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7/17/2006
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Spotfire Targets Business Users With New Visual Analysis Tool

With Spotfire DXP, the vendor offers business users the kind of advanced data visualization capabilities it provides for scientific and technical applications.

One of the biggest hurdles to business intelligence and data analysis applications capturing a wider audience of users has been their complexity and lack of interactive capabilities. Spotfire on Monday debuted Spotfire DXP, a highly visual, interactive analysis client application targeting business professionals.

Until now, Spotfire has focused primarily on scientific and technical computing markets such as pharmaceutical development and oil discovery with its DecisionSite analysis software. Spotfire DXP, which uses the same back-end Spotfire Analytics Server as DecisionSite, is designed for a broader range of users and provides more sophisticated capabilities than more static business intelligence dashboards and reports.

"It's more accessible," says Eddy van Hamersveld, national sales manager at Yakult Nederland, which has been testing Spotfire DXP to analyze marketing data about sales of the company's fermented milk drinks. Van Hamersveld says he has been using the software to combine data from multiple company sources, as well as outside sources such as advertising information from ACNielsen. It can aggregate data into pivot tables and display analytical findings using sophisticated charts and maps for country-by-country sales analysis, he says.

Finding the right mix of data analysis and data visualization capabilities for business users is a major goal for business intelligence software vendors. Business Objects last week announced Crystal Xcelsius Viewer, which provides data visualization capabilities to the vendor's BusinessObjects XI business intelligence application. Tableau Software last month unveiled a new release of its visual data analysis application with an emphasis on usability.

Spotfire also announced a set of "guided analytics solutions"--prebuilt applications and data integration models that run on Spotfire DXP for sales, marketing, and portfolio analysis. The marketing analysis software, for example, can be used to analyze marketing campaign effectiveness. The vendor also provides Spotfire DXP Metrics, a set of statistical routines that users can add to their analytical applications.

The DXP software, which is available now, is built on Microsoft .Net and runs on 32- and 64-bit desktop systems. Pricing wasn't disclosed.

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