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Alteryx makes Analytics Cloud GA, adds new tools

A year after introducing a cloud-native version of its suite, the vendor has made the platform generally available with updates to tools such as Designer Cloud and Auto Insights.

Alteryx on Thursday launched the general availability of its Analytics Cloud Platform. It includes a redesigned user interface for Designer Cloud and a new decision intelligence feature within Auto Insights.

Founded in 1997 and based in Irvine, Calif., Alteryx is a data management and analytics vendor whose platform aims to automate significant portions of the data preparation and analytics processes.

Analytics Cloud, first introduced in March 2022, is the cloud-based version of Alteryx's platform.

It includes Designer Cloud, a self-service set of tools that enables users to automate data and analytics processes; Auto Insights, a decision intelligence tool that scans an organization's entire cache of data and automatically surfaces insights that might not otherwise be discovered; and Machine Learning, which helps business analysts build augmented intelligence and machine learning models.

In addition, the capabilities of Trifacta are also part of Analytics Cloud. Alteryx acquired the cloud-based vendor, which specializes in data wrangling, for $400 million in January 2022.

New capabilities

The general availability of Analytics Cloud includes updates to Designer Cloud, Auto Insights and Machine Learning as well as the introduction of a tool called Metrics Store. They include the following:

  • a new drag-and-drop user experience for Designer Cloud that aims to make automating various data management and analytics processes easier, whether the user is a trained data scientist or a business user with little or no knowledge of coding;
  • the introduction of Common Causes, a feature in Auto Insights designed to help users discover the root causes of complex issues and understand the relationships between key performance indicators;
  • the addition of time series forecasting to Machine Learning that enables customers to better understand trends; and
  • the launch of Metrics Store, a feature enabling organizations to define and generate their metrics in a consistent manner across departments and generate those metrics in a consistent manner.

Taken in sum, the general availability of Analytics Cloud, including new features across the various tools, demonstrate Alteryx's commitment to its cloud-based platform, said David Menninger, an analyst at Ventana Research.

The vendor was slow to embrace the cloud, not releasing the general availability of first cloud-native tools until February 2022. Many competitors -- for example, Informatica and SAP -- had committed to the cloud much earlier. Others, such as Talend, have been cloud-native from their inception.

"This release and its focus on Alteryx Analytics Cloud is a milestone for the company and its customers," Menninger said. "It represents a real commitment to the cloud and shows significant progress with the assets it acquired from Trifacta just over a year ago. At this point, Alteryx is close to its competitors in the transition to the cloud."

This release and its focus on Alteryx Analytics Cloud is a milestone for the company and its customers. It represents a real commitment to the cloud.
David MenningerAnalyst, Ventana Research

Perhaps most significant for Alteryx customers is the new version of Designer Cloud, according to Menninger.

Designer Cloud was Alteryx's first cloud-native tool, released in preview in May 2021 before its general availability in early 2022. While Alteryx has prioritized the evolution of its cloud-native tools since then, many of its customers are still based on-premises.

The new Designer Cloud could serve as the impetus for those customers to start moving to the cloud, Menninger noted.

"Designer Cloud is important for Alteryx customers' journey to the cloud," he said. "You might say Designer Cloud tips the scales in favor of cloud deployments for those customers."

In terms of added functionality for customers already using Alteryx's Analytics Cloud, the decision intelligence capabilities added to Auto Insights are significant, Menninger continued. The amount of data that organizations are collecting is growing exponentially. Humans need the assistance of AI and machine learning so they don't overlook changes and trends within data.

"From an analytics standpoint, Auto Insights might be the most informative new feature," he said. "Augmented intelligence [is valuable] to enterprises by making AI/ML accessible to more of the organization. Auto Insights is Alteryx's augmented intelligence capability."

Similarly, Suresh Vittal, Alteryx's chief product officer, noted that Auto Insights is perhaps the capability that most significantly benefits users.

"Auto Insights allows a business user who is not close enough to the data to get access to all the metrics and all the insights through an AI-generated process," he said. "And Common Causes, enabling people to understand how metrics impact one another, is [helpful]."

With respect to Alteryx's emphasis on the cloud over the past year, Vittal noted that the general availability of Analytics Cloud represents the full launch of a platform that brings the vendor's cloud-native capabilities on par with those it offers to its on-premises users.

Users have the choice to deploy on the major cloud of their choice -- AWS, Google or Microsoft Azure -- or a hybrid of more than one.

"We want to be available to customers wherever they want to use our product," Vittal said. "When we bought Trifacta, we wanted to accelerate our cloud journey. And we now have a multi-tenant SaaS platform that allows users to do the entire gamut of analytics. It makes the same capabilities we have on-premises available in the cloud."

A sample Alteryx Auto Insights dashboard
A sample Alteryx Auto Insights dashboard displays the correlation between an organization's revenue and number of clicks.

Future plans

As Alteryx executes its roadmap, the vendor would be wise to continue its focus on automating processes within the analytics pipeline, Menninger said.

One way Alteryx has managed to remain competitive is by fostering lasting relationships with its customers, he noted. Another is by providing automation capabilities that address not only repeatable data preparation tasks -- as many other vendors do -- but also analyses that can be repeated.

"Alteryx differentiates itself by focusing on a different part of the problem than many others in the market," Menninger said. "They call it analytics automation -- I call it analytic ops. Analyses need to be repeatable and automated, which leads to greater agility. Alteryx is one of the few vendors focused on this aspect of analytics."

Vittal said that Alteryx plans to add a host of new data management and analytics capabilities in the relatively near future.

Among them are new spatial analysis tools, including one named Location Intelligence, enhanced integrations with partners such as Snowflake and Databricks, capabilities that address the growing scale of data through integrations with vendors such as Git, new reporting and visualization capabilities, and features that take advantage new generative AI technologies like ChatGPT.

"As things take shape, we will have the opportunity to be on the cutting edge of innovation with large language models and generative AI," Vittal said. "You'll see us announce integrations with generative AI and large language models. It's a super-hot topic."

Eric Avidon is a senior news writer for TechTarget Editorial and is a journalist with more than 25 years of experience. He covers analytics and data management.

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