A Chat with Libby Duane Adams, Co-Founder and Chief Advocacy Officer at AlteryxDana Leighon March 3, 2022 at 09:00 TechRound

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Together with my co-founders, Dean Stoecker and Ned Harding, we started Alteryx in 1997 with the vision to build a company that delivers a software platform that enables organizations to feel the exuberance of finding answers faster. Today, we unify analytics, data science and business process automation in one, fast, effortless end-to-end drag and drop platform designed for data artisans and business leaders to accelerate digital transformation by harnessing the flood of complex data to make critical timely decisions from insights.

With many companies investing heavily in data technologies to transform their organizations, we give the people closest to a challenge the tools they need to analyse, predict and even model patterns without needing to know how to code. It’s what we call a low code / no code platform.

So many people are still using legacy tools like spreadsheets for this sort of data work – this is fine for small scale VLOOKUPs or similar but starts to fall apart with multiple sheets or interdependent formulae. With such a huge skills shortage of formally trained data scientists, expanding this work out to your ‘citizen’ data scientists is the logical strategy.
 
 

 

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

 
Before founding Alteryx, my previous career paths all had a similar source of frustration – the slow pace of the business and/or the employer losing our edge to the competition because we couldn’t move fast enough to meet market demand.

I knew we could make a difference in the strategic analytics sector by combining software and data to match business requirements with easier to use, faster to deploy and more affordable agile business intelligence… and that’s where Alteryx was born.

Being with technology companies led to the idea of starting Alteryx alongside my founding counterparts Dean Stoecker, our Executive Chairman, and Ned Harding, the company’s retired CTO. When Dean, Ned and I founded the company in 1997, we knew it would always be grounded in three things: Customer success, innovation and positive impact on our world through data and analytics. My desire to be curious is also fed by the environment that I’ve worked in for 24 years. Technology has always been known for speed and flexibility in analytics.

 

 

How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

 
Never being afraid to ask ‘why’ or ‘why not’ or ‘how’ has also been a critical factor in where I am now. Curiosity allows us to never stop learning. Especially in technology, where it is a game of trial and error. It’s that learning and upskilling which has proven to be sorely needed globally.

We launched the Alteryx SparkED programme earlier this year with the goal to help expand data literacy and analytics skills among all learners. The programme provides free data analytics software, with free certifications, to learners of all skill levels. We’re already helped thousands of students and job seekers secure the certifications that will set them up for success in their careers and beyond, which is very exciting.
 

What can we hope to see from Alteryx in the future?

 

Data literacy is one of the most powerful tools at the disposal of every business adjusting to the new realities of the 21st Century. Underscoring the exponential growth of business data, the key word from Alteryx that aligns with this is ‘more’. More data and analytics simplicity, more data connections, more automation and more insights – wherever the data sits.

What will be key is adapting to ever-increasing data volumes at pace, and the need to scale and democratize analytics across the enterprise. While more data is created every day, the increase in qualified data scientists to actually make use of it is failing to keep up. Software that speeds up the time to insight – without the need to learn code – is going to be a gamechanger for businesses in the coming months and years. 

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