community
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Engine Works Blog

Under the hood of Alteryx: tips, tricks and how-to's.
Alteryx
Alteryx

Recently, my wife wanted to have a cookout with friends. I was excited about it and said, “Sure! Let’s do it!” She replied that she wanted to make home-made salsa and needed some ingredients. Not a problem for me as my exploits at the grocery store are well documented! [See The-Grocery-Store-is-a-Fascinating-Place and More-Insights-from-the-Grocery-Store.]

 

I made my way to the store, grabbed cilantro, crushed tomatoes, some peppers, garlic, onion, limes… you know, all the good stuff to make killer salsa. I brought it home and stood back to watch my wife’s “magic.”

cilantro-1287301_640.jpg

It was incredible to see, and I even got to participate! It turns out I’m a pretty good crushed tomato can opener, cilantro chopper, and lime squeezer, but when it comes to mixing the ingredients… let’s just say, that’s still not “ME.” My wife is a salsa-making machine. She scooped, she mixed, she sprinkled. No recipe.

 

Then, she grabbed a chip…

 

She sampled. She said, “nope.” She mixed and sprinkled some more… grabbed a chip… said, “yep, this is good to go!"

 

I watched, I listened, and I asked: “How did you ‘know’ it was ‘wrong’?”

 

“I tasted it, silly man. You were standing right here.”

appetite-1238240_640.jpg

I pondered for a moment, I listened, and I asked: “How did you ‘know’ it was ‘right’?”

 

Now I got the “I’m annoyed” look, followed by, “I tasted it, silly man. You were standing right here” (and an eye roll).

 

What my wife didn’t know was that the team that I am privileged to be a part of is working to help our customers create a “framework for establishing a culture of analytics.” I’ve been doing a lot of research on this topic.

 

Her process and her comments floored me (not the eye-roll, I get that all the time).

 

I know you’re asking, “what’s making salsa got to do with establishing a culture of analytics?” EVERYTHING!!!

food-1239423_640.jpg

It dawned on me that my wife had an already established decision-making process – her tastebuds.  If the answer she received wasn’t “correct,” she went back and re-swizzled the mixture until it was “right.”

 

My premise for “establishing a culture of analytics” is BALONEY.  Every organization today… EVERY ORGANIZATION… has already established a way to solve problems – in effect, organizations have a defined culture of analytics. Organizations today take data points and apply them to problems so they can develop solutions. Every day.

 

Now the question is… is that “culture of analytics” effective and efficient? Maybe. Maybe not. Are you taking data, transforming it into useful, relevant, timely information, then presenting it in the proper context so you can make the best, most informative decision? Or are you just using any ol’ data point as a stake in the sand for your decisions?

 

You already have a culture of analytics. What we at Alteryx should be doing is not helping you ESTABLISH, but helping to REFINE and REDEFINE your analytic culture.

fresh-1239267_640.jpg

 Ask yourself these questions.

 

  • How do I make decisions today?
    • Is it ‘gut-based’?
    • Do I base decisions on historical DATA, or do I use predictive and prescriptive analytics to transform that data into INFORMATION?
  • Am I getting the right INFORMATION to the right PEOPLE at the right TIME?
  • Is my decision-making both TIMELY and ACCURATE? How can I tell? 
  • What do I need to DO to improve my decision-making process?
  • Do I have an enterprise platform that aids me in decision-making?
    • How effective and efficient is it?
    • Is it ‘strategic’?

 

I don’t want to help you ‘establish’ a culture of analytics. I want to help ‘refine’ your culture. Together, let’s make it better.

 

As an aside, no need to refine my wife’s salsa-making culture… by the comments at the cookout, she’s “the best”… but I already knew that.

Gary Spakes
Director | Solutions Architecture

Gary focuses on both the technical aspects and business implications involving the Alteryx architecture. Gary engages strategically with customers world-wide on a variety of technology topics including but not limited to Data Management, Analytical Process Lifecycle, Insight Delivery, and underlying technologies. Gary’s goal is to help organizations leverage technology to turn data into information, information into insight, and make “better” decisions. An 18 year IT veteran prior to going to “the dark side” in Sales and Marketing, Gary has implemented and led operational teams for ERP systems, been a DBA and DBA manager, and developed investment management and mutual fund accounting software during stints with Price Waterhouse, Chase Manhattan Bank (now JP Morgan Chase), Acxiom Corporation, and SAS. Spakes holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Tampa with majors in Mathematics and Management Information Systems. He resides in North Carolina.

Gary focuses on both the technical aspects and business implications involving the Alteryx architecture. Gary engages strategically with customers world-wide on a variety of technology topics including but not limited to Data Management, Analytical Process Lifecycle, Insight Delivery, and underlying technologies. Gary’s goal is to help organizations leverage technology to turn data into information, information into insight, and make “better” decisions. An 18 year IT veteran prior to going to “the dark side” in Sales and Marketing, Gary has implemented and led operational teams for ERP systems, been a DBA and DBA manager, and developed investment management and mutual fund accounting software during stints with Price Waterhouse, Chase Manhattan Bank (now JP Morgan Chase), Acxiom Corporation, and SAS. Spakes holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Tampa with majors in Mathematics and Management Information Systems. He resides in North Carolina.

Labels