Universal Blogs

How to Pitch Alteryx to Your Boss

You’re sold on Alteryx. Now get buy-in and budget from your manager.

You know a good thing when you see it — and when you saw Alteryx, it was love at first sight. From the first moment of your free trial, you were ready to propose a permanent relationship. Now you’ve got to make the case for Alteryx to your manager … or your life will never be complete again.

Put on Your Boss Hat

For managers, the case for new software is all about the business benefits it delivers. So when you’re pitching technology like the Alteryx Analytic Process Automation (APA) Platform, stick to results.

For example, explain how automation streamlines your biggest analysis bottlenecks, like finding, prepping, and blending data. As a result, your team generates game-changing insights, and fuels better business outcomes more quickly. That’s a winning argument.

But to really drive home your case, nothing’s quite as powerful as social proof laced with hard data. Get ready to open your pitch with the story of how a major U.S. airline removed those exact bottlenecks from its analytic process, radically improving capacity and reaping significant business benefits.

The Dark Ages

Before adopting the Alteryx APA Platform, one team spent three days every month creating a spreadsheet to estimate the airline’s fuel consumption at 150 airports. Another team spent two weeks every quarter gathering supplier-related data and then analyzing it to assess suppliers and predict future supply problems.

With Alteryx

By drastically reducing the time needed to find, prep and blend data, the fuel-consumption estimation team cut their monthly analysis time from three days to just six minutes. The vendor analysis team shortened their quarterly process even more drastically, from two weeks to six minutes.

Clearer Views Ahead

The airline’s analysis teams used the time they saved with Alteryx to increase the airline’s analytic capacity, resulting in more accurate forecasts and less impact from supply shortages. The fuel consumption team found it could do 12-month forecasts in the same amount of time previously required for a one-month forecast — while also incorporating new variables that influence fuel consumption, such as weather.

As a result, the team increased forecast accuracy by 70%. The vendor team was able to complete supplier assessments monthly, instead of quarterly, which meant it could identify supply shortages sooner — reducing the impact of those shortages on business operations.

Now Make Your Personal Case for Alteryx

The airline’s incredible success isn’t an anomaly. You could tell story after story just like it. But now it’s time to switch to your own company’s “Before Alteryx” story and paint the picture of your own dramatic pain points.

The time you and other analysts in your company waste finding, prepping, and blending data imposes an artificial ceiling on the quantity and complexity of the questions that your organization can ask. In fact, IDC reports that the average analyst spends 37% of their week searching for data, 36% prepping, and just 27% analyzing. That means nearly three-quarters of your time is not devoted to what you were hired to do!

So to make the business case for Alteryx, start measuring how much time you spend finding, prepping, and blending data for new and repeating analysis problems. Don’t forget to include the time you have to spend recreating the wheel, aka building information assets that may already exist but you don’t have access to them. That will help you make the numerical case for how much time you’ll save — and therefore how much more you’ll be able to achieve — using the Alteryx APA Platform.

Without Alteryx

Here’s an example breakdown of a 40-hour work week, with and without Alteryx.

PDG_Article3

Anticipate Tough Questions

If a breakdown of your typical schedule is shocking news to your manager, they will immediately start firing questions at you. Why does it take so long to gather data? Why can’t you trust the data you find? Why is the majority of your time spent prepping and blending? Why does so little actually get done during the week?

In answering those questions, stay confident and resist the temptation to turn the pitch into a venting session. You’ve faced major hurdles in finding, prepping, and blending data. You spend hours hunting for data, because there’s no easy way to find out whether there’s a single, trusted source for all of all the data you need. And after finally locating what you need, you spend yet more hours wrangling data using manual processes, leaving little time to produce the requested report, let alone answer more questions. But you’re pitching your key to freedom — the Alteryx APA Platform — so stay focused. The result: although you had 30 hours during the week to work on business problems, only six hours — 20% of the time – was spent actually analyzing data.

PDG_Article3

You kick off week two with perhaps a few analytic tasks to tackle in including that weekly repeating analysis — and because it’s not automated, you need to redo the prep and blend steps.

This week, you only had time to complete two new analyses — one fewer than the previous week. That’s because you still needed to prep and blend data to repeat one of your reports, and those steps alone took 10 hours — a third of your available time. And uh-oh, you find out that you’ve got another report that will need to be repeated weekly.

In week three, you’ll have two repeating analyses, leaving even less time for new questions. You’re painfully aware that each repeated analysis eats into the time available to solve new problems, leaving less and less time to produce valuable insights as time goes on.

We use Alteryx Designer for ETL and predictive modeling. Before Alteryx, this project took a month’s time. Today, it takes approximately three to four hours.

With Alteryx

You’ve painted the sad picture of unproductivity sans Alteryx. Now go for the “yes” and show your manager what life with Alteryx looks like:

PDG_Article3

Wow! You were able to tackle four problems in the first week, as opposed to two without Alteryx. The secret: a huge reduction in the time needed to find, prep, and blend data. That’s because you used the Alteryx APA Platform’s powerful search and cataloging capabilities to find trusted data, then applied the platform’s tools to streamline and automate time-consuming prep and blend steps. You even had time left over to get creative and think up new questions, which will generate more answers. Not a bad start. Everyone is very happy, including you and your boss.

PDG_Article3

The benefits multiply. You continue to realize the same level of time savings on each new task — but there’s an even bigger benefit for the repeating analyses. Because you previously stored those problems as automated Alteryx workflows, you’ve completely eliminated prep and blend, freeing up those hours for new analysis. As a result, your analytic capacity has increased substantially: you have time to tackle questions more difficult than you ever dreamed possible, and to learn predictive skills for even more advanced analysis, instead of wasting your time on repetitive manual work. You’re looking forward to the road ahead — and so is your boss, who thinks you’re a veritable goldmine!

What I love about Alteryx is that it truly brings to an analyst the efficiencies that should have been there for a long time that just haven’t been there.

Sum Up the Benefits … and the Cost of Doing Nothing

We’ve got your back. We’re here to help you make the all-important pitch to your boss — so you can deliver the insights management needs, and you get what you want (Alteryx). So here’s a quick summary of how to convince them. The “before” and “after” comparisons are powerful tools. Then put your “boss” hat on once more and consider your manager’s most pressing goals.

How does expanding your analytic capacity help your manager? A quick checklist to keep handy as you make your pitch:

  • Time saved
  • Better data
  • Faster answers
  • Better insights
  • More questions

It may also help to remind your boss that because you can ask more questions, you can hone in on the right questions — the ones that deliver critical insights and enable better decisions. With Alteryx, you're solving problems that once seemed impossible. We know you'll be successful — and we can't wait to help you conquer the world of advanced analytics.

Read This Next

image
Blog Post
5 min to read

Analytics Automation Fuels the FAA with Improved Visibility

The FAA and Alteryx illustrate how data and the flow of insights can be a messy business, but with innovative and agile approaches that leverage analytics automation, insights can be made accessible, informative, actionable, and awesome.

Government
Transportation
Analytics Leader
Read Now
image
Blog Post
5 min to read

New Approaches to Geospatial Analytics

In today’s complex world, organizations of all types have come to rely on geospatial data — and geospatial analytics — to solve major societal, economic, and business problems.

Government
Public Sector: Intelligence
Analyst
Read Now
image
Blog Post
5 min to read

Data-Fueled Progress Toward Gender Equality

Network of Executive Women brings its impact into clearer focus using Alteryx data science and analytics software.

Not for Profit
Analyst
Analytics Leader
Read Now

Get More INPUT in Your INBOX


speaker