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Utica College Empowers Students with Alteryx

Name: Michael McCarthy
Title: Director of Data Science (Curriculum Program Manager)
Company: Utica
Overview of Use Case

Located in the heart of central New York, Utica College is a private, nonprofit institution that offers undergraduate and graduate degree options. Through Alteryx for Good, Professor Michael McCarthy, Director of Data Science, incorporated Alteryx Designer in the MS in Data Science courses to help students gain data skills.

Describe the business challenge or problem you needed to solve

Data is one of the most powerful tools to inform, engage, and create opportunities for students along their education journey. It doesn’t matter what professions they choose. Data science exposes students to state-of-the-art technology and helps them develop their powers of reasoning.


Back in 2017, Professor McCarthy was looking for a software that could help his students develop data skills and he came across Alteryx for Good (AFG), a project that delivers game-changing benefits of breakthrough data science and analytics capabilities into schools, universities, and nonprofit organizations. 

Describe your working solution

Utica College uses Alteryx Designer in 5 of 6 core data science courses in their Master of Science in Data Science (MSDS) program: Intro to Data Science, Data Mining, Machine Learning, Data Visualization, and the Capstone; the program is built to support Alteryx users. The MSDS program is online, so it serves students across the U.S. as well as students in other countries. This May, the first MSDS students who used Alteryx Designer will graduate.


“It is a very exciting time for us and I want to thank the Alteryx team for supporting our students. Alteryx, and AFG, provide the complete package that enables my faculty to effectively teach data science to our graduate students in an online learning environment,” Professor McCarthy said.


In class, students use Alteryx Designer to as part of their project-based learning. They choose a problem and solve it building workflows on Alteryx Designer. In addition, they use Alteryx Community as a learning tool to check for similar cases.  “One of my students was having a hard time calculating a z score.  Working collaboratively, he discovered he could use a formula tool or the “standardize z-score” tool to generate the z-score. After all of that, it is important to focus on what the output means,” Professor McCarthy said.


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Describe the benefits you have achieved

Alteryx allows Utica College's Data Science program to teach data science to students, who are new to coding as well as those who are already programming, using the code-free and code-friendly interface. It also gets students into machine learning quickly and allows them to graduate with very marketable skills. 


Related Resources

Program Page:


You Tube Videos:


Alteryx Designer z-score Data standardization

Alteryx Designer, 5 ways to get help: