Alteryx Use Cases

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Cargill Saves 844 Hours Per Month with 3 Alteryx Users

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Overview of Use Case

Cargill has 400 licensed users who are crushing data with Alteryx. Learn in this use case how 3 Alteryx users across varying maturity levels are saving their time. They have several use cases with Alteryx Server based workflows that output previously impossible datasets and Analytic Apps to deliver end users with self-service data analytics. They accomplish the work of 7 full-time-employees with the Alteryx platform, collectively saving Cargill 844 hours every month, and allowing them to focus on enabling leaders and customers to make faster, analytics-based decisions.

 
Describe the business challenge or problem you needed to solve
  • Alteryx by a New User

At Cargill, my specialty is on animal feed and nutrition, and what I was tasked to do in the supply chain is to help the merchants using the best knowledge that we have available to us, to pretty much dissect what ingredients we need to have in each plants, at what time, and how to make sure that we're going to be tight with our contract obligations. One of the bigger challenges of the overall project is to make sure that we were not calculating production to come out of our main plants on Sundays or Saturdays when they're not even open.

 

  • Alteryx by an Intermediate User

Daily failure data: We use a system called informants to track our downtime, and so, there are 19 facilities in Cargill that have this informant system, and each one of them is on its own server, so to get data out of it you have to log into each server, get the data, copy and paste it into Excel.

 

  • Alteryx by an Advanced User

I've been using Alteryx for two and a half years. My first project was the customer profitability project. I was given an access database, and an Alteryx license, told to duplicate what the access database does. There are 275 queries in this access database that I had to work my way through and figure out how it all worked. I knew nothing about the business, and very little about Cargill. Another project I was involved was the strategic pricing project. They came to me and said, “we've never been able to do the type of analysis that we want to do, and here's what all the data sources and everything that we want you to do for us.”

 
Describe your working solution

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  • Alteryx by a New User

I was having to extract information from inventory, purchase orders, sales history, to make sure that we had a good, running forecast of what we would need, and we had to have all of our contract obligations met, so that if any of our customers made a high demand we would be able to meet that.

 

I had thousands of contracts and each one has a contract number, the sequence number, different end dates for when that customer is expecting things to be delivered, and a product. I determined what of our products were priced or produced on a weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly, annual basis. The Generate Row is actually a very fun tool, where I can easily determine how many days are left in a contract, and so, starting from today's date, I am able to create a new field and make the tool add, with loop expression, one day until the end of that contract. We used the Filter tool to exclude the weekends, and then grouped accordingly, and then had the final union.

 

By loading my workflow into Alteryx Server, we allow users to have it scheduled every morning at 4 a.m., that way by the time they role in, not only they can see what purchases need to be made for the day, but it's always refreshed at Tableau server. And we're talking about non-users, people who are not familiar with that type of technology, but they can run the workflow without ever engaging me.

 

  • Alteryx by an Intermediate User

I now have an Alteryx workflow that runs every day scheduled at Alteryx Server, it gets the previous days downtime from the system, and appends it to a .YXDB file that I have, and I keep a rolling two years’ worth of data in that YXDB file. This particular workflow goes out to that XYDB, brings in 28 days’ worth of data and presents it in a Pareto format, so that they can go on a regular basis, they can drill into the facility, they can drill into the line, and see what the failures have been on that line and that are causing the downtime on those lines.

 

Because of the complexity of getting the data, we only would have got it about once every month, and we would have done some reporting at that point. Now, they have a rolling 28 days of data, that they have every day to go back and look at what the failures have been over the last month. It's delivered to them through a power BI report.

 

  • Alteryx by an Advanced User

The workflow I created for the strategic pricing project allowed that team to do somethings that they had never been able to do before. It used to take them three plus months to train a new pricing analyst. Now, they can train an analyst in 30 minutes, with this new data that we pulled together for them, and then they built a Tableau dashboard off it. They have been able to improve their process that much, and that quickly!

 

For the customer profitability project, I used an analytic app, which is housed on the Alteryx Server, and my user now can go and run that report whenever she wants, and she loves that no one else has to be involved. I also helped her reduce her queries that she had to go and refresh before we ran the Alteryx workflow by 80%, so really helping her to be more efficient in her job. We have a documented process now, which we didn't before, with the Alteryx database.

 

Describe the benefits you have achieved

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CUSTOMER PROFITABILITY

  • Run on demand using Analytic App on Server
  • Reduced manual input refreshes by 80%
  • Streamlined and documented process
  • Analyst has more confidence in the data
  • Error reporting points analyst directly to data with issues 

STRATEGIC PRICING

  • Almost impossible to do this analysis before
  • On-boarding new team members takes about 30 minutes; used to be about 3 months
  • Can compare within and between customers and products
  • Pricing is still a judgement call, but now more informed decisions can be made
 
Related Resources

The entire PowerPoint presentation can be found here.  

 
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