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Analytics

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JoshH
Alteryx Alumni (Retired)

Coming off the heels of Inspire 2016 in San Diego, and gearing up for Inspire Europe in London, I couldn’t be more fired up from listening to how so many of our customers are transforming their businesses through analytics. Organizations such as Southwest Airlines, Chick-fil-A, Ford, and Western Union are already reaping the benefits of self-service data analytics and putting data into the hands of their front-line staff and business partners. This democratization of data is revolutionizing the way enterprises are connecting and using information, providing new opportunities to capture and extract real business value.

 

Alteryx Server: Scaling Self-Service Data Analytics for the EnterpriseIn the latest Alteryx whitepaper titled, “Alteryx Server: Scaling Self-Service Data Analytics for the Enterprise,” I outline the benefits that can be gained from scaling out analytics across an enterprise, key considerations, as well as the key features of an enterprise-ready solution. In this post, I’ll go into a little more depth around those key features and outline some of the customer use cases for Alteryx Server.

 

Ability to run processes simultaneously on a scalable server infrastructure

The benefits of self-service data analytics are undoubtable, but how do you scale out its usage to even more users, and do so in a way that’s sustainable, repeatable and consistent? By moving execution of compute intensive workflows from a desktop to a server you can run them simultaneously, and free up your analyst’s desktops for other projects. A large retail company using Alteryx Server recently said, “One of the biggest benefits of the server is just the horsepower. With Alteryx Server, you can run analytics on a much bigger box, with much more horsepower and it doesn’t bog down our day-to-day laptops.”  In the end, your analysts can deliver more data and insights in less time. And because Alteryx Server has almost no limit to scalability, you can add as many additional servers as needed to support an increased load in users, data, or workflows.

 

Simple, easy, and secure method for creating scheduled jobs

One of the biggest benefits of Alteryx Server is the scheduling component that allows you to automate recurring tasks. I recently spoke with a large financial institution where analysts were spending weeks at a time recreating month-end reports. Through the scheduling and automation capabilities in Alteryx Server, they have now reduced the time to create those monthly reports from several weeks down to less than two hours. The data has been so valuable that they are now running the reports daily, enabling them to respond to market demands more quickly. “If you aren’t using [Alteryx] Server, your analysts are being stretched and having to do a lot of rework, and not getting enough reuse on the analytics that they are producing. Alteryx makes my analysts 3-4x more scalable because they can reuse and extend the workflows, which can be automated, and completely free them up to take on additional projects.

 

Built-In APIs and macros for extensibility

With Alteryx Server, you can build your own runtime-driven tools using an Alteryx web service to embed those processes into other internal applications and expose those tools to other users across your enterprise. One example of this feature in production is with the largest fast food chain in the US. One of their IT administrators said, “Our end users out in the field don’t want to learn another application, they just want to plug numbers in and get the results. The Alteryx API and web service enables the Alteryx Server to be harnessed by any number of applications.

 

Centralized platform for collaboration and version control

By securely storing, sharing, and running workflows in a centralized location accessible to everyone on your team, you gain the confidence that you can easily reuse projects and ensure the integrity of workflows. An analytics leader at a large Midwest retailer recently said, “As a manager, what’s important, is if two people get asked the same question, you get the same answer. Everyone is starting at the same spot. [Alteryx] Server ensures that consistency.” With Alteryx Server you enable not only effective and secure collaboration, but also the ability to track and roll back changes as needed thanks to built-in version control capabilities.

 

Standardized reporting, administration, and monitoring

By involving IT in the solution and running analytics on a server, you gain the peace of mind that data backups occur regularly and that high-availability options protect against crashes, power outages, failures, and even lost laptops. One Alteryx Server administrator recently said, “You don’t have to rely on a user’s laptop. With [Alteryx] Server, you have the benefit of having redundancy, reliability and security, and everything getting backed up on a redundant server infrastructure.

 

As I mention in the paper, the bottom line is that a modern BI analytics platform provides the benefits of self-service data analytics as well as a solution that can be scaled across the enterprise, all without breaking existing IT controls. To learn more, please download the latest Alteryx whitepaper, “Alteryx Server: Scaling Self-Service Data Analytics for the Enterprise.”

Josh Howard
Sr. Director, Product Management

Josh Howard is a technology product veteran covering trends in information management and based in the Denver/Boulder, CO area. He has more than 20 years of experience in developing product and go-to-market strategies across a wide variety of data technologies including business intelligence, analytics, data integration, and database development. He is currently the Sr. Director of Product Management at Alteryx. You can follow Josh on Twitter at @Joshoward

Josh Howard is a technology product veteran covering trends in information management and based in the Denver/Boulder, CO area. He has more than 20 years of experience in developing product and go-to-market strategies across a wide variety of data technologies including business intelligence, analytics, data integration, and database development. He is currently the Sr. Director of Product Management at Alteryx. You can follow Josh on Twitter at @Joshoward