There is a golden rule for analytics and data science. Your results are only as good as the data that you work with. Essentially, it’s garbage in, garbage out. That’s why it is so important to have high-quality data in order to get meaningful insights from your data analysis. However, attaining high-quality data is not an easy task. Analysts spend 80% of their time cleaning, preparing, and transforming their data just so that it is suitable for analysis. The need for high-quality data has been traditionally underserved by analytics tools in the market, resulting in the rise of numerous standalone data preparation tools.
But, is using a standalone data prep tool the right approach? In certain cases, maybe. But in most cases, probably not. In general, it does not make sense for users to spend 80% of their time outside of an analytics tool and in a data prep tool with a totally different user interface and steep learning curve. That means yet another tool to learn and master which propagates the “analytics is difficult” stigma and leads to gut-instinct decision-making rather than data-driven decision-making by users.
Spotfire Data Wrangling: A Leader in the Forrester Wave
The task of data preparation is actually a highly iterative process and not linear at all. That’s why we like to call it data wrangling. It is unintuitive for users to tell what’s wrong with the data if they haven’t looked at the data. That’s where exploratory data analysis comes into play.
In Spotfire, inline and AI-powered data wrangling helps users spot issues, fix data quality problems, inconsistencies and deficiencies as they interact with data. Users don’t need to go outside Spotfire to prepare data before visualizing. They can combine, shape, clean, enrich and transform data all while doing data exploration.
Spotfire automatically captures all of the transformations and data wrangling steps and lays them out in the data canvas, as a fully editable data workflow. Everything in the data workflow is editable and users can share the steps that can be easily reused by others in the organization. This is really powerful and a significant time saver. Automatically created, fully editable, and accessible by API to share with others – you can be sure your data pipelines have the highest quality data!
With an approach so unique, we were not surprised when TIBCO Spotfire was named a leader in The Forrester Wave™: Data Preparation Solutions, Q4 2018. According to the Forrester report:
“TIBCO Spotfire’s data prep powers up high-value enterprise use cases. TIBCO Spotfire’s data prep helps the visual exploration and discovery of data issues while the workflow is automatically built. Coupled with other Spotfire offerings, it serves BI/analytics and data science and advanced analytics use cases as well as business end user reporting, which is also valuable to enterprises. TIBCO Spotfire also helps firms leverage their IT investments by enabling them to source data from other platform application providers, such as SAP Hana, SAP Business Warehouse (BW), and Oracle E-Business.
“Customer references cite the solution’s easy-to-use data blending, transforming, and enrichment capabilities. One customer reference reported being ‘perfectly happy’ with TIBCO Spotfire’s data prep. Another praised the ability of the firm’s data scientists and BI developers to create advanced models and deploy them easily into Spotfire for their full-stack products.”
Data Analytics as a Team Sport
We all know that analytics is a team sport and as an organization grows, business analysts have to work closely with other personas such as data engineers and data scientists to figure out the right data, right models, and the balance of governance. Rightly so, Forrester defines data preparation solutions as
“Technology that accelerates and democratizes enterprise data exploration and sourcing, blending, cleaning, and transformation of diverse data types for activation via data science and/or connections to BI/analytics, data management, and systems of insight, balancing speed and business user ease of use with manageability, scalability, and governance.”
Spotfire works very well in an integrated way with TIBCO Data Science and TIBCO Data Virtualization, solutions that are designed with data scientist and data engineer/steward personas in mind. Through data functions, Spotfire allows access to TIBCO Data Science, R, and Python for further augmentation of data prep capabilities. TIBCO Data Virtualization addresses the needs of data engineers and data stewards for rapidly creating enterprise-ready data and optimized queries for Spotfire and other applications. Read the press release to learn more.
*Forrester, Now Tech: Data Preparation Solutions, Q3 2018