Being able to leverage data resources to drive value has become a key definer of enterprise performance in the digital era. The truth of this has been backed up by industry studies, academic reports and anecdotal evidence. And for any companies that hadn’t yet got the message, the COVID pandemic made it crystal clear.
While the need is clear, accomplishing integrated data workflows and a data-first culture into an organization that was built around physical filing cabinets isn’t an easy task. One major problem is breaking down the silos that keep data encapsulated within departmental spheres.
“It’s a big topic right now because companies realize that the business processes that they run their business with are very cross-functional in nature and require data across every department in the enterprise,” stated Paula Hansen (pictured), president and chief revenue officer of Alteryx Inc.
Hansen spoke with theCUBE industry analyst Dave Vellante at Supercloud 22, during an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. They discussed the role of supercloud in the changing world of enterprise data analytics and how Alteryx’s platform has become a supercloud that enables companies to easily access and action their data resources, regardless of where they are located.
Supercloud destroys data silos
By enabling users to pull different data sets together and filter, blend, cleanse, shape, analyze, enrich with other data and report out to colleagues and collaborators, Alteryx is working to break down the data silos across clouds. This means the company’s platform meets theCUBE’s definition of supercloud, according to Vellante.
Democratizing data access is a key foundation of supercloud, and it’s one that Alteryx has built into the foundations of its Analytic Process Automation Platform.
“Our belief is that regardless of the skill set that you have, you can participate in the analytics opportunity for your company and unlock the potential of your data,” Hansen said.
This functionality has become more important as the use of the cloud has evolved and flexibility has become not just a nice-to-have for businesses, but a critical requirement.
“You have to be everywhere. You have to be able to serve users wherever they are and be able to live in a multicloud or supercloud world,” Hansen stated.
As cloud adoption increases and cloud use cases proliferate, enterprises are looking for web-based analytic solutions and, more importantly, a partner and a platform that will remain relevant as their cloud strategy evolves, according to Hansen. This is the niche that Alteryx looks to fill. And while the data analytics market has been around for decades, Hansen views it as still in its infancy in regard to the innovations that have yet to come.
“Companies know that they need to unlock the full potential of their data to be able to pivot and to respond to their customers’ needs, as well as manage their businesses most efficiently,” she stated.
Pay-to-procure and quote-to-cash processes are examples that illustrate this, as they are common across industries and share the need to gather data from multiple departments to gain insights into the best business decision to make. Alteryx enables this by being easy to use and by providing users with fast access to data across silos, according to Hansen.
“We have the ability to bring that data together across hundreds of different data sources, bring it together to help drive insights and ultimately help our customers make better decisions, take action, and deliver on the business outcomes,” she said.
Data is everyone’s responsibility
There has been a recent tipping point in the understanding of the need for data democratization within companies, according to Hansen. Executives are waking up to the fact that there aren’t enough data scientists to be able to make sense of the massive amounts of data flowing through an organization and that the solution to this is to integrate data analysis into every job description.
“We see executives sponsoring these hackathons within their environments to bring together people to brainstorm and ideate on use cases, to share examples of how they leverage our platform and leverage the data within their organization to make better decisions,” Hansen said.
Delta Air Lines Inc. provides an example of how Alteryx performs this in a real-life situation. Aircraft maintenance is a top priority for airlines, which need to keep their fleet in top condition to operate efficiently and meet customer expectations. Scheduling aircraft for maintenance and making sure technicians were on-shift to perform repairs used to be a complex task done individually by each of the company’s service centers. Now the process is automated via Alteryx’s platform, with all facilities able to access data on the status of Delta’s global fleet.
“By leveraging Alteryx and the power of analytics and bringing all the data together, those centers can do this [scheduling] process in just minutes and get their planes back in the air efficiently and deliver on their promises to their customers,” Hansen said.
Everyone needs to understand the importance and relevance of data analytics to “make amazing things possible,” Hansen added.
She shares this message by sharing her story and being visible as a successful female data executive, mentoring and inspiring the emerging generation of data scientists.
“My passion around technology is what can it enable? What can it do? What are the outcomes that technology makes possible?” she said. “Not only can we have effect with data in businesses and enterprise, but governments globally now are realizing the ability for data to really have broad societal impact.”
Here’s the complete video interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the Supercloud 22 event:
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