Department: Business Intelligence
survey responses analyzed in near real-time
onboarding of new users- no coding skills required
analytics workflows scheduled in Alteryx Server
No matter your industry, a deep understanding of your customers, competitors, and markets can be the difference between thriving and failing. SKOPOS GROUP is a leading market research provider, delivering those key insights for organizations on a global scale. Its six business units each tackle a different kind of research and analysis — into brands, products, target customer groups, and more.
“Because we have those highly specialized units, we can provide answers to nearly every insight question a client can think of,” says Christopher Harms, Co-Founder and Managing Director of SKOPOS ELEMENTS, the group’s newest unit. “We tackle customer questions from different perspectives. So we don’t just provide our customers with a research or analysis model — we can help them interpret and use the results.”
SKOPOS wanted a data engineering solution that would help its team visualize survey data in Tableau, and one of its suppliers was already working with Alteryx to do just that.
Co-Founder and Managing Director
“As soon as we started experimenting with Alteryx, we realized how many different problems we could solve with it, beyond basic analyses,” says Harms. “We started with just transforming a single data set. Now we’re combining different data sets, running automated model predictions, and using multiple dashboards which are all populated through Alteryx workflows.”
SKOPOS started with Alteryx Designer, using its automation and visualization tools to speed up data preparation and analysis, and turn those results into clear insights. Harms and his team can build analysis models in R or Python, as they always have, and run them using Alteryx.
“The way we work with Alteryx has really shifted our way of thinking about data from an engineering perspective,” says Harms. “Before, we thought about data as a single line in an SPSS file, because that’s how we’re taught to think about it at university. But with Alteryx, we really started to consider data modeling and how we can arrange data to make the most of it.”
After its first year of working with Alteryx, SKOPOS also adopted Alteryx Server, increasing automation by scheduling models to run without manual intervention. The team now has nearly 100 workflows scheduled in a single, centralized platform.
We have highly complex projects that require highly customized solutions with a lot of workflows. With Alteryx, we can make all that happen seamlessly.
From Insights to Action: A solution to prep, enrich, and model data for visualization in Tableau
Ease of Use: The user-friendly interface that doesn’t require coding expertise
Analytics Automation: A centralized platform for scheduling analytics workflows
One of SKOPOS’ major successes with Alteryx is in a project for a large grocery chain. The store’s customers can rate their experience in two ways: as a simple 1-10 score, and by sharing their opinion in an open text field. With more than 2 million survey responses to process in a year, each of which also includes meta data about the customer and the store they’re reviewing, there’s a huge amount of data involved. Different stakeholders then have their own priorities, with product managers asking vastly different questions to the C-suite, for example. And it all has to be answered using that data set. “We’ve developed a text analytics model that allows us to get the most insight possible out of those open-ended questions,” says Harms. “We also have a lot of workflows that share information between our databases and the client’s, and feed our visual dashboards. And that’s all handled by Alteryx.”
For example, how do you deliver daily insights into customer sentiment from more than 2 million qualitative and quantitative survey responses? SKOPOS found the answer in Alteryx. “The project has become so complex over the years. We wouldn’t be able to deliver near-real-time results using an out-of-the-box product, and working with so much data is basically impossible using traditional SPSS methods. With Alteryx, it’s easy.”
“Traditional survey platforms, offer many features that we have implemented using Alteryx, Tableau, and our machine learning models. The key difference is that we have a custom-tailored solution that is tightly integrated with our client’s systems. Furthermore, our custom models are much more capable, in terms of depth of the analysis as well as flexibility. We saw results very quickly.”
Part of SKOPOS’ early success with Alteryx was due to the simplicity of working with a drag-and-drop interface. “It’s basically code-free. We have a very diverse team with different skills and competencies, but everyone works on Alteryx. One of my computer science colleagues can write a model or an API in Python, and our data analysts can then use it without having to touch any code at all.”
That ease of onboarding has also been vital for helping SKOPOS’ new employees start adding value within a few days of joining the team, as Harms explains: “They’re very quick to build their first workflows. Alteryx is so straightforward and intuitive — and there are a lot of great online resources. Our new recruits don’t need to sit down next to a colleague to learn; they can get up to speed with video tutorials.”
We provide something that most data science teams don’t have. We have mathematicians, statisticians, psychologists, communications scientists, consultants — and that’s all brought together with Alteryx.
In previous years, Harms’ data science team worked as an internal SKOPOS resource, but the group recognized growing demand for their expertise and launched SKOPOS ELEMENTS as a standalone unit in 2019. Now, alongside supporting other SKOPOS teams on their projects, Harms and his team are looking for ways to expand their reach beyond customer insights. For example, they’re now working with a video production company, helping embed AI into their processes.
On the Alteryx side, that means expanding their solution, experimenting with Alteryx Intelligence Suite.
“We provide something that most data science teams don’t have. We have mathematicians, statisticians, psychologists, communications scientists, consultants — and that’s all brought together with Alteryx.”