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Thanks for your comments. I've read through the links and I've reviewed the algorithm - all were very insightful. I think that the biggest difference in our approaches is that:
For the marks I am not using shapes, I use polygons. As a geographer, it simplifies their use and affords some easy cartographic control, such as adding a border.
The hopping movement (a major irritant to me) of the grid cells in Tableau (based on data availability) is removed as the Alteryx approach sets the map extent via the grid cells.
I don't have to load custom shape marks. However, I admit that the Hex binning approach affords the flexibility of using some cool shapes.
The scaling issue in Tableau is handled better (I thinkl) in Alteryx.
I can clip the grid cells so the grid cells don't extend over water bodies or other unpopulated areas. Clipping has its owne issues with fragmenting the grid cells. The preference of data allocation (all cell fragments combined or split the fragments using the Poly-Split command) has to be addressed. I can make an argument for both.
Lastly, again as a geographer, the grid cells are consistent geographic entities, enabling the analysis of the same areas in both Alteryx and Tableau (or any other spatial program).
Thanks again. I look forward to hearing more from both of you.