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Tibco update features embedded analytics, ModelOps tools

Tibco unveiled a host of new features May 26 during its virtual user conference, including new embedded data science capabilities and a model deployment tool.

Embedded data science workflows and a new model deployment tool highlight the latest Tibco analytics platform update.

The vendor, founded in 1997 and based in Palo Alto, Calif., unveiled the updates on Wednesday during Tibco Analytics Forum, a virtual user conference.

Tibco introduced the concept of Hyperconverged Analytics in 2020, bringing analytics tools such as Spotfire, Streaming and Data Science together in a single platform to make the vendor's offerings easier to navigate and reduce the time it takes to go from data ingestion and preparation all the way through insight to action.

Tibco is offering each of the capabilities unveiled Tuesday, which reflect a trend in the analytics industry of vendors embedding data science and machine learning in their business intelligence platforms, under the Hyperconverged Analytics umbrella.

By enabling users to embed data science models directly in Spotfire -- Tibco's primary BI tool -- the vendor is attempting to make it easier for non-developers to do advanced analytics in their BI environment as well as give data scientists the option to work inside an analysis in Spotfire rather than work in a separate environment and then have to move a model.

Using low-code development tools called Spotfire Mods, first introduced by Tibco in September 2020, customers can build tailored analytics applications without having to write code in R or Python, and those applications can then be embedded throughout users' workflows. 

A sample Tibco dashboard displays an organization's delivery data.
An organization's delivery information is displayed on sample dashboard from Tibco.

Tibco ModelOps, meanwhile, is a new tool in Data Science designed to simplify the deployment and monitoring of models to enable easier governance and better transparency.

"ModelOps is definitely one of those capabilities that's very important," said Matt Quinn, Tibco's chief operating officer. "Governance around AI models is top of mind for everyone."

But while some individual capabilities are more needed than others, ultimately the integration between all the various tools is most crucial, he added.

Over the last few years, the goalposts have moved such that organizations expect support for predictive data science capabilities within their BI and analytics platforms. Thus, I find Spotfire Mods to be among the more compelling announcements.
Doug HenschenPrincipal analyst, Constellation Research

"Doing it in a way that adds value and continues to make it easier for people to use the new capabilities … is the most important thing," Quinn said.

Like Quinn, Doug Henschen, principal analyst at Constellation Research, said adding Mods that enable users to develop and embed data science capabilities in Spotfire is significant for Tibco customers.

"Over the last few years, the goalposts have moved such that organizations expect support for predictive data science capabilities within their BI and analytics platforms," he said. "Thus, I find Spotfire Mods to be among the more compelling announcements."

In addition to embedded data science capabilities and ModelOps, Tibco's update includes:

  • new community-sourced visualizations;
  • the expansion of in-data-source computing capabilities to more cloud data sources; and
  • Python and R data functions covering feature engineering, machine learning, and geo-analytics that can be added to developers' libraries.

The new capabilities unveiled during Tibco Analytics Forum come just three weeks after the vendor released updates for its Cloud Integration iPaaS (integration platform as a service) that included process automation capabilities and what it terms accelerators.

The automation features enable users to streamline processes and embed business data within those processes without writing code, while the accelerators are designed to speed up integrations with data sources and eliminate the need for users to develop their own custom integrations.

And it's the new iPaaS capabilities unveiled in early May, as much as anything revealed Tuesday, that stand to benefit users, according to Henschen.

"Automation has been a hot button for customers over the last year, exacerbated by work-from-home requirements and the demand to drive digital transformation," he said. "Thus, any repetitive integration task that can be automated should be automated, so organizations can free up time to focus on innovation and new use cases."

Looking toward capabilities now in Tibco's development pipeline and what will be released next, Quinn said real-time analytics, more cloud-native systems including those related to the vendor's acquisition of IBI in 2020, automation and connected experiences through integrations are all areas of focus.

In addition, enabling users to deploy how and where they want -- whether on premises, in the cloud or a hybrid of both -- is vital, he said.

"We really like this idea of anywhere and everywhere," he said. "The days of having one architecture are over. If you have a product or a solution, you have to fit within the customer's architecture, so making sure we can fit in all sorts of places in all sorts of different operating environments is critical for us."

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