Thoughts on Alteryx Inspire 2014


Thoughts on Alteryx Inspire 2014

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the Alteryx Inspire 2014 conference in San Diego. The show was well-presented by Alteryx and conveyed a very consistent message of “data for the people.”

I’ve attended many conferences over the past 25 years, and I have to say that Tableau Software puts on the best show on earth with their annual Tableau Customer Conference. Alteryx Inspire is a close second. I give a lot of credit to the management team at Alteryx for their attention to partners and the details they share regarding product roadmap at the pre-conference partner sessions. As an Alteryx Premier Partner, we at InterWorks really appreciate the transparency.

The keynote session on day one was particularly entertaining. Music, visuals, success stories – it was an exciting start to the conference.

Jer Thorp’s Keynote

Jer Thorp, Co-Founder of the Office for Creative Research and former Data Artist in Residence at The New York Times, provided an interesting perspective on data visualization in his talk.

Jer Thorp

Above: Jer Thorp explaining what he goes for in his visualizations.

My favorite sound bite from Jer was this gem:

“Data visualization is a process, not an output.”

I love this point. It speaks to the “discovery” nature of real-time visual analysis. The greatest benefit from data visualization is the spontaneous discovery of new questions that lead to actionable insights.

Alteryx Aces = Tableau Zen Masters

Alteryx also awards a Zen Master-like distinction to Alteryx achievers, and my long-time friend, Joe Mako (as far as I know), is the only person to hold both Alteryx Ace and Tableau Zen Master status. 

Joe is the prototypical high-achieving analyst. He’s responsible for reporting, analysis and discovery work at Rosenblatt Securities and has been using Tableau and Alteryx for years. Joe clearly articulated to me the benefits of using both tools together—that being more powerful data blending that can be easily exported for analysis in Tableau via .tde files.

Alteryx Aces

Above: Alteryx Aces recognized on stage.

Comparisons with Tableau Conferences

I’ve attended every Tableau Customer Conference held in North America and also most of the European events. It’s interesting to note the similarities and differences between the Alteryx and Tableau events. Alteryx seems to attract a slightly different crowd of people.

Inspire Foot Traffic

Above: The halls at Inspire 2014, filled with mostly analysts. 

The typical person attending Inspire 2014 seemed to be an analyst that was tasked with combining data from many different data sources. Alteryx is brilliant at blending sources and providing output that is consumable in flat files or via Tableau data extract files.

What surprised me was the number of people attending the show who were not familiar with Tableau Software. We generated some excellent traffic in our booth explaining the benefits that Alteryx and Tableau can bring to data analysis.

InterWorks Can Help

If you are an avid Alteryx user and are interested in learning more about how the combination of Alteryx and Tableau can benefit your reporting, analysis and discovery efforts, contact us! We’d be glad to demonstrate how these tools can facilitate your data discovery work.

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Dan Murray

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