Past Analytics Excellence Awards

Excellence Awards 2016: Wayne Franklin - Most Time Saved

Author: Wayne Franklin, Student Experience Evaluation Officer

Company: Charles Darwin University


Awards Category: Most Time Saved


The time saved mainly effects my workload; this in turn allows me to work on other projects for the department which helps the overall organisation. Being a smaller organisation our resources are limited so any time saved makes a significant difference to our overall output. Using Alteryx has quite often saved days of manual work and it significantly reduces the risk of errors.


Describe the problem you needed to solve 

The issue we faced was how best to amalgamate multiple data tables into three new unique excel files to be used by a 3rd party survey tool - Blue eXplorance. While this doesn't sound too difficult, it becomes very time consuming when there are thousands of rows of data in each data source. Being a smaller educational institutional I am at present the only person that works with all the setting up, running and reporting of all the surveys within the university; spending a day or two stuck on setting up one survey can have a detrimental effect on other projects.


Describe the working solution

The old way of doing things: Download each of the data sources which included the full student and unit information for a given semester. This was followed by a series of pivot tables, copy pasting, creating new fields, making things more meaningful (i.e. change 'M' to Male - not much but supervisors like it better that way). Once all that was done I would eventually end up with clean unit, student and relationship files that are set up to be used for 3rd party survey software. This doesn't sound like much but is quite time consuming. I got pretty good at excel formulas which helped cut the time down a little, but still took a day messing around in excel to get the final product. The new way to do things: click run on the Alteryx app I made, wait a minute, done! The app I created allows me to select the files to upload and where to save the output files at the end.


Describe the benefits you have achieved

What started as a solid day or two work is now reduced to a minute wait time as the Alteryx app is running. This frees me up to continue work on other projects I am working on and be a more productive member of our team.