Analytics Blog

Data Blending: The Evolution of Self-Service Analytics

The evolution of self-service analytics is upon us. What started out as a means to an end for a data analyst who dealt with a single source of data, has now led to the necessity of multiple sources of data. Throughout this evolution, data blending has taken charge by empowering those analysts in the line of business with the ability to access and blend multiple disparate data sources to get a broader more accurate view of the data to make more informed decisions.

Preparing Data for Excel - Moving Beyond Just the Spreadsheet

Last week I co-presented with TDWI's Fern Halper a webinar, Moving Beyond Spreadsheets for Analytics. The focus was on analytic trends taking form within organizations and in particular the role of the business analysts. These are the people that utilize Microsoft Excel or at least try to utilize it for all of their deep data and analytic needs. My discussion with Fern was about how we can help these folks to do their jobs in a way that would free them from the many hours of painful data blending they are trying to do in Excel.

Top Five Highlights from this Week

1.  Data Blending and Advanced analytics can have a huge impact in the Communications Industry. You can download this whitepaper that highlights the 5 biggest applications.

2.  Not truly something that we learned this week but...  ALTERYX MAKES WORK FUN!!Alteryx Ace Catherine DeSesa gave their client a jaw dropping experience.

Unlocking Value from Big Data for Communications Service Providers

When the term “Big Data” was coined, it’s quite possible that they had the Communications industry in mind. From the moment that Alexander Graham Bell spoke the famous sentence “Mr. Watson—Come here—I want to see you” into the first telephone in 1876, the need to capture large volumes of data about the telecommunications network was born.

In the traditional, wireline days of the AT&T Bell Operating Companies, highly detailed records had to be kept about every piece of copper installed in the networks that were built across the United States, including where they started, where they ended, and which manholes they traversed. You also had to track what types of equipment were attached to each copper cable, as well as, which circuits were assigned to each cable.

New Alteryx Visual Analytics Kit for Qlik

Alteryx and Qlik joined forces earlier this year to expose advanced analytics in an easy-to-use, drag and drop interface, to a broader audience.  Analysts can use Alteryx to create advanced analytics, including predictive and spatial analytics, and output the results to a .QVX file format, so they can be flowed directly into QlikView for discovery.

Five Things We Learned This Week

This is the first of an occasional series of round-up blogs from the world of data blending and analytics.

Here’s what caught my eye this week:

1. Ingersoll Rand do some incredible work with survey data, Alteryx, and Tableau:Sean Otto and Michael Nealey joined Brian Dirking to discuss Ingersoll Rand’s approach to handling the data they get back from their customer surveys. You can see the webinar here but my favorite part of this was how involved Sean and Michael got with the Q&A. (Highlights here.) They are a great example of how passionate Alteryx users are.

Ingersoll Rand turns rich survey data into actionable insight in hours, not weeks

Last week Sean Otto and Michael Nealey of Ingersoll Rand presented a webinar on how they are using Alteryx and Tableau to run their Customer Experience Management program.

You can hear the webinar recording here, and you can download the slide deck here.

The session included a lively Q&A where attendees from KPMG, Nike, Wells Fargo, United Airlines, Cardinal Health, Schneider Electric, and Target took part in the discussion, which Michael and Sean personally answered most of the questions.

Why Data Blending is Critical to Analytics

One of the most significant elements to effective analytics is the ability to incorporate the right data. It is key that data analysts not only incorporate the right data, but also ensure the cleanliness and quality of that data. There have been several reports published that state analysts spend between 60 -80% of their time preparing and getting the data ready for analysis. Many times this doesn’t even account for the amount of time that they wait to get access to the data(if it is possible).

Alteryx Analytics - A New User’s Perspective

As an avid analytics professional with 12 plus years of experience, I was very excited to get my hands on the Alteryx platform and learn the software which promises “intuitive workflow for data blending and advanced analytics”. If you’re an analyst, chances are that like me, you import data from various internal and external systems, then perform your analysis in a tool such as Excel. While this process allows for quick analysis (sometimes), the thought process/transfer of knowledge is lost when complex formulas are utilized to blend and analyze the data. With Alteryx, these setbacks are virtually non-existent. I’ve only been using Alteryx for a short time, but I can already see that it delivers on its promise to make data blending easier, more intuitive, and really takes analytics to the next level.

Analytics: What does it mean to you?

Analytics needs vary depending upon industry, the business problem at hand, and the analytics maturity level of an organization. More than a buzz word that drives engagement, analytics is a proven critical business strategy. Coupled with experience and pure gut instinct, a business leader armed with rational structure, such as accurate and timely information, is unstoppable.

But how does one grow into becoming an analytics driven power house, capable of effectively leveraging advanced analytics? To better understand analytics as a strategic component, let’s consider key drivers and four definitive analytic categories:


See Alteryx in Action

Watch a demo, try out Alteryx in our Analytics Gallery, or download a free trial