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What is Alteryx? | Introduction to Alteryx Designer

In recent years, data is seen increasing to ten folds. Researchers and analysts are now becoming more aware of data and possess the capability to utilize it for the growth of the business. But this data is uncleaned, jumbled up and at times not even useful if viewed in a glance.

Initially, when there was a scarcity of automated software for data manipulation, Microsoft Excel was the only tool, the superstar for making this data manipulated in a way that conclusions and insights can be drawn from it. But as the data started to grow, the inefficiencies of Microsoft Excel began to come up.

With Microsoft Excel,

  • It is monotonous to do the same steps repeatedly – Copy, Paste, Repeat.
  • When working with functions like VLOOKUPs and SUMIFs, the process becomes too slow and kills time further delaying conclusions.
  • It is not possible to handle data of more than 1 million rows.
  • If you want to do some automation, then you should know to code.

To overcome a few of the shortcomings of Excel, Power Query came in to picture. It soon became famous because of the new and beautiful features like updating of data in a few clicks, merge query and many more.

But still, this job is tedious to perform and reduces speed. Now imagine an organization, like Book My Show, that requires real-time updates every second with the massive amount of data. Even if it invests million dollars in manpower, it is not possible to get the correct data on time. This is where Alteryx comes into the picture.

What is Alteryx?

Alteryx is popularly known as a Self-Service Analytics tool. Business users can build their data workflows in Alteryx by quickly blending and preparing the data without any programming skills. With drag and drop workflows and data cleansing techniques, it takes minutes to produce the output by performing analysis.

All the processes that are followed to bring the data in a suitable format to perform the analysis are called ETL (Extract, Transform and Load). Alteryx is a software that makes this ETL process easier. Alteryx is the one super tool that combines the functionalities required for Data Preparation, Geo-Spatial Analytics and Data Science.

Alteryx combines 3 products:

  • Alteryx Designer Desktop Tool – responsible for performing analytics
  • Alteryx Server – A Cloud-Based application
  • Alteryx Gallery – Used to publish

Why Alteryx?

A survey done by Alteryx states that 62% of data analysts have a dependency on other organizations to outsource some of the processes in analytics. It also says that 69% of data analysts are never satisfied with the output quality of their analytics and 81% of data analysts are struggling with the slow speed of analytics to come up with the best possible output.

To solve all these problems Alteryx is the one, and only product which provides end-to-end analytics of massive data, the quality of output is never compromised. The best part is, all this is done 100 times faster than the traditional process of analytics.

Thus, more and more data analysts and scientists are opting Alteryx after enlightened by its capabilities. Alteryx has made its mark as a boon to data analysts and data scientists.

Process of Alteryx

Step 1: Input Data

Alteryx provides a simple approach and makes it easy to perform analytics on data by building workflows. For creating a workflow, the first step is to provide an input data tool. Input data tool is responsible for providing data to the workflow.

This input data tool can connect to files or databases. In the configuration window type, the correct file path to connect to file or database or an option can be selected from the list. Now the data tool is ready for building further workflow.

Step 2: Data Preparation & Data Blending

Once the data has come to Alteryx, it prepares and blends the data for further processes. This preparation and blending of data are achieved with ease with the help of Alteryx. This process is much faster than the traditional one.

Step 3: Analytics

A massive amount of data always come to organizations. Thus, the organizations are now turning to analytics to help themselves to grow and find answers about the growth aspects. There are many methods of analytics available but to carry out all of them is practically impossible. To overcome this issue, three types of analytics are mostly performed:

  • Predictive – it uses the statistical and predicts via analysis that what could happen.
  • Spatial – Join the data with the third-party demographic files.
  • Visual – It helps to view the data in motion, the process and journey of problem-solving.

Step 4: Publish

Once the workflow is designed now, it’s the time to publish it. It might be shared on a cloud platform and then provided as a data source to Power BI or Tableau or can be stored in a file.

Importance of Alteryx

In today’s world, where data holds so much importance, it is necessary to almost all organizations to analyze it to use in business intelligence. To perform analysis on a massive amount of data is always a tedious task if it is done manually and even takes a lot of time. This is when Alteryx comes to rescue. Alteryx is an end to end analysis tool, or a platform which helps in building workflows and perform analytics and in turn allows organizations aiding comparatively faster analysis.

If some of the tasks are always performed during analysis, Alteryx provides you with the ease to develop a workflow for that particular task. Then this workflow can be used easily whenever necessary. Alteryx is a boon tool for Data Analytics and Business Intelligence Analytics personnel.

Different Types of Connectors offered by Alteryx

The tools required for retrieving or pushing data in the cloud environment are defined as Connectors. The following list consists of the connectors offered by Alteryx.

Companies using Alteryx

Comparison Between Alteryx and KNIME

The following table shows the comparison between Alteryx and KNIME

Product Area Alteryx KNIME
Ease of Use
Quality Support X
Quality Reports X
Scripting
Data Mining
Data Analysis
Data Visualizations X
Self Service
Predictive Analytics
Ease of Deployment

Conclusion:

In this article, we had showcased the background before Alteryx, explained Alteryx, the need of Alteryx, and why Alteryx is used. We have also described the connectors in Alteryx, the companies that use it and its comparison with Knime – the technology in the same line with Alteryx.