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  • Recommendations for adding rows in TIBCO Spotfire® 7.8

    This article describes the feature Recommendations for Add rows in Spotfire Business Author introduced with TIBCO Spotfire® 7.8.

    There are many ways to add data to a Spotfire analysis. Not only can data be added from a wide range of data sources. It can also be added in different ways. Data can be added as new data tables, which can be external or in-memory. Data can also be added to existing data tables in the analysis, as columns together with a joined data transformation, and it can be added as new rows. How data is added is very important, as it directly impacts how data can be visualized, what questions can be answered, and what insight could be gained from the combined data sets.

    So, when does adding data as new rows to an existing data table make the most sense? Basically, when incoming data tables originate from the same data source and represent the same information. This means that most columns represent the same values and categories in both data tables. A good example is when new data records are added as rows over time for a certain time interval, for example as monthly sales figures in one Excel sheet per month, or one Excel page per month. Another case where adding new data as rows would be preferable is subscriptions to paid data sets that are delivered monthly from the data provider, for example, monthly market research results.

    Before Spotfire 7.8 it was possible to add rows manually, but now Spotfire automatically detects and recommends that you add new data as rows, when you load suitable data. Spotfire automatically configures as many columns match as possible and allow you to complete the configuration manually and review and edit the automatic matches if needed.

    If you know that a new data table should be added as rows, you can still do this manually, just like before. The intelligence of the Recommendations engine will still save you a lot of time, as it's using the same column-matching algorithms also when adding rows manually.


    The picture above shows the access point for adding data to an open Spotfire web client analysis. Selecting a data source here will trigger the recommendations engine for add rows.


    The picture above shows a Spotfire recommendation to add new data as rows (the light blue alternative). Note the Review button, which is used to review the result but also, for example, to complete the add rows settings by complementing the automatic column matches using manual column matching. It is also possible to add the new data as a separate data table.

    If the user selects the Recommendation to add the data as rows added to an existing data table Spotfire will automatically match columns and let the user review the result.


    If not all columns could be matched automatically the user can manually select matches as is shown below.


    The picture above shows manual column matching using search and tooltips to easily find the correct column to match.

    New Columns

    It's common that newer data tables come with new columns. For example, it could be measured from newly installed sensors or additional key performance indicators from market research analysts. These new columns are automatically added to the existing data table.


    As shown in the screenshot above, it is also possible to identify the origin of the columns (from the original data or the new data) if desired.

    As always, the Add rows operation is documented in the visual overview of the data sources.


    The Source View makes it easy to confirm that an add rows operation has been completed and that there are no error indications. It's also easy to edit or just review the add rows operation.

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