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First Look: Tibco Spotfire 6


I got an update from Tibco recently having last heard from them when I got an update on Spotfire 4. Since then they have partnered with Attivio for supporting unstructured data (4.5), added a new in-memory engine and support for in-database analytics as well as native support for R – the Tibco Enterprise Runtime for R (5.0).

5.0 gave the platform a solid predictive analytics capability with native support for the R language, integration of Spotfire with other advanced analytics tools and the history from the Insightful S+ product acquisition. A big part of this is added support for lots of other backend databases and platforms like SAS and especially Teradata Aster. 5.5 plus they have enhanced and improved the platform.

Which brings us to the newly released Tibco Spotfire 6.0 (press release here).

The context for this release is Tibco’s work to support customers as they move up the analytics maturity curve over time – from measuring to diagnosis, prediction, operationalizing, automation and ultimately transformation. Spotfire 6.0 has four pillars:

  • KPI’s and Metrics
    Based on the recently acquired Push BI that provides alerting, personalized KPIs and mobile support for metrics.
  • Location Analytics
    The integration of another acquisition to provide location awareness in analytic applications that support s multiple layer maps and other geolocation capabilities.
  • Enterprise Cloud
    To allow new projects to be deployed to the cloud, accessing the whole Spotfire stack on a subscription basis in a self-service environment.
  • Event Analytics
    For analytically processing event streams, the focus of this briefing.

Event Analytics is designed to allow customers to analyze and optimize real-time processes, alerting customers to problems or opportunities. Increasingly the focus is on anticipating and predicting these events. Event Analytics allows customers to mix event data with regular “at rest” data and make decisions against it. Event Analytics builds on Spotfire’s support for dimension-free exploration, mashing up of data, integrated predictive analytics and collaborative environment. This could be integrated with Tibco CEP products to automate decisions – what Tibco call event-driven Actions – or (more usually) used to deliver Spotfire analyses to the right person at the right time so they can make a manual decision – what Tibco call event-driven Analysis.


Tibco uses a “two loop” model to explain some of this – an insight loop and an action loop. In the insight loop data is collected, Spotfire is used to analyze it and then Spotfire and the predictive analytics capabilities integrated with it (like TERR) are used to predict possible problems. This insight can be integrated into an event stream to identify the need for action. Within the action loop there may be more analysis to decide what action is appropriate, actions (manual or automated) are taken and the results of these are monitored to connect the loops back together.

Spotfire Event Analytics is focused on manual decision making where Tibco CEP is more focused on automated decisions. Moving from diagnosis and prediction to this more event-focused and operational use of analytics helps customers more towards more automation, what I would call Decision Management, and increases the degree to which they can transform their business with analytics.

Tibco is one of the vendors in our Decision Management Systems Platform Technology Report and you can get more information on Spotfire Event Analytics Here.


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