5 Themes from Alteryx Inspire 2017

My one dominant takeaway from the Alteryx Inspire 2017 conference can be summed up in one word: maturity. The company, the product, the community all felt strong and healthy. The trend lines are all pointing in the right direction. I didn’t feel a lot of marketing hoopla that makes you question the depth and truth of it.

Instead, I sensed a real passion, real depth and real commitment to deliver products that not only work, but enable people to do their jobs faster, better and with greater insight. I sensed a commitment to the community — not just to customers and the analytics community but to the whole world. And throughout all of this, I saw Teknion beautifully aligned with the mission and purpose of Alteryx. 

With that said, allow me to further expand on the themes I saw at Inspire 2017:

1. Organizational Maturity

Throughout my interactions with the Alteryx team, customers and other partners, what I felt more than anything is that Alteryx has matured as a company and as a product. That is not to say it was immature before, but subtle changes and continued innovation are setting Alteryx apart as a true leader in its space. New branding (to be unveiled in the months ahead) will articulate Alteryx’s positioning, mission and purpose. New faces at the executive level bring experience and new perspectives. Two new acquisitions this year (one announced during Inspire) demonstrate Alteryx’s commitment to not only build new features, but to integrate what other smart people have built.

2. Product Maturity 

The product is maturing as well. One of the biggest new features coming soon is Connect. Connect will be like Wikipedia for all of your data assets. It will mine your organization infrastructure – databases, files, data sources, workflows, Tableau workbooks, etc. — so that you can find what you’re looking for when you need to analyze or answer a question. Way cool! In addition to this: 

  • A new behind-the-scenes engine will deliver results two, three or even 10 times faster, depending on your hardware configuration. It was already fast – but soon it will be blistering.
  • An ecosystem of community contributions is adding tools and connectors to more and more data sources. And Alteryx is making it easier to build, support and deliver these add-ons in their maturing community.
  • A new, better and easier to use reporting engine will enable you to deliver results of your analysis much easier. This will include a drag-and-drop canvas that lets you place reporting artifacts and then print or publish them.

In a nutshell, the Alteryx product continues to become more and more robust. 

3. Customer / Community Maturity

Attendees at this year’s conference seemed to include more data analysts than before. This underscores a trend that is recognizing and valuing data analysis/data science as a vocation. In fact, as Alteryx pointed out, several of the top jobs listed on Glassdoor are data oriented: data analyst and data scientist being at the top, followed by data engineer and analytics manager. Alteryx and Teknion fit right in the middle of that hot mix.

A new C-level position is also emerging: the Chief Data Officer. This role fits right in between the IT organization and the business… a home, if you will, for all the misfit data analysts that were neither highly technical nor solely business. The CDO is responsible for both governing and delivering value from data. How ironic… we used to say, “data is useless unless it is turned into information,” and we challenged IT to look beyond data management and begin delivering informational value that supports organizational change and decisions. Now, IT reports to the Chief Information Officer, but the Chief Data officer is responsible for data warehouses, data analysis, data governance and data visualization. The CDO is the change agent – our new boss.

4. Resultant (formerly Teknion) Maturity

I can’t talk about maturity without saying that I believe Resultant demonstrated its maturity as an Alteryx partner this week. Our orange shirts were a visible presence everywhere you looked. That underscored the depth, passion and commitment our team has to the Alteryx ecosystem. Being privileged to host the Tuesday night Power Bowl was fun and rewarding. But most exciting of all, Alteryx recognized us as their North America Partner of the Year for 2017. I couldn’t be prouder of the investment and hard work our team put into earning this achievement.

5. Alignment

I will end with one more theme that I took away from Inspire 2017. Throughout many of the sessions I attended, I was constantly amazed at the alignment between Teknion, Alteryx and the latest business trends. This has come unintentionally in many ways, but is not surprising! We both share many similar passions:

  • We are all about data. Every session spoke about data every which way but loose. Data roles from entry level to top executive are the hottest jobs in America. Data is our middle name. It is what we are all about!
  • We have a passion to solve problems. “The thrill of solving” is the way Alteryx describes it. “Solutions” is the third word in our company name. For a long time, we have said, “we find simple solutions to complex problems.”
  • A purpose beyond ourselves. Alteryx promoted their “Alteryx for Good” (soon to be foundation) very boldly. As they said, “There is more to life than work. At Alteryx, we’re passionate about giving back to worthy causes…” The conference included a call to support Take My Hand Uganda. No different than us here at Teknion – giving back and serving the world at large is the deepest motivation that fuels our passion to be successful.

In the end, we wouldn’t be where we are today with partners like Alteryx. We want to thank them for hosting a successful event with powerful themes.

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