Paul Ross kicked off the Alteryx Influencer Summit by reiterating Alteryx’s focus on their core audience – analysts in the line of business. Alteryx wants to empower these analysts and is investing in its tools and strategy with this in mind. First up was George Matthew talking about market and product strategy (mostly under NDA).
Alteryx sees a new analytics stack taking shape focused on self-service data blending, discovery and analysis. There are large numbers of analysts out there who are targets for their tools and an even larger number who want to be able to consume the kind of analytics that these folks can build – all without an IT involvement.
Laura Sellers came up to talk product. I blogged about Alteryx a while back and since then Alteryx 9.0 was released with a focus on data blending, advanced analytics, and the user experience.
- New data source support was added including enhancements to their download tool and to their JSONParse tool designed to turn any REST API into a manageable dataset. These improvements were also used by Alteryx to drive new interfaces e.g. to Google Analytics.
- Access to datasets from SAS, SPSS as well as partnerships with Qlik, SQL Server and others were designed to further extend this.
- Licensing and install was improved, making it easier for people to get access
- Improved scheduler
- For advanced analytics they developed improved integration with Revolution, taking advantage of their engine for scale (see this post for a little more on Revolution). Plus they added support for more base R algorithms.
- Streamlining the app authoring experience to be more intuitive, allowing drag and drop UI elements etc. and hiding the underlying workflow complexity.
- Lots of general UI experience improvements, especially “wireless connectors” that allow for hiding of overlapping connectors in workflows.
- The App gallery was improved and integrated with licensing.
- Improvements to the Server product with easy install and options to create a company-specific gallery, scale up with new nodes etc.
Beyond 9.0 Alteryx is focused on the user experience, on in-database analytics and connectors, and on continued improvements to support enterprise scale and collaboration:
- For user experience the key focus areas are around the first 5 minutes of usage and creating an intuitive and immersive experience that is easy to explore and learn. Particular focus on easier connections for data and a content strategy for help and tutorials.
- For in-database the focus is on making it easy to blend and analyze data using the Alteryx interface but executing in-database or in-hadoop. Critically they want to make it easy to mix in-database (or in-hadoop) processing with other processing in a single workflow.
- All the specifics around enterprise scalability and collaboration were under NDA
Alteryx have to maintain an interesting balance between a product that is focused on empowering end users to work without IT and the reality that larger customers need IT-centric enterprise scale features.