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TIBCO Spotfire's Business Intelligence Blog

Category Archives: infographic


Winning in Pharmaceutical Emerging Markets with Analytics

Over the next five years, two-thirds of pharmaceutical sales growth will come from emerging markets. While this presents enormous potential, how can organizations compete to capture new opportunities? It all comes down to the data..

This infographic lays it all out.  Click anywhere on the image for a larger view.

Tibco Spotfire v 5b.fw  e1374503655153 Winning in Pharmaceutical Emerging Markets with Analytics


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The Data Analytics of Halloween 2012

In 2011, data geeks were at the top of the coveted costume list, and this year is no different, especially with a looming election and several “geeky” heroes bursting onto the scene. Compare notes with last year’s list here.

Top10 Haloween 21 The Data Analytics of Halloween 2012We’ve even unearthed a costume list for the nerd in each of us. We’ll start there and then bring you an update on the data analytics of Halloween for 2012.

“Geeks” Embrace Internet Memes This Halloween

Felix Baumgartner (the supersonic skydiver) sets the tone for top geeky costume of the year, but we feel the real stars are Internet memes from current events this year.

Nearly everything a presidential candidate said or did became an image on the web, appearing on such social networks as Facebook, Twitter and Google+. The costumes based on the two most popular debate moments that will turn heads at your Halloween soiree – it’s a toss-up between a “binder full of women” and everyone’s favorite yellow bird from Sesame Street.

If making a political scene doesn’t do much for your costume inspiration, you could always go with toddler-in-tiara queen “Honey Boo Boo” or be “not impressed” like McKayla Maroney in reaction to her silver medal in the 2012 Olympic vault competition.

Halloween = Up to $10 Billion in Economic Impact

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), the average person will spend just under $80 this year on spooky costumes, candy and decorations. Talk about a boost to the economy. With seven out of 10 Americans celebrating the spooky day, the expected economic impact is about $8 billion – an increase of 68.6% over last year.

However, 24/7 Wall Street considers the economic impact of Halloween to be closer to $10 billion. The analysts back their data up with some impressive analysis of census data, liquor and beer sales data as well as reports from the Haunted House Association, the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center (pumpkin data), the Bureau of Labor & Statistics, the Centers for Disease Control, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, NIH and other sources.

More spooktacular stats:

  • Americans spend about two months prepping for the last day of October (NRF).
  • Nearly 30% of Americans looked to social media for their costume ideas this year (NRF).
  • 14.7% of Americans will dress up their pets this Halloween at a cost of about $310 million. The most popular pet attire? Pumpkins, devils and hot dogs (NRF).
  • More than 35 million pounds of candy corn will be produced this year. That equates to nearly 9 billion pieces—enough to circle the moon nearly 21 times if laid end-to-end (National Confectioners Association).
  • Alcohol consumption is up about 20% on Halloween, which equates to about $735 million in economic impact for that day alone (24/7 Wall Street).
  • Halloween-related driving accounts for about $160 million in gasoline burned. (24/7 Wall Street).
  • Entertainment revenue from movies, books, comics, etc., is projected to be about $100 million. That doesn’t even take into consideration the fascination with zombies and vampires, which equates to another $15 billion in economic impact each year (24/7 Wall Street).

What About the Frankenstorm? 

Hurricane Sandy has put a lot of water in a lot of places and threatens Halloween night for nearly a quarter of the US population. Gov. Chris Christie has already promised New Jersey residents via Twitter that he will sign an executive order to postpone Halloween.

Other Northeastern towns and communities are either postponing parades and trick-or-treating or canceling events altogether. Big events in NYC have been shuffled around and will depend on the go-ahead from local authorities, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The economic impact of the Frankenstorm is expected to be in the range of $10 billion to $20 billion, according to CNN Money.

Regardless of the storm’s impact, the night promises to be a big one for millions of Americans. Have a safe and happy Halloween wherever you are!

Amanda Brandon
Spotfire Blogging Team

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Visualizing Fantasy Football Success: NFL Week 5

Before finalizing your Fantasy roster for Week 5, @TIBCOSpotfire‘s resident sports analytics geek, @Brett2point0, has a few last minute data-driven insights for head-to-head, “start ‘em/sit ‘em” matchups:

heatmapwk4 Visualizing Fantasy Football Success: NFL Week 5

#FantasyFootball insight: Chiefs among bottom 11 #NFL defenses, allow back-breaking pass plays>>result in TDs

The data suggests that Kansas City’s glaring weakness is in the secondary. Good news for owners of Baltimore’s deep threat, Torrey Smith, and quarterback Joe Flacco!


#FantasyFootball insight: despite Atlanta’s above average D, still safe to “run” with RG-III! #NFL #analytics 


NFLdefWk4 1 Visualizing Fantasy Football Success: NFL Week 5

Given the star rookie’s start, this is a bit of a no-brainer. Though Atlanta is among the top 15 defenses in the league, Washington should have success on the ground as Atlanta allows an average of 147 rushing yards per game (as well as 4+ yards per carry).

So, good luck, and after you bring home a “W” against your friend, work colleague, or crazy uncle . . .

 Next Steps:

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Visualizing Fantasy Football Success: NFL Week 4

Before you set your lineup and hit the Fantasy gridiron this weekend, consult the data-driven insights of @TIBCOSpotfire’s resident sports analytics geek @Brett2point0:

1heatmapwk31 Visualizing Fantasy Football Success:  NFL Week 4#FantasyFootball #analytics insight: Confidently start BOTH Texans RBs! Titans>>most rush. yards/points allowed in #NFL

When Houston gets down to the second half, the team will turn to both Arian Foster and Ben Tate and the ground game to protect their lead on Tennessee, kill the clock, control the ball, and escape with an easy victory. Grab those “garbage time” points!


Avoid #FantasyFootball match-ups w/NFC West teams, toughest #NFL division to score against in 2012: #dataviz #analytics

If you can avoid it in a choice between players in a flex roster spot, avoid players matching up against NFC West teams whenever possible (especially San Francisco, Seattle, and Arizona). It can be a very, very long Sunday afternoon when your Fantasy players’ offense isn’t even on the field.

treemapwk3 Visualizing Fantasy Football Success:  NFL Week 4


#FantasyFootball insight of the week: bench “Action” Jackson vs SEA (tough against the run): #NFL #dataviz #analytics

With that said about Seattle in the NFC West, one player facing a tough road to production this week is St. Louis running back Steven “Action” Jackson. If you have better options, bench him.

GetImage.ashx  Visualizing Fantasy Football Success:  NFL Week 4

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Business Data Visualization and Value – A New Partnership in BI

A while back, I wrote a post on the fact that business data visualization was a growing need.

Since that post, we’ve seen infographics, video, Pinterest, and other visual forms of communications grow exponentially. And the reason is simple – it’s easier to convey business information and value in a visually appealing presentation.

partners 150x150 Business Data Visualization and Value – A New Partnership in BI Need a Job? Try Data Visualization

In preparation for this post, I searched LinkedIn for a job in data visualization. I received more than 500 openings back with my search. Titles included product manager for data visualization and analytics; data visualization designer; and technical manager for data visualization.

The skillsets required were similar to a wide range of degree options including computer science, software design, marketing, web development skills, as well as work with statistics and large data sets. Interestingly, some postings required “strong working knowledge of one or more off-the-shelf data visualization packages.”

That information supports our theory that business data visualization is more than a trend, it’s a growing need.

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Infographics Get Pinned on Pinterest

pushpins 300x225 Infographics Get Pinned on PinterestIf you haven’t given much thought (yet) to Pinterest, that’s not surprising.

Although the three-year-old social media site has become wildly popular over the past few months, the huge majority of Pinterest fans are women from twenty to thirty-five – and most of the image boards created on Pinterest are focused on “life-style” topics such as fashion, gardening, home décor, travel, and food.

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The Data Analytics of the NFL Playoffs

Saints fans are sad. Everyone is pondering Tim Tebow’s 2012 fate after he defied the odds of making it to the playoffs. The Packers and Aaron Rogers did not make it to back-to-back Super Bowls.

Tom Brady is obviously a machine, but his 55.9 completion percentage against the Ravens in five career games is his lowest against any other team, writes Jeff Reynolds of The Sports Xchange in a USA Today article. Will this matter this weekend?

Eli Manning’s elite standing as a quarterback is still making waves in the sports gossip circles. San Francisco’s offense, led by quarterback Alex Smith, got hot in the postseason. The Giants’ defense also came alive.

As we move into the conference championships, we can note that the statistics may be used to determine polls, odds and the Pro Bowl contenders, but they can’t always predict the games. Especially in the playoffs.

Before we move into more of the data analytics of the NFL playoffs, I have to issue a little disclosure and give you a fun stat about this NFL postseason.

I went to college with New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (we weren’t close friends, but we did graduate at the same time). Now for the fun stat. Manning and four other former University of Mississippi players are starters on the four teams playing in this weekend’s conference championships. Six other colleges nationwide can also claim between three and five players on each of the championship teams. Now, on to why this postseason is an anomaly in more ways than one.

Do Stats Really Matter in the NFL Outcomes?

According to Sam Farmer, a sports writer for the Los Angeles Times, this year is different because stats don’t tell the whole story. He writes: “In an unusual twist, these playoffs follow a noteworthy pattern: Most of the NFC participants have top offenses; most of the AFC teams are more defense-minded.”

And he says this year’s Super Bowl may give us the answer to the burning question: “What’s better – a great offense or defense?”

Jeff MacGregor, a senior writer for, made a good point this past week: “If stats, science, and analysts really predicted the outcome, would we watch?” His piece centered on quarterbacks and the fact that no one predicted the “Year of the Quarterback” would have Eli Manning beating Aaron Rodgers.

He brings us back to an observation we’ve made before on the Spotfire blog – the human element. Without that, analytics can’t tell the whole story. And would we really want them to? To this point, MacGregor writes:

“The propositional knowledge of 21st century football is now so incredibly complex it’s impossible to predict the outcome of any single game using only statistics. The numbers just don’t mean much. Too many people and too much rage and too much chaos to account for. The sample size is too small and the stage is too big and the ball is too pointed and too much depends upon momentum and bad chance.”

This begs the question – should we just leave the analytics to our fantasy football teams?

The Business of America’s Obsession with Football

While this postseason shows how hard it is to predict game outcomes and who will make it to the final game, no one can deny the impact of the game on the economy. This infographic from IBM shows the data analytics of the impact a lack of the 2012 season would have had if there had been a NFL lockout in 2011.

business of football The Data Analytics of the NFL Playoffs

Next Steps: Tweet us your predictions for the conference champions this weekend.

Amanda Brandon
Spotfire Blogging Team

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The Data Analytics of Thanksgiving

Tomorrow, nearly 91% of Americans will don their stretchy pants for a turkey dinner. In honor of the day of the year when we’re most thankful, we’re bringing you a little food for thought on the data analytics of Thanksgiving.

thanksgiving The Data Analytics of Thanksgiving

The first course of Thanksgiving analysis brings us way back to the 1600s – 1621 to be exact. This is believed to be one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in North America; the Plymouth colonists (known as the Pilgrims) and the Wampanoag Indians gathered around the dinner table to celebrate a harvest feast. And turkey did not grace the table.

For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863 that President Abraham Lincoln pronounced a national Thanksgiving day every November. (

Since 1934, Turkey Day has been a favorite day for NFL action and if you’re into stuffing your face and watching the big games, there’s a whole host of stats and info available on the Pro Football Hall of Fame site.

In 1939 and 1940, President Roosevelt decided to move Thanksgiving a week earlier to protect the holiday shopping season. Some states celebrated on the third Thursday; others celebrated on the fourth. In 1941, Congress sanctioned the last or the fourth Thursday of November (when there are five weeks in the month).

Timid Turkeys

America’s favorite bird has a  bit of a weak heart. The U.S. Air Force discovered that the sound of breaking the sound barrier during test runs scares turkeys to death – they suffer heart attacks when too frightened.

The wild ones can even run up to 20 miles per hour and fly up to 55 miles per hour when they’re scared featherless. Domestic turkeys (the ones we eat) aren’t so fortunate. They are considered too fat to fly.

National Bird?

While the turkey is the national bird of Thanksgiving, the tasty tom did not make the cut for national bird, much to Benjamin Franklin’s dismay.

Side Items

The most popular sides for Thanksgiving include 245 Statues of Liberties worth of green bean casserole, 6,800 football fields worth of corn and 2,700 swimming pools of mashed potatoes.

To Grandma’s House We Go!

According to the Wall Street Journal, Americans aren’t missing Grandma’s stuffing this year. The WSJ reported Tuesday that about 42.5 million people will travel at least 50 miles from home between Wednesday and Sunday. About 90% of the travelers will drive. That’s 4% over the same period in 2010.

Next steps: Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving and Tweet us with your favorite Thanksgiving dish.

Amanda Brandon
Spotfire Blogging Team


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The Data Analytics of Veterans Day

Today, we’ll honor the men and women who have dedicated their lives to protecting our freedom. This Veterans Day, we encourage all you data pros to check out the US Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for Veterans Analysis & Statistics.

The site is a treasure trove of data insights dating all the way back to the American Revolution. The VA does a nice job organizing the data and gives you lots to ponder from surveys, to population maps like the one below, and the amount of services/benefits veterans use.

veterans65older 300x224 The Data Analytics of Veterans Day

One of the newest analysis pieces is a comprehensive report titled The National Survey of Veterans, Active Duty Service Members, Activated National Guard and Reserve Members, Family Members and Survivors. The report takes a while to read at 350 pages, but there are some valuable insights into our military men and women and their families and how the VA helps them.

Another interesting stop on the site is the Profile on Veterans. This report gives some interesting factoids and a nice slice of how veterans compare with the rest of the population. Here are a few interesting nuggets from the profile:

  • The average age of all veterans is 49 years.
  • Male veterans live longer than non-veteran males. The profile shows that the male vet population over 75 is 23.1% and just 2.6% for non-veteran males.
  • Women veterans and non-veteran women live about the same amount of time. There is no real statistical difference between women (vets and non-vets) over 75.
  • Male veterans appear in management and professional roles more often than non-veteran men. The same holds true for women vets. Additionally, male and female veterans are more often found in government jobs.
  • Veterans tend to make more money than their civilian counterparts.

Here are a few other resources for learning about the men and women who protect us:

Amanda Brandon
Spotfire Blogging Team








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The Data Analytics of Halloween – Infographic

Happy Halloween! This year, data geeks can rejoice because “geeky chic” is the top costume of Halloween. According to today’s infographic, the hottest costume in the “geek” category is a costume of the late Apple leader Steve Jobs. A distant, but popular follower, are the Angry Birds characters from mobile tech company Rovio (@AngryBirds).

Webtrends Halloween Buzz V2 303x1024 The Data Analytics of Halloween   InfographicThe data collected in this infographic comes from web analytics firm Webtrends (@Webtrends) as well as from a collection of social data garnered between October 1-24, including Twitter, blogs, online news sites and other social media sources, writes’s senior editor Charlie White (@charlie_white).

Zombies Top “Traditional” Halloween Attire and Rake in $5 Billion/Year

The Walking Dead, a popular series now in its second season on AMC, is an inspiration for one of the most popular Halloween costumes of 2011. Thirty-five percent of “classic costumes” will be zombie-inspired this All Hallow’s Eve. The show is based on a highly popular comic book series by Robert Kirkman (@RobertKirkman). And did you know that zombies have a $5 billion dollar economic impact?

Consumers Go “Gaga” for Pop-Inspired Costumes

With her atypical appearance, pop singer Lady Gaga tops the list of pop-culture inspired costumes and rounds out the data analytics of Halloween costumes.

Trivia Tidbit: Did you know that the tradition of Halloween costumes is thought to stem from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain? According to, this ancient festival involved bonfires and the wearing of costumes “to ward off roaming ghosts.”

The Analytics of Candy Corn and Other Sweet Treats

The most popular sweet treat of the spookiest night of the year just happens to be candy corn. The tiny kernels are the most popular candy by a long shot – taking 77% of the online mentions.

Chocolate is another Halloween staple, according to our analytics. The chocolate stats are a little less divisive than those without cocoa as a main ingredient. Hershey’s milk chocolate is most popular, followed closely by Snickers and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

The most “unpopular” candy of Halloween and of all time – peanut butter taffy.

Here is some context around candy analytics not mentioned in the infographic from the Huffington Post:

  • Americans consume 158 trillion candy corn per year
  • Chocolate sales are at their highest on Halloween at a whopping 90 million pounds
  • Halloween candy is a $2 billion money maker and 10% of the candy industry’s annual sales happen this week

Next steps: We’d like to know – do you dress up for Halloween and what’s your favorite Halloween treat? Share in the comments below, subscribe or tweet us.

Amanda Brandon
Spotfire Blogging Team

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