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Excellence Awards 2017: Adam Rant - From Zero to Hero

Amway logo.jpgAuthor: Adam Rant (@Rant) - Business Systems Analyst

Team Members: Tom Madden, Jordan Howell, Brian Conrad, Megan Lilley & Sankar Mishra

Company: Amway

Business Partner: Marquee Crew (@MarqueeCrew)

 

Awards Category: From Zero to Hero

 

Global Procurement at Amway began its journey with Alteryx by purchasing 2-licenses in October of 2015. We generated instant value from this tool, and knew there was so much untapped potential. A few short months after our initial purchase, we started hosting internal Alteryx enablement sessions to spread the word throughout our organization. It wasn’t long before we were up to 10 licenses. As our scope continued to expand, IT got involved and pursued a mini-trial that included Server for the remainder of 2016. In 2017 we purchased the full year pilot to drive even greater user adoption. Today, we have over 30 users and growing!


As our user base and experience with Alteryx grows, we have evolved from diverse data blending to language translation and normalization. We are moving from old legacy tools like Access and Excel, into the modern world of Analytics with Tableau and Alteryx. We are structuring data that we once thought to be impossible, and even built out applications to search online E-bay and now Amazon. We are pushing into the world of predictive analytics. Models are being developed and geospatial tool-sets are being examined. Most of these were pipe dreams before we were introduced to Alteryx. Now we are making these things come to life and blazing a trail for Analytics at Amway.

 

Describe the problem you needed to solve

We found Alteryx through Tableau. It started with simple Data blending and Tableau data automation, but grew from there.

  • Automating Manual Scorecards/metrics
  • Translation Macro using Google Translate
  • E-Bay Web Scrap
  • Amazon Web Scrap
  • Commodity Predictive Modeling
  • Spatial

 

Describe the working solution

We are using a wide range of data sources including excel, access, SQL Server (In DB tools), Oracle (In DB tools), SharePoint, Google Sheets, E-bay, and Amazon. Most of our data sets are published directly to Tableau Server. We have Server up and running to automate most of our Tableau Dashboards. Alteryx Gallery for deploying Apps is our next project to tackle. 

 

Describe the benefits you have achieved

Alteryx is the engine that is driving our team to new levels. We are automating all of our scorecards from a data perspective. We are able to provide daily insights on the health of our supply chain verses monthly reporting. Here are a few of the major projects we accomplished inside of Alteryx.

 

  1. Automated over 20 data processes, eliminating over 350 hours of data prep, and saving over $80,000 annually.
    • These savings are simply based on time savings. Factor into it the ability to run these workflows daily and deliver insights to our users and this is very conservative.
    • These workflows are now reusable processing engines that we can continue to enhance and build off of.
  2. Using Alteryx we are able to automate the translation of data. We operate in over 100 countries. Using Alteryx we developed a workflow that can go through our data and translate it automatically using Google translate. We plan on deploying this on our Server as an App for others to leverage.
  3. Jordan Howell eliminated a custom Access Database that cost us $3 Million dollars to build. This process eliminates 40 hours a month in manual data preparation due to the database, and will save us $24,000 a year. In 3 weeks he was able to recreate the database in Alteryx.
  4. E-bay & Amazon web scrapping to effectively audit Amway products that are being sold on these sites. Before Alteryx we manually accomplished this, and we would only get 1-10% of the total products on the sites (We had trouble answering questions at a Macro level about how many products). After Alteryx we can do this in seconds and have 100% of the products. Allowing users to focus on delivering insights from the data and not having to pull it!

 

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7 Comments
Community Manager
Community Manager
Status changed to: Inspire 2017 Las Vegas Award Entry
 
Magnetar

This really is a great case study @Rant and @MarqueeCrew

 

Without sharing proprietary information - do you know if in this case Alteryx is being used to feed directly into analysis (i.e. Tableau or other viz) where the majority of analysis is Alteryx->viz, or if Alteryx is being used in some cases as an ETL to stage and transform data into an analytics DB so that it creates a place where folks can pull Tableau metrics from in an easier way (i.e. Alteryx->analytical DB -> Viz)

 

Reason why I ask is that I've seen a broad prevalence of pattern A where Alteryx is being used to figure out an answer and then produce an analytical outcome / viz, but I'm wondering if longer term there's possibly an additional (and perhaps greater) benefit in using Alteryx to structure; conform; clean and normalize the data from many heterogeneous data sets into one place to do viz on a broader organizational scale.

 

At this stage, it's just a theory, but I'm really curious about what you've seen in practice.

Cheers

Sean

Rant
Atom

Thanks @SeanAdams

 

Great Question. We are using Tableau / Tableau Server to visualize the majority of our data. We view Alteryx as the engine that cleans, transforms, combines, automates and gets data into form that Tableau can consume. By publishing most of our data sets as data sources on Tableau Server we never have to manually refresh our dashboards with new data.

 

I tired to focus more on the Alteryx side during our submission, but I should have incorporated some of the Tableau side of things.

 

Thanks

Adam

dave46
Atom

Outstanding operational and financial results:

 

Retiring a custom Access database that cots $3 million to build.  Ouch.

 

And getting back 40 hours a month that saves $24,000 a year.

 

 

@Rant,

 

This is a great story and it is good to see other companies using the pairing between Alteryx and Tableau. My first use of Alteryx was with Amazon, there are some great opportunities for automation there. Are you or anyone on your team speaking at the conference @Rant?

@SeanAdams,

 

We have been using Alteryx in a format that you are describing with Tableau. We are currently combining many of the different enterprise level sources to combine into one data source because it allows for better dashboard creation.

Community Manager
Community Manager