New Alteryx Release Expands Big Data Blending Capabilities

Combining data from multiple sources is one of the biggest challenges to bringing business analytics to a wider audience of business users. Alteryx this week debuted a new release of its data blending and advanced analytics software that enables greater data integration.

Alteryx Analytics 10.0 also offers expanded collaboration capabilities and new data visualization/user experience enhancements.

"This is all about making predictive analytics more accessible, not just for power users, but for everyday users," said Bob Laurent, Alteryx product and industry marketing director, in an interview.

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The focus of the new 10.0 release is giving line-of-business analysts tools to access, blend and analyze data without assistance from data scientists or the IT department, Laurent said.

Alteryx Analytics 10.0 expands the software's ability to shift data blending and processing tasks into the database, rather than within a computer's memory, accelerating how quickly those tasks can be completed. Alteryx Analytics 9.5 provided those capabilities for Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server databases. The 10.0 release adds Amazon Redshift, Cloudera Impala, Spark and Teradata databases to the systems that Alteryx Analytics supports for in-database processing.

The latest release also provides connectors for additional data sources Alteryx Analytics can tap into for data blending tasks, including Cassandra, MongoDB and SAP Hana, plus the Marketo and Salesforce cloud applications.

The wide range of data sources supported by the Alteryx software is a key selling point, said Zack Mazzoncini, co-founder of Decisive Data, a Redmond, Wash.-based solution provider focused on business analytics around software from Alteryx and Tableau.

Data integration is a big part of Decisive Data's work, "so providing the connectors to keep up with new data sources is huge for us," said Mazzoncini, who manages the company's data visualization business. He said the Amazon Redshift support would, in particular, be big for Decisive Data.

The overall flexibility and functionality of the Alteryx software makes it easy to deploy in a wide range of businesses and make available to a broad range of users, Mazzoncini said. "We can walk in the door and deliver a pretty robust scalable solution."

Alteryx sells its software both directly and through resellers and service providers like Decisive Data. The vendor also partners with systems integrators and business analytics consultants.

The new release offers additional options for collaboration between analysts through the sharing of analytical applications via the Alteryx Server and Alteryx Analytics Gallery. The software also fosters more collaboration through centralized version control for workflow development, and new administration capabilities for user-level event monitoring and reporting.

On the user-experience side, Laurent said Alteryx, based in Irvine, Calif., has hired developers with computer game design experience to help improve the software's usability. A key enhancement is the ability to view data samples throughout the workflow development process.

Alteryx Analytics 10.0 is currently available.