Established in 1989, Talent Plus, Inc. is an internationally recognized talent consulting firm with more than 400 clients in 20 countries. Helping administer interviews and assessments to both job applicants and employees in more than 30 languages, Talent Plus is passionate about helping their clients select just the right new hire using The Science of Talent® to predict aptitude for top performance.
With turnover alone typically estimated to cost companies one-fifth of yearly salary per employee,* Talent Plus drives their clients toward growth by helping them identify the best employees for their respective cultures and long-term fit potential. Talent Plus customers credit the firm with improving profitability, the retention of their best-performing employees, and reliable succession planning again and again.
It’s no surprise that Talent Plus’ industry-leading assessment and interview tools are firmly rooted in intensive data analysis. Data analysis has been at the heart of the company since the 1960s when some of the original founders first started utilizing scientific studies of success. Despite the company’s growth and momentum, Talent Plus was starting to hit a wall in terms of the proliferation of data from serving so many unique business segments, as well as the customization and variety of reports required by certain clients on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
Their legacy MySQL transactional database — the real treasure trove of all Talent Plus knowledge and research — could simply not fluidly prep, blend, and analyze data. There was also little ability to operationalize the analytics function in any manner with time-saving tools that could support repeatable workflows. Combined with decreased staff to address these concerns, Talent Plus needed assistance in order to continue offering cutting-edge service to their customers and ultimately ensure their own growth.
Talent Plus Senior Data Specialist Scott Senne discovered Alteryx toward the end of his second year at the company, after much research to find a tool to help address the growing list of technology issues he felt was blocking speedy, effective access to company data. He was adamant about effectively addressing the growing need to join large volumes of data from multiple sources and enable his coworkers to schedule and scale their analytic workflows and reporting.
Senne quickly wove Alteryx into day-to-day data integration and blending requests and was impressed with the ease and speed with which traditional tasks could be done. He was elated to realize that Alteryx could also enable him, without any coding and completely on his own, to fully create a flexible data warehouse with Amazon Redshift that could accept the intricate data from their legacy system. This was a task he had originally scoped to be a five-person job that would hinge on multiple time-consuming technologies.
Senne’s success with incorporating Alteryx into the Talent Plus infrastructure is multifaceted and has reverberated across departments. “We now use Alteryx for all kinds of things. I’ve been using Alteryx as a data integration/data blending tool. We’ve also used Alteryx to help build out our Amazon Redshift data warehouse, which will allow us to more easily scale when we need to. Alteryx is also used to synchronize the data — pulling updated data from our application every hour."
Senne also noted impressive build speed time during initial data warehouse construction, affirming how Alteryx enables fast, seamless Amazon Redshift performance. “When we found a column that was missing, or a calculation that was not correct, we used Alteryx in-database processing tools. I dropped the whole table and rebuilt 21 million records in 14 minutes. Amazon Redshift is easily 10 to 100 times faster than our MySQL database.”
Ultimately, creating a robust data warehouse has drastically cut down the time necessary for the basic data requests various Talent Plus associates require. Senne explains, “If I run a query for the research team, previously, it would take a couple days to extract all that data. Now that the data is in the data warehouse and they can access it in just an hour, versus a couple of days.”
Senne empowered Talent Plus’ research team to become more self-sufficient by running their own analytic queries, freeing him up for other projects. By creating and sharing an app on the Alteryx Server that’s customized for their specific query needs, the research team can run their own reports and send time-sensitive selection data back to their customers exponentially faster, allowing Talent Plus clients in turn to accelerate their HR processes and obtain the best talent possible. Where applicable, the research team is also now able to use Tableau to quickly extract data straight from Redshift as well for data reporting and visualizations — fluid cross-functionality that simply wasn't possible before the introduction of Alteryx in the company infrastructure.
Senne and his colleagues also apply the analytic function to other common assessment and reporting tasks. He states, “One of our services, CultureView® (Talent Plus’ proprietary employee engagement tool), is now captured in our legacy transactional database, and we quickly process that data for a client using Alteryx to create a Tableau data extract file for reporting.”
“The engagement surveys vary so much and can contain so many errors that trying to do it before was taking weeks. Now we can conduct this with Alteryx in half a day or less. We'll manipulate it with Alteryx and send the reports to the client, and then they may say Well, can you change this?, or We want this new report. Even with these additional requests, it can be completed in half a day using Alteryx where previously it would take days or weeks in Excel. Our customers are receiving better data, customized to what they need rather than a standard report. We can customize or tailor to how they want to see information.”
Finally, Senne attests that Alteryx is encouraging innovation throughout departments as he is able to empower other associates to experiment and perform more self-service data analytics with the leading platform’s intuitive user interface. With newfound data flexibility, he also now exports data quickly to multiple formats for both coworkers and clients to manipulate, from Tableau and SPSS to SAS and Excel.
Center for American Progress. “There Are Significant Business Costs to Replacing Employees.”