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I am Prashant writing from Singapore and an enthusiast to learn Alteryx at present. My introduction before I shoot my query. I have 6+ years of expertise on TIBCO spotfire and I have worked to an extent on Tableau too. I know the product limitations of either of the tools but confused on how alteryx will make things better for everybody of us.
I have few basic questions before I make myself land into the technical details. It would be great if any one from the forum can help understand the below questions.
How is Alteryx different from Spotfire and Tabelau. If there is no difference then what is alteryx actually doing which is not possible on either of the too mentioned Viz tools.
Please mark me to the unique features exposed by Alteryx if present.
I'll speak from the Tableau perspective because I don't have enough experience with Spotfire to speak as an expert.
Tableau is a visualization engine. Tableau is different from Alteryx in the same way that Tableau is different from SSIS or Mapbox or SAS. Tableau allows you to connect to data sources and make visualizations from that data. With Tableau you drag and drop fields to create visualizations, turn collections of charts into dashboards, and then publish those dashboards for others to use.
Alteryx is an ETL tool. It is a geospatial tool. It is an analysis tool. Don't compare Alteryx and Tableau in functionality. They are both BI tools but that doesn't mean they do the same thing. Sure, Alteryx lets you create reports but that is kind of where the comparison with Tableau ends. The fundamental unit of work in Alteryx is a workflow; an entire data job: ingestion, cleaning, derivation, modeling, output. The fundamental unit in Tableau is a visualization. I describe Alteryx as a substitute for data-focused scripting languages like Python or R. It is a GUI for analytical programming. Alteryx is a toolbox for data analysts. You can read and write from a data source, create advanced statistical models, orchestrate jobs, geocode addresses, send and receive HTTP requests, etc.
Ultimately, Tableau and Alteryx are two different products that meet two different demands. The only similarity is that they are both BI tools.
From my perspective, Alteryx is a great ETL tool that allows me as a Tableau User to not have to mess around with SQL. It saves me loads of time by allowing me to reorient my data, blend data, and even do comparative analyses before getting to the visualisation space. It makes a much cleaner TDE than having multiple sources in Tableau and is much better at joins/unions than I could ever do in SQL.