Engine Works

Under the hood of Alteryx: tips, tricks and how-tos.
The Expert Exam is now live online! Read about the specifics and what it took to bring it to life in the blog by our very own Elizabeth Bonnell!

I am excited to announce that October 13th will mark the kickoff of the second


with the University of Connecticut's Masters of Science in Business Analytics and Project Management (MSBAPM).... The Data Challenge in the spring was a huge success with over 100 students and alumni registering as teams of 1-4 and going from no Alteryx experience to building exciting and cool workflows, apps, and macros in less than 2 weeks. Though we suggest several options for datasets to explore, students are encouraged to delve into any datasets they find interesting and try to glean insights from them.


I'm an alumnus of the MSBAPM program, and my success in the Spring Data Challenge led to my employment here with Alteryx. Thus, I can attest to the opportunities that the Challenge provides to the students at UCONN. Though most of the submissions (homework, exams) in the program are software agnostic, SAS is best-known by instructors and hence is best supported throughout the curriculum. I've watched fellow students experience pain and anxiety using combinations of Excel, SQL, JMP, and SAS EM alongside others and seen that be amplified by steep learning curves. Personally, until the Data Challenge, I'd turned to Python in an attempt to enjoy analytics. I've also gotten to see (and feel) firsthand the difference between someone being relieved that they finally got another combination of tools to accomplish the task that they wanted and someone being excited that they were able to quickly and effectively manipulate data to gain insights.

This challenge, highlighted by its opportunity to learn Alteryx, can transform the student who is intimidated by complex problems to one that is excited about the many possibilities in which to approach it.



I believe that the Challenge also provides Alteryx and the Alteryx Commnity with special opportunities. There's no doubt that Alteryx wouldn't be where it is without its exceptionally bright and passionate community of users, and this is an opportunity for it to absorb some of the bright young talent that the MSBAPM program attracts from around the globe. As these students grow to learn Alteryx, it is also a fantastic opportunity to extend Alteryx further into the insurance and healthcare industries, as the program has especially high placement statistics for insurance companies in and around Hartford.


We will be onsite to provide training on the 13th, but as I'm sure you realize, the learning of Alteryx tools and techniques is very much an ongoing process. Because of the impressive helpfulness and patience displayed throughout the community, we've decided that there is no place better to direct Challengers to for help and questions than to the Alteryx Community site.


Challengers will be able to be easily identified by their rank and rank badge:



After October, they will be incorporated into the community rank structure.


Please be patient and helpful as we welcome these UCONN Data Challengers to the Alteryx Community.


Alteryx Certified Partner

Hey Dylan, this sounds a great program. I'm unsure of how you want the community to interact with these guys though, is the idea we are there to answer their questions in the challenge area? or will that be for them to ask / answer between themselves?


Will they be working individually or in groups? 100 sounds like a lot but I'm sure some of the ACEs will happily mentor one or two students if they are particular interested in Alteryx at the end of the challenge and want to take it further.




Hi Chris,


The questions on Alteryx designer/tool usage will be put in (hopefully) the appropriate forum (Setup & Config, Data Sources, etc.), just as anyone else would. The challenge section should just be more logistical questions pertaining to the Data Challenge. Thus, it's not that there will be questions to answer in a different place, just that there will likely be more questions than normal, particularly questions from first-time users.


The students have the option of working by themselves or in groups of 2-4. The majority will work in groups of 4, so we won't expect questions on nearly 100 projects. I'll update the blog to note this.


I know of several students who have been continuing to use Alteryx since the Spring, both in their school work and recreationally (Kaggle, etc.), so I would not doubt that they'd be happy to hear that and eager to learn.

8 - Asteroid

Hi Dylan


I manage an Alteryx User Group for Connecticut, Central Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.  Although retired, I use Alteryx recreationally - generally using open source public data (census, BLS, US Educational Databases, US reapportionment database, and various CT state and local databases).


I am a UConn Alumnus, so I thing the Alteryx Challenge program is a fantastic opportunity for the university.  Other UConn schools and programs such as the liberal arts and engineering as well as various research programs might be additional targets for Alteryx and/or Alteryx challenges.


Recently, I have been experimenting with Ct SBAC testing results doing some predictive analyses, clustering, visualizations, and rankings to get some insights.  Public data are a bit messy to use in a challenge lasting only 2 weeks, but id anyone in the Alteryx Community is interested in my analysis results or some experimentation with the raw data, I can put either or both out to a drop box for that use.  I'd be interested in any comments, observations, or insights from the community.


I wouls like to see Alteryx consider other challenge offerings.  The media often publishes reports from various non-profit public service organizations showing analyses.  Most looks like cherry picking to a special interest.  Maybe there should be a challeng contest among the various organizations.  Likewise, with so much interest in STEM primary and secondary school systems, an "As Schools Match Analytics" challenge could be a great educational experience.