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Data Science

Machine learning & data science for beginners and experts alike.
Alteryx Alumni (Retired)


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 ...