9 Replies Latest reply on Aug 21, 2018 4:10 AM by David Curtis

    Tableau Prep and Alteryx

    Kevin Tsui

      Hi.  Sorry for any ignorance on my part but can someone explain on a high level what are the differences between Tableau Prep and Alteryx?

        • 1. Re: Tableau Prep and Alteryx
          Chris McClellan

          At a really high level, they are both data manipulation tools where you build the manipulation graphically in a "no code" environment.

           

          At a more detail level, Tableau Prep can connect to 18 different file/database types (I'm guessing more will come) and can write to TDE, Hyper or CSV only.

           

          Alteryx can connect to almost anything/everything and write back as well - TDE, database, XLS, etc...  the sky is the limit.

           

          Alteryx also does spatial analysis, macros, analytical apps, and a TON more.

           

          It really depends on what you need though - if you need some "light touch" data prep to be used only in Tableau, then try Tableau Prep.

           

          If you want to do all sorts of magic and things that you've never thought of yet, then try Alteryx.

           

          There is a BIG price difference between the two, so use the free trial versions of each to assess what you want to do.

           

          For me personally, I see a place for both tools.  I'll use Prep where I want to do some quick data prep and I'm only using Tableau, and I'll continue using Alteryx for the harder work, analysis and writing back to a database as well

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          • 2. Re: Tableau Prep and Alteryx
            Cathy Bridges

            This is a great answer Chris!

             

            I have been tasked with presenting a review of Tableau Prep for my management, and as far as I can tell, there is nothing that Tableau Prep does that Alteryx does not, and also nothing that Prep does better or easier than Alteryx.

             

            The top idea/request for Tableau Prep is scheduling. Alteryx does have this capability, although it is not free. I'm not sure if, when Tableau incorporates this, it will be free or only come with Server or what.

             

            The remaining top ideas, at a glance, involve more data connections - Alteryx likely takes the lead here, though both companies are rolling out new connectors all the time - and better data transformation, which Alteryx has nailed.

             

            Alteryx can accomplish these top ideas for Tableau Prep:

            Custom Field Separator on Output

            Specify Data Import Starting Row for Excel Spreadsheets

            Add Table Calculations - especially Index() and PreviousValue()

            Add Record ID / Index feature

            Unpivot/crosstab option

             

            Prep has fuzzy matching/grouping but I found the logic lacking last time I tried it. In Alteryx you're in command of match type, precision, really everything, and you can chain fuzzy match steps to weed through finer and finer details.

             

            String cleansing/parsing in Alteryx is pretty much limitless, whereas in Prep it's pretty basic (numbers, letters, spaces, punctuation). I doubt anyone's going to be successfully cleansing a customer address database in Prep anytime soon.

             

            Where Prep has Alteryx beat, as Chris mentioned, is price. However, it's kind of like asking why a military jet costs more than a Cessna, given that they both fly.

             

            What might be missing in the world of ETL is a happy medium - a tool that does more than Prep and less than Alteryx but is priced accordingly.

            1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Tableau Prep and Alteryx
              Chris McClellan

              Cathy Bridges wrote:

               

               

              What might be missing in the world of ETL is a happy medium - a tool that does more than Prep and less than Alteryx but is priced accordingly.

               

              Knime does this - I haven't played with it much, but it's open source and apparently compares quite well to Alteryx.  For me, Alteryx is the first choice though - it's just so **** simple and easy to use, but at the same time so powerful.  I'm biased though, part of my job at the moment is to speed up Alteryx workflows that other people have written (basically helping them improve the performance). So to take a workflow that does the right job and they're happy with the output and make it run in half the time has resulted in quite a few "you CAN'T be serious !!!" comments this week

              • 4. Re: Tableau Prep and Alteryx
                Cathy Bridges

                If you're coming to Alteryx Inspire, I want to meet you! What you're doing sounds like a lot of fun!

                • 5. Re: Tableau Prep and Alteryx
                  Chris McClellan

                  Cathy Bridges wrote:

                   

                  What you're doing sounds like a lot of fun!

                   

                  NOT the description I would use, but it does create a great feeling of satisfaction

                   

                  LOL I just realised that I got censored in my last post, I didn't think the word was that bad (definitely NOT 4 letters), but I'll check the censor later on

                   

                  Definitely attending Inspire, I fly in Saturday leaving on Friday, Hackathon already booked for Monday

                   

                  Don't worry, will catch up this time

                  • 6. Re: Tableau Prep and Alteryx
                    Dmitry Gudkov

                    What might be missing in the world of ETL is a happy medium - a tool that does more than Prep and less than Alteryx but is priced accordingly.

                     

                    This is exactly where EasyMorph is -- between Prep and Alteryx. In terms of price as well as features.

                    • 7. Re: Tableau Prep and Alteryx
                      David Curtis

                      Although I agree with the others on the +'s and -'s of each ETL.

                       

                      The main reason for me not to use Tableau Prep is that you can not schedule it to run like you can in Alteryx.

                      When this feature is added then Tableau Prep will be on par.


                      That is unless I missed this capability, but I could not find it.

                      • 9. Re: Tableau Prep and Alteryx
                        David Curtis

                        Chris,

                        As this is a valid way of doing it, it would be much better to have Tableau prep complete this function.

                        We are discouraged to leave our personal computer on 24/7. Now, we can have a dedicated computer perform this function, agreed.

                         

                        BUT it would be much better to have them scheduled right in the app as Alteryx accomplishes this same task.

                        This would be THE game changer and a major step for Tableau Prep.