Another week in peak conference season means another wave of analytics industry news. Realistically every single weekday we get tons of news updates in the constant release cloud era. Finding the signal in all that noise can be challenging. Thus I have extracted notable analytics news and a few hidden gems for you.

Tableau Conference 2016 #DATA16

The annual analytics conference craze continues this week with Tableau Conference 2016. It was sold out again this year ~13,000+ Tableau fans are expected to attend. I am anxiously awaiting the reveal by Developers on Stage this coming Tuesday afternoon. For live announcements, check Twitter. I’ll also summarize news, added insights and my perspectives for you later this week.

With a new CEO and an intensely competitive market, the Tableau conference this year should be fantastic! I always have extremely high expectations for them as the market leader. If I had my data visualization dreams come true, I’d see Tableau guide us into the future of immersive data visualization with augmented and virtual reality. If I had to bet on it, I’d guess that we’ll see more mainstream advanced analytics, natural language, enterprise, and cloud topics. Looking though the schedule, I did note a fascinating cognitive analytics partner, CognitiveCode. It looks like it might be a Cortana-like add-in for Tableau. More to come…


RStudio v1 Released

YAY! An exciting release of RStudio was delivered on November 1. As an avid RStudio user myself, I am thrilled with this update and instantly installed it. For the full scoop on what is new, wild and exciting, check out the official product team blog. Here are a couple quick highlights.

R otebook-demo

  • Authoring tools for interactiveR Notebooks.
  • Integrated support for the  sparklyr package (R interface to Spark).
  • Performance profiling via integration with the profvis package.
  • Enhanced data import tools based on the readrreadxl and haven
  • Authoring tools for R Markdown websites and the bookdown


For those of you interested in sparklyr, I will be giving a webinar in on it for 24 Hours of PASS next month. I’ll share that link when I get it. The sparklyr package is a new R interface for Apache Spark. RStudio now includes integrated support for Spark and the sparklyr package. This enhancement includes:

  • Creating and managing Spark connections
  • Browsing the tables and columns of Spark DataFrames
  • Previewing the first 1,000 rows of Spark DataFrames

Once you’ve installed the sparklyr package, you should see a new Spark pane within the RStudio IDE. I also noted an awesome new performance tuning tab with flame graphs.

Spotfire 7.7 Released

TIBCO Spotfire released another nice set of improvements across mobile, web authoring, data prep/wrangling, and administration. A deep dive overview on the latest release is published in the Spotfire docs. A partial summary is as follows.


  • Multi-layer mapping for data, custom and GIS backgrounds
  • Better looking tables and cross tables
  • Sparklines on KPIs
  • TERR Aggregations to define your own aggregations in R
  • Improved web authoring and mobile capabilities
  • New automation capabilities
  • Google Analytics and Salesforce Connections
  • SAP BW Connection Improvements
  • Developer APIs enhancements
  • Full text analytics with Attivio integration

The automation features will be really useful for expediting repetitive tasks and distribution of reports in different formats. Here is a quick peek of that feature.


Another cool enhancement is the new full text query with Attivio connector. I am seeing more market momentum in data catalog solutions with the emergence of self-service data lakes. Attivio is a leader in that niche right now.


2016 Information is Beautiful Winners Announced

dataviz awards 2016

The annual 2016 Information is Beautiful Winners in data visualization, infographic and data journalism were just announced on November 2. Check out the absolutely stunning examples of stellar data visualizations.

In Other News


Congratulations to Smita Parasa, a former Microsoft Reporting Services peer of mine, for launching Vizdrive. Vizdrive is a new marketplace for selling data visualizations, infographics, and analytics content. You might recognize a few images that she is showcasing from my previous blogs that I donated to her project. I am excited to see her succeed. What a great idea!

Other tid bits that I came across last week as many analytics vendors were hurrying to get announcements out just in time for Tableau’s 2016 Conference.

If you have analytics industry news, feature releases or announcements that you’d like me to include in future articles, please contact me to let me know. That’s all for now. Logging off to get ready for #DATA16.

(By the way, I still need to finish writing up IBM World of Watson news. Just too much happening all at the same time…along with our outrageously corrupt, awful presidential election that has been a bit of a distraction lately. Sigh.)