[This is second of three Alteryx Insights posts by Kelsey Kincaid, senior manager of data science at Evolytics. Check out the first post here>]

So you invested in Alteryx. Here’s how to make sure you get a return on your investment as soon as possible. While each organization is different, Evolytics found that implementing these four steps are critical for building a successful Alteryx practice from the ground up:

  1. Find a Champion: Identify someone in your organization to lead implementation. Ideally, this would be someone with Alteryx experience, who knows the value of using Alteryx, and who will evangelize Alteryx to the rest of the organization. This person should be a leader in the practice and your subject matter expert (SME). The Champion will drive Alteryx initiatives, answer users’ questions, and could help administer licenses. Depending on the size of your organization and Alteryx practice, you may need a team of more than one Champion.
  1. Invest in Quality Training: The primary reason we see organizations fail with Alteryx adoption is under-utilization. When users know why the organization chose Alteryx, they are less-likely to struggle with it, and more-likely to recognize the benefits of using it. Quality training is the best way to get your team on board. Analysts are either not aware of all of the ways they can use the tool or are not equipped with the skills to execute on their knowledge. Alteryx offers free and robust self-guided training tools, but do not stop there. One common issue with Alteryx onboarding occurs when busy analysts don’t carve out adequate time for self-guided training. Lean on your Champion to seek out or organize mandatory virtual or in-person classroom-style training. Your Champion should lead this critical effort, or seek out a qualified Alteryx partner such as Evolytics to partner with your organization on training. Otherwise, analysts don’t realize the value or get the most out of using it.
  1. Prioritize Projects: Deciding where to begin is often challenging once your practice acquires Alteryx. Which manual Excel process should you automate first? Which analysis should you complete? The answers to these questions will vary for each organization, but the key is prioritization. Facilitate a brainstorming session with your Alteryx Champion and the Alteryx user group, then make a plan that prioritizes Alteryx  projects and categorize them into four buckets: low effort/low impact, low effort/high impact, high effort/low impact, and high effort/high impact. Your first  projects should be those in the low effort/high impact bucket, as these “quick wins” will create excitement about what Alteryx is capable of among your users and create buy-in with leadership. 
  1. Create Incentives for Ongoing Learning: While classroom-style training works well to kickstart your Alteryx practice, you should also incentivize users to continue developing their skills. There are multiple low-cost approaches to accomplishing this. One involves asking your users’ direct managers to add Alteryx Certification to their goal sheet, give free swag to users who complete weekly challenges, or schedule a free Alteryx lunch and learn (food is often a great motivator!). If your user group is competitive like our team here at Evolytics, consider friendly contests with prizes to add excitement. In addition, we found that promoting the Alteryx conference and last year’s Alteryx Grand Prix increased engagement. Evolytics got creative by organizing fun events, including an in-office Mario Kart tournament. Work with your Champion to implement an incentive program and generate fresh content to keep your user base engaged over time.

You’ll quickly see positive results from using Alteryx in your organization if you follow these steps, but the process of getting up and firing on all cylinders is not linear. As your practice grows its Alteryx capabilities, you might need to revisit some or all of these steps to ensure continued development of your user group. Do not be afraid to ask for help along the way—building an Alteryx practice can feel like a daunting task. Evolytics is more than qualified to step in as your experienced Champion or will partner with you to create an implementation roadmap customized to your organization’s specific needs.

Contact Evolytics today for a free Alteryx consultation—we’d love to help!

Written By

Kelsey Kincaid

Kelsey is Evolytics’ director of data science, and one of only 35 people worldwide to achieve an Alteryx Expert Designer Certification. She brings a unique blend of business intelligence and analysis skills to her clients at Evolytics, and has a background in the financial services and investment industries.