Tableau Vs Spotfire

Today, businesses in almost every industry are under tremendous pressure to mine their own data, look for trends and patterns. Based on this, they are even required to predict the future for their own organizations.

The tools that can achieve these classified as Business Intelligence (BI) tools, which can pull in all the raw data from various sources and have the caliber are to turn them into actionable insights. These tools come with advanced reporting and visualizations to analyze further in order to make better decisions.

Tableau vs Spotfire - Major Differences

Now, let’s have a look at the topics that we are going to explore in this article.

Getting the ideal Business Intelligence (BI) software for your organization plays a key factor in increasing your organization’s efficiency. In a quest to achieve that, we are bringing this article, and here, we would be discussing two giant names in the industry of Business Intelligence (BI).

These are none other than Tableau Desktop vs Tibco Spotfire. We would be conducting a lot of analysis from various perspectives to understand what the best use is for two in specific. This will be in specific related to the features that each of these tools brings to the table and also at the same time, how would it behave when they are actually put to test.

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What is Tableau Desktop?

Tableau is a software company that’s headquartered in Seattle, Washington, United States. Tableau is dedicated to producing interactive data visualization products focused on Business Intelligence (BI).

Tableau Desktop is a leading new generation Business Intelligence (BI) application that is also acclaimed as a ‘self-service’ data discovery tool that can be used to achieve your goals without any IT support. This is your tool to cater to all your graphical or visualization needs than any other tool which would rather take longer durations to provide just the pie charts or bar graphs.

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What is Tibco Spotfire?

Tibco Spotfire is a Business Intelligence (BI) company based in Somerville, Massachusetts, United States. Spotfire was available from the ’90s but didn’t really take off until 2007 when it was acquired by the big brand, Tibco.

An exact count of available customers is unavailable at the moment, but it is safe to say that Tibco has a larger product portfolio and also a larger market share. Spotfire, an offering from the Tibco suite of products, is a smart, flexible tool that provides data visualization and predictive analysis of business data.

It also supports many other tools in conjunction to simplify your analytics journey providing simple dashboards, but yet with deeper insights.

Overview of Tableau Desktop and Tibco Spotfire:

Now that we have a better understanding of the product and the company that owns these products, we will try to get a deeper look at each of these products to understand their strengths and weaknesses. We would be trying to cover the maximum ground taking on almost all the possible keys for comparisons between these two products. 

Based on your need, you could refer to the section that interests you the more. Though there are lots of efforts put up to bring in the best of the details available, we would still encourage the readers to go through the Official documentation before a purchase decision is made.

This will ensure that you are going through outdated information if there’s a newer version available from either of the products.

Let us now take a quick look at each of these factors based on which we are going to compare the products: 

Overview of Tableau And Spotfire

1. Tableau vs Spotfire: Pricing Comparison

Price is definitely the factor that any organization would be keen on looking at. Considering that, we would be taking up this factor as the very first one to compare between these two products. Though there are different ways that these products deal with pricing and strategies, we will try to give details as accurately as possible.

Tableau Desktop:

  • There are three ways that the price scheme has been categorized for Tableau

1. One-time payment
2. Annual Subscription
3. Quote based

  • Tableau Desktop (Personal Edition) is quoted to be priced at $35 per user per month
  • Tableau Desktop (Professional Edition) is quoted to be priced at $75 per user per month

Tibco Spotfire:

  • There is only one way the price scheme is maintained at Tibco, namely “Quote based”.
  • It is quoted to be priced at $0.99 per hour
  • Tibco Spotfire Desktop comes at a price of $650 (annual subscription)
  • Tibco Spotfire Cloud comes at a price of $200 per month or $2000 per year subscription prices
  • Tibco Spotfire Platform which comes in subscription, perpetual, and term licenses based on needs and requirements from the organizations

Basic Tableau Tutorials

2. Feature Comparison Between Tableau and Spotfire:

Let us take a look at the features that are made available with the product itself. Based on these, you might choose the product that best suits your requirement.

Tableau Desktop:

  • Toggle view and drag-drop feature
  • List of native data connectors
  • Highlight and filter data
  • Share dashboards embed dashboards within, dashboard comments, mobile-ready dashboards, interactive dashboards
  • Data notifications
  • Tableau Reader for data viewing
  • Create queries without any code
  • Translate queries to visualizations
  • Metadata management
  • Automatic updates
  • Server REST API
  • Tableau Public for data sharing

Tibco Spotfire:

  • Big Data Analytics
  • Content Analytics
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Location Analytics
  • Event Analytics
  • Data discovery and visualization
  • Dashboards and analytic applications
  • Advanced collaboration tools

Tibco Spotfire Blogs

3. Tableau vs Spotfire: Comparing Product Table

Though Tableau Desktop and Tibco Spotfire cater to the same needs or requirements for an organization, there are differences in how these be handled by each tool in a different way. The product comparison will help you get a better idea of what can be expected from the tool itself. Let us take a closer look at the features of the products and let us compare them against each other for a clearer picture.

Tableau Desktop
Tibco Spotfire
Tableau Desktop provides a large set of visualizations
Lesser number of visualizations provided as part of Tibco Spotfire’s offerings when compared with Tableau Desktop
Tableau Desktop is designed to work on both Windows and Macintosh OS environments
Tibco Spotfire is designed to work on both Windows and Macintosh OS environments
Tableau Desktop software provides a wider range of graphical features like charts, bars, and graphs for the pictorial depiction of the available data.
Tibco Spotfire provides a competitive number of graphical features too.
Tableau Desktop offers great data analytics features that can help your organizations make business-friendly decisions after careful analysis of past historical data
Tibco Spotfire product offers a visual and also an interactive way which helps experts take necessary decisions based on the data underneath
Tableau Desktop mainly offers Toggle view, Drag and drop features, a wholesome list of native data source connectors, Highlight and filter data based on conditions
Tibco Spotfire enables Big Data Analytics, Content Analytics, Predictive Analytics, Location Analytics, Event Analytics, Data Discovery, and many other features like these
Tableau Desktop provides an in-built integration with R, by which R models can be run soon after the integration with R gets completed
One of the best tools to provide support and also integration with R and many other integrations with the Tibco family of products
Tableau Desktop is best suitable for Medium to Larger enterprises with the intrinsic need for data
Tibco Spotfire can be best suitable for Smaller to Medium enterprises with its offerings
Tableau Desktop has started its support to Big Data analytics from Tableau 8.1
Tibco Spotfire is considered one of the best options if you are looking at Big Data Analytics as an option
Tableau Desktop has added a new feature of storytelling with a new UI starting Tableau 8.1
There is no automatic storytelling feature available with Tibco Spotfire, and this is manual
Tableau Desktop provides wonderful support towards PowerPivot
There is no such support provided from Tibco Spotfire towards PowerPivot
Tableau Desktop provides wonderful data drill-down options to the maximum level possible
The feature is competitive enough in comparison with Tableau Desktop software offerings
Tableau Desktop has evolved into a mature product only from Tableau Desktop 8.2
Tibco Spotfire is considered a mature product with its offerings in the same space, and also in comparison with Tableau Desktop

4. Data Analytics: How does Tableau Compare to Spotfire?

It’s a known thing that each of these products has the capabilities to connect to external data sources, but, having said that, Tableau has the capability to connect to more data sources than Tibco Spotfire.

Spotfire has the ability to integrate data sets of different formats while connecting to an external data source – this isn’t something that Tableau can’t handle. Let us now take a look at the offerings from the standpoint of the products as well:

Tableau Desktop:

  • Users can manipulate and visualize on larger data sets
  • Has the ability to connect to over 40+ data sources ranging from Microsoft Excel to Hadoop clusters, thus putting customers in a comfortable position in creating the reports of their requirement.
  • Has the ability to visualize trends by picking up on the repeated patterns in the data sets.

Tibco Spotfire:

  • Has the ability to connect to over 20+ data sources and at the same time has the ability to work with various data formats.
  • Built-in capability to perform statistical analysis and modeling right from its dashboard
  • Ability to perform MATLAB, SAS, R, or S+ functions from the UI to enable users to base predictions on their calculations

Frequently asked Tibco Spotfire Interview Questions

5. Difference Between Dashboards of Spotfire and Tableau

Dashboards are the backbone of any Business Intelligence (BI) tool. Dashboards give users the ability to organize data sources, reports, and the necessary artifacts at a centralized location so that they stay updated in real-time always.

6. Tibco Spotfire vs Tableau: Customer Support

Customer Support is the last important thing after a Customer chooses to make the purchase decision, right from installation to deployment and any cases where issues require handling post-deployment.

The customer support team works with all the needed stakeholders to keep up the organization’s image always positive. In such a quest, let us now take a look at how each of these products fares in this category:

Tableau Desktop:

  • Provides 4 different ways of Customer Support – Complimentary, Technical Support, Elite program, and the OEM program
  • Non-critical and Non-technical issues such as software bugs, configuration-related questions, etc. come under the Complimentary Support.
  • Technical Support covers critical issues and comes along with a one-year license subscription.
  • The elite program has a dedicated support manager who prioritizes the requests raised for any required Support.
  • The OEM program assigns a Partner Support Engineer who integrates Tableau into their own existing software suites.
  • The majority of the customers have all the good things to say about Tableau products. In fact, Gartner’s Magic Quadrant also reveals that Tableau is to that mark, the sixth time this year.
  • Tableau’s customer support has kept pace with its growth and, as a result, customers consistently give it a 100% satisfaction rating.

Tibco Spotfire:

  • Spotfire users may choose to visit the Tibco Support Central portal in order to submit their requests
  • There are a good number of knowledge articles available for users to go through any specific scenarios as well.
  • Provision to connect with other Spotfire users through the Spotfire community or forums.
  • Tibco provides discounted training offerings in the form of educational passports

7. Tibco Spotfire VS Tableau: Power Users

  • Some of the Power users for Tableau are SpaceX, Deloitte, Coca-Cola, Dell, Citrix, Pandora
  • Some of the Power users for Spotfire are Proctor and Gamble, Cisco, NetApp, Shell


In this article, we have gone through the two variants of software that cater to similar needs in their own ways – namely Tableau Desktop and Tibco Spotfire. We have also gone through an extensive list of features and comparisons between them. Both of these are robust data analytics and visualization tools providing similar features to their end-users, but choosing one from these two completely relies on the end-users. Tableau caters to great visualizations whereas Spotfire caters to statistical data analysis with its built-in capabilities.

Hope we were able to present all the details that one would require in the comparison of these two tools. Please do let us know if there are any suggestions for our articles.

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Last updated: 03 Apr 2023
About Author

As a Senior Writer for Mindmajix, Saikumar has a great understanding of today’s data-driven environment, which includes key aspects such as Business Intelligence and data management. He manages the task of creating great content in the areas of Programming, Microsoft Power BI, Tableau, Oracle BI, Cognos, and Alteryx. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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