Journey into analytics

Introduction

Thanks for stopping by! I am blogging to share my experiences with you on how i got started into analytics and hope it will give those inspire others to reach out and help others.

How did i get into analytics?

4 years ago while working as an senior analyst within a large insurer,  I was tasked with cutting SAS code to answer questions that business partners had. Why is my revenue ahead or behind budget, could it be due to the volume or price or mix of new business?

The trouble with this was that it took considerable effort and days to get answers to simple questions. I thought that there must be a better way so i went online and discovered that there was called Tableau.  For those new to Tableau, it is best described as a pivot table on steroids! Download it and give it a go. You can simply load data into the tool and then it draws fantastic looking graphs almost immediately.

Don’t take my word for it, go download the product and see how it works for yourself!

Having used Tableau with SAS for a few years, I came upon another tool called Alteryx.  One night , I came across an presentation by a BCG consultant at a Alteryx Inspire 2014 conference and it sparked my interest on how i could be using it within my company to help business users get to the answers they need faster.

For those new to Alteryx, It can be best described as a graphical drag and drop workflow that can be used to combine and pharse numerous data sources together in an easy to use way such that anyone can use it!

Alteryx is really a 3 in 1 product supporting data preparation, spatial analytics and predictive analytics and works fantastically well with Tableau.

Don’t try and do everything yourself!  Buy world class products that can make your analytics lives easier!

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Alteryx Inspire 2019 – Part I

I was excited and happy to attend Alteryx Inspire 2019 and wanted to share and reflect on the experience.

What a blast it has been with Dean opening the keynote followed by the many iconic customers like Coca Cola, CBRE and Horizon power and more shared their journeys.

It is incredible to see the amount of energy and excitement in over 4500 customers , partners and delegates in the room.

Analytics is most definitely a social experience and not just limited to the data scientist.

Users of all levels have the opportunity to upskill themselves from simple to complex use cases with the Alteryx platform

Fantastic new features like assisted modelling and maturing of enterprise platform

It is always amazing to see and hear customers stories and their personal journeys reflected on stage, presenting a huge learning opportunity.

Alteryx is becoming key to digital transformation in so many new and iconic brands.

I attended the session with Alan Jacobson who is Alteryx new chief data officer and shared with us some of the tips on how to leverage data science and analytics in the most effective way.

Interestingly he was one of the global directors for data science and analytics and shared some of the successes and gotchas during the journey. I will be posting a video of this session shortly as there is tremendous value and insight.

Open and embracing culture – sharing of ideas across industries sectors and customers. As the world is becoming increasingly flat, it is important to adopt ideas from other fellow customers and implement in your industry. In today’s world it is no longer about the big eating the small, rather it is the fast eating the slow.

Honkey tong – ACEs going down town!it’s not just all work and no play! The guys and gals attending the event also spent the night partying at broadway !

Alteryx is becoming a tool of choice for Finance users.

I attended the presentation by finance professionals at Honeywell and it was great to see the adoption by finance professionals driving efficiency by automating month end processes , improving financial forecasts using ARIMA and other techniques. To top it off they started their Alteryx journey with just 1 spare laptop! There is no longer any excuse to not leverage automation to enable finance leaders to focus on insights rather than just cranking the month end handle.

We also heard stories of customers young and old embracing the platform. There was an elderly Gentlemen who literally postponed his retirement after he learnt about the Alteryx platform as he started to enjoy his job again and gained lots of satisfaction.

Continued focus on Alteryx community

Alteryx as a company also has a deep focus on the community and this includes customers as well as Alteryx ACEs. Together the community forms a platform that embraces new users to the platform as well as upskill existing customers on how to get value out of the platform by enhancing their skills into higher value analytics like spatial and predictive.

It’s amazing to see how 4500 people can be in 1 location and even just walking from the entrance to our seats you can see how it has grown.

It was great to see Libby recognise all the users and people in the audience both young and old who had used the product, lead user groups as well as contributed to the shared success of the platform.

One of the most compelling stories was that of a older gentlemen who wanted to retire but after his company brought alteryx in found a renewed passion for his job and decided to stay in the workforce longer.

Pink hat power!!

Great to see everyone having an absolute blast! Perhaps I need to consider getting a pink hat too for the next Alteryx conference!

Journey from the accountant to the data scientist – An interview with Nicole Johnson, Senior consultant T mobile

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I am always inspired by fellow Alteryx users and embarked on my journey to interview and learn from fellow Alteryx customers.

Here is my interview with Nicole Johnson, Senior consultant T-Mobile, Alteryx ACE and Winner of Alteryx grand prix 2018.

The journey from the accountant to the data scientist

  • Degree in Accounting & finance, worked in construction for 12 years
  • Explored the world of data with VBA, SQL. Came across Alteryx which opened many doors and opportunities.

Driving an accounting revolution at T-mobile with Alteryx – identifying which processes which can be automated in the accounting area. Examples of this include: Reconciliation, detailed data for journal entries, monthly reporting.

Alteryx gives accountants the power to combine and get the data themselves from multiple areas driving efficiency in month end processes. Examples of this include:

  • Using Alteryx to building a framework for US GAAP and run business rules to ensure accuracy for international reporting.
  • External reporting – both US GAAP and IFRS – Extraction and combining data from Legacy systems- Getting data and make in accordance with external accounting standards.

Passion – Fell in love with the Alteryx product and kept learning and teaching others how to use Alteryx to deliver results in the business.

Future focus will include:

  • Leveraging predictive analytics in new projects.
  • Evangelising Alteryx to other areas of the business beyond the finance department

Come join me at the Alteryx Inspire Sydney conference on 20th March to hear and learn from fellow customers.

#cpaaustralia #alteryx

Building a successful analytics community – Fireside chat Brian Oblinger VP Global community Alteryx

 

Building a vibrant data driven culture within your company is one of the more challenging aspects of analytics. In this video interview with Brian Oblinger (VP Global Community Alteryx) , I’ve learnt a few tips and tricks that will help make you successful in your organisation in delivering centres of analytic excellence in your organisation.

Watch the full interview here

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What is the role of “community” in the context of data and data science?

  •  Bring people together with a common goal as a team sport – Collaborating with different cross functional groups across the organisation drives superior results as staff are able to leverage each other share workflows, data and models. It also helps break down silos and builds comadre amongst staff.
  • Shifting the conversation to higher order analytics – A few years ago, conversation in the Alteryx community was focused around the data prep and blend, however todays’ discussion is focused on higher order analytics (like spatial, predictive analytics) and leveraging skills in R and Python and Jupyter notebooks to perform higher order analytics.

2.     How is Alteryx community helping to upskill analysts ?

  • Data science still does not have well established infrastructure – Alteryx believes it has a key role in developing the next generation of analysts. This is done through both online community academy, forums and offline activities as well as udacity nanodegreetraining courses.

3.      Future of Alteryx community

  •  Localisation and globalisation of the Alteryx community (both online and offline) – Alteryx has recently launched French, Japanese and German language community localisation.
  • Position analysts as thought leaders – Being a platform to enable analysts the opportunity to speak out, share their experience so that it is not lost in the organisation.

Building a successful analytics community in your organisation takes effort, focus and dedication. I am a firm believer in learning from others experience and hope you are able to leverage some of these leanings in your organisation.

Enabling analysts to achieve more – A fireside chat with Olivia Duane Adams , Chief customer officer & Co-founder Alteryx

 

Alteryx is a leader in the self-service data science and analytics market place, solving almost any analytical use case in so many industry verticals and companies of any size.

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I have always had the thirst for knowledge and learning and was grateful to have the opportunity to learn from Olivia Duane Adams (Chief customer officer & Co-founder Alteryx) on how Alteryx is enabling a data driven culture and driving change within so many organisations.

Watch the full interview here

Here are some of her thoughts :

1.      Alteryx enables users to deliver a continuum of simple to complex analytics – Simple analytics may include joining 3 or more databases to answer databases all the way to data scientists who are doing predictive and prescriptive modelling. Business leaders are using Alteryx to change the culture of the organisation as they recognise the increased value and effectiveness of data driven decisions.

2.      Rise of the Citizen data scientist – There are many people in the organisation who may not have a PHD in statistics but are analysts that are truly solving the unanswerable questions for their organisation. They are willing to take on challenge, empowered by the technology and trusted by organisation to understand the value and complexity of data and answer tougher questions through higher order analytics.

3.      Rise of Alteryx in all areas including finance and audit– There is an explosion of analytics in the tax and audit space of companies of any size – finance teams have taken on Alteryx as excel is no longer sufficient due to the growth in the size and complexity of data. Alteryx is enabling finance teams to be true business partners and financial recommenders rather than data mungers.

4.      Enterprise adoption of analytics across the company- Every team in every department is trying to get to insight faster. Analytics is driving change in all areas of the company – from HR to sales operations, market operations, supply chain and transport. Companies using analytics are able to deliver the value from data and insight to drive their organisations forward.

5.      Analytics is a social experience – Alteryx enables people of all skill levels to speak the same language and solve business challenges together creating a comadre across multiple functional areas. Many teams within companies now run hackatons powered by Alteryx or run a certification program to see who can get to certification first.

I can identify with a lot of the themes and I am proud to have been a catalyst for change in the many organisations (Amaysim, Commonwealth Bank, consulting) that I have worked for.

Download the Alteryx product and see for yourself or reach out to me if you require any consulting assistance.

Come join me at the Alteryx’s first APAC Inspire customer conference in Sydney on Mar 20 – 21st to learn from the founders on how you can leverage analytics to deliver value in your organisation.

#Alteryx #CPAAustralia #datascience #analytics

Alteryx = Analytics – A Fireside chat with Dean Stoecker, Chairman, CEO & Co-founder Alteryx

 

AlteryxDeanPhoto

Alteryx is a leader in the self-service data science and analytics market place, solving almost any analytical use case in companies of any size and industry vertical. I discovered Alteryx a few years ago whilst in my previous role at Amaysim through a fellow Alteryx user who presented at the Alteryx Inspire conference.

Come join me at Alteryx’s Inspire conference in Sydney on March 20-21st to learn how Alteryx can help you and your company Alter everything.

There will be keynotes from both Alteryx founders Dean Stoecker (Chairman, CEO Alteryx) and Olivia Duane Adams (Chief customer officer) and product management – Katie Haralson as well as numerous customer stories on how they have used Alteryx to drive improvements in their business.

Watch the full interview here

As an analytics leader, I have always been passionate about learning and helping businesses leverage technology to deliver financial value and am excited to share what has worked for me with everyone. Alteryx also works seamlessly both on premise and in cloud platforms like Amazon web services and Microsoft Azure. In fact I personally run the product including Alteryx server in all 3 enviroments (on premise and cloud) and it works beautifully.

Personally I am a big fan of the company and am also a Alteryx ACE. Most recently I had the opportunity to chat and learn from Dean Stoecker (CEO, Chairman and Co-founder of Alteryx) on the future of data science at the recent Global Alteryx kickoff.

Here are some of the key highlights

  •  Alteryx is a great general purpose platform for companies to monetise the data and intellectual property that they hold.
  • Increasing convergence between the PHD statistician and the citizen data scientist using the platform.
  • There are more data workers in the world than first thought – A guess that nearly 50% of users of Alteryx don’t even have analyst in their title.
  • More people are creating data and are curious about using data to understand things in their work world and personal world. This creates more questions across a broader audience of people.
  • Alteryx is a versatile platform with many use cases in many industries. Some examples used by accountants include Robotics process automation, Tax and audit, FX risk modelling and more.
  • Increasing verticalization is occurring across industries like Healthcare and Govt.
  • Alteryx is focused on designing and making the platform easier to use for more people whilst advancing higher order analytic outcomes (Assisted modelling, Auto modelling, Curating data assets, Deploying machine learning)

Download the product and try it out for yourself.

#Altereverything #Alteryx #analytics #datascience #cpaaustralia

MIP Titans roadshow

An interesting session hosted by MIP showcasing Alteryx, Alation and Wherescape Red.

Certainly a fantastic experience to see Dean Stoecker representing Alteryx and sharing experiences with the audience.

    Nearly 2/3 of the audience are new to the titans event

Most of an analysts time is wasted doing mundane processes.

  • Even worse is less than 11% of data science models make it into production .

Can your company afford not to transform digitally?

  • The half life of an enterprise has been dropping significantly
  • To not transform would be to disappear ! Just look at Kodak , blockbuster and other companies

Digital transformation and its challenges

Fragmentation of the technology stack has made it hard to transform

  • agile tools like Alteryx to enable us to acquire data from any data source whether on premise, in the cloud or anywhere.
    Only 6% of data required for advanced analytics is in your warehouse

Analytics is not just about KPIs and dashboards for the business. The future will be won and lost on productionalisation of data science models

  • Analytics is a social experience , power is not in what you know but what you share.
  • Share and scale across the business.
  • Analysts should become margin discovers of profitability for the enterprise

Personas generating value in the enterprise

    Data scientists – hard to find and need to focus on high value tasks
    Pilots – citizen analysts who can lead an apply themselves in the business context , asking and answering questions.

Stop wasting time , use the right tools and go home early!

Analytics is also a social experience-

Driving a data driven culture across the company is equally as important as having the right tools