Past Analytics Excellence Awards

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Author: Scott Elliott (@scott_elliott) , Senior Consultant

Company: Webranz Ltd


Awards Category: Best Use of Alteryx Server


We are using the server to store Alteryx Apps that get called by the "service bus" and perform calculations and write the results into a warehouse where growers can log into a web portal and check the results of the sample.


Describe the problem you needed to solve 

Agfirst BOP is a agricultural testing laboratory business  that perform scientific measurement on Kiwifruit samples it receives from 2500 growers around New Zealand. In peak season it tests up to 1000 samples of 90 fruit per day. The sample test results trigger picking of the crop, cool storage, shipping and sales to foreign markets. From the test laboratory the grower receives notification of the sample testing being completed. They log into a portal to check the results. Agfirst BOP were looking for a new technology to transform the results from the service bus up to the web portal which gave them agility around modifying or adding tests.


Describe the working solution

We take sample measurement results from capture  devices. These get shipped to a landing warehouse. There is a trigger which calls the Alteryx Application residing on the Alteryx server for each sample and test type.  The Alteryx App then performs a series of calculations and publishes the results into the results warehouse. The grower is now able to login to the web portal and check their sample. Each App contains multiple batch macros which allow processing sample by sample. Some of the tests have a requirement for the use of advanced analytics. These tests call R as part of the App.  The use of macros is great as it provide amazing flexibilty and agility to plug in or plug out new tests or calculations. Having it on Alteryx Server allows it to be enterprise class by giving it the ability to be scaled and flexible at the same time. As well as being fully supported by the infrastructure team as it is managed within the data centre rather than on a local desktop.




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Batch Macro:


Agfirst Batch Macro.jpg


Describe the benefits you have acheived

The benefits realised include greater agility around adding/removing sample tests via the use of Macros. We are able to performed advanced analytics by calling R and it futures proofs the business by enabling them to choose any number of vendors and not be limited by the technology because of the ability of Alteryx to blend multiple sources. It gives them amazing flexibility around future technology choices and it is all supported and backed up by the infrastructure team because it sits within the datacentre and they have great comfort in knowing it's not something sitting under someones desk.

Author: Aaron Harter (@aaronharter), Media Ops Manager

Company: Quigley-Simpson


Awards Category: Best Use of Alteryx Server


We leverage our Alteryx Server to design and implement custom apps that allow for any team member at the Agency to benefit from the power of Alteryx, without the programming knowledge necessary to construct a solution on their own.  Analytic apps allow for all employees at Q-S to leverage the capabilities of Alteryx in a fun and easy to use interface.


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Describe the problem you needed to solve 

Any company can own, buy or hold data. Finding creative applications to use data to drive informed decision making and find opportunities in a market is what separates the wheat from the chaff, regardless of industry.


Quigley-Simpson is an advertising agency in the highly fragmented media industry and the unique problems include managing rapidly changing marketplaces with dozens of disparate data sets and supporting many teams with varying reporting needs. The Media Operations team has been tasked to implement custom solutions to improve efficiency and make sense out of the big data coming in the agency.


Media measurement is highly reliant on quality data sourcing, blending and modeling, and we have been able to use Alteryx as a centralized environment for handling and processing all of this data across many formats. We have worked closely with key stakeholders in each department to automate away all of their "pain points" relating to data and reporting and interacting with our media buying system.


Describe the working solution

Some of our apps join our media buy, audience delivery history with our client's first party data and the related third party audience measurement data from Nielsen. Other third party data sources we leverage include Digital and Social Media metrics, GfK MRI demographic and psychographic market research, TIVO TRA set-top box data combined with shopper loyalty data, MediaTools authorizations and strategic planning on the brand level, AdTricity digital feedback on pre-, mid-, and post- roll online video campaigns, and comScore digital metrics for website activity.


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Expediting the processing, summarizing, cross-tabbing and formatting of these data sets has added an element of standardization to our reporting which did not exist previously while improving the speed and accuracy. An app we built for the one of our teams produces over 50 reports, ready for distribution, in less than 3 min, replacing a process that used to take a full day to accomplish.


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Additionally, we are using spatial tools to analyze delivery and performance of pilot Programmatic Television test, which aggregates local market TV inventory to represent a national footprint. Several of our workflows blend and prep data for visualization on our in-house "Data Intelligence Platform" which is powered by Tableau. This is then used by our media planners and buyers to optimize campaigns to meet goals and exceed client expectations.


The flexibility to build out apps or dashboards, depending on the needs statement of the end user, has been phenomenal and very well received at the Agency.


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Describe the benefits you have achieved

Now that we are an Alteryx organization, we are replacing all of our outdated processes and procedures with gracefully simple workflows that are propelling the Agency to the forefront of technology and automation. Our report generating apps have improved the accuracy, reliability, and transparency of our reporting. The log processing apps have saved thousands of hours of manual data entry. Now that our workforce has been liberated from these time consuming, monotonous tasks, we are wholly focused on growing our clients' business while better understanding marketplace conditions.


Streamlining the workflow processes has allowed for drastically reduced on-boarding times while maintaining data integrity and improving accuracy. It has been a primary goal to give all employees the tools to increase their knowledge base and grow their careers by improving the access to data they use for daily decision making, a goal we are achieving thanks in large part to our Alteryx Server.


2016 Alteryx Server app totals (as of 4/22/16):

  • Teams using apps = 7
  • Number of apps = 44
  • 2016 app run count = 1,794
  • 2016 time savings = 4,227 hours

Suzanne.pngAuthor: Suzanne McCartin (@SMCCARTI) , Sr. Ops Reporting Analyst

Company: Nike, Inc.


Awards Category: Name Your Own - Get Back In Time


Describe the problem you needed to solve 

My two my personal favorite Nike values are 'Simplify and Go' and 'Evolve Immediately'!    In Nike Apparel Global Product Creation Operations.  Our immediate need was to replace a critical and core data set on a tight timeline.  Making sure our product creation centers didn't lose buy tracking visibility.     Buy readiness is the measure and metric for garment commercialization.  Do we have everything we need to purchase?   This was just the beginning...


Describe the working solution

The buy ready metric process was implemented using a combination of tools and the first step was to replace the one data source, adding Alteryx to the tool mix.  The build process was then reconstructed and migrated to Altetyx using blending and in-database tools.  Going from about a 5 hour process to 1 hour.


The next follow up solution was to upgrade the report generation processes.  The first solution was one process for each output, and each one had its own data collection process.  Each of these solutions was moved to one workflow using the same data collection process.   Allowing me to enforce Nike's single version of the truth mantra!  This solution  has all kinds of data cleaning , mapping, and shaping.


Describe the benefits you have achieved

The first round benefit was getting the upgrade done and we did so with improved accuracy and data visibility.    The real benefit was to allow the process to get us back to the future and we are lined up to better collaborate with IT and move to Tableau and other new platforms!

Author: Andrew Simnick, Head of Strategy

Company: Art Institute of Chicago


Awards Category: Best 'Alteryx for Good' Story


The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the world's greatest art museums, staying true to our founding mission to collect, preserve, and interpret works of art of the highest quality from across the globe for the inspiration and education of our audiences. Today we face new competition for visitor attention, a continued responsibility to expand our audiences, and an increasingly-challenging economic environment.  Alteryx has allowed us to quickly overcome our data and resource constraints, develop a deeper understanding of our local audiences, and strike a balance between mission- and revenue-driven activities to continue to deliver on our mission for Chicago.


Describe the problem you needed to solve 

We, as do other museums, face the challenges of growing our audience while  maintaining a strong financial foundation. Our strategy to navigate this has been to increase visit frequency from our core visitor segments in the near term and use this increase to further expand outreach to new local audiences. However, our challenges to achieving this have been three-fold. First, visitor segmentation in the arts and culture space is a relatively recent concept, and general segmentation schema are not always applicable to Chicago at a granular level. Second, we have very useful data but in inconsistent formats, ranging from handwritten notes and Excel documents to normalized but disconnected databases. Third, we are resource-constrained as an institution and cannot dedicate large amounts of time or money towards dedicated analytics or external consulting.


Describe the working solution

First, we built a database describing the Chicago CBSA at the census block group level, providing the nuance necessary for a city where demographics change block-to-block and limit the utility of ZIP code analysis. Alteryx allowed us to get to this new additional level of detail and make our analysis relevant to Chicago. Using the Allocate Input and Calgary Join, we applied information from the US Census as well as Experian data sets. We utilized basic data such as population, income, and education, as well as proprietary Experian segments such as Mosaic groups and ISPSA (Index of Social Position in Small Areas) to describe these census blocks.


Second, we brought together our disparate visitor data into a blendable format. Some of our datasets are well defined, such as our membership CRM which resides in a relational database on MSSQL Server, whereas others are more ad hoc, such as our Family Pass users, which are transcribed from pen and paper into an Excel document. The Join tools in Alteryx provided a simple way to bring these data together without commanding significant time from our small analytics team.


Third, each of these datasets was CASS Encoded and geocoded using the US Geocoder tool, providing us a spatial object. We then utilized the Spatial Match tool to find the intersection of these objects with our universe of Chicagoland Block Groups. Each of these distinct streams were then normalized and combined to the block group aggregation level resulting in our final dataset. We also utilized a shared public custom macro which allowed us to convert these block groups into polygons for visualization in Tableau.


Finally, we utilized heatmaps and scatterplots to identify which proprietary Experian segments correlate with our different offerings. This informed our choice of variables for our final Decision Tree tool analysis, which identified prime target block groups associated with our different offerings. These bespoke segments created via machine learning were more applicable to our own audiences and required a fraction of the time and cost of other segmentation methods.


Describe the benefits you have achieved

This approach has given us a framework and the supporting intelligence from which to make institutional decisions surrounding visitor outreach and programming, allowing us to focus our resources on actions which we believe will have the greatest impact towards increased participation, attendance, and/or revenue. For example, we can now tailor membership messaging more effectively and quantify the effects on repeat visitation. We also can identify gaps in our geographic coverage of Chicagoland and test different outreach efforts to engage new audiences. Most importantly, we can unify our approach to audience development across departments using a common baseline and methodology. These combined efforts enabled by Alteryx will help us to build our audiences and fulfill our civic responsibilities well into the future.