March Madness Headlines in Spotfire via XML

With March Madness wrapping up in the next week, we at thought it would be fun to create Spotfire template to pull in some recent headlines from the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Here’s a screenshot of the tool in action:


CBS Sports (along with other news outlets) offers 24 hour rolling RSS feeds for a variety of sports topics – check it out here: For this example, we’re accessing the College Basketball news in XML format, which looks like this:


This may not be the most user-friendly view, but with a bit of R programming, we can pull this live data stream directly into Spotfire. Shout out to Dunia Giniebra, a Data Scientist at, for building the Data Functions and coding the TERR script! Here’s a list of the R packages used in this demonstration: “XML”, “stringr”, & “httr”

Download this template for free in the Portal to check out the scripts and logic used to bring in the XML data:

After loading the data in Spotfire, we can parse out all words in the headlines, build a simple search engine, and create some visualizations to analyze the data.


There are 2 key features of this template that can be used across a variety of applications (not just loading news headlines). This template can show you how to:

  • Load data from a live XML RSS feed
  • Build a search engine inside Spotfire to query text data

Check out the template here and download for free here: Even though it’s listed as “Subscriber Only”, you can login or setup a free Portal account to download the template.

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