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Under the hood of Alteryx: tips, tricks and how-tos.

My name is Melvin Abraham, and I am one of the Strategic Customer Success Managers from Alteryx. I am honored to welcome you to the Road Trip to the D.A.T.A. Life.  So, the big question you are probably wondering is, what does D.A.T.A mean to you, and how can you achieve this as you begin or continue your journey?  Well, let's start about 25 years ago when Alteryx was founded by Libby Duane Adams, Dean Stoecker, and Ned Harding (Alteryx Leadership | Alteryx) and understand how you can utilize our platform to empower yourself to create actionable change in your work (Alteryx Inspire 22: Analytics for All - YouTube). But before we go down a rabbit hole, let's hop on the Alteryx bus 🚎 and begin our journey into D.A.T.A. or the Democratization of Analytics Through Alteryx and learn how to define your own path of democratizing analytics for all.


Whether you're using our Maveryx community to learn how to predict retail sales or understand spatial data and see where your outages happen, we are so thrilled you are ready to take data to create compelling stories that will drive actionable insights.  But the last question remains, are you ready to begin your analytical journey into cloud? 


Background of Cloud 


When we think about the existence of cloud computing in our current society today, we must realize that the concept of cloud has been around for more than a decade.  The early term for cloud computing was believed to be coined by a famous American psychologist and computer scientist named Dr. Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider, aka J.C.R., in the late 1960s.  During his tenure at the United States Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, he developed a time-sharing network of computers that lead to ARPANet and was created to connect a network of people and data across computers linked at Pentagon-funded research institutions over telephone lines (ARPANET | Definition, Map, Cold War, First Message, & History | Britannica). 


Now if we fast forward to today, there have been several innovations in cloud computing (Bill and Andy's Excellent Adventure II | WIRED, (PDF) Cloud Computing: History, Architecture, Security Issues (researchgate.net),  that the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST SP 800-145, The NIST Definition of Cloud Computing or SP 800-145, The NIST Definition of Cloud Computing | CSRC) summarized as the five essential characteristics: 

  1. On-demand self-service 
  2. Broad network access 
  3. Resource pooling 
  4. Rapid elasticity 
  5. Measured service 


Now that we know the history of the cloud, how do we know the different types of cloud, and which one is right for us? 


Types of Cloud Computing 


As we explore the cloud computing universe, there are several different types.  Software as a Service, or SaaS, is scalable and easy to use, just like the Alteryx Analytics Cloud Platform.  Next, we have Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, etc., to allow your organization to manage networks, servers, and data storage in the cloud.  Then, we have Platform as a Service (PaaS), which gives you the ability to build, deploy and host consumer-facing apps such as Quickbase, Google App Engine, etc.  However, let’s look at this chart below to see some similarities and differences between IaaS, PaaS & SaaS: 



Source: IaaS vs PaaS vs SaaS: Heres What You Need to Know About Each 


Still a little lost for words?  What Is Cloud Analytics? Benefits & Tools - Alteryx might do the trick.  Also, you can check out this article from our Senior Manager of Solution Architecture, David Hare: Alteryx Analytics Cloud Platform - A Technical Overview if you are interested in learning more about the architecture of our Alteryx Analytics Cloud Platform.  Now if you’re like me, it’s always good to have a couple more references for a more holistic view of the types of cloud computing: 


As we continue learning about the journey of the cloud, let’s take an adventure to the land down under to see how people down in Australia are viewing the journey to the cloud… 


Source: GIPHY


Cloud Experiences in Australia 


In this section, we will hear from Lachlan (@Lachlan_Nichols), a Strategic Customer Success Manager, about how the journey to the Cloud going in the beautiful land of Australia. 


There is an overall desire to engage in and plan for cloud analytics, but big variances in the stages companies are at in their data strategy journey.  A recent survey from AWS & Deloitte has found that 34% of ANZ organizations have advanced levels of data maturity. Coupled with research from ACSM finding just 32% of Australian businesses have a fully defined multi-cloud strategy, we can see the varying levels of cloud and analytical maturity. This is expected to change with cloud computing maturing in Australia. 


In my personal experience working with our customers, I see companies that have: 

  1. Aligned to one cloud provider (e.g. GCP) with the majority of their data and analytics now residing within the platform, potentially leveraging other providers for particular use cases as part of a multi-cloud strategy. An example of a customer whom I would see as quite mature. 
  2. Adopted one or more cloud providers for certain business functions but are yet to move (but plan on moving) their data warehousing, analytics, and insights to the cloud.  This stage seems to be common in ANZ and is also being used as an opportunity to improve accessibility, governance, and quality of data within the organization. 


When companies start saying that they are on a cloud journey and are seeking advice and assurances along the way, the question Alteryx is getting asked is, ‘What is your cloud platform, and how can you help us as we migrate our data and analytics to the cloud?’. 


So now that we understand a little bit about the history of Cloud and how it’s different in other areas of the globe, let’s explore the world of Cloud Computing and the different types we have. 


How does Alteryx solve this issue? 


Whether your data is on-prem or in the cloud, you want to be able to keep your data secure through robust processes that also enable your people to access the data they need to make impactful decisions for your company. 

At Alteryx, we work with you based on your current and future data strategy needs to enable your Maveryx to generate the insights they need from your data and turn them into impactful decisions for your business. 


Conclusion and Next Steps 


Alteryx can help find the appropriate analytical solutions based on where you are in your cloud journey, and support you as you continue your trip to democratize analytics for all. By engaging Alteryx as a part of your cloud journey, we can explore the options of being on-prem, hybrid, or fully cloud to empower better decisions through streamlined insights while democratizing analytics for all. 




So, let's hop on the Alteryx bus and introduce our Chief Evangelist, Joshua Burkhow (@JoshuaB), who will take us to Part 2: The Cloud Journey: A Customer’s Journey from the Land Down Under. Stay tuned for this next article in the series! 



Cloud Computing in Australia: 2023 Policies & Trends | TecEx 

DTA Secure Cloud Strategy - October 2021 v3.pdf