Despite their stated desire to rely more on data, companies still frequently come up against the same obstacle: handling data remains complex and requires rare skills, which creates bottlenecks either within the business or at the IT level. To avoid waiting, many users prefer to turn to spreadsheets such as Excel, but this creates a host of problems in terms of security, productivity, data segregation and quality, performance, maintenance and integration, etc.
Founded in 1997 under the name SRC, Alteryx rebranded itself in 2010 with the ambition of breaking down this technical barrier in order to democratise the use of data in companies. Since then, the American publisher has experienced very strong growth and is now one of the major players in the data industry. To continue its development, Alteryx has surrounded itself with numerous partners such as UIPath, Snowflake, Tableau and AWS, and has made several strategic acquisitions, including Hyper Anna at the end of 2021 and Trifacta in early 2022. Today, Alteryx offers a very complete and accessible solution, a true Swiss Army knife of data for all.
What is on the Alteryx APA platform?
Over the years, the Alteryx APA (Analytic Process Automation) platform has been enriched with many tools to cover all data needs from end to end.
Alteryx Designer is the company’s flagship product, a no-code ETL tool that allows business analysts to select, prepare, cleanse, merge and analyse data with simple drag and drop. Designer automates the entire data process, from the data source to the tool for displaying and/or exploiting the results.
Alteryx Machine Learning: although data scientists can also use Designer and create their own models (in Python or R), the Machine Learning module is more specifically reserved for them. Machine Learning is an AutoML platform that facilitates data engineering, the creation of machine learning models and the production of knowledge through AI.
Alteryx Intelligence Suite: this module offers pre-packaged AI tools, such as OCR or image recognition, to extend data mining to unstructured data.
Alteryx Server: Alteryx Server is the full enterprise solution opening up for automation capabilities, collaboration and sharing of workflows across teams with a robust governance layer that your IT team can support.
Alteryx Analytics Cloud: thanks to the acquisition of Trifacta, Alteryx was able to launch a cloud version of its Designer tool in the spring of 2022, thus filling a gap in its offer, which until then had been essentially on-premise.
What are the advantages of APA?
An unparalleled user experience: with its no-code approach, Alteryx allows users with little technological expertise to manipulate data and create complex workflows and analytical models. The intuitive drag-and-drop approach makes it easy to learn and collaborate on models.
An extensive catalogue of native connectors: Alteryx allows you to work with data from all sources and of all types. The editor has 80 data sources as standard, from AWS to SalesForce via Oracle and SAP, and 70 targets, including Tableau, SalesForce, RPA robots, etc.
A focus on collaboration: one of the major challenges facing companies in their data strategy is the siloed nature of data sources and the skills needed to make them talk. This is why the APA platform is accessible to all data players (data engineers, data scientists, business analysts, data stewards, etc.) and provides them with a space where they can meet and exchange ideas.
Functionalities that are constantly being enriched: by opening up to AI and RPA, by moving to the cloud, by offering a library of predefined analysis models, Alteryx has become much more than the simple user-friendly ETL it was at the outset. It is a complete and sustainable data platform for the enterprise.
What uses and benefits?
The various tools in the APA platform allow raw data to be easily manipulated to derive insights in the form of indicators, dashboards, hidden and/or recurring patterns, forecasts and predictions… Once distilled, this information can then be directed to visualisation tools for business users, to operational applications (CRM, SCM…) or to management systems (finance, HR…)
The simplicity of use and reuse that distinguishes APA makes it possible, on the one hand, to considerably accelerate these creative processes and, on the other hand, to make data available to a very large population. As a result, employees create more analytical models, spend less time on each one, and the use of data develops on a robust foundation, which will preserve the quality of data in the long term.
Alteryx APA is used today in organisations of all sizes and in all sectors to facilitate the creation of reports, to set up automated data flows, to accelerate their financial reporting or to know the state of their business on a daily basis. In small companies, which can finally access data, as well as in larger ones, where the business no longer depends on IT to exploit it, the return on investment is often spectacular.
How can I learn more?
This article is a part of a greater series centred around the technologies and themes found within the first edition of the TechRadar by Devoteam. To read further into these topics, please download the TechRadar by Devoteam.