We had the opportunity to attend Alteryx user conference this week in Boston, held at the Westin hotel (, which did not win a prize for its elevator service). The conference was well attended with 850+ attendees, coming from all over the world. The vendor is growing fast e g. grew live customers by 50%, and so all the positive energy of growth was at the conference – customers, prospects, partners and employees are all energized.

So here are my top 3 takeaways from the event:

Good Housekeeping – A year ago when Alteryx had their user conference in San Diego (it will be back there in 2016), I had the time to sit down to learn and use the product, something analysts seldom find the time to do. And while the product had very powerful capabilities, it felt like having a little aging user experience and seemed like built together quickly, with some inconsistencies in the UI. But the user community was happy back then (as now) with the product, more importantly though Alteryx has listened and there are improvements in the 9.5 product and more coming in 10 (shipping later this year). The UI is re-done, naming improved, tools harmonized, menus made consistent, performance improved – all key new qualities of upcoming versions. And customers will benefit from them, especially given the Alteryx business model (see below).
CEO Stoecker on Analytics Independence
Analytic Independence – a blessing or a misnomer? – The conference ran all under the motto of analytical independence, something biding well to Boston as a location with Tea Party and other history etc. something both CEO Stoecker and COO Mathew used in their keynotes as themes. But what Alteryx really does well and is used for is data prep and data automation. Getting data from a variety of sources collected, exported, transformed, enriched and fed to target systems is the forte of Alteryx. As such the vendor has done well partnering with the leading visualization front end vendors Tableau and Qlik. But all of this does not have a ‘true’ analytics aspect (see my view here), the closest to this happening is modelling analytical insights with R, the most popular analytical language these days. And Alteryx does well here with R support, working closely with Spark and enabling SparkR as new capability at the conference. What Alteryx enables is the freedom to get data fed to models, and build these models if you like, so more about data modelling and prep freedom than analytics. Regardless, something all enterprises need and Alteryx makes a big difference for customers in regards of these vital steps. All customers we spoke to on and off the record see huge productivity gains in their BI operations, something key for enterprises today. As business accelerates, insights need to accelerate and Alteryx is a vital tool for enterprises to achieve that.
COO Mathews on Predictive Visualizations

A unique go to markeb – Alteryx follows the ‘land fast – then expand’ model, which means downloading the product is free and easy, in the following weeks Alteryx Sales will catch up with the customer to turn the ‘free’ trial into revenue. It was great to learn that Alteryx has improved that model even further, realizing how vital the first 5 minutes after the download are for further commercial success. There the ‘housekeeping’ improvements mentioned above will help significantly. And having widely available documentation, how tos, training available is crucial, too. It looks like Alteryx has gotten the model right as the number of customers has grown by 50% in the last 12 months. Probably the only path for a smaller vendor to gain market share quickly, and we applaud Alteryx for the guts and the improvement and operation of the model. Viral, self-service selling tis the future of enterprise software sales, avoiding lengthy RfP cycles, throwing ‘bodies in planes’ etc. The future user / decision maker wants to see, touch use the prospective software quickly and make the buying decision on their own.

New Visualizations coming in Alteryx 10


Good progress by Alteryx on product capabilities, the upcoming release 10 has key improvements. Also good to see that the vendor has perfected the light weight, even viral go to market approach.

On the concern side it is clear that Alteryx banks on the ‘keep data in place’ approach (vs moving it all) – it is too early to call what approach will win in the market place in the long run.

A neutral area right now is that Alteryx has ‘lost’ the desktop at approx. 50% of their customers to partners Tableau and Qlik – if Alteryx can keep the mix there and be successful on strengthening its front end tools (in the plans), all is good. If the desktop market share falls further it risks to be relegated to a powerful ‘backend tool’.

But for now its good news for Alteryx customers, as the vendor is pushing the envelope further in data prep and ‘true’ analytics.

Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here.

And some key tweets from Day #1 of Inspire15:


And a Meerkat capture of the Day #1 and #2 Keynotes by CEO Stoecker and COO Mathews - check out my colleagues Doug Henschen and my takeaways at the end of the Day #2 keynote capture: