Inspire 2014 – Consumer Reports: Making Data Analysts Self-Reliant to Claim a Seat at the Table

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Consumer Reports generates over 1.8 million surveys annually to help them evaluate products for their publications. But survey data is notoriously difficult to use. In this session you will find out how Alteryx enabled Consumer Reports to replace the tedious process of reformatting survey data with an automated process, and view the results in Tableau. Case studies will reveal how Alteryx is used to provide asset tracking for the items they test, for SEM data, and to determine which product categories drive the most interest from their subscribers. Previously, analytic insight was confined to people who could write code, but you will find out how Alteryx is giving analysts “a seat at the table.”

Michelle Leonard, Senior Research Associate, Consumer Reports

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Inspire 2014 – Consumer Reports: Making Data Analysts Self-Reliant to Claim a Seat at the Table

  1. 1. #inspire14 Making Data Analysts Self Reliant Michelle Leonard Sr. Research Associate Consumer Reports
  2. 2. #inspire14#inspire14 Consumer Reports
  3. 3. #inspire14#inspire14 Multi-Media Organization
  4. 4. #inspire14#inspire14 Our Challenge Content Creators (Testers) CRO.org TV Print Pubs Digital
  5. 5. #inspire14#inspire14 Goal TV Windows SUVs Cribs Smart phones Meat Dryers Identify Top Performers Identify Best Distribution Channel CRO.org Print Digital
  6. 6. #inspire14#inspire14 Project Challenges New Way of Thinking • Faced reservations about the approach & its implications • Intense debate on what variables to consider High Stakes • Reallocating resources could impact jobs and the organization’s success Enormous Task • No road map – data & critical thinking
  7. 7. #inspire14#inspire14 Consumer Perspective Rate Ourselves • Is the information we provide valuable to our subscribers? Financial Perspective • Are we producing content that will grow our subscriber base? Mission Perspective • How well does our content support Consumer Report’s mission?
  8. 8. #inspire14#inspire14 Consumer Data Disparate Data Sources • Monthly surveys for each media channel • Web traffic & orders • Household spending (3rd party data) Financial Data (Revenue & Expense) • Employee salaries (Time spent testing) • Testing & Test Sample Costs • Media channel specific costs Mission Perspective • Internal assessment of each content category
  9. 9. #inspire14#inspire14 First step, analyze major sources independently Disparate Data Sources Web Data Print Surveys Finance Data 3rd Party Data
  10. 10. #inspire14#inspire14 Monthly Surveys Readership • Measure article level performance • Data collection challenges (survey length, multi-topic articles) • Data analysis challenge • (Show Tableau Dashboards)
  11. 11. #inspire14#inspire14 Needed An All-in-One Tool • Handle survey data • Manipulate Data • Join & normalize disparate data sources • Manage Data • Handle high file volume • Analyze Data • Scale conversion and statistics
  12. 12. #inspire14#inspire14 Survey Data • Process monthly survey files • Join survey results with a product classification file • Ability to store answer and answer labels separately • Analyzing results
  13. 13. #inspire14#inspire14 Next step, join & analyze major sources together Disparate Data Sources Web Data Print Surveys Finance Data 3rd Party Data
  14. 14. #inspire14#inspire14 Join Data Sources
  15. 15. #inspire14#inspire14 Product Hierarchies Dealing with the different content category hierarchies • For example, one source might report data at an “SUV” level whereas another source reports data at a “Large luxury SUVs” level • We used Alteryx to proportionally allocate data from each source to same level.
  16. 16. #inspire14#inspire14 Convert Scales We also used Alteryx to convert each data source to a 1-5 scale…
  17. 17. #inspire14#inspire14 Metrics • Impact • Revenue • Reach • Value Established four key metrics Tableau Dashboard
  18. 18. #inspire14#inspire14 Challenges with Alteryx • Finding it hard to follow complicated work stream • Certain tasks are easier in Excel • Input parameters (Alteryx/Tableau connection)
  19. 19. #inspire14#inspire14 Next Steps • Determine when to use Alteryx vs. Tableau • Improve streams • Test/refine metrics • Develop accuracy reports
  20. 20. #inspire14 THANK YOU!

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