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The Space Between Us: Using Alteryx to Plan Your Night

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Have you argued with friends over where you should meet for dinner or drinks? If so, this Alteryx app is for you! Using the spatial tools in Alteryx and the Google Maps API, “The Place Between Us” asks users to define start locations and preferred place types. The app then outputs a report suggesting the best meeting places and directions for your night out. This session walks through the app and showcases ways to use Alteryx outside of work, and then it talks about how doing personal analytics can benefit both your skills and your career.

Andy Uttley - Senior Consultant, Javelin Group

Published in: Data & Analytics
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The Space Between Us: Using Alteryx to Plan Your Night

  1. 1. # A L T E R Y X 1 9 PRESENTED BY THE SPACE BETWEEN US USING ALTERYX TO PLAN YOUR NIGHT Andy Uttley Senior Consultant Javelin Group, part of Accenture Strategy andrew.uttley@javelingroup.com
  2. 2. # A L T E R Y X 1 9 MENTIMETER WHILE WE WAIT FOR PEOPLE TO ARRIVE, LET’S TAKE A POLL OF THE ROOM… 2 1. On your phone, head to https://www.menti.com/ 2. Input the code 12 34 56 (code to be updated on the day) 3. Anonymously answer the questions; we’ll see the results on the big screen in 1 minute
  3. 3. # A L T E R Y X 1 9 COMPLETE SESSION SURVEYS ATTENTION 3 You were handed a survey as you entered the room. It should take less than 2 minutes to complete Please return your completed surveys B E F O R E YO U L E AV E the room Surveys are anonymous, and we rely on your opinion for improvement
  4. 4. # A L T E R Y X 1 9 4 With Alteryx, I feel like I can “answer that question" ANDY UTTLEY When I use Alteryx, I am empowered to solve A L T E R Y X U S E R S I N C E 2 0 1 5
  5. 5. # A L T E R Y X 1 9 5 TODAY’S AGENDA 1. The problem with Friends 2. Creating an analytic app to solve the problem 3. Under the app, a technical walkthrough 4. Using feedback to create a new and improved solution 5. Applying the solution to real business problems 6. Questions and final thoughts
  6. 6. # A L T E R Y X 1 9 6 The problem with Friends DAVE MATTHEWS BAND THE SPACE BETWEEN
  7. 7. # A L T E R Y X 1 9 THE SPACE BETWEEN THE PROBLEM WITH FRIENDS AMBITION 7 × I want to travel more √ I want to spend less time traveling × I want to fill all free time with individual breakfast/brunch/lunch/dinner/drinks plans with friends √ I want to find ways we can all meet up together REALITY
  8. 8. # A L T E R Y X 1 9 THE SPACE BETWEEN PROBLEM AND CONSTRAINTS 8 CHALLENGE 1 CHALLENGE 2 There should be a balance between even travel times, and quality of venue CHALLENGE 3 There should be the option to choose a particular place type (e.g. bar, café, restaurant) and see any relevant information 1 2 3 The place chosen must be of reasonable* travel time for each person(s) *the definition of reasonable travel will be spoken about later in this talk P RO B L E M : T WO ( O R M O R E ) P E O P L E N E E D TO D E C I D E W H E R E I S T H E B E S T P L AC E TO M E E T
  9. 9. # A L T E R Y X 1 9 9 THE SPACE BETWEEN SOLVING THE SPACE BETWEEN HELPS FIND THE PLACE BETWEEN SPATIAL TOOLS SPACE BETWEEN CONNECTOR TOOLS PLACE BETWEEN
  10. 10. # A L T E R Y X 1 9 10 THE SPACE BETWEEN SOLVING THE SPACE BETWEEN HELPS FIND THE PLACE BETWEEN HERE IN NASHVILLE SPACE BETWEEN PLACE BETWEEN
  11. 11. # A L T E R Y X 1 9 11 An initial analytic app: demo MARSHMELLO / BASTILLE I WANT YOU TO BE ‘APPIER
  12. 12. # A L T E R Y X 1 9 12 Under the hood of the app: a technical walkthrough MARVIN GAYE WHAT’S GOING ON?
  13. 13. # A L T E R Y X 1 9 WHAT’S GOING ON? APPROACH TO EACH CHALLENGE CHALLENGE 1 1 The place chosen must be of reasonable* travel time for each person(s) *the definition of reasonable travel will be spoken about later in this talk A S I S A L M O S T A LW AYS T H E C A S E W I T H A LT E RY X , T H E R E A R E M U LT I P L E W AYS TO S O LV E A P RO B L E M The first challenge was arguably the most difficult to overcome. This is because Alteryx provided me with multiple options to solve the challenge: 1. Create travel polygons for each person and analyze where or if they overlap (requires calling an API) 2. Create a convex hull of person(s) location and find the true mid point 3. Like above, create a mid point, but ensure that this is weighted to if multiple people were clustered together
  14. 14. # A L T E R Y X 1 9 WHAT’S GOING ON? APPROACH TO CHALLENGE 1: METHOD 1 Option 1 This is the method seen in iteration 1, which you’ve just seen in action. Pros 1. Allows us to accurately find the optimum meeting point by creating full travel polygons 2. Accounts for different transport methods Cons 1. Requires a paid API 2. Very slow 3. Restrictions on 30 minute travel 4. Not really scalable…
  15. 15. # A L T E R Y X 1 9 WHAT’S GOING ON? APPROACH TO CHALLENGE 1: METHOD 2 AND 3 If 4 people were to meet up located across NYC... Option 2: Find the center point of the convex hull Option 3: Take the average Lat/Long
  16. 16. # A L T E R Y X 1 9 WHAT’S GOING ON? APPROACH TO EACH CHALLENGE A S I S A L M O S T A LW AYS T H E C A S E W I T H A LT E RY X , T H E R E A R E M U LT I P L E W AYS TO S O LV E A P RO B L E M The second challenge was less about the ‘most clever’ answer, and more about what would be ‘most useful’ Again, there were a few options that came to mind: 1. Access review scores or sentiment analysis using R or Microsoft cognitive services, to “let others decide for you” 2. Use ‘Optimization’ tools to create a balance between travel time, cost, and average review 3. Human approach: list the options and meta data and let the user be presented with a ‘top N’ places to consider CHALLENGE 2 There should be a balance between even travel times, and quality of venue 2
  17. 17. # A L T E R Y X 1 9 WHAT’S GOING ON? APPROACH TO EACH CHALLENGE A S I S A L M O S T A LW AYS T H E C A S E W I T H A LT E RY X , T H E R E A R E M U LT I P L E W AYS TO S O LV E A P RO B L E M The third challenge is about how to present the results back to the user(s) This meant deciding – as is often the case on work projects – when it is and isn’t appropriate to leave the platform: 1. Filtering our API calls directly from the query string 2. Presenting the visuals using reporting tools, or moving into another tool (e.g. Tableau) where Alteryx preps our data to be presented elsewhere 3. Leverage the reporting and rendering tools directly in Alteryx to produce reports CHALLENGE 3 There should be the option to choose a particular place type (e.g. bar, café, restaurant) and see any relevant information 3
  18. 18. # A L T E R Y X 1 9 18 Using feedback to iterate DAVID BOWIE CH CH CH CH CHANGES
  19. 19. # A L T E R Y X 1 9 FEEDBACK AND ITERATE THE APP HAS SINCE BEEN REBUILT TO REFLECT THE INITIAL FEEDBACK 19 I don’t have a Route360 account I can’t find myself using the map input tool I want to put more than 2 people into the tool WHAT’S ALTERYX?! The report has shown me somewhere we want to go, but now what….?
  20. 20. # A L T E R Y X 1 9 THE PROBLEM WITH FRIENDS FINDING THE NEXT CENTRAL PERK: A LIVE DEMO ON ALTERYX SERVER 20
  21. 21. # A L T E R Y X 1 9 21 Applying what I’ve learnt here to existing client work KEANE SOMEWHERE ONLY WE KNOW
  22. 22. # A L T E R Y X 1 9 SOMEWHERE ONLY WE KNOW HOW CAN THESE APPROACHES BE USED WITH OUR EXISTING ‘WORK’ COMPETITION FINDER 22 Using the ‘place finder’ to help place where competition is, and what people are saying about them • “We’re the market leader, but the sum of the smaller independents are bigger than us…. but we don’t know who they are, where they are, or how good they are”
  23. 23. # A L T E R Y X 1 9 SOMEWHERE ONLY WE KNOW HOW CAN THESE APPROACHES BE USED WITH OUR EXISTING ‘WORK’ HIGH VOLUME HIRING 23 Using the ‘place finder’ to help locate where there might be many similar-skilled workers condensed in one area • “Part of our Real Estate planning is knowing that we’re able to hire the right people. 3rd part data sets show us where this might be the case, but if the market is already saturated in those places?”
  24. 24. # A L T E R Y X 1 9 24 Questions and takeaways JSON DERULO WATCHA SAY?
  25. 25. # A L T E R Y X 1 9 25 Feedback is always important, but I’d genuinely be keen to know what you think of the app, the idea, the process, and the presentation! Please leave any feedback here (Alteryx link?) or please feel free to connect with me after the session – it’d be great to hear from you! THE PLACE BETWEEN US: MY 5 LEARNINGS FIVE KEY POINTS ‘Fun’ projects are a great way to learn the skills you want to learn It’s a great way to prove Alteryx is more than whatever it’s being used for at the moment Sometimes the most ‘clever’ way isn’t actually the ‘best’ way An API is often more than just a replica of what you see in a generic UI… We all face ‘analytic’ problems in our everyday life – Alteryx isn’t just limited to helping our day jobs! 1 2 4 5 3
  26. 26. # A L T E R Y X 1 9 THANK YOU Email: andrew.uttley@javelingroup.com 26 Twitter: @andrewuttley LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewuttley/ ANDY UTTLEY
  27. 27. # A L T E R Y X 1 9 BEFORE YOU LEAVE ATTENTION 27 B E F O R E YO U L E AV E … Please take a moment to complete your evaluation survey. Hand it to the room monitors on your way out.
  28. 28. # A L T E R Y X 1 9 APPENDIX 28

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