With Spotfire 7, Tibco aims to make analytics more accessible

New tools offer guidance based on best practices to give non-experts a jump start

The Recommendations tool in Tibco's Spotfire 7

The Recommendations tool in Tibco's Spotfire 7

Scan through the news announcements in the world of enterprise software lately, and there's a good chance you'll notice an overriding theme. It focuses on analytics, and it's all about putting the power of that once-highly specialized function within the hands of a broader spectrum of business users.

Oracle and Salesforce both made forays in that direction recently, for example, and on Tuesday Tibco Software announced a similar effort. Namely, Tibco launched Spotfire 7, a new version of its analytics and data-visualization platform that it says was built specifically for a wider audience.

One of the key new features in Spotfire 7 is a smart wizard called Recommendations that's designed to guide the analytics process. Tapping built-in best practices, the tool can suggest what type of graph is best for displaying time-series data, for instance, helping non-experts stay on the right investigative path. Users can create an entire dashboard with just a few clicks, Tibco says. As more data is included, Recommendations updates its suggestions, thereby eliminating the time-consuming trial-and-error process.

A streamlined user interface, meanwhile, is designed to make data discovery faster, easier and more precise. New style options allow users to adjust the look and feel of a Spotfire workspace depending on their audience and the type of data at hand. Sneak-peak previews allow users to test out new visualizations as they work.

In all, Spotfire 7 enables users to go from data to dashboard in less than a minute regardless of their level of experience, Tibco says.

Spotfire 7 is now available worldwide for desktop and on-premises deployments. On March 18, Tibco will conduct a webcast offering a fuller introduction.

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Katherine Noyes

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