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Emil_Kos
17 - Castor
17 - Castor

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Return on investment

 

Does your organization use Alteryx software?

 

Are you curious why user groups related to IT are so important and are the future of successful organizations? 

 

Would you like to learn more about supporting your Alteryx investment by creating such a group without spending a lot of money? 

 

Maybe you already have been thinking about starting your community? 

 

This article will answer the above questions. It will help you understand why it’s so popular among companies to invest their time and energy in setting up their internal community. Moreover, it will cover some tips on how to do it effectively based on best practices from others.

 

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When you think of Alteryx usage and its benefits, you probably categorize it as a part of a long term strategy of your company. This approach is all fine, but sometimes your investment and organizational transformation could be improved.

 

In the end, your organization will get benefits from Alteryx faster such as:

  • non-IT people will be more eager to automate their work as Alteryx is non-code technology that is user friendly
  • sustainable processes which are easy to maintain - it is a tool that self documents itself
  • improvement in the data quality with more automated processes without human impact.

Last but not least, there is one additional benefit of Alteryx that people often overlook. Alteryx creates a great environment for your employees to upskill. It is a very flexible tool that can accompany people in their data journey for a long time. It will be an excellent foundation for them, and after a few years, you will have already gained citizen data scientists – no one will need to search for them on the market.

 

Considering all the above, let's imagine that you are a manager in a company that invested in Alteryx. You bought some licenses and additional support from a consulting company to make the implementation process successful. However, sometimes, you can still be unsure if you have done everything to make your investment successful as fast as possible while keeping it profitable.

 

Of course, you want your investment to pay off. The solution is straightforward – you need to create your internal user group.

 

Please wait a minute, what do you exactly mean by internal user group?

 

The internal user group is a business term that describes a group of people who shares similar interests and goals within the same organization or company. As the name suggests, the Internal Alteryx User Group would engage all Alteryx users to grow their passion for that technology, increase knowledge, share best practices, upskill themselves or network with other geeks within that area.

 

User Groups are often part of a bigger initiative called Community. The Community could be described as something more complex and material. It would be defined as a place (often virtual) for keeping the user groups of people employees in touch and using their engagement to materialize the output of their dialogue and cooperation.

 

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Data analysis time!

 

I've described above what communities are. Now it is time to look into the data! Every year, CMX, the world’s largest network of community professionals, releases the Community Industry Trends Report. Using the report from 2021, we can clearly identify trends in the industry around the importance of community and why more and more brands invest in building communities of their own.

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The organizations and companies came from various sectors, but most of the respondents were from the technology industry.

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Further down the report, we came to the surprising conclusion that Covid didn't slow down the growth of the communities. In the graph below, it can be seen that organizations actually increased the team size of their community teams in 2021.

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More importantly, sixty-nine percent of employers are planning to increase the investment in their communities over the next 12 months.

 

You may be wondering what’s the reason behind these actions?

 

The answer is simple: companies see the value of having communities and internal user groups. Furthermore, 85% of respondents agree that communities positively impact their organization's objectives.

 

Internal communities benefits in detail

 

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Organizations often use the 70%/20%/10% learning model. It means that the upskilling should consist of three essential parts:

  • 70% - learning by working
  • 20% - learning from others
  • 10% - learning from courses

The 20% is hard to achieve when people work in silos (which Alteryx users often practice). So creating communities is a perfect way to cover this 20% area. Let me prove below why I think so:

 

  • Your Alteryx users will explore different Alteryx capabilities. You often don't know if something is possible until you see it in action. During sessions like User Group Meetings, people can be motivated and inspired with new ideas from others. I experienced it by myself when someone presented me with how to read pdf files or build simple linear regression models for the first time. For me, that day was a mind-blowing experience that affected my work. In most organizations, these functionalities are used occasionally, but when it happens, they bring a lot of value, and it's worth sharing the best examples with others.
  • There is also an element of psychological safety in an internal UG. You would probably recognize most community members during that meeting. That's why it would be much easier for shy people to ask the questions they have in their minds.
  • An Alteryx user group meeting is a perfect place to invite the best Alteryx Users in the world. Those Alteryx Evangelists can spread the word about Alteryx use cases that can significantly benefit your organization. If you don’t know who you should invite, you can find fantastic success stories by visiting this website. Filter them by sector\department\region and find one that best suits your organization. Alternatively, you can ask around on LinkedIn. Alteryx professionals are very friendly, and I am sure you will find plenty of people willing to visit your user group.
  • At the beginning of the article, I mentioned that Alteryx is an investment. That is why you should know that Alteryx users will pay more attention to their Alteryx journey if they see that the organization treats Alteryx seriously. If they see an internal community with speakers who talk about their Alteryx successes, which motivate them, they will know that this can be their way of changing the status quo. This can empower and inspire them to use Alteryx to change their daily work.
  • We cannot forget about the last (but not least) factor, which is promoting the most successful Alteryx use cases. Thanks to that, you will significantly increase the chance of replicating this success in the organization. Imagine that someone in your organization builds a prediction model that brings 5 million dollars of additional revenue to your company. Sharing this success story would inspire others and increase the chance of making a similar model somewhere else in the organization.

 

What your next step should be

 

About 8 billion people are living on earth. As a result, we generate and will generate more data than ever. That won't change soon. There will always be the need to process this. The data is and will be an essential commodity in the future. Nowadays, everyone wants to make data-driven decisions to choose the best available approach based on the analysis. The observations, conclusions and insights are and will be essential to maximize performance and minimize costs. Creating an Alteryx community strongly supports your analytical transformation in your organization.

 

Having a dedicated community in your company will give you an additional opportunity to share your organizational vision and start your advanced analytical journey. 

 

Maybe you have a long term plan to transform your company in a specific area? If you had the community, that wouldn't be a problem to share and remind your people's direction regularly.

 

Maybe you conducted the research, and it seems that your employees don't spend enough time learning new things? Then, you could start promoting a certification program or education initiative on your community site.

 

Maybe you invested in Alteryx Server. If you had the community, you could create a consolidated centre of knowledge about it, so users could quickly get familiar with it.

To sum up, a community is the best place to start a change in the organization. You should definitely create your own internal community when you: 

 

  • think your Alteryx users require additional upskilling!
  • feel your Alteryx superusers can inspire others
  • see that your Alteryx users encounter the same problems all over again
  • want Alteryx users to know that your organization treats Alteryx seriously
  • consider investing in the Alteryx Server, and you would like to use it widely in your organization
  • save money on external training as the community has the upskilling power!

All of these questions and problems can be easily addressed by creating an internal community group.

 

So now you mayask yourself how to create your internal user group? This is a vast topic for another article, but materials available on the official Alteryx community are a great starting point. They are linked below:

I also recommend searching for inspiration by attending the active Alteryx local group in your area. You can find a list of all active user groups under this link.

 

Fingers crossed for your success! I hope all the above will be an eye-opener for you and your organization. Share this article with your colleagues if you think the same.

 

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