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: , 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: ; 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: and it will be interesting to see the new Spotfire Events Analytics (to Spot Event patterns)  product (see also: ) 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:


One more capability in Spotfire mentioned (this claim needs to be verified) in recent TIBCO blogpost 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:


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: :

  • 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: (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: )

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 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: 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”:


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: 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:




  • 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:


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: ). 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: . 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…

My best wishes for 2013!


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).


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:

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: or

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:

(this is a repost from my other Data Visualization blog: )

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:

  • 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.

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