TIBCO is bringing its Spotfire Business Intelligence (BI) software to the cloud, with a service designed to allow business users to create and share interactive dashboards. The service enables users to transform Excel, Access
This offering complements the company's other cloud offerings in Business Process Modeling and social media. Users will be able to move data between different cloud computing applications. Silver Spotfire is an effort to make BI and analytical tools available to any user, and is initially being offered at no charge for one year. Users can store up to 10 megabytes of raw data online.
Tibco is breaking new territory with social BI said James Kobielus, an analyst at Forrester Research. Although social analytics have been around for some time, he suggests, Tibco is in a unique position to move such software forward in business applications. The service allows business analysts to build their own dashboard and share it with others.
"This is the first instance of social BI from a leading vendor to make it easier for business teams to build and share reports, dashboards, charts and other visualizations," he said.
One of the key advantages of Silver Spotfire compared with traditional BI is that it promises to help business users set up new applications without the need to set up the back-end infrastructure. "Users can start creating applications in minutes, rather than the days or months required to get new analytic apps off the ground," said Tim Wormus, Product Marketing Manager, Web Technologies for Tibco Software.
This release combines important elements of two trends in the analytics community around visual analytics and social media. Visual analytics is a new field of analysis tools which simplifies interactions with large sets of data by eliminating the need to pre-specify layouts. Tableau is one of the leading contenders in this area. Meanwhile, Microsoft is testing an early prototype called Pivot Viewer.
On the social media side, there have been many different efforts to build communities for sharing visualization such as IBM's Many Eyes, Swivel, Tableau Public, and Lyzasoft. Wormus maintains that these existing offerings are focusing on building communities, whereas Silver Spotfire is more focused on supporting business needs.
This field is still early in its development. Improvements in data visualization are intended to help businesses, decision makers and the general public to make better decisions.