQ for BI at the same time it had “BI Summit 2012” in London on which it practically acknowledged that BI is not a correct term and suggested to use the term “Business Analytics” instead, see for example this article: http://timoelliott.com/blog/2012/02/what-i-found-interesting-about-gartner-bi-summit-2012-london.html

2. I personally is using – for many years – the term Data Visualization as a replacement for BI, as much more specific. Because of that, I removed from consideration a few vendors present in Gartner’s MQ for BI and added a few important DV vendors.

3. I used for my assessment 3 groups of criterias, which I already used on this blog before, for example here:

https://apandre.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/dv-comparison-2011/

and here:

https://apandre.wordpress.com/tools/comparison/

As a result, I got a very different from Gartner the placement of “Data Visualization Platforms and their vendors”:

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For reference purposes please see below the Magic Quadrant for BI, published by Gartner this month. As you can see our lists of Vendors are overlapping by 11 companies, but in my opinion their relative positioning is very different:

One of the most popular posts on this blog was a comparison of Data Visualization Tools, which originally was posted more then a year ago where I compared those best tools only qualitatively. However since then I got a lot of requests to compare those tools “quantitatively”. Justification for such update were recent releases of Spotfire 4.0, Qlikview 11, Tableau 7.0 and Microsoft’s Business Intelligence Stack (mostly SQL Server 2012 and PowerPivot V.2.)

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However I quickly realized that such “quantitative” comparison cannot be objective. So here it is – the updated and very subjective comparison of best Data Visualization tools, as I see them at the end of 2011. I know that many people will disagree with my assessment, so if you do not like my personal opinion – please disregard it at “your own peril”. I am not going to prove “numbers” below – they are just my personal assessments of those 4 technologies – I love all 4 of them. Feel free to make your own comparison and if you can share it with me – I will appreciate it very much.

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Please keep in mind that I reserve the right to modify this comparison overtime if/when I will learn more about all those technologies, their vendors and usage. Criterias used in comparison below listed in 1st column and they are grouped in 3 groups: business, visualization and technical. Columns 2-5 used for my assessments of 4 technologies, last column used for my subjective weights for each criteria and last row of this worksheet has Total for each Data Visualization technology I evaluated.

Some of visitors to this blog after reading of my recent post about $300K/employee/year as a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) suggested to me another Indicator of the health of Data Visualization vendors: a number of job openings and specifically a number and percentage of software development openings (I include software testers and software managers into this category) and use it also as a predictor of the future. Fortunately it is a public data and below is what I got today from respective websites:

  • 56(!) positions at Tableau, 14 them of are developers;

  • 46 openings at Qliktech, 4 of them are developers;

  • 21 positions at Spotfire, 3 of them are developers;

  • 3 positions at Visokio, 2 of them are developers.

Considering that Tableau is 4 times less in terms of sales then Qlikview and 3-4 times less (then Qliktech) in terms of workforce, this is an amazing indicator. If Tableau can sustain this speed of growth, we can witness soon the change of Data Visualization landscape, unless Qliktech can find the way to defend its dominant position (50% of DV market).

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For comparison, you can use Microstrategy’s number of openings. While Microstrategy is not a Data Visualization vendor, it is close enough (as BI vendor) for benchmarking purposes: it has 281 openings, 38 of them are developers and current Microstrategy’s workforce is about 3069, basically 3 times more then Qliktech’s workforce…

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In light of recent releases of Qlikview 11 and Spotfire 4.0 it makes (soon to be released) Tableau 7.0 is very interesting to compare… Stay tuned!

I expected Qlikview 11 to be released on 11/11/11 but it was released today to Qliktech partners and customers. Since Qliktech is the public company, it releases regularly a lot of information which is not available (for now) from other DV leaders like Tableau and Visokio and more fuzzy from Spotfire, because Spotfire is just a part of larger successful public corporation TIBCO, which has many other products to worry about.

However I guessed a little and estimated for DV Leaders their 2011 sales and number of employees and got an interesting observation, which is true for a few last years: size of sales per employee (of DV leading vendor) is $300k/Year or less. I included for comparison purposes similar numbers for Apple, Microsoft and Google as well as for Microstrategy, which is a public company, established (22+ years) player in BI market, dedicated to BI and recently to Data Visualization (that is DV, thanks to it Visual Insight product).

Table below included 2 records related to Spotfire: 1 based on 2010 annual report from TIBCO (for TIBCO as whole; I know TIBCO sales for 2011 grew from $754M to $920M but do not know the exact number of TIBCO’s employees for 2011) and other record is my estimates (of a number of employees and sale) for Spotfire division of TIBCO. Update from 1/11/12: For Tableau’s 2011 I used the numbers from John Cook’s article here: http://www.geekwire.com/2012/tableau-software-doubles-sales-2011-hires-160-workers ) :

To me this is an interesting phenomena, because Qliktech thanks to its fast growing sales and recent IPO was able to double it’s sales in last 2 years while … doubling it’s number of employees so it still has its sales hovering around $300K/employee/year, while Software giants Apple, Microsoft and Google are way above this barrier and Microstrategy is 50% below it. I will also guess that Qliktech will try to break this $300K barrier and be closer to Apple/Microsoft/Google in terms of sales per employee.

Thanks to the public nature of Qliktech we know details of its annual Revenue growth and YoY (Year-over-Year) indicators:

and with estimate of 2011 Revenue about $315M, YoY growth (2011 over 2010) will be around 39.4% which is an excellent result, making it difficult (but still possible) for other DV competitors to catch-up with Qliktech. Best chance for this belongs to Tableau Software, who probably will reach the same size of sales in 2011 as Spotfire (my estimate is around $70M-$75M for both), but for last 2 years Tableau has 100% (or more) YoY revenue growth… Qliktech also published the interesting info about major factors for its sales: Europe (56%), Existing Customers (58%), Licenses (61%), Partners(52%):

which means that the increase of sales in Americas, improving New sales (as oppose to sales to existing customer by using “Land and Expand” approach) and improving revenue from Services and Maintenance may help Qliktech to keep the pace. Qliktech has the tremendous advantage over its DV competitors because it has 1200+ partners, who contributed 52% to Qliktech sales (about $136K per partner and I can guess that Qliktech wish to see at least $200K/year contribution from each partner).

Observing the strengths of other DV competitors, I personally think that Qliktech will benefit from the “imitation” of some of their most popular and successful features in order to keep its dominance in Data Visualization market, including:

  • free public Qlikview service (with obvious limitations) like free SaaS from Tableau Public and free Spotfire Silver personal edition,

  • ability to distribute Data Visualization to desktops without Server by making  available a free desktop Qlikview Reader (similar to free desktop readers from Tableau and Omniscope/Visokio),

  • integration with R library (Spotfire and recently Omniscope) to improve analytical power of Qlikview users,

  • ability to read multidimensional OLAP Cubes (currently only Tableau can do that), especially Cubes from Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services and

  • scalability toward Big Data (currently Spotfire’s and Tableau’s data engines can use the disk space as Virtual Memory but Qlikview limited by size of RAM)

This is not a never ending “feature war” but rather a potential ability to say to customers: “why go to competitors, if we have all their features and much more”? Time will tell how DV competition will play out, I expect a very interesting 2012 for Data Visualization market and users and I hope that somebody will able to break $300K/employee/year barrier unless the major M&A will change the composition of DV market. I hope that the DV revolution will continue in new year…

I never liked pre-announcements of “new” products, especially if they are in state which will screw my PCs. But almost everybody doing it to us, starting with Microsoft SQL Server 2012 (Denali can be downloaded as “CTP3”), Tableau 7.0, Qlikview 11 (Qliktech partners and customers can download “Release candidate”) etc. Just a few months after releasing Spotfire 3.3, TIBCO announced that Spotfire 4.0 will be available in November 2011 with a lot of new features.

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Some of them sound like buzzwords: “”free dimensional” analytics, collective intelligence, visual and social data discovery etc.” (we need that marketing will brainwash us, right?), but some of them can be very useful, like integration with TIBBR (that I like; in fact TIBCO has many other good products and they should be integrated with Spotfire) and SharePoint (sounds like a M$ bending to me, I don’t see too much DV money coming from SharePoint hole), support for dynamic icons, sparklines,

stepped linecharts, pop-over filters and legends, better font management, embedded actions and more. Some features I wish will be added, but I guess we need to wait more: I wish to be able to read with Spotfire the SSAS and PowerPivot multidimensional Cubes and support for some other Data Sources, like Tableau 6.1 does…

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Spotfire and its Web Player Server support  now the latest web browsers, .NET 4.0 and it dropped support for obsolete stuff like Internet Explorer 6 and Windows 2003 Server. I mentioned on this blog earlier that I like Spotfire Silver 2.0 and the wealth and depth of Spotfire Analytical Platform (S-Plus, Miner, S+FinMetrics, Spotfire Developer/API, Statistics, Data and Automation Services, Metrics, Network Analysis, Decision Site, Clinical Graphics and more, this list should make Qliktech and Tableau worry or at least try to add similar features…).

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Spotfire updated their set of Demos to reflect Spotfire 4.0 features: Spotfire Demos and Templates. More to come later, especially when Spotfire 4.0 will be Released (as oppose to be announced).

Spotfire Silver version 2.0 is available now on https://silverspotfire.tibco.com/us/home and it will be officially announced at TIBCO User Conference 2011 (9/27-9/29/11) at http://tucon.tibco.com/

Spotfire Silver available in 4 Editions, see Product Comparison Chart here: https://silverspotfire.tibco.com/us/product-comparison-chart and Feature List at Feature Matrix here: https://silverspotfire.tibco.com/us/get-spotfire/feature-matrix

Update 9/27/11: TIBCO officially released Silver 2.0, see http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tibco-unveils-silver-spotfire-20-to-meet-growing-demand-for-easy-to-use-cloud-based-analytics-solutions-2011-09-27 “TIBCO Silver Spotfire 2.0 gives users the ability to embed live dashboards into their social media applications, including business blogs, online articles, tweets, and live feeds, all without complex development or corporate IT resources… Overall, the software’s capabilities foster collaboration, which allows users to showcase and exchange ideas and insights — either internally or publicly. In addition, it allows users to share solutions and application templates with customers, prospects, and other members of the community.”

Spotfire Silver Personal Edition is Free (Trial for one year, can be “renewed” with other email address for free) and allows 50MB (exactly the same amount as Tableau Public) and allows 10 concurrent read-only web users of your content. If you wish more then Personal Edition you can buy Personal Plus ($99/year) or Publisher ($99/month or $1000/year) or Analyst ($399/month) Account.

In any case you will GET for your Account needs a real Spotfire Desktop Client and worry-free and hassle-free web hosting (by TIBCO) of your Data Visualization applications – you do not need to buy any hardware,  software or services for web hosting, it is all part of your Spotfire Silver account.

To test Spotfire Silver 2.0 Personal Edition I took Adventure Works dataset from Microsoft (60398 rows, which is 6 times more than Spotfire’s own estimate of 10000 rows for 50MB Web storage). Adventure Works dataset  requires 42MB as Excel XLS file (or 16M as XLSX with data compression) and only 5.6MB as Spotfire DXP file (Tableau file took approximately the same disk space, because both Spotfire and Tableau are doing a good data compression job). This 5.6MB size of DXP file for Adventure Works is just 11% of web storage allowed by Spotfire (50MB for Personal Edition) to each user of free Spotfire Silver 2.0 Personal Edition.

Spotfire Silver 2.0 is a very good and mature Data Visualization product with excellent Web Client, with Desktop Client development tool and with tutorials online here: https://silverspotfire.tibco.com/us/tutorials . Functionally (and Data Visualization-wise) Spotfire Silver 2.0 has more to offer then Tableau Public. However Tableau Public account will not expire after 1 year of “trial” and will not restrict number of simultaneous users to 10.

Spotfire Silver 2.0 Publisher and Analyst Accounts can compete successfully with Tableau Digital and they have much clear licensing then Tableau Digital (see http://www.tableausoftware.com/products/digital#top-10-features-of-tableau-digital ), which is based on number of “impressions” and can be confusing and more expensive then Spotfire Silver Analyst Edition.

7 months ago I published a poll on LinkedIn and got a lot of responses, 1340 votes (in average 1 vote per hour) and comments. People asked me many times to repeat this poll from time to time. I guess it is time to re-Poll. I added 2 more choices (LinkedIn allows maximum 5 choices in their polls and it is clear not enough for this poll), based on a feedback I got: Omniscope and Visual Insight/Microstrategy. I also got some angry voters complaining that certain vendors are funding this poll. This is completely FALSE, I am unaffiliated with any of vendors, mentioned in this poll and I am working for completely independent (from those vendors) software company, see the About page of this Blog.


Comparison of DV Tools is the most popular page (and post) of this site, visited by many thousands of people. Some of them keep asking to append this comparison with different additional features, one of them is a comparison of requirements of leading DV tools for file and memory footprint and also for reading and saving time.

I took mid-sized dataset (428999 rows and 135 columns), exported it into CSV and compressed it to ZIP format, because all native DV formats (QVW by Qlikview, DXP by Spotfire, TWBX by Tableau and XLSX by Excel and PowerPivot) are compressed one way or another. My starting filesize (of ZIPped dataset) was 56 MB. Here is what I got, see for yourself:

One comment is that numbers above are all relative to configuration of hardware used for tests and also depend on other software I ran during tests, because that software also requires RAM, CPU cycles, disk I/O and even on speed of repainting applications windows on screen, especially for Excel. I probably will add more comments to this post/page, but my first impression from this comparison is that new Tableau’s Data Engine (released in version 6.0 and soon will be updated in 6.1) made Tableau more competitive. Please keep in mind, that comparison of in-memory footprint was much less significant in above test, because Qlikview, Excel and PowerPivot putting all dataset into RAM, while Tableau and Spotfire can leave some (unneeded for visualization) data on disk, treating it as “virtual memory”. Also Tableau using 2 executables (not just one EXE as others): tableau.exe (or tabreader.exe) and tdserver64.exe

Since Tableau is the only DV Leading software, capable to read from SSAS Cubes and from PowerPivot (local SSAS) Cubes, I also took large SSAS Cube and for testing purposes I selected SSAS Sub-Cube with 3 Dimensions, 2 Measures and 156439 “rows”, measured the Time and Footprint, needed for Tableau to read Sub-Cube, Refresh it in Memory, Save to local application file, and also measurted “Cubical” Footprint of it in Memory and on Disk and then compared all results with the same tests while running Excel 2010 alone and Excel 2010 with PowerPivot:

While Tableau’s ability to read and visualize Cubes is cool, performance-wise Tableau is far behind of Excel and PowerPivot, especially in Reading department and memory footprint. In Saving department and File footprint Tableau is doing nothing because it is not saving cube locally in its local application TWBX file (and it keeps data in SSAS cube outside of Tableau) so Tableau’s file footprint for SSAS Cubes is not an indicator but for PowerPivot-based local Cubes Tableau does better job (saving data into local application file) then both Excel and PowerPivot!

TIBCO released Spotfire 3.3 and first (see what is new here) that jumped to my eyes was how mature this product is. For example, among new features is improved scalability – each additional simultaneous user of a web analysis initially claims very little additional system memory:

Many Spotfire customers will be able to support a greater number of web users on their existing hardware by upgrading to 3.3. Spotfire Web Player 3.3 includes significant improvements in memory consumption (as shown above for certain scenarios). Theoretically goal is to minimize the amount of system memory needed to support larger numbers of simultaneous users on the same analysis file. Main use case here: the larger the file and the greater the number of simultaneous web users on that file, then less initial system memory required to support each additional user: it is greatly reduced compared to version 3.2.1 and earlier.

Comparison with competition and thorough testing of new Spotfire scalability has to be done (similar to what Qliktech done with Qlikview here), but my initial reaction is as I said in a Title: we are witnessing a very mature software. Apparently the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) agrees with me and Defense Intelligence Agency Selects TIBCO Spotfire Analytics Solutions for Department of Defense Intelligence Information System Community. “With more than 16,500 military and civilian employees worldwide, DIA is a major producer and manager of foreign military intelligence”

Spotfire 3.3 also includes collaborative bookmarking, which enables all Spotfire users  to capture a dashboard – its complete configuration, including markings, drop down selections, and filter settings and share that visualization immediately with other users of that same dashboard, regardless of client in use. Spotfire actually not just a piece of Data Visualization Software, but a real Analytical Platform with large portfolio of products, including completely integrated S-PLUS (commercial version of R Library which has million of users), best Web Client (you can go Zero-footprint with Spotfire Web Player or/and partially free Spotfire Silver), free iPad Client version 1.1.1 (requires iTunes, so be prepared for Apple intrusion), very rich API, SDK, integration with Visual Studio, support of IronPython and JavaScript , well-thought Web Architecture, set of Extension Points etc.

System requirements for Spotfire 3.3 can be found here. Coincidentally with 3.3 Release Spotfire VAR Program got expansion too. Spotfire has a very rich set of training options, see it here. You can also find set of good Spotfire videos from Colin White’s Screencast Library, especially 2011 Webcasts.

My only and large concern with Spotfire is its focus, since it is part of a large corporation TIBCO, which has 50+ products and 50+ reasons to focus on something else. Indirectly it can be confirmed with sales: my estimate that Tableau is growing much faster than Spotfire (sales-wise) and Qlikview Sales probably 3 times larger (dollar-wise) than Spotfire sales. Since TIBCO bought Spotfire in 2007, I expected Spotfire will be integrated with other great TIBCO products, but after 4 years it is still not a case… And TIBCO has no reason to change its corporate policies, since its busines is good and stock is doing well:

(at least 500% increase of share price since end of 2008!). Also see article written by Ted Stamas for SeekingAlpha and comparison of TIBX vs. ETF here:

I think it is interesting to notice that TIBCO recently rejected a buyout offer from HP!

For many years, Gartner keeps annoying me every January by publishing so called “Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms” (MQ4BI for short) and most vendors (mentioned in it; this is funny, even Donald Farmer quotes MQ4BI) almost immediately re-published it either on so-called reprint (e.g. here – for a few months) area of Gartner website or on own website; some of them also making this “report” available to web visitors in exchange for contact info – for free. To channel my feeling toward Gartner  to a  something constructive, I decided to produce my own “Quadrant” for Data Visualization Platforms (DV “Quadrant” or Q4DV for short) – it is below and is a work in-progress and will be modified and republished overtime:

3 DV Leaders (green dots in upper right corner of Q4DV above) compared with each other and with Microsoft BI stack on this blog, as well as voted in DV Poll on LinkedIn. MQ4BI report actually contains a lot of useful info and it deserved to be used as a one of possible data sources for my new post, which has more specific target – Data Visualization Platforms. As I said above, I will call it Quadrant too: Q4DV. But before I will do that, I have to comment on Gartner’s annual MQ4BI.

MQ4BI customer survey included vendor-provided references, as well as survey responses from BI users in Gartner’s BI summit and inquiry lists. There were 1,225 survey responses (funny enough, almost the same number of responces as on my DV Poll on LinkedIn), with 247 (20%) from non-vendor-supplied reference lists. Magic Quadrant Customer Survey’s results the Gartner promised to publish in 1Q11. The Gartner has a somewhat reasonable “Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria” (for Data Visualization Q4DV I excluded some vendors from Gartner List and included a few too), almost tolerable but a fuzzy BI Market Definition (based on 13 loosely pre-defined capabilities organized into 3 categories of functionality: integration, information delivery and analysis).

I also partially agree with the definition and the usage of “Ability to Execute” as one  (Y axis) of 2 dimensions for bubble Chart above (called the same way as entire report “Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms”). However I disagree with Gartner’s order of vendors in their ability to execute and for DV purposes I had to completely change order of DV Vendors on X axis (“Completeness of Vision”).

For Q4DV purposes I am reusing Gartner’s MQ as a template, I also excluded almost all vendors, classified by Gartner as niche players with lower ability to execute (bottom-left quarter of MQ4BI), except Panorama Software (Gartner put Panorama to a last place, which is unfair) and will add the following vendors: Panopticon, Visokio, Pagos and may be some others after further testing.

I am going to update this DV “Quadrant”, using the method suggested by Jon Peltier: http://peltiertech.com/WordPress/excel-chart-with-colored-quadrant-background/ – Thank you Jon! I hope I will have time before end of 2011 for it…

Permalink: https://apandre.wordpress.com/2011/02/13/q4dv/

On New Year Eve I started on LinkedIn the Poll “What tool is better for Data Visualization? and 1340 people voted there (which is unusually high return for LinkedIn polls, most of them getting less then 1000 votes), in average one vote per hour during 8 weeks, which is statistically significant as a reflection of the fact that the Data Visualization market has 3 clear leaders (probably at least a generation ahead of all other competitors: Spotfire, Tableau and Qlikview. Spotfire is a top vote getter: as of 2/27/11, 1pm EST: Spotfire got 450 votes (34%), Tableau 308 (23%), Qlikview 305 (23% ; Qlikview result improved during last 3 weeks of this poll), PowerPivot 146 (11%, more votes then all “Other” DV Tools) and all Others DV tools got just 131 votes (10%). Poll got 88 comments (more then 6% of voters commented on poll!) , will be open for more unique voters until 2/27/11, 7pm and its results consistent during last 5 weeks, so statistically it represents the user preferences of the LinkedIn population:

URL is http://linkd.in/f5SRw9 but you need to login to LinkedIn.com to vote. Also see some demographic info (in somewhat ugly visualization by … LinkedIn) about poll voters below:

Interesting that Tableau voters are younger then for other DV tools and more then 82% voters in poll are men. Summary of some comments:

  • – poll’s question is too generic – because an answer partially depends on what you are trying to visualize;
  • – poll is limited by LinkedIn restrictions, which allows no more than 5 possible/optional answers on Poll’s question;
  • – poll’s results may correlate with number of Qlikview/Tableau/Spotfire groups (and the size of their membership) on LinkedIn and also ability of employees of vendors of respective tools to vote in favor of the tool, produced by their company (I don’t see this happened). LinkedIn has 85 groups, related to Qlikview (with almost 5000 members), 34 groups related to Tableau (with 2000+ members total) and 7 groups related to Spotfire (with about 400 members total).
  • Randall Hand posted interesting comments about my poll here:    http://www.vizworld.com/2011/01/tool-data-visualization/#more-19190 . I disagreed with some of Randall’s assessments that “Gartner is probably right” (in my opinion Gartner is usually wrong when it is talking about BI, I posted on this blog about it and Randall agreed with me) and that “IBM & Microsoft rule … markets”. In fact IBM is very far behind (of Qlikview, Spotfire and Tableau) and Microsoft, while has excellent technologies (like PowerPivot and SSAS) are behind too, because Microsoft made a strategic mistake and does not have a visualization product, only technologies for it.
  • Spotfire fans from Facebook had some “advise” from here: http://www.facebook.com/TIBCOSpotfire (post said “TIBCO Spotfire LinkedIn users: Spotfire needs your votes! Weigh in on this poll and make us the Data Visualization tool of choice…” (nothing I can do to prevent people doing that, sorry). I think that the poll is statistically significant anyway and voters from Facebook may be added just a couple of dozens of votes for … their favorite tool.
  • Among Other Data Visualization tools, mentioned in 88 comments so far were JMP, R, Panopticon, Omniscope (from Visokio), BO/SAP Explorer and Excelsius, IBM Cognos, SpreadsheetWEB, IBM’s Elixir Enterprise Edition, iCharts, UC4 Insight, Birst, Digdash, Constellation Roamer, BIme, Bissantz DeltaMaster, RA.Pid, Corda Technologies, Advizor, LogiXml,TeleView etc.

Permalink: https://apandre.wordpress.com/dvpoll/

Published the comparison of 4 leading DV Products, see http://wp.me/PCJUg-1T

I did not included into comparison the 5th leading product – Visokio’s Omniscope, because it has very limited scalability due the specifics of it’s implementation: Java does not allow to visualize too much data. Among factors to considered when comparing DV tools:

  • – memory optimization [Qlikview is the leader in in-memory columnar database technology];
  • – load time [I tested all products above and PowerPivot is the fastest];
  • – memory swapping [Spotfire is only who can use a disk as a virtual memory, while Qlikview limited by RAM only];
  • – incremental updates [Qlikview probably the best in this area];
  • – thin clients [Spotfire has the the best THIN/Web/ZFC (zero-footprint) client, especially with their recent release of Spotfire 3.2 and Spotfire Silver];
  • – thick clients [Qlikview has the best THICK client] ,
  • – access by 3rd party tools [PowerPivot’s integration with Excel 2010, SQL Server 2008 R2 Analysis Services and SharePoint 2010 is a big attraction];
  • – interface with SSAS cubes [PowerPivot has it, Tableau has it, Omniscope will have it very soon, Qlikview and Spotfire do not have it],
  • – GUI [3-way tie, it is heavily depends on personal preferences, but in my opinion Qlikview is more easy to use than others];
  • – advanced analytics [Spotfire 3.2 is the leader here with its integration with S-PLUS and support for IronPython and other add-ons]
  • – the productivity of developers involved with tools mentioned above. In my experience Qlikview is much more productive tool in this regard.

p003: http://wp.me/pCJUg-3R

Since I commented on recent releases of competing DV products (Qlikview, Tableau, Cognos, Business Objects etc.) I feel the need to post about Spotfire 3.2. For me the most important new feature in 3.2 is the  availability of all functionality of Spotfire THICK client in Spotfire 3.2 WebPlayer, specfically Spotfire WebPlayer now can do the same visual drill-down as Qlikview does for a while. Overall the 3.2  Release enabled Spotfire to catch-up with Qlikview and become a co-leader in DV market. Also SPotfire Clinical 3.2 was released, which enables Spotfire to connect with Oracle Clinical Databases. TIBCO Spotfire offers a unique memory-swapping or paging feature, which lets it analyze models that are larger than a single available memory space.

Among new features ability to export any Pages and Visualizations to PDF, improved integration with S-Plus and IronPython, ability to embed more than 4GB (actually unlimited) of application’s data into application file (and TIBCO Spotfire Binary Data Format file) and other improvements, like subtotals in Cross Table, SSO with NTLMv2 (Vista, Win7), Lists Tools and LDAP synchronization, Multiple Localizations for major Asian and European languages. Update on 11/2/10: TIBCO released Spotfire WebPlayer 3.2.1, which now fully supports iPad and its native multi-touch interface.

A few days later on 7/14/10, TIBCO released Spotfire Silver as a fully SaaS/ZFC version of Spotfire 3.2, designated for Self-Serviced BI users, who prefer to minimize their interactions with own IT/MIS departments. Spotfire Silver ahead of all DV competitors in terms of fully web-based but fully functional DV environment.

In case if users prefer behind-firewall Clustering and Fail-over configuration for Spotfire deployment, it may look like this:

n007=http://wp.me/pCJUg-5n