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Alteryx grabs cash to simplify analytics

Lets pointy-haired bosses think they're 'data artisans'

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Analytics startup Alteryx has grabbed another round of funding to help it get its big-data analysis tools in front of more non-techies at more enterprises with tangled data.

The $12m in cash will be used to add sales and marketing roles, fund international expansion, and make further investments into its Strategic Analytics product, the company announced on Monday.

The start-up's technology gives pointy-haired bosses and line-of-business analysts an analytics package to use to mix and match data sources from a variety of old and new formats, including Teradata, the Hadoop File System, and MongoDB.

The $12m funding round was provided by Toba Capital, a VC firm founded by former CEO of Dell-acquired Quest software, and SAP Ventures, which had already poured $6m into the company in April 2011.

The company's software sits in the difficult part of the analytics market where much of its value comes from its ability to mix and match various data sources, so the usefulness of it goes up with the complexity of the organization using it. Alteryx names a variety of large enterprises as customers, including Walmart and McDonalds, but doesn't seem to have as much of a presence in younger companies.

Success in the analytics market requires a combination of dogged persistence on the part of sales teams and increasing familiarity within analysts within organizations, we observe. The further funding round suggests that the company needs to expand a bit more aggressively to win more contracts to let it fund further data-integration development.

Its approach of simplifying "humanizing" big data via intuitive analytics tools with carefully tended graphical user interfaces matches up with the goals of other companies, such as Platfora and its attempt to make Hadoop easier to get to grips with.

"Alteryx is one of the few analytics platform providers which has the right mix of cloud, Big Data and predictive analytics capabilities to be able to leverage the massive changes in the analytics market and grow rapidly to become one of the leading analytics companies," SAP Ventures's managing director Jai Das, said in a statement.

The investment follows Alteryx updating its Strategic Analytics product to version 8.5 two weeks ago, which saw the company incorporate social media tools for analytics along with further integration with Tableau.

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