AYX Unveils Analytic Process Automation Platform

(I posted this to the AYX board, but modified it a little here…)

Could this be part of the announcement mentioned in the conference call by Dean Stoecker, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer?:
from https://www.fool.com/earnings/call-transcripts/2020/05/07/al…
“over the next two or three weeks you’ll start to hear a lot more about a category of software that we see emerging, that we intend to own. And you’ve looked at a category creation in the past whether it was ACM or ITSM or SFA, the winner in that category tends to get 85% of the market cap of the entire category. And we intend that to be Alteryx. So we believe we’re particularly well positioned for, not just the short term but the medium term and the long term.”

The release hints at leveraging AI as well, though upon further reading it feels like this may just be one of many integratable concepts this platform can work with (meaning it uses a modular, pluggable or extensible architecture, or all of the above).

The press release:

IRVINE, Calif. – May 11, 2020 – Alteryx, Inc. (NYSE: AYX) today unveiled its enhanced analytic process automation (APA) platform, which unifies analytics, data science and business process automation in one, end-to-end platform. …Designed to put automation in the hands of all data workers—from line-of-business users to skilled analysts and data scientists—the human-centered platform transforms how businesses leverage their data assets, optimize their processes and upskill human talent to generate workforce efficiencies, top-line growth and optimize costs.

It sounds like this is both no-code and low-code. Which makes sense considering this sounds like a take on workflow automation - they even use a common term “action” to describe the chunks that can be linked together to form larger workflows, like nodes in a flow-chart (graph). In other words, most systems will provide some generic “actions” which are probably code chunks gathered by a registry and presented to users as little tools in a graphical interface, like a web app (no-code), and then users are able to customize or make their own using an API/framework (low-code). If interested, go check out


for one such example of a no-code workflow automation platform (thought they do offer scriptable “Zaps” - nodes/actions - which can use common programming languages like JavaScript and Python). Ansible playbooks are another more technical example of workflow automation (https://docs.ansible.com/ansible/latest/user_guide/playbooks…) which uses text files to let users register external executable chunks of logic. Anyway, here is what the release says:
With over 260 automation building blocks, the Alteryx APA Platform provides businesses with an integrated solution that unifies the full analytic continuum,…The code-free, code-friendly platform can automate analytics and data science pipelines, manage complex data-centric business processes and deliver actionable insights for stakeholders in every line of business.

Right at the end they mention this is already in use by hundreds of customers? Perhaps a wide beta program?
Hundreds of businesses are realizing significant gains from the Alteryx APA Platform. For more information on Alteryx APA Platform use cases and how companies are realizing transformative business and people outcomes, visit www.alteryx.com/apa.

That link at the end deserves a visit (lands on: https://www.alteryx.com/analytic-process-automation/what-is-…)

That link mentions "The Benefits of an End-to-End APA Platform:
"Analytic Process Automation (APA) might be a new term for you, despite its wide success. It might even sound like many of the other automation tools available today. But there are major differences between Analytic Process Automation platforms and other analytics, data science, and process automation point solutions, such as Business Intelligence (BI) and visualization, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Business Process Automation (BPA), Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) tools, and Data Science and Machine Learning (DSML) tools.

For starters, many of the tools today require advanced knowledge, expert skillsets, or weeks and months of education to use. Further, they can take months to implement and realize transformational impact. Early results are also not easily scalable, repeatable, or automated. Others are niche point solutions that address only discrete data analytic and process tasks and can’t cover the entire data-driven business process from data inputs to data outcomes.

Clicking through the tabs is quite interesting. I guessed recently that AYX might be getting more in to Robot Process Automation (RPA) but this is wider:
RPA automates repetitive tasks via bots, while APA can take inputs from bots, automate a complete data-driven business process, and then publish analytic outcomes directly to bots, RPA, and BPA systems.

All in all this is something I want to deep dive into for professional reasons. I actually supervise stuff like this at work, having written my own automation systems from the ground up as well. It is shocking how little I know about SaaS offerings and how they fit together because of how much we create in-house.

I love this quote they included:
"Organizations that invest in integrated automation platforms that span analytics, data science, AI, and process automation will extend the reach of their transformation initiatives and build a sustainable competitive advantage.

— John Santaferraro, Research Director, Analytics, Business Intelligence, and Data Management, EMA"

A nice mention from Coke in the press release:

“Alteryx is a key platform that allows us to tailor products to consumer preferences around the globe,” said Rod Bates, vice president, decision science and data strategy at The Coca-Cola Company. “We use it across many of our businesses that allow us to leverage data, automate processes and empower our people to become self-service digital workers.”


Here are my notes on their newly announced “Analytic Process Automation” (APA) platform. The CEO did warn us something big was coming. It’s a complete re-focusing of their entire stack and all their ancillary efforts into one cohesive whole. This is a really impressive, as it is tying together their software stack with the training, the community resources & support, and their newly announced ADAPT learning program for skill improvement. Their new focus is 3-pronged over Data, Process, and People.

PR: https://www.alteryx.com/press-release/2020-05-11-Alteryx-Unv…

“The different steps in an analytics lifecycle are often siloed,” said Chandana Gopal, research director at IDC. “Data preparation, data analysis, data science and the operationalization of data-driven processes are often done by different people or different groups. There is a need for a platform that brings all these different aspects of analytics together and provides AI-based automation where it has the most impact. An end-to-end analytics platform powered by AI will significantly improve an organization’s ability to make timely and contextual decisions based on data and analytics at all levels.”

APA Platform: https://www.alteryx.com/products/apa-platform

  • unifies Data Prep, Analytics & Data Science, and allows for Process Automation over them
  • hundreds of automation building blocks [from Alteryx Designer platform]
  • frees data workers from arduous tasks, to focus on delivering high-impact outcomes


  • platform ties together Data + Process + People
  • process already used in 37% of Global 2000
  • 260+ automation building blocks
  • focuses on improving skills of data users and automation of tasks

Platform layers:

  • Input Layer - automating inputs from variety of sources (files, docs, data platforms, apps, cloud)
  • Data Layer - data transformation and analytics
  • Data Quality & Preparation
  • Enrichment & Insights
  • Data Science & Decisions
    – Predictive ML
    – AI
    – Geo-spatial analytics
    – Prescriptive analytics
    – Code-free Data Science
  • Output Layer - automating outputs to a variety of destinations (BI apps, stakeholders, apps, reports, notices)

80+ natively integrated data sources from Amazon to Oracle to Salesforce. Securely connect to an unlimited number of additional sources. If you can access the data, you can bring it into Alteryx and spend more time analyzing and less time searching.

Explore and connect data from on-prem databases, the cloud, and big or small data sets and more. Easily cleanse, prepare, and blend data from a variety of different sources with or without unique identifiers to deliver unified data profiles.

Leverage the power of the cloud with in-database tools that turn big data into big insights. Go beyond standard demographic data with behavioral and retail purchasing information to create an in-depth view and truly understand consumers. Enrich your analysis with maps, address solutions, drivetime capabilities, and a deeper understanding of your customers and locations — because everything happens somewhere.

Upskill your team’s analytic output with step-by-step guides and assisted modeling to build models without coding or analytics expertise. Gain insights and better answers by using data for complex analytical methods, from sentiment analysis on unstructured data to building complex R-based models with little-to-no coding skills. Activate the intelligence layer with advanced analytics, such as machine learning, to provide forward-looking insights.

Empower others to customize any analysis and make decisions with analytic apps. Share in a variety of formats such as writing back to the database or a bot or leveraging spreadsheets or an easy-to-consume report. Build once and automate forever. Effectively communicate answers and share them with stakeholders so they can take action, visualize outputs, or even create lightweight dashboards in Alteryx. Amplify human output and enable the perpetual upskilling of people with intelligent decisioning to deliver faster, better outcomes.

This platform also ties into their newly announced ADAPT upskilling program. It is a new series of virtual data science classes, delivered via a partnership with Udacity learning platform.


Advancing Data & Analytics Potential Together (ADAPT) Program
Through the Advancing Data & Analytics Potential Together (ADAPT) program, new graduates and unemployed data workers are granted access to free data science and analytics learning courses, an Alteryx Designer license, a community of thousands of Alteryx users and 1:1 virtual support from Alteryx associates. Whether you are brand new to data or want to sharpen your knowledge of advanced, predictive analytics, the ADAPT program will equip you with the skills you need to enter a desirable field or make strides in your current career path.

3-part course:

  • Intro to ADAPT/Data
  • Data Fundamentals and Core Certification
  • Predictive Analytics for the Business Nano-degree

Takes about 120+ hrs to complete. Plus gives 6mo license to Alteryx Designer for your coursework, and access to community resources and support.

long AYX


Muji, thank you for the great notes. Do you have any idea on how this new Alteryx APA platform pricing works? I cannot find any clue in their website… Is it like a bundle of existing products or gonna be a new platform pricing?


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Here are my notes on their newly announced “Analytic Process Automation” (APA) platform. The CEO did warn us something big was coming. It’s a complete re-focusing of their entire stack and all their ancillary efforts into one cohesive whole. This is a really impressive, as it is tying together their software stack with the training, the community resources & support, and their newly announced ADAPT learning program for skill improvement. Their new focus is 3-pronged over Data, Process, and People.

Hi muji,

Is there really anything new here or is Alteryx just re-explaining what it already has? The fact that 37% of G2K companies are already using it when it was launched 2 days ago tells me that they are trying to draw attention to their products in a new way. I’m not technical in the SW space so maybe you can explain what is new here. Thanks!



Is there really anything new here or is Alteryx just re-explaining what it already has? The fact that 37% of G2K companies are already using it when it was launched 2 days ago tells me that they are trying to draw attention to their products in a new way.

Mostly the latter, as you determined. As of now, it’s still just Designer handling the input flows and modules, Server bringing all the automation, and Promote handling deployment.

What matters here is that this shift (which is only in name only at the moment, aka is only a marketing change thus far) is preparing this company to shift their array of software products into a cohesive whole, with a heavy emphasis on ease-of-use, via automation of data flow & analytical models AS WELL AS integrating the educational training services to continually improve the user’s skill sets.

So I feel the huge parts of this platform boil down to:

  • Automation of data flow [this was already in place in Designer]
  • Automation of analytical process flow between model creation, evaluation & use [this is piecemeal across diff products]
  • Education on how to use these tools and processes [demystify the art of “data science”]
  • Continual improvement of analytical skill sets from there [upskilling]

These all potentially combine into a platform that can create a virtuous circle - more knowledgable users can do more, but the platform itself will constantly improve upon the automation & curation of the data workflows & analytical models. The better the users become at utilizing the platform, and the faster users get via automation, and the more successful outcomes that all results in, the more they use the platform and evangelize for it and spread its use within that enterprise.

Alteryx is making massive strides in helping “data workers” become “data analysts”, and then now with those “data analysts” then becoming “data scientists”. They are striving to flatten the learning curve to data science and modeling, accelerate productivity with automation, and best of all, automate creation of analytical models to involve less and less input (aka less effort & time) from the user. This platform’s goal is making its users smarter and work faster.

So let’s be clear, this new platform is about automating both the DATA PROCESS workflows (already great in Designer), but also the ANALYTICAL workflows. This was clarified more in the CFO interview that zerosq posted here: https://discussion.fool.com/ayx-cfo-interview-may-12-34504603.as…

CFO: "Part of what you’re going to see from us under this new defined category of APA is significant innovation over the next 12 to 18 months. More so than you’ve probably seen from us previously at all. And that innovation is going to come from a couple different directions. You kind of touched on it with AI, ML, just call it advanced data science. You’re going to see quite a bit of innovation coming out of the Feature Labs acquisition that will be part and parcel of the APA platform.

We also are going to continue heavy innovation around ease of use. That is a big pillar of our development efforts. Our goal is not just to make the platform more sophisticated, but to make it just drop-dead easy for data workers who may not have as much comfort and experience working with data… And then how do you take data analysts and move them up the curve to behave like data scientists? And so you’re just going to see us continue to press on sophistication of the platform along with ease of use."

So he’s promising a huge investment into fleshing out this platform over next 12-18mo, and tying together the data & analytical workflows, and putting process automation over both sides of it. One big new shift is his news about moving towards a browser-based web app version of Designer. That is huge, as Designer is a Windows-only app right now, so it would open up Designer use to be on any computer or device.

Feature Labs that he mentioned was acquired back in Oct. Their focus is AI-driven model creation. So while the users are getting smarter and faster, the PLATFORM itself can be too, by better helping users identify the right model technique to apply, and then how to best evaluate and utilize that model going forward.

Born out of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Computer Science and AI Lab, Feature Labs quickly developed world-class, automated feature engineering capabilities, which eliminate the otherwise time-consuming, manual processes for data scientists. Alteryx plans to leverage these technologies going forward to expand our best-in-class code-free and code-friendly modeling and assisted modeling capabilities.

Pretty exciting stuff and good to see this presented so clearly by Alteryx. Too bad it is occurring smack dab in the middle of them having some sales issues during this pandemic. But long-term, this is a good move by the company and they will assuredly continue to execute well as they move towards this new vision.

long AYX


How does this effect licensing?

It appears the expanded usage of automated processes will make users more efficient. That alone does not sell more seats but increases ROI on seats.

In the example given about the accounting firm, they rolled out a process to be used by others in the company.

Any idea how these expanded use cases get monetized?

“Ease of Use” is one of the keys I look for in evaluating products of software companies. As digital transformation spreads ,many employees are probably going to be using an increasing number of software programs, replacing what they do with pen and paper now. Many of these employees will never feel truly comfortable with computers. Training is expensive and simple to use software cuts down on trining costs and on mistakes.

If the software is directly used to make decisions, AI is a big plus, a free from bias second opinion.

“moving towards a browser-based web app version of Designer” about time, don’t know why they have resisted. The markets (both stocks and users) clearly like the Cloud concept. But there is still the problem holding lots of AYX, that its big growth is somewhere off in time, thus problematic and other companies are growing now.

Re digital transformation-- I have read articles and even a couple of books on it but still think I do not understand the full scope, nor why it should succeed now after failures in the past. Any suggestions for further study? Because this may be the over riding force in tech for years, and if so I want to be riding that horse.


The markets (both stocks and users) clearly like the Cloud concept.

If we’re talking about Designer, which I understand to be an application installed locally on an employees laptop/PC, why would users like the cloud concept? An application running locally usually has better response times as there is less network latency to deal with. Note that a lot of software development tools are installed on developers’ PC/laptop. Yes, there’s more administration to distribute the software and any necessary updates, but that is already being done for many other applications and is not prohibitive.

Also, with laptops being more or less equivalent in price to desktops, most staff use laptops these days and there’s no issue using them for WFH during the pandemic. There are cases where higher-spec desktops are still used, but even in these cases (at least in my company) arrangements are made for the employee to bring the desktop home during the pandemic. So not an obstacle.

The drivers for having a cloud-based offering are cost and scalability, which are driven by workload and traffic. So I would expect a cloud-based offering to be more applicable to Alteryx’s products that run on a back-end server.


“moving towards a browser-based web app version of Designer” about time, don’t know why they have resisted.

Most likely because the performance is bound to be much worse.


Additional question, will AYX Analytic Process Automation Platform be a significant competitor to Appian’s APPN low code no code platforms?

This post has a very detailed analysis of AYX earnings and what their new announcement means.



AYX CEO Dean Stoecker on Cramer’s Mad Money right now.