TIBCO released Spotfire version 7.6 during this year’s TIBCO NOW in Las Vegas. The new features and enhancements further extend and improve Spotfire’s performance and ease of use. They have been some of the most requested features and I’m very happy to see them available as a means for users to overcome roadblocks in their BI analytics.
New Visualization Types
There are two new visualization types released in 7.6, Waterfall Chart and KPI Chart.
Waterfall Chart is usually used to show cumulative effect of sequentially introduced values or it can also be used to compare values from two different entities sequentially. This visualization type is widely used to present financial results.
KPI Chart is used to display the status of your Key Performance Index in sorted order. The layout of this visualization will take best use of the screen estate and is mobile and touch-screen friendly.
Enhancement Map Charts
Now Tile Map Services (TMS) is supported. Users will be able to choice their basemap background from either Satellite Imagery TMS, Map box TMS, or Stamen Watercolor TMS.
Another very useful feature on Map Chart is a new marking method. Previously, users could mark an area with rectangle sharp and draw a custom shape with Lasso selection. Now when using the default map projection, users can mark data based on the radius distance to a location.
If you filter data in Map chart with Business Author, the map will also auto-zoom to the filtered data.
Flexible Appearance Settings
Some more appearance properties are now available to CrossTable and Boxplot visualization types. You will be able to further customize the look of your report and enhance your analysis will more flexible visualization options.
With installed client, now you can also open a tab of your analysis in a new window. Even though tabs are shown in multiple windows, the dashboard interactivity still remains. You may feel this new feature extremely helpful when you want to see detailed visualizations in a separate screen, to see how your filters/markings affect multiple tabs of your dashboard, or just to enable more screen estate to view your dashboard. A similar feature has been available on Spotfire Web Player as well since version 7.5.
Visual Overview of Data Table Structure and Data Loading Option
It’s common that it takes multiple steps to construct a data table from analysis use, linking to data source, adding rows, adding columns and creating transformations, etc. In earlier versions, steps are recorded with text in Data Table Properties, and it has been hard to interpret and make adjustments if needed.
In the new version, Spotfire provides a visual overview of the data table structure in the Source view of the expanded data panel. You can find detailed information about data source settings, operations and preview intermediate resulting tables. It is very helpful not only in the development phase of an analysis, but also during testing and troubleshooting phases.
In addition, in earlier version, you could only choose between linking the data table to source and embedding the data table two options. And if one data table is constructed with multiple sources, and one of them was embedded, then the final data table can only be embedded. With version 7.6, you no longer need to worry about this choice. Data table now can be partly linked and partly embedded.
You may also set the data loading option to load ‘New Data when Possible’, so that the data table would use stored data when source is unavailable, but automatically refresh the data when connected to source. These flexible data loading options are extremely valuable to optimize the dashboard/analysis performance and enable seamless user experience.
New Data Connectors and Enhancements
With new version of Spotfire Business Author, you can now access data directly from Salesforce.com and Google Analytics. More detailed option window will be prompted for you to select columns/metrics/dimensions and define parameter, filters and prompts.
There are some other enhancements on a variety of data connectors, which are summarized below.
Above is a highlight of cool features in the new Spotfire 7.6, but not all of them. If you have any questions regarding these or other features, or you’re upgrading your Spotfire to 7.6, please feel free to reach out to us. We will be happy to assist you.