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Analytics Blog

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Alteryx
Alteryx

Inspire Europe 2017 - What an incredible event! So many amazing presentations from industry experts and a real buzz in the crowd around our newest product: Alteryx Connect.

 

We had a full house for the Product Keynote session on Wednesday, where we gave an end-to-end story around how Connect is going to super-charge that first mile of analytics. After the session, I got to meet so many Inspire Europe attendees who loved our vision and wanted to learn more about what we see as best practice to get their data assets and their tribal knowledge into shape and put to work.

 

I’d love to share some of those conversations and that best practice with you in this blog post.

 

Developing a strong self-service analytics culture is vital to data productivity. At the heart of this communication is discovery and trust: “Where do I find the data I need for my analysis, and how can I trust this data and ensure that it’s relevant and accurate?”

 

Alteryx Connect provides a platform for analysts to search for data smarter: using a blazing-fast search-engine to surface key information, and using tribal knowledge to quickly determine the value of that information: is it well-regarded by other analysts? Has it been certified by our Chief Data Officer? Is it clearly tagged and described? And, how is it related to my other data sources?

 

Data Lineage is at the heart of those relationships between data. How information moves through and between analytical systems can become vital in understanding the context of the data.

 

Connect provides technical data lineage by harvesting metadata from a wide variety of systems. This automatic capture is supplemented by allowing analysts and other users to add relationships manually using a web browser interface, incorporating that tribal knowledge from expert users and connecting any information stored in the platform.

 

The lineage that’s currently captured by Alteryx Connect is represented here:

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Alteryx Connect provides two key visualisations to help analysts understand this lineage. Firstly, the Relationships View provides a clear description of a data asset and its immediate surroundings. Think of this as the 10,000ft view of an Alteryx workflow with inputs and outputs clearly flowing from a central workflow.

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The Nexus View takes this beyond just data lineage: exploring the wider scope of connected terms, tags, data sources and people that are attached to an object. Fully interactive within the browser, an analyst can start with a business definition and use the Nexus to discover all the associations around that term.

 

With every step in the chain containing a hyperlink, it’s possible to follow a single data source through to its eventual use in multiple reports or to pivot the exploration on a term or tag and see business data from a totally different perspective.

 

The Nexus View offers the analyst ways to filter the visualization, ensuring that only lineage connections or specific entities are shown. This opens up some powerful use-cases for Impact Analysis, allowing the analyst to see the effect that changes in one data system might have on downstream analytics consumers.

 

Below is an example of Nexus being used for pure technical lineage, highlighting the flow of data from raw source files into an Alteryx workflow and then out to a Tableau report using a TDE file.

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Next, we show Nexus revealing much deeper links between the technical metadata and business terms and definitions. This allows teams to create a much deeper understanding of how business and technology components come together to form a linked and connected organization.

 

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So, lineage is far more than just data flowing from one environment to another. In our vision, it’s a vibrant web of connections between assets, concepts and people.

 

A well-connected social data catalogue gives your analysts the information they need at their fingertips; your analytic leadership the confidence it demands that self-service analytics can be governed, reused and promoted, and your technology teams the ability to understand which assets are vital to the smooth running of day-to-day operations.

Nick Jewell
Director, Product Strategy

Nick Jewell works in the Product Management team! Starting his career with a Ph.D. in Chemoinformatics (Data Science for Drug Design) helped develop a life-long passion for applied analytics. As a long-serving analyst, architect and innovation leader for Analytics & BI at a large international bank, Nick helped define and implement large scale big data, analytics and informatics solutions at the petabyte scale for global audiences. Nick has a passion for open data, connectivity and emerging technologies in the data and analytics space and is a strong supporter of agile-led and user-centric design.

Nick Jewell works in the Product Management team! Starting his career with a Ph.D. in Chemoinformatics (Data Science for Drug Design) helped develop a life-long passion for applied analytics. As a long-serving analyst, architect and innovation leader for Analytics & BI at a large international bank, Nick helped define and implement large scale big data, analytics and informatics solutions at the petabyte scale for global audiences. Nick has a passion for open data, connectivity and emerging technologies in the data and analytics space and is a strong supporter of agile-led and user-centric design.

Comments
Meteoroid

@NickJ Is there a way to create bulk relationships using the data in the H2 database? Like linking Glossary Terms to Data Assets.