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How to Save 71% of Your Time with Alteryx + Tableau

Alteryx Alumni (Retired)
Created

How to Save 71% of Your Time with Alteryx + Tableau 

 

Author: Alex Huang, Asst. Mgr, Quality Planning and; Analysis

Company: Hyundai Motor America

 

Originally Published: 2016 Excellence Awards Entry

 

Use Case Overview: 

There have been just a few times where some tool or platform has truly "changed" my life. The two that come immediately to mind are Alteryx and; Tableau. Before I had either, the majority of my time was spent wrangling data, creating reports, and doing what I could using SAS, SQL, and; Excel. I had streamlined as much as I could and still felt bogged down by the rudimentary data tasks that plague many of us.

 

With the power of Alteryx alone, I've regained 1,253 hours per year. Alteryx WITH Tableau has saved me an additional 511 hours to a total of 1,764 hours saved per year! Does that mean I can quit? Maybe…but I’m not done yet!

 

For those that care for the details, here's a table of time savings I had cataloged during the start of my Alteryx journey. I’ve had to blank out the activity names for security reasons but the time savings are real.

 

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I experienced a 71% savings in time with Alteryx alone!

 

With this new found "free time," I was able to prototype ideas stuck on my To-Do list and create new insight for my business unit. Now my "what if's" go from idea straight to Alteryx (and to Tableau faster) and I couldn't be happier. Insights are delivered faster than ever and with more frequent (daily) updates thanks to Alteryx Desktop Automation.

 

Describe the problem you needed to solve:

Hyundai Motor America sells thousands of cars per day so the faster we can identify a quality issue and fix it, the more satisfied our customers will be. Addressing quality concerns earlier and faster helps us avoid additional costs but most importantly brand loyalty, perceived quality, and vehicle dependability, etc. Some examples of actions:

 

  1. Increased the speed at which we validate and investigate problems from survey data resulting in faster campaign launches and remedy development.
  2. Able to digest and understand syndicated data from J.D. Powers within hours instead of weeks allowing us to further validate the effectiveness of our prior quality improvement initiatives and also identify issues we missed
  3. Being able to blend all the data sources we need (call center, survey data, repair data, etc.) in Alteryx allowed us to more rapidly prototype our customer risk models vs. traditional methods via SAS which took much longer
  4. Alteryx automation with Tableau allowed us to deploy insight rich interactive dashboards that enabled management to respond to questions in real-time during our monthly quality report involving many major stakeholders throughout Hyundai. This lead to more productive meetings with more meaningful follow-up action items.

 

I needed to solve a time problem first! I was spending too much time doing things like data prep and reporting that just wasn’t quite enough for me. I didn't have enough time to do what I really wanted to do, solve problems!

 

Being an avid fan/user of Tableau, data preparation started becoming my biggest challenge as my dashboard library grew. I would end up writing monster SQL statements and scripts to get the data ready but I still struggled with automation for creating Tableau Data Extracts (TDE's). I explored using Python to create them but it just wasn't quite the "desired" experience. Enter Alteryx, life changed.

 

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Describe the working solution:

 

My work typically involves blending data from our transactional data warehouse, call center data, survey data, and blending third-party data from companies like J.D. Powers. Since we have an Oracle database in-house, I'm able to leverage the In-DB tools in Alteryx which is just amazing! In-DB tools are similar to a "visual query builder" but with the Alteryx look, feel, and added capability of Dynamic Input and Macro Inputs. Since data only moves out of the DB when you want it to, queries are lightning fast which enable accelerated prototyping ability!

 

Describe the benefits you have achieved:

I've quite literally freed up 93% of my time (given 1960 work hours per year with 15 days of vacation @ 8 hours per day) and started a new "data team" within my business unit with Alteryx and; Tableau at its core. The ultimate goal will be to replicate my time savings for everyone and “free the data” through self-service apps. At this point, I’ve deployed 5,774 Alteryx nodes using 61 unique tools in 76 workflows of which 24% or so are scheduled and running automatically. Phew! Props to the built-in “Batch Macro Module Example” for allowing me to calculate this easily!

 

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We are able to identify customer pain points through an automated Alteryx workflow and algorithm that gauges how likely an issue will persist across all owners of the same model/trim package. We’ve seen how blending Experian ConsumerView data bolsters this model but we’re still in the cost justification phase for that. Upon detection of said pain point, we are able to trigger alerts and treatments across the wider population to mitigate the impact of this pain point. Issues that can’t be readily fixed per se are relayed back to Rand;D for further investigation. Ultimately customers may never see an issue because we’ve addressed it or they are simply delighted by how fast we’ve responded even when no immediate remedy is available.

 

The true bottom line is that the speed and accuracy at which we execute is critical in our business. Customers want to be heard and they want to know how we are going to help resolve their problems now, not months later. They want to love their Hyundai’s and the more they feel like we are helping them achieve that, the more loyal they will be to our brand.

 

Although we can’t fix everything, Alteryx helps us get to where we need to be faster which; in my opinion, is an enabler for success.

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