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Engine Works

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

I've had a bunch of customers tell me how much fun they think Alteryx is to use. One even had her coworkers describe it as "that cartoon program." Obviously that fun has lots to do with Tara's wonderful light hearted icons, but I hope it permeates the whole program. As much fun as it is to use, it has been more fun to write.


Of all the programming tasks, my favorite is optimization. Optimization means many things to me. It means making the product faster, but it also means making the user faster. We are constantly trying to make Alteryx a more efficient application to use. One small example is the JoinMultiple tool introduced in 4.0 It didn't add any functionality that couldn't be done with the regular Join tool, but when joining 3 or more streams, it hugely simplifies the logic of a module.


With every release of Alteryx we add new features, but we are also committed to making it more fun and easier to use. On that note, what's getting optimized in the future?


Josh will be working full time for the next 2 releases on what he likes to call "User Experience" issues. 1st he will be looking at the browse, and then the module editor itself to make them as efficient and usable as possible. As he gets farther along in this process, look forward to some posts from him.


We will continue to optimize for speed, doing a better job of using multiple CPU cores wherever possible. We hope that every release is overall slightly faster than the previous and sometimes individual tools will be radically faster - like the guzzler drive time.


How do we know what to focus on? We only know because we get feedback from our customers. Fortunately with our Data & Professional services teams in house being constant Alteryx users, we get a lot of feedback in house, but we can always use more. Suggestions are always welcome - comment on this post, send them directly to Tara & I, or go through sales or client services. Anyway you send it, we promise to listen.


Thanks for listening,