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Data Science Blog

Machine learning & data science for beginners and experts alike.


It’s a question we ask children … and maybe to each other on a first date.  Or one of 3 questions asked to Lancelot and Galahad by the Keeper of the Bridge of Death in Monty Python and the Holy Grail  – but don’t get a wrong answer like Sir Robin or Galahad!


As a recent addition to the Alteryx family, this question came to mind during my employee orientation.  You see, every new associate is trained in using the Alteryx Designer when they join.  What was quickly apparent is that Alteryx has an easy to understand color scheme.  Blue for prepping data, Purple for joins, light green for parsing, navy for In-Database, gold for reporting – all in all, there are 24 color groupings in my Designer.


Back to the story though … as part of our training, we are given the opportunity to create a project and present it to our fellow Associates.  During these presentations, I saw a lot of the aforementioned colors on the design palette.  Blues, Purples, Burnt Orange (for transformations) … but not a lot of my favorite Alteryx color – Brown.


Brown?  Yes, Brown. Brown for Predictive Analytics.  If I’m a betting man (and I’m not), I would surmise that a LOT of Alteryx workflows tend to showcase Blues, Purples, and Burnt Oranges – not a lot of Brown.  Brown is one of the places in Alteryx Designer where Data is turned into meaningful, forward-looking Information.  Brown is “next best offer”. Brown is “propensity to attrite/churn”.  Brown is Data Mining.  Brown is “magic”. 


The Alteryx Designer is a great organizational asset – typically placed in the hands of ANALYSTS, and Brown is ANALYSIS.  In every organization, all too often, ANALYSTS predominantly stop with the Blue (Data Prep), the Purple (Join), and the Burnt Orange (Transform).  And while this is good … much time spent in ORGANIZING the data for analytics tends to lead to little time for our ANALYSTS actually DOING true analytics.


So, what am I getting at?  Examine your workflows.  Are they little to no Brown? Brown is OPPORTUNITY, and it’s that easy to incorporate true, predictive analytics into your current workflows.  While blending data is GOOD, and shows what happened, adding Predictive Analytics gives insight for what’s to come.  Community members have also added to the Predictive District in the Gallery!


My name is Gary Spakes.

My quest is to help you leverage Alteryx for deeper insights.

My favorite Alteryx color is Brown.


What’s yours … and why?  Leave me a comment ...

Creative Director
Creative Director

 My favorite Alteryx color is green - for spatial, yes, but also for the parsing and exercising my Regex muscle!

I have brown, and lots of brown!  I love me some Regression.  I'm branching out and experimenting with Neural Networks.  I also have Olive Green for Predictive Groupings.  I find the K-means cluster analysis to be a great way of improving the regressions.


But yeah, there's alot of blue and purple on my canvas too.

Alteryx Alumni (Retired)

Thanks for the blog, Gary! I've been looking forward to your posts!

Alteryx Partner
Alteryx Partner



My favorite color is grey (Developer tools) because half the time I am getting free data! To me, there is nothing like having better context and you can use the extra context for the brown tools.  


At my last Alteryx User Group meeting, there was a lot of Brown discussion. Our members want to use the Predictive tools to achieve deeper insights, but are limited in their statistical knowledge/experience such that being able to truly understand the tools and explain/implement their results with others becomes a big challenge. Aside from going back to college or endlessly scouring the web, does anyone have any suggestions for how individuals and companies can obtain the statistical acumen necessary to effectively utilize the color Brown in Alteryx?


As with probably most other users, there is definitely a shotgun splatter of blue and purple across the majority of my workflows.  I'm trying to get to the browns, but first I must remove as many roadblocks as possibly to get there, and blue+purple+scheduling is the bulldozer that's clearing the path.  Much of my work involves Google Sheets and inputs/outputs so I have an affinity for the grays as well - and I may or may not have a gray tool of my own coming out shortly so there might be a bit of bias there ;).  Hopefully, with the road cleared and available time increased, the browns can find there way in.  Does anybody have any tips for getting started with brown?  What questions and data got you started?

Creative Director
Creative Director

@DultonM and @rpaugh - check out One Stop Shop for Predictive Resources - it covers starter kits, examples, articles, trainings and other resources on community.


Thanks for all the comments!  I'm beginning to have an affinity for Green as well.  Spacial has some interesting uses.  With regard to Brown and "getting started", take a peek "just left" ... at the (I'll call it) "Ice" - Data Investigation.  Understanding the correlations and distributions are a major precursor to effectively utilizing Brown.





What is your favorite color palette ?




@GarySp great blog post - would have guessed red based upon the color shirt and hat we normally see you sporting during our Boot Camp Tech Exchange.  Thanks for being a good sport!