4 Things You Need to Know About Alteryx
1. Data Blending
Most companies have a lot of data—volumes of it, in fact.
It’s not stored neatly and it’s not all in the same place. If your company is like most, your data is housed on several servers, maybe thousands of miles apart, and comes in a number of different formats, i.e. Microsoft Excel, XML, SAS, .tab, .shp. Some of it may be unstructured data, such as your Twitter feeds, Facebook likes, Google Analytics, and online surveys.
If tasked with bringing all this data together for analytical purposes, you may be wondering exactly how to pull this off.
Here’s the thing: Excel and Access are in over their heads with level of data. Your IT department can write code, but there is an easier solution that offers a fast and simple way to blend data: Alteryx.
Alteryx was built for data. It’s that simple. It allows the data analyst direct access to the data regardless of its type or source. Alteryx brings data of any type or any level together. This means that it can be joined at both the record and field level. It can even be expanded to include multiple key fields. Alteryx is flexible enough to join data on non-identical fields, as well as incorporate spatial characteristics such as customer points to be combined into your data. Other tools like Fuzzy Matching give users the ability to match two datasets based on non-matching data—typically names and addresses.
Go to Alteryx’s Inspire conference and you’ll hear the same story over and over again: Alteryx saved these companies massive amounts of time because of how quickly Alteryx can process data. If you are mildly irritated by people breathing down your neck while they wait for their analysis, consider a trial version of Alteryx to test out its speed.
After you’ve finished blending your data, use Alteryx’s drag and drop interface to build your analytical workflow. Click the Run button and watch the processing speed of Alteryx get you to your end result faster than ever before. As Alteryx says, “Deeper insights in hours, rather than the traditional week-approach, allowing you to spend less time preparing your data and more time getting insight from it.”
It also means less time with someone breathing down your neck.
3. Predictive Analytics
Up until recently, predictive analytics was a highly technical and complex endeavour. Companies that performed this kind of analysis spent a lot of money on predictive BI tools, and the statisticians needed to build these models.
The predictive world is slow moving and expensive. But the payoff has always been the future insight that a well-built model provides.
The downside is, not every company can afford the staff and software that legacy predictive modeling requires.
Very simply, high cost has kept predictive modeling away from smaller organizations. But what if there was a different way?
What if predicting future performance with your enterprise data didn’t have to be the sole domain of large organizations with flush budgets and a PhD in Statistics on staff?
Alteryx brings predictive analytical capabilities to the masses with their suite of PA tools. And because these tools are doing the heavy lifting working with underlying statistical techniques, the user doesn’t need to be a statistician.
A new open source analytical language called “R” has gained popularity (so much so, it is ‘predicted’ to push the elder tribe of statistical tools, SAS and SPSS into extinction). It’s reshaping predictive modeling. Alteryx uses the R language as the core of its predictive engine. The result is an approachable introduction to predictive analytics.
Analysts don’t need to write code and understand each statistical technique because Alteryx provides tools (with the drag and drop interface) where users simply and easily integrate well known statistical techniques with a few mouse clicks.
The choice: expensive legacy predictive tools or accessible, affordable, modern, self-service predictive analytics via Alteryx.
4. Data Visualization
This is where you feel like you won the lottery.
Alteryx has already made your analytical life easier. You’re actually getting out of the office on time, and you’re leaving the laptop at work over the weekend.
Could life get any better? Yes, my friend. It can.
Now that you have robust data sets built within the Alteryx workflow, exporting these to Tableau for a lush, rich visualization of your data is, well, simple.
Alteryx and Tableau are integrated which means all you need to do is run your workflow and save it to a TDE format (Tableau format) and open up the file in Tableau.
Isn’t easy nice?
Data analysts love Alteryx for its ability to quickly blend complex data and create intuitive workflows in a much easier way than using tools like SAS. The Designer allows users to consume analytic apps in either a private cloud or the Alteryx Analytics Gallery.
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