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Self-Service Data Preparation is the New Frontier in Transforming Data

People   |   Paul Warburg   |   Jan 22, 2022

The New Frontier in Transforming Data

Self-service data preparation is a modern solution to the age-old problem of converting messy data into an accurate, well-structured output for analysis. Self-service data preparation goes hand in hand with self-service analytics to empower a much broader set of users to explore complex data at scale, identify the right transformations, and, ultimately, have greater control over the end analytic output. Whereas before, these business-savvy analysts depended upon their IT organizations to deliver the right data requirements, self-service data prep is democratizing the data preparation process.

What Is Self-service Data Analytics?

Self-service analytics allows business professionals to run and modify their own queries and reports, regardless of skill level. With the importance of real-time data and KPI’s increasing in the business world, information turnaround time is ideally shortened. This coveted form of business intelligence (BI) progresses the company both in independent efficiency and resource flexibility.

Self-service Data Preparation in Action

Self-service data preparation is the new frontier in transforming data, so it is relevant to understand its context within the workplace. Self-service reporting authorizes business users direct access to the source of data analysis, consisting of customized components chosen by the end user. This ease of accessibility, with little to no training criteria, eliminates the middleman, making the business process incredibly efficient. Not only this, but self-service analytics helps extract the maximum value out of both the data, platform or application used, and cycle time.

Self-service Data Preparation Accelerates Business Impact

Businesses that invest in self-service data preparation experience more favorable outcomes when fully integrating this advancement into their daily working processes, applications, and decision-making.

Empowering Users- Democratizing data preparation through self-service reporting allows companies to better leverage the collective wisdom of the broader organization to achieve better outcomes faster. Engaging in self-service reporting allows a greater sense of ownership with data findings and creating custom reports. This factor alone can have a massive impact on business success.

Efficiency of Process- If ROI on your data is directly proportional to the number of people using it, self-service data prep allows IT to become the data hero, streamlining the data supply chain and unleashing more data on the organization than ever before. In turn, self-service reporting shifts the work to information consumers’ fingertips by allowing IT organizations the ability to focus on  increasingly scarce resources on data acquisition and broader governance issues like reuse, standardization, security, and compliance.

Puts Decisions Into Context- Finally, shifting to self-service data preparation will not only result in faster cycle time, but it will also result in better insights since the people preparing the data actually know how it’s being used to drive  decisions.

Core Features of a Self-Service Data Preparation Tools

This new frontier in transforming data hasn’t come without limitations. Some companies’ self-service reporting applications and tools aren’t user-friendly and complicate making informed decisions by missing bits of the whole picture.

Alteryx Designer Cloud’s (formerly Trifacta) unique approach to self-service reporting eliminates application limitations by disrupting data privacy. Its self-service data prep has led to routine recognition as a top self-service data preparation tools vendor, with awards from leading analysts such as Dresner Advisory Services, Bloor Research, and Gartner, Inc. Alteryx has revolutionized the ease of self-service analytics. Below, we’ve listed some of Designer Cloud’s core functionality that we find essential for any modern self-service data prep technology:

  • Interactive Exploration: Designer Cloud’s self-service data preparation tools  presents visual representations of the data based upon its content in the most compelling representation. Detailed visual representations allow for deeper data exploration, providing an automatic understanding of the data at its most granular level.
  • Predictive Transformation: Every click, drag or select over the visual representations in Designer Cloud leads to a prediction—the self-service data prep tool intelligently assesses the data at hand to recommend a ranked list of suggested transformations for users to evaluate or edit. Unlike any other self-service data prep experience, Designer Cloud empowers non-technical users with intelligent, agile data wrangling, which ultimately produces a more accurate output.
  • Intelligent Execution: Every transformation automatically compiles down into the appropriate processing framework, whether that’s MapReduce, Spark, or our own single-node execution for smaller data sets. Users can expect best-fit execution based upon the scale of their data and types of transformations for unrivaled performance.
  • Collaborative Data Governance: To meet the growing data governance requirements of modern IT departments, Designer Cloud’s self-service data preparation technology provides support for collaborative security, access, data lineage and metadata.

Why Self-service Analytics Matters

With data storage growing cheaper and computing power growing exponentially, the ability to deliver data to end users has gotten progressively more difficult. The solution is businesses’ constant request for integrated self-service reporting, which increases business intelligence, capabilities and opportunities. Build a company wide culture of data-driven decision making by adopting the Designer Cloud today.

Key Takeaways:

  • Self-service data preparation permits business professionals to run and modify their own queries and reports, regardless of skill level.
  • Self-service reporting progresses a company’s independent efficiency by allowing direct access to data and by freeing up IT resources.
  • Self-service analytics extracts the maximum value out of organizational data, application, and work cycle time.
  • Self-service reporting allows a greater sense of ownership with data findings and context to drive decisions.
  • Alteryx Designer Cloud recognized self-service data preparation tools eliminate all application limitations, while prompting interactive exploration, predictive transformation, intelligence execution, and collaborative data governance.


  • Designer Cloud
  • Professional