Inspire 2014 Interview with George Mathew, President and COO Alteryx – Part 2

…continued from Part 1

The whole space of Hadoop is one that people have been talking about so much, but it just seems to be starting to make its way into people actually executing on it.

Yeah, I think there’s a reason for that Lee. If you look at the way people have been working with Hadoop to date, it’s been heavily reliant on pretty archaic programming. When you’re looking at the programming model of building something in which is known as MapReduce, it’s largely a batch-based architecture, heavy requirements in terms of being esoteric Java programmers. That’s how many data scientists got the work done inside of the Hadoop landscape.

What we see today is more and more data analysts, more and more folks that are not necessarily programmers at heart, in terms of being able to write MapReduce jobs, wanting to take advantage of that landscape. That’s where the things that I mentioned, the ability to go directly against a SQL-based interface, the ability to go against a scalable engine like Spark, to be able to build applications from it.   That’s where we’re going to see a higher level of users be very, very actively involved in the adoption of Hadoop inside their organizations.

That’s going to be good to see that start to evolve. Building on the idea of Hadoop and other technology companies, you mentioned Tableau Software before. Alteryx has really great synergy with Tableau and I’m observing how both companies are building a great partnership between them. What’s the most exciting collaboration idea that you and Christian Chabot and other folks on his team have talked about?

There’s sort of two areas that we’re pretty excited by. One is the notion of how much there is a culture of data that’s emerging inside of many organizations and how we can be beneficial both as Alteryx as well as Tableau, and the combination of those two inside many organizations.

I think there is much more a culture of data that continues to evolve in every industry that we see today, and every organization that wants to be competitive in the industry. You’re going to see a lot more from Alteryx and Tableau about how to build an organization, how to build an infrastructure that supports this culture of data. So we’re really excited by that idea and how that’s going to push forward in the next few years.

We also believe that there should be a very seamless experience for any user of the combination of the two products together. You already see a little bit of that in terms of how Alteryx takes the pipelining, to be able to very seamlessly push information directly from the blending and the advanced analytic work that Alteryx delivers, into a visual analysis by using what’s basically the TDE file format that we directly support the API to output to.

We see a lot of our customers also wanting to be able to automate many of the day-to-day workload and processes they’re running particularly inside the Tableau server.

One of the things that we will likely work through in the next year is how much more seamless those integration points are. Could we actually take the ability of Alteryx to schedule processes, to directly schedule processes on the Tableau server. Could we take the information that Tableau currently has in terms of how people have sifted through a visual analysis and use that as a data profiling solution for the rest of the Alteryx pipeline.

There’s a very two-way street that’s coming to evolve between Alteryx and Tableau from a product integration standpoint. We’re very excited on both fronts; this idea that there is a strong user experience that’s going to expand itself out in terms of how that culture of data emerges inside of an organization, as well as the technical integration and the experience of the user that we’re really pushing in the two products converging. That’s the two big areas that I’m most excited by the Tableau relationship right now.

Well, you got me excited about both of those especially because DecisionViz focuses on the people, and the process, and the culture of this work. I’m really glad to hear that idea come out of the culture of data, because I don’t think it’s discussed enough. There’s a lot of focus on the technology but not what’s going to happen once we have the technology.

George, really appreciate your time and your thoughts, and of course for making Alteryx such an amazing product. We’re looking forward to seeing where it goes. For those of you who didn’t get to attend the Inspire Conference this year, I really encourage you to consider attending it next year.

Lee, thanks again. We appreciate the emerging partnership that we have with you and your team. This is something that we all see as a very bold step forward in how the market emerges particularly around this idea that data should be used for better decision making. And we look forward to continue working with you and our friends at Tableau, and really making this possible in the marketplace.

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Posted in Alteryx, Big Data, Interview, Strategy, Tableau Software, Visualization

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