May 11, 2023

Getting Started With Alteryx Designer

By Pedro Faria

If the name “Alteryx” is new to you, you may consider doing a quick Google search to quickly learn the basics. But let me tell you, some things are best understood in other ways (if you’ve ever tried to Google “Blockchain,” you already know this!).

Six years ago, I first learned about Alteryx but had no idea what it was, and unfortunately, Google didn’t help, nor did ChatGPT since it wasn’t around yet. Looking back, I wish I had someone who could help me understand Alteryx from their first-hand experience.

Allow me to be that person for you!

What is Alteryx?

Alteryx is a process automation platform focused on enabling users to prepare, blend, and analyze data from a variety of sources. It is designed with a powerful analytics platform that  helps organizations solve complex business problems and gain insights from their data faster and more efficiently.

Ok, But What Does Alteryx Designer Really Do?

Consider your role in a corporate environment and the tasks you’re specifically responsible for. These tasks may take you a few hours to complete, maybe days (I have even seen months with some use cases!) Alteryx will allow you to recreate that process of individual tasks in their platform and perform them as often as you want with a simple click of a button or via scheduling.

Let’s say you must perform a month-end closing task. You repeat that at least 12 times a year, and it takes 24 hours every month to perform this task. That’s close to 300 hours per year. You can recreate the exact steps for this task and apply your specific business rules in Alteryx and never have to worry about it again.

Do you want to know what’s the most appealing part? This can all be done within a drag-and-drop, user-friendly interface that requires no coding skills!

Alteryx will connect to any data you need (we call this being Data Agnostic), perform the steps you tell it to perform with your data, and then send that data to exactly where you want it. Maybe it is a pre-formatted Excel spreadsheet, maybe it’s a dashboard, maybe it’s a database—you can send the data pretty much anywhere. Remember? Data Agnostic!

Alteryx offers a variety of different products and services. Today we will focus on Alteryx Designer, their flagship product. If you’re interested, you can learn about other Alteryx functionality with our Alteryx Beginners Guide or in our Mastering the Network Analysis Blog.

What Should I Know About Alteryx Designer Before I Get Started?

Connecting Data Sources

Remember the whole Data Agnostic concept? Alteryx connects to pretty much anything. Users can easily connect to data sources such as Excel spreadsheets (or other files), databases, cloud services, ERPs, CRMs, etc.

Overall, Alteryx’s data connection capabilities make it easier for businesses to access and utilize their data, leading to more informed decisions and better outcomes.

Data Transformation

Corporate users have business rules they must apply to their data. For this reason, they expect their data solutions to be flexible, dynamic, and easy to use. Alteryx is all of this.

Alteryx will allow users to easily transform data into the desired output by following workflow logic (step-by-step). These features help businesses to quickly and accurately prepare their data, reducing the time and effort required for analysis.

Maybe that month-end closure use case we discussed earlier requires 12 hours of sheer Excel manipulation per month. Alteryx can take that 12 hours and transform it into seconds!

Advanced Analytics

Purchasing software to solve a single problem is easy. What about a tool that can tackle many different use cases, for different users, in different departments? Enter Alteryx.

Alteryx’s mantra is Analytics for All.

Besides the regular process automation we just discussed, Alteryx can take users even further into data analytics. Alteryx offers advanced analytics features such as code-free predictive modeling and intuitive spatial analysis.

By leveraging these advanced analytics capabilities, businesses can uncover hidden insights and opportunities that they might have otherwise missed—all while making data-driven decisions with greater confidence. 

Overall, Alteryx’s advanced analytics features are essential for businesses looking to gain a competitive edge and drive growth and success.

Alteryx + phData

At phData, we focus on providing data-driven solutions for our customers and Alteryx is a fantastic platform to help. Explore this case study to see how a fast-casual restaurant chain improved compliance by partnering with phData to build an analytics solution using Alteryx.

Can Alteryx help your organization make better data-driven decisions?

Let phData’s team of experts help you decide.

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