One of the benefits of analytics consulting is that you are exposed to an array of industries and their respective business problems. This exposure has allowed us to identify an emerging trend in the market, one where business leaders are demanding quicker insights and better decisions at the point of impact. Moreover, we are seeing departments like marketing, finance and human resources as the conduits of this paradigm shift. Traditional tools like MS Excel are just not cutting the mustard. It is not designed to source modern data sets, handle the volumes of transactions or even offer access to all the functionality required for deep analysis.
Analysts spend copious amounts of time and money honing their skills only to land jobs where they are confronted with mind-numbing data capturing and data preparation activities supported by clunky tools like Excel, Access and SQL. If they are lucky they might have access to enterprise grade ETL (Extract, Transform & Load) tools (more on this topic to come), like SSIS, Informatica or DataStage which aid in the process of blending and preparing data. These come with the obligatory time lags, and skill gaps which all slow down the aforementioned analyst’s ability to perform their job, and let’s be honest often brings it to a grinding halt.
Alteryx makes it simple to quickly blend your data in a repeatable drag-and-drop workflow, without needing any special tools or programming skills. Join data from multiple, disparate data sources—from Excel to data warehouses, from social media-app and cloud-app data to Big Data sources. Then, in the same workflow, clean your data with tools that automatically de-duplicate, parse, and eliminate extraneous data.
Alteryx enables advanced analytics, whether you plan to create, test or run predictive models or even generate rich data visualizations. For example, predictive modeling requires a narrow data set with just a few specific variables to establish causality and then use to predict future outcomes. In contrast, when creating a visualization, you want as much data at-hand as possible so you can recombine, compare, and view the data from different perspectives: by gender, by income level, by geography, by purchase level, etc.
Often your internal data needs more context. With the third party data that’s available in Alteryx, you can get the big picture in minutes. Need to determine how your customers stand out from the rest of the population? Use Experian Mosaic categories in Alteryx to segment your customers. Then match your customers to these categories so you can target prospects with similar attributes. Which potential store locations will be the most profitable? Using the Experian data in Alteryx, you can answer that question by discovering how many customers live within drive time from the store.
Conventional wisdom says that only highly trained data scientists and programmers can run predictive analytics, however Alteryx enables the data analyst with powerful predictive analytic tools. Market basket analysis, linear regression, A/B testing, decision trees, and forest models are just a few of the tools that enable self-service analytics. What’s more, any predictive analytic model can be easily represented and visualized in your visualisation tool of choice (Tableau, Qlick, PowerBI to name but a few). You can use bar charts to represent treatment vs. non-treatment items in A/B tests. Or use bubble charts to represent market basket analysis and show how a customer’s purchase of one item can influence their purchase of others.
Alteryx allows the data analyst to leverage spatial analytics through drag and drop tools. With spatial analytics you can track the physical location of a buyer when they make a mobile purchase, perform retail location analysis and more. If you are planning to create any type of map, Alteryx spatial analytics helps you create the relevant data set for your business decision. Using Alteryx, you can create polygons that capture data within a specific area and then output that data for visual representation in a drive-time map, cell tower coverage area, disease outbreak area, flood zones, and more.
Alteryx enables a near-instant iteration process. Just add a new data source, run Alteryx, and view the results. Or change your analytics model, run it in Alteryx, and visualize and discover the results. It’s that simple. No need to re-cleanse and reshape your data every time you update—it’s all automated and repeatable.
The origins of Alteryx is in geospatial analytics. The company was called SRC LLC and delivered demographic-based reporting. In 2006 SRC LLC changed its name and the software product Alteryx was released, which was a single, unified spatial and non-spatial data environment for building analytical processes and applications. In summary the tool addresses three core analytical capabilities. “Data Blending and preparation”, allowing users to quickly merge, manipulate and evaluate, multiple types of sources together. Secondly, “Geospatial” which is all about processing and calculating spatial data. And lastly but not least, “Predictive” which covers off forward looking aspect of analytics.
If you are an analyst, or you work with data you need to take note. We live in the era of data liberation, where the possibilities are boundless. As an analyst it is your fiduciary responsibility to be inspirational, champions of change and advocates of awesome.
Unshackle yourselves from the old and step into the future.
In saying this, Tridant are excited to announce the first of a kind Alteryx Fast Start Pack in Australia.
5 days mentoring on your data creating business solutions (up to 3 people) | $10,000
For more information on this or to request a demo, please feel free to contact me on the details below.