By vallabh on June 18th, 2010 at 1:04 pm
I am also looking for comparison of Microstrategy, Spotfire and Tableau…. Please let me know on what parameters can I compare the tools. I am looking for a technology that offers ad-hoc analytics.
Ok, so this has the potential of opening up quite a bit of dialog. So I am making it a stand alone post. Please comment and contribute. I too would like to see what others are thinking in this space.
Your backend database and the size of your data is a big consideration.
MicroStrategy has the ability to to pull data into a repository for it’s multi-dimensional analysis OR perform pass through sql. They have accelerators for specific databases (even has optimizations for Aster, Vertica, Greenplum, Netezza, Teradata, on and on..) Obviously very powerful and the local cubes provide the slicing and dicing you would expect. They even have a free version that you can use. The reason why I mention “What is your backend, is because if you are using an MPP technology like Netezza, Teradata, Vertica, you may not need to pre-aggregate your data, andyou therefore just need a good visualization dashboard on top of sql queries.
Spotfire is somewhat of a different class and is fits in a space with QlikView as IN-MEMORY analytics. I have not had hands on with Spotfire, but in the Qlikview world, you extract your data into MEMORY-MAPPED files. Qlikview has pretty amazing compression and an AWESOME set of charting objects. I have been able to create incredible BI dashboards in a few hours that were extremely compelling. You need to keep your memory mapped files updated with scheduled extractions and publication. Qlikview provides the reporting and publishing servers to do so. With that said, I would imagine Spotfire to be very similar. Being owned by Tibco is not necessarily a bad thing either but Qlikview may be a bit more nimble. The cool thing is that the data is stored at the transactional level, so you can aggregate on the fly “IN RAM”. It’s 64BIT, can support large memory mapped files, and is pretty intelligent in how it retrieves and buffers the data off of disk.
Tableau may be more in the space with Pentaho, LogiXML, Jaspersoft. Unfortunately, I have not used Tableau either but did work briefly with Pentaho and LogiXML. The thing I like about Tableau and tools like Qlikview is the interactive nature in which you can work with the data and build reports. Tableau can connect to just about anything from flat-files to data warehouses.
An area where you may want to investigate is DUNDAS dashboard. I was extremely impressed with the visualization and the speed in which I could create dashboards. The rendering is based on silverlight in the browser and the objects looked awesome. The price is not bad either. http://www.dundas.com/Dashboard/Start/Samples/index.aspx
I happen to like Qlikview and Dundas, but all these products ALL have a free trial and in most cases even a free limited use version. I typically work with MPP databases, so I tend to avoid the need for CUBES and multi-dimensional analysis. I am fortunate that my options are usually wide open.
I hope that helps.