How Do I Change Data Type in Spotfire?


Heather Bennett

Changing data type is a common task when working with data analysis tools like Spotfire. Data types determine how the data is interpreted and can greatly impact the accuracy and effectiveness of your analysis. In this tutorial, we will explore how to change the data type in Spotfire using simple steps.

Step 1: Open Spotfire

If you haven’t already, start by launching Spotfire on your computer. Once it’s open, you’ll be greeted with a blank canvas ready for you to import and analyze your data.

Step 2: Import your Data

Before we can change the data type, we need to import our data into Spotfire. To do this, click on the “File” menu at the top left corner of the screen and select “Open”.

Browse and select the file you want to work with, then click “Open”. Spotfire will automatically import your data into a new analysis file.

Step 3: Select the Column

Once your data is imported, it’s time to locate the column that contains the data you want to change the type for. In Spotfire, columns are displayed as headers at the top of your table or chart. Locate the desired column header and click on it to select it.

Step 4: Access Column Properties

To change the data type of a column in Spotfire, we need to access its properties. Right-click on the selected column header and choose “Column Properties” from the context menu that appears.

Step 5: Choose New Data Type

A dialog box will appear showing various options for configuring your column properties. Look for an option related to changing or modifying the data type. The exact wording may vary depending on the version of Spotfire you are using, but it is typically labeled as “Data Type” or something similar.

Pro tip: If you’re unsure about the available data types, you can refer to Spotfire’s documentation or consult with your organization’s data experts.

Step 6: Apply the Changes

Once you have selected the new data type, click on the “Apply” button to save the changes. Spotfire will update the column’s data type accordingly.

Step 7: Verify and Adjust

After changing the data type, it’s essential to verify that the column has been updated correctly. You can do this by examining the column header or by performing calculations and visualizations using your modified data.

Note: Changing a column’s data type may impact other parts of your analysis, such as filters or calculations that rely on that specific column. Adjust any affected components accordingly to ensure accurate and meaningful results.


In this tutorial, we have learned how to change the data type in Spotfire. By following these simple steps, you can modify your columns’ data types to suit your analysis needs. Remember to always double-check and validate your changes to ensure accurate insights from your data.

  • Step 1: Open Spotfire
  • Step 2: Import your Data
  • Step 3: Select the Column
  • Step 4: Access Column Properties
  • Step 5: Choose New Data Type
  • Step 6: Apply the Changes
  • Step 7: Verify and Adjust

Pro tip: It’s always a good practice to back up your data before making any changes, especially when modifying data types.

This way, you can easily revert back if needed.

Note: Depending on the complexity of your analysis, changing data types might have implications on other parts of your analysis. Always verify and validate your results after making any modifications.

Spotfire Data Type Options

The available data types in Spotfire may vary depending on the version you are using. Here are some common data types:

  • Numeric: Used for continuous numerical values like age or price.
  • Categorical: Used for discrete categorical values like gender or country.
  • Date/Time: Used for temporal values like date or timestamp.
  • String/Text: Used for textual values like names or descriptions.

Troubleshooting Data Type Changes

If you encounter any issues while trying to change the data type in Spotfire, here are a few troubleshooting steps you can try:

  1. Check data format: Ensure that the format of your data aligns with the desired data type. For example, a date column should be in a date format, and numeric columns should contain only numbers.
  2. Data cleansing: Perform necessary data cleaning operations like removing duplicates or handling missing values before attempting to change the data type.
  3. Data conversion: In some cases, you may need to convert data from one type to another before changing the data type. Spotfire provides various transformation functions for this purpose.
  4. Consult documentation or support: If you’re still facing difficulties, consult Spotfire’s documentation or reach out to their support team for assistance.

By following these troubleshooting steps, you should be able to overcome common challenges when changing data types in Spotfire.

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