Spotfire vs Tableau: A Comparison Between The Two BI Titans


August 10, 2022


March 22nd, 2023

The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight.” – Carly Fiorina

For all businesses, data is the crux today and holds a special position in looking for futuristic trends and patterns. Business Intelligence tools are the prime technology that can extract the best of information from the raw data and convert it into insightful information. Tableau and Spotfire are two popular names in the world of BI and data analytics. Be it Spotfire or Tableau, both have been recognized by Gartner in the Magic Quadrant for Analytics and BI Platforms.

Let us compare the two stalwarts – Spotfire vs Tableau and understand how they stand against each other. Before that, let us individually go through their vital comparative features.

What Is Spotfire?

TIBCO Spotfire is a popular BI platform that offers guided insights, acts from AI-infused analytics and custom business applications. It holds a huge customer base with a larger market share. It is a smart, flexible, enterprise analytics platform that offers the best of data visualization and predictive analytics through effective dashboards. Its interactive analytical app helps users derive insightful information from the huge amount of business data that is processed.

Spotfire Features:
  • Big Data and Predictive analytics
  • Data discovery and visualization
  • Dashboards and modern collaboration tools
  • Deep data wrangling
  • Effective UI and visual controls
  • Enterprise-grade analytics

What Is Tableau?

Tableau is the world’s leading analytics platform in which successful business forecasts, decisions, and strategies are driven by data. It offers competencies through its interactive data visualization products based on BI. Tableau Desktop is a self-service data discovery tool that can help users extract desired information on their own, through graphical and visual representation, without any reliance on the IT sector. It uses the drag-and-drop interface for exploring various views and combining multiple databases.

Tableau Features:
  • Data notifications and metadata management
  • Speed analytics and self-reliance
  • Sharing and embedding of dashboards
  • Visual discovery with varied data sets
  • Centralized data with support for different data types
  • Creation of queries without code

Spotfire vs Tableau – Companies Using Them

Companies Using Spotfire:
  • Shell
  • Cisco
  • NetApp
  • Proctor and Gamble
  • Amgen
  • Oxy
  • Pfizer
  • Medtronic
  • Texas Instruments
  • Air France
  • Bosch Group
Companies Using Tableau:
  • Deloitte
  • SpaceX
  • Coca-Cola
  • Dell
  • Nike
  • Skype
  • Citigroup
  • Amica
  • The New York Times
  • The World Bank
  • Wells Fargo

Spotfire vs Tableau – The Product Stack

Spotfire Featured Products:
  • TIBCO BusinessWorks
  • TIBCO Cloud Integration
  • TIBCO API Cloud Management
  • TIBCO Flogo Enterprise
  • TIBCO Cloud Messaging
  • TIBCO Messaging
Tableau Featured Products:
  • Tableau Cloud
  • Tableau Data Management
  • Tableau Desktop
  • Tableau Prep Builder
  • Tableau Server
  • Tableau Public
  • Advanced Management

Spotfire vs Tableau – Competitors & Alternatives

Spotfire Alternatives:
  • Looker
  • Tableau Desktop
  • G2 Deals
  • Microsoft Power BI Desktop
  • Sisense
  • Domo
  • MicroStrategy
  • IBM Cognos Analytics
  • QlikView
Tableau Alternatives:
  • Qlik
  • MicroStrategy
  • SAS
  • Alteryx
  • Amazon Web Services
  • DOMO
  • Salesforce
  • GoodData
  • Looker
  • Sisense

Spotfire vs Tableau – Analysing The Pros And Cons

Spotfire Pros:
  • Customization of dashboards
  • Competence to manage large amounts of data
  • Perfect for scientific applications
  • Simple, scalable, easy to use
  • Easy integration with RNG
Spotfire Cons:
  • Offline ability for data manipulation
  • Initial setup could be tough
  • UI design could be bettered
Tableau Pros:
  • Combination charts and visualization
  • Ease of use with self-service feature
  • Data handling and its management
  • Good partner support
  • Scalability with a great cloud presence
Tableau Cons:
  • Initial setup could be tough
  • With an increasing number of records, scalability could be an issue
  • Costly compared to peers

Tableau vs Spotfire – The Similarities

  • Leading data analytics and BI platforms
  • Ranked well by Gartner in the Magic Quadrant
  • Robust visualization tools
  • 4 ways of customer support such as complimentary, technical support, elite programs, and OEM programs
  • On-premises and cloud deployment
  • Offer comprehensive features to end users
  • Works on both Windows and Mac OS
  • Offers a wide range of graphical features
  • Effective integration with R


Tableau vs Spotfire: Key Differences

Parameters Spotfire Tableau
Vendor TIBCO Tableau
Founded In 1997 2003
Ownership Private Public
Visualization Lesser number of visualizations A large set of visualizations
Key Offerings Big Data analytics, Predictive analytics, content/location/event analytics, etc. Toggle view, Drag and drop features, Native data source connectors, etc.
Scripts JavaScript R Programming
Size of Enterprises Best fit for small to medium enterprises Best fit for medium to large enterprises
External Data Sources Connects to data sources but lesser than Spotfire Connects to more data sources than Spotfire
Ideal For Ideal for those looking to enhance their sales and marketing practices Ideal for those looking to enhance data discovery and findings
Implementation Provides a range of implementation processes like analytics implementation etc. Provides a range of implementation services like enterprise-level deployment etc.
Reporting Capabilities Diagnostic analytics, data augmentation, and visualization, content analytics, location-based analytics, predictive and prescriptive analytics Data visualization and discovery, time-series analysis, survey analysis, geocoding, social analytics, touch-optimized features for analytics, Mobile BI analytics
UI and Visual Controls Good user interface and control over visualization Best of UI and control over visualization
Industry Segments Infrastructure companies, healthcare, small and large business units Banking, healthcare, education, and other main industries
PowerPivot No support from Spotfire to PowerPivot Good support from Tableau to PowerPivot
Storytelling Feature No automated storytelling feature, it is manual A new feature of storytelling with a newer UI
Integration of Data Sets Spotfire can easily integrate datasets of varied formats while connecting to an external source Tableau may not be able to handle the integration of datasets of different formats well
On-premises and Cloud Comparison Spotfire is leading than Tableau as it offers both on-premises and cloud-based solutions with efficacy Tableau does offer both – on-premises and cloud-based services but not as efficient as Spotfire
Data Connectors Spotfire has about 25 data connectors to avail different data sources Tableau has about 65 data connectors that can access a variety of data sources
Payment Types One type of payment – quote based Three types of payments – onetime, annual, and quote based
Filter Data Highlights the filter data Does not have any filter data
Data Discovery The process of data discovery is a little difficult The process of data discovery is very easy
CRM Competencies Spotfire does offer great visualizations but lacks in terms of CRM capabilities. It does integrate with third-party CRM. Tableau, since owned by Salesforce, can offer great CRM features in a single package
Ease of Use Spotfire is more user-friendly than Tableau. Easily accessible and utilizable for dashboards. AI-enabled and easy to use if users are known to R language and data is in Excel or statistical format
On An Ending Note

Spotfire vs Tableau is an interesting comparison between two good BI tools and hence either one you choose; is like selecting the better of the best. However good they may be and whatever may be the difference between Spotfire and Tableau Analytics, there are many organizational parameters that play an important role in the selection of a proper BI tool.

Budget, skilled resources, user needs, project timelines, availability of infrastructure, etc. are the possible parameters that will help decide which one to choose. Be it Tibco Spotfire or Tableau, for some situations, Tableau may be the right choice while for some, Spotfire may be the apt decision. To each its own!


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