Business Intelligence Tools

Using KPI Charts in Spotfire

I’m trying to visualize the spread of the Zika virus in Latin America. I’ve got two data sets:

  1. PAHO_EPICURVES.CSV, a time series outlining the spread of zik through Latin America
  2. TM_WORLD_BORDERS.SHP, a shape file with all the countries of the world

Basically this is an “unboxing” of the new KPI chart, so I’ll share some thoughts on the new tool.


This looks easy enough, it looks like the KPIs are going to be treated as different sub-visualizations just like in the Graphical Chart and Map Chart. Inside it looks like we have some options that might let us dynamically generate multiple KPIs.

Here’s a use case:  If I only had three years of data, I could set up KPIs that summed by year. Then when 2017 came around, I wouldn’t need to rebuild my dashboard. This is probably a response to the trend where users were creating KPIs using the TextArea box. It was cumbersome to create attractive Calculated Values, and frequently the SpotfireControls would break.


You’ll need a second to catch your bearings with the column selectors. The value selector makes sense, don’t let the “y-axis” throw you off. This is going to be the big number in the KPI. The time selector, or ‘”x-axis”, will let you split up the tiles by a time series.

I think the Comparative value is a great feature. In the Zika Cases DXP, I showed the Lab Confirmed Cases as the value axis and Number of Deaths as the comparative value. I thought this was appropriate as frequently these headlining KPI can lead to sensationalism:


That’s all for now! If you have Spotfire 7.6 already, download the DXP here.

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