Alteryx Leverages Generative AI To Expand Analytics Platform Capabilities
The company’s new AiDIN generative AI engine, unveiled at this week’s Inspire conference, will fuel a range of capabilities within the Alteryx Analytics Cloud Platform that bring data analytics to a wider audience of users.
Data analytics technology developer Alteryx is jumping into the AI pool, launching an AI engine this week that works with the company’s flagship Alteryx Analytics Cloud Platform to boost analytical efficiency and productivity.
Alteryx, which held its Inspire 2023 user conference in Las Vegas this week, also unveiled a number of additions and enhancements to the Alteryx cloud platform and Alteryx Designer, including new data governance and location intelligence capabilities.
As with other recent IT vendor conferences, including this week’s Red Hat Summit 2023 and Microsoft’s Build 2023, generative AI was a hot topic at the Alteryx Inspire event.
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“I think we’ve only seen the very tip of the iceberg with large language models and generative AI. We’re really just starting to scratch the surface of what this powerful technology can do,” Alteryx CEO Mark Anderson said during a press briefing in introducing the Alteryx AiDIN generative AI engine.
“Sometimes, [what] feels like a hype cycle, can truly be something very, very big. I think that’s what we have here with generative AI,” the CEO said. “AI, and more specifically generative AI, introduces new and compelling ways to engage with analytics.”
Unlike most data analysis products, the Alteryx system – including the Alteryx Analytics Cloud Platform that launched in March 2022 – combines data reporting and visualization with data discovery, data integration and transformation, and predictive forecasting capabilities with the intention of automating data analytics and making it available to a wider audience of business analysts and information workers.
“This is how you bring efficiencies to the data analytics journey,” Anderson said. “We’ve accelerated our cloud platform innovation roadmap. And we’ve embraced our partner ecosystem to further scale and help our customers.”
AiDIN integrates AI, generative AI, large language models and machine learning with the Alteryx Analytics Cloud Platform to improve analytics efficiency and productivity. “Our underlying goal is to abstract the complexity that’s associated with data analytics for the masses,” Anderson said.
AiDIN powers Magic Documents, a new Alteryx Auto Insights feature that uses generative AI to improve insights reporting and sharing by providing in-context data visualization summaries and PowerPoint, email and message generation capabilities.
The AiDIN generative AI engine also supports the new Workflow Summary for Alteryx Designer, the data preparation and integration toolset within the Alteryx platform. Workflow Summary allows users to document workflow data processes and data pipelines. And AiDIN underlies the new OpenAI Connector, which provides a way for users to incorporate generative AI into Alteryx Designer workflows.
Generative AI “lowers the barriers to entry for people to ask questions about the data,” said Suresh Vittal, Alteryx chief product officer, at the Inspire press briefing. “It helps take out the friction in all these silos of data that exist inside the organization. And it starts to give you a place to unleash your imagination on what data can do. We believe generative AI is going to change things in very profound ways for analysts.”
Many businesses and organizations have spent millions of dollars building data warehouse and data lakehouse systems, which “remain the exclusive purview of a handful of highly technical people” and prevent data analytics from getting into the hands of line-of-business analysts and information workers, said Adam Wilson, senior vice president and general manager of Alteryx Analytics Cloud, in an interview.
“If you want ROI on your cloud data warehouse or your cloud data lake, you need to onboard that broader community, which means having a self-service approach,” Wilson said. “With our cloud platform, we’re able to provide that.”
At Inspire Alteryx, headquartered in Irvine, Calif., also unveiled new cloud-connected experiences for Alteryx Designer, including Cloud Execution for Desktop, which allows desktop Alteryx users to tap into the capabilities of the Alteryx Analytics Cloud Platform. That includes creating analytical workflows on Alteryx Designer, saving their work on the cloud platform and running the workflows in the cloud.
New Location Intelligence capabilities make it easier to visualize and analyze spatial data, according to the company. And the Alteryx platform sports new data governance tools.
AiDIN and the new capabilities in Alteryx Designer will help businesses build their own AI engines that integrate and analyze proprietary data generated by their own operational systems, including ERP and CRM applications, Wilson said. And the new data governance functionality will ensure that data is properly handled, he added.
Alteryx works with solution providers, global systems integrators and technology alliance partners and during the briefing Alteryx President Paula Hansen said that partners are “incredibly foundational to our success and, more importantly, our customers’ success.”
Partners, Hansen said, provide expertise in data analytics and how to apply that to specific use cases within vertical markets and “how to integrate our technology into the broader data landscape.”
“All of our channel partners are seeing a huge uptick in analytic modernization or cloud modernization projects,” Wilson said. “They’re being brought in to rethink how and where this work is getting done. Customers taking the opportunity to think about broader democratization [of data analytics] as part of the move to cloud. Alteryx Analytics Cloud and new capabilities like Cloud Execution for Desktop allow them to go in and make Alteryx a centerpiece of those projects.”
Alteryx has been putting more emphasis on its go-to-market efforts with partners following a significant revamp of the company’s partner program in March of last year. In December Barb Huelskamp, Alteryx senior vice president of global partners and alliances, told CRN that the data analytics company has seen significant channel sales momentum since then.