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Alteryx vs PowerQuery

Hello,

We 're currently revising and revamping the BI environment .
Recently I have stumbled upon Alteryx, which tool also is being mentioned in eDNA podcasts.

Has anyone had experience using both tools (and is willing to share insights and expand into some sort of comparison) ?

As far as I understand it, these can be interchangeable ?

Best

Rafal

1 Like

@Rafal_J,

I personally don’t have any experience with Alteryx, but I know that Enterprise DNA Expert @alexbadiu does, and so am looping him in here… I also believe expert @bradsmith knows Alteryx.

One thing I do know is that PQ is so well integrated into the fabric of Power BI that it would be hard to imagine a 3rd party tool providing such better capabilities that it would be worth giving that up. If PQ can’t handle sometthing, that task should probably be done upstream, say in SQL.

  • Brian
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Hello Rafal_J,
Indeed, I am using both Alteryx and Power Bi in my daily job. Alteryx is a great tool and very different to Power Bi. You can’t really compare the two.
Most companies who were using Alteryx were using Tableau as well, as there was no really data prep solution inside Tableau (before they created Tableau prep which is highly inspired by Alteryx).
You can do a lot of things inside Alteryx, you can visually see the steps you do, it is code free and code friendly, you can integrate R, Python, do geospatial analysis. You learn how to use it quite fast, so it can add value to your company from the first month of use.

It is easy to use for business people and a great tool for the citizen data scientist. The main disadvantage of this tool though is the pricing and the scaling.
For me, Power Bi and all Microsoft Ecosystem is doing 95% of the job.
I do have use cases where I use Alteryx, but I use it mostly for data exploration and algorithm prototyping before we integrate in central ecosystems like SQL, Synaps, AS etc.

If you just get started with your Bi environment, you do not have a lot of IT resources or support, Alteryx can be a solution in addition to PBI.

Best regards,
Alex Badiu

3 Likes

Thanks for your input :slight_smile:
The context of my question is that we have data sources, mostly MS SQL DB, we decided on front-end to be PBI and there is big “?” inbetween. Should we be using PQuery, Alteryx, to do ETL processes.
Best
Rafal

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Hi @Rafal_J

I’m currently on a similar journey with my organisation, rebuilding all the data ETL processes and migrating reporting front-end from QlikView to PBI.

We are using Alteryx for the downstream ETL processes, specifically consolidating data from lots of source systems and transforming these. We then store Alteryx’s output in a MS SQL DB and PBI runs over that (importing simple views created in SQL).

I’m lucky that we have Alteryx already in the business for another project, as others have said it is quite expensive to scale up to the server for scheduled jobs.

I wouldn’t therefore consider it a replacement for PBI PQ, yes you can push Alteryx outputs directly into a PBI data model in the reporting service, but the data table has to already exist and I personally didn’t feel this gave us the visibility I needed over the end to end process.

Hope that helps - happy to answer any other questions you might have

Thanks
Rob

3 Likes

Hi @rob.walker,

I find that enlightening.
How, in your opinion, would NOT having Alteryx impact the switch ? I am sure you had been considering that. I have also been thinking along the lines of getting the ouptut from Alteryx and storing it in MS SQL DB, if indeed that path is chosen. Would you be so kind and expand the part of … pushing Alteryx outputs directly into PBI … ?

Best

Rafal

1 Like

I hope that you are having a great experience using the Support Forum so far @Rafal_J . We’ve recently launched the Enterprise DNA Forum User Experience Survey, please feel free to answer it and give your insights on how we can further improve the Support forum. Thanks!

Hi @Rafal_J

Using Alteryx allows us to complete the necessary data transformations earlier in the ETL process (prior to loading into SQL DB). Therefore, when we import to PBI the data is already cleansed and transformed and very little transformation actually takes place within Power Query. That works for us and one benefit is that I can use the SQL data in its raw format elsewhere (e.g. import to Excel) without worrying about applying another layer of transformation.

When I referred to pushing the output directly into PBI, there is a Power BI Output connector tool built for Alteryx (its free but you have to download it from the gallery). This uses PBI’s Rest API to update data tables directly within the PBI published data model. You have to register Alteryx as an Azure app. Each output tool can update a single data table. I’ve not used this much, but it does have potential to help with refresh schedule limits. The only downside I can see is that in order to connect Alteryx, you first have to build your report / publish the data model.

Hope that helps

Thanks
Rob

1 Like

Hi @Rafal_J did the response provided by the users and experts help you solve your query? If not, how far did you get and what kind of help you need further? If yes, kindly mark as solution the answer that solved your query. Thanks!

Hi @Rafal_J, we’ve noticed that no response has been received from you since the 2nd of April. We just want to check if you still need further help with this post? In case there won’t be any activity on it in the next few days, we’ll be tagging this post as Solved.