Loading Data Overview

You can load data into the internal TIBCO Spotfire engine from a number of different sources: by pasting from the clipboard, by dragging and dropping or opening simple text files, Microsoft Excel files, SAS files, or a database or an information link (a predefined connection to a shared data source). You may also have access to additional file sources if such have been set up by your company.

TIBCO Spotfire also supports connections to external data sources, such as Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services, Oracle, Teradata, etc. When a connection to an external source is set up with in-database data tables, all calculations are done by the external data source and not by Spotfire. See Working With In-Database Data for more information.

You reach the different ways to load data via the File menu or using Add Data Tables. With Add Data Tables, you can add more than one data table to your analysis.

Limiting What Data to Load

When the data source contains large amounts of data, it may take a long time to retrieve all data and the application could also be perceived as less responsive to different actions. You may also want to restrict some data from certain users. When you are working with information links or data connections it is possible to limit what data to open in different analyses in a number of different ways (combinations are also possible):


Use when?

Define where?

On-Demand Data Table

When you want the data in your analysis to dynamically change with some predefined condition. For example, when setting up a details visualization dependent on the marking or filtering in another data table.

Another example is when you want one information link to return different data for different analysis files, in which case you could use the on-demand data table as the only data table in the analysis (with a document property as input).

On-demand data tables are added to your analysis in TIBCO Spotfire by selecting an information link or a data table from a data connection in the File > Add Data Tables dialog and then selecting the Load on demand check box. You must also specify  the input conditions that should control loading.

See On-Demand Overview for more information.

Note: You can only specify a single fixed value as input to on-demand loading, so if you need to retrieve multiple values from a certain column you will have to make sure that an information link is set up to use a multiple selection prompt rather than using it as an on-demand data table.

Details Visualizations Against External Data Sources

When you are analyzing in-database data using a connection to an external data source you only load the requested data.

By setting up visualizations based on the in-db data as details visualizations limited by the marking or filtering in a master visualization you can make sure that the actual loaded data is limited to a subsection of the available data only.

Make sure that the master data table and the in-db data table are related.

Right-click on the master visualization and select Create Details Visualization. Set up the new details visualization to use the in-db data table.

Prompted Information Links

When the source data amount is huge, but the end users of the information link are allowed to determine what data to bring in for analysis themselves.

Can in some cases be replaced by an on-demand data table.

Prompts are defined in Information Designer, Information Link tab, Prompts section.

Personalized Information Links

When you want the data source to return only information applicable for a certain user name (via a lookup table) or for a specified group or user domain.

Personalized information links are set up on a filter or column element in Information Designer using the %CURRENT_USER%, %CURRENT_GROUPS% or %CURRENT_USER_DOMAIN% syntax. See Personalized Information Links for more information.

Parameterized Information Links

When you want the data source to return only information applicable for a certain user or group in a more flexible way than with personalized information links.

Parameters are created in Information Designer (for example, as a part of an expression set on a column or filter) but their properties and definitions are defined using the API.

By using a parameterized information link and a configuration block, it is possible to create an analysis with different input parameters (e.g., to be used by an On-Demand data table) for different groups of users. See Parameterized Information Links for more information.

See also:

Information Links

How to Insert a Calculated Column

How to Use Binning

How to Insert Columns

How to Insert Rows