Visualising spatial data from Alteryx

Alteryx requires almost no introduction. It is a workflow-based software solution that allows users to quickly access, manipulate, analyze, and output data. You can automate your data cleansing and transformations using a point and click interface.

One of its many powerful features is the ability to work with geospatial data. There are tools in Alteryx to help with territory optimization, asset location planning, transportation and logistics management, network analysis, and more.

With the illustreets cloud-based spatial analytics and reporting software, you can enable a stream of location intelligence, from your Alteryx workflows to your clients, in an automated fashion.

The state of the art

While great for processing data, traditionally Alteryx has lacked native visualization capabilities, especially when it comes to spatial data. It also offers few options in the form of sharing your work or collaborating with others, particularly business stakeholders and clients. You can use it to generate truly insightful reports, but these are not readily accessible to users. Instead, Alteryx offers options for loading your reports into third-party visualization platforms.

Whether you share your data or reports somehow to be viewed locally, or more widely, with help from third-party BI tools, this approach will sooner or later encounter one or more of these roadblocks:

  1. Geospatial support is limited. Often you will have to make do with map charts. In other cases, the map widget cannot cope with multiple layers, or with more than a few thousand features. Also, there are spatial functions which seasoned users expect, but most BI tools do not support. Drawing ad-hoc areas for spatial filtering, performing spatial drill-through on a location, collaborative data edits, performing measurements, overlaying own data on the map, dynamic feature styling and labeling — the list goes on.
  2. Interactive analysis is not possible. Yes, there may be filters and sorting, formulas, and perhaps conditional logic encoded in the reports, depending on the platform. However, truly interactive analysis, in which the user can change analysis parameters to answer “where” and “what if” questions — that is rarely possible, if at all. A simple example is allowing your users to input a location and a time value to find certain points within driving distance. Say, only hospitals. From one million other points. On-the-fly.
  3. No convenient method to automate updates. Some BI tools may require multiple products to create a data flow that will update your reports automatically. In other cases data can only be refreshed manually. How about updating one dashboard with multiple datasets, from separate workflows? Running at different times, on different machines. How about data integrity and consistency checks?

illustreets is the platform built to solve roadblocks like these, and more. It is an end-to-end, cloud-based location intelligence solution which empowers analysts to collaborate, and open up their work to everyone, in a secure and automated fashion.

A better approach

Alteryx has multiple tools for uploading data, including one for Amazon S3. Set up the illustreets live update service to fetch data securely from S3 as often as every few minutes, with the ability to either overwrite the data or append to the existing dataset. Once in, you can transform and combine the data further, blending in additional data sources.

The beauty is that, in illustreets, all datasets, transformations, and visualizations that you create are being automatically linked to their source. They will run and refresh by themselves every time new data arrives via any of the linked sources.

More importantly, data is being checked against its original schema, automatically, at every step performed either by the user, or by the system itself. You can rest assured that your dashboards and business apps, which your clients rely on for their work, will not be ruined because of a glitch in data preparation.

In illustreets you can use data views to further transform, combine, and aggregate your data. However, you can extend all these with user parameters for the front end, so your audience can explore the information in various ways, or query the system dynamically, without the need for advanced skills.

From there on, you have an entire suite of visualization tools to help you put insights in front of your clients:

  • map layers with polygons, lines, and points, styled using data-driven rules,
  • beautiful charts, from predefined templates or using advanced configuration,
  • filterable and sortable tables that can render millions of rows without a flinch,
  • dynamic data stories, with conditional text, images, maps, and data placeholders.

Put these in a dashboard or a spatial app and all the related data will synchronise as if by magic. Parameters and filters will propagate and change the presentation automatically, without you having to apply complicated settings. Mix and match your visualizations, based on their intended audience, and publish via front-end apps to groups of users set up via illustreets’ comprehensive user management system.

Automated delivery of location analytics

illustreets offers rich possibilities for geospatial analysis, visualization, interactivity, and building engaging location analytics products — all in an automated fashion. Enables comprehensive user management via combined role-based and attribute-based access control (RBAC/ABAC), user groups, and access control lists.

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What our clients say

illustreets — a world-class product that outperforms industry giants, coupled with personalized service” and “a group of intelligent and friendly individuals to work alongside”. “We have only scratched the surface of the potential [it] provides and it’s been a great experience using it”.

illustreets has played an integral part in helping us build our SaaS platform for Terravault.

They worked collaboratively with us to develop tools and functionality that enhanced our product. In addition to their expertise, they are a group of intelligent and friendly individuals to work alongside.

Vicki Burch-Vasquez, GIS Manager
Vicki Burch-Vasquez, GIS Manager
Cude Engineers, USA

It’s not often one comes across a company like illustreets — a world-class product…

…that outperforms industry giants, coupled with personalized service that allows product customization to allow exploration of new markets.

Village Infrastructure Angels has combined its knowledge and illustreets to deliver world class infrastructure mapping and planning services that, to the best of our knowledge, has no comparable competition, resulting in repeat work captured for both companies from respected institutions like the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and many others.

It has been a sheer delight to work with the illustreets team, and I look forward to many more years of collaboration that can result in more infrastructure being built to help the world’s poorest 1-2 billion people, and probably saving governments and donors billions of dollars via large-scale innovative design.

Stewart Craine, CEO
Stewart Craine, CEO
Village Infrastructure Angels, UK

We replaced spreadsheets of coordinates and calculation tables with illustreets.

Our business is selling equipment, which brings least cost electrification out to hard to reach areas, so we took our geospatial plannning data and plotted it in illustreets.

It became quickly apparent to our partners that they could make massive savings by setting up decentralised clusters of mesh-grids vs. more traditional centralised solutions. They were able to show this to other engineers and management in their organization and quickly we were able to move to supplying equipment and getting more power to the people.

We have only scratched the surface of the potential illustreets provides and it’s been a great experience using it. Highly recommended easy UX - quick leap to visualising GIS data.

Afnan Hannan, CEO
Afnan Hannan, CEO
Okra Solar, Australia

illustreets has provided an unmatched ability to build on large and complex datasets…

…to not only make our data visually beautiful but to present complex data as simple and easy to understand dynamic stories to our clients. This is particularly important to us when dealing with highly technical data to enable non-technical clients the ability to easily understand and navigate their way through the GIS apps, without getting lost in a mass of data and information. Previous solutions we had worked with lacked this final piece of the puzzle.

In addition, the SQL engine within illustreets is unrivaled in it’s ease of use - as a relative novice in SQL language, it was easy to get to grips with utilising some of the power of this engine using their simple and user friendly SQL query builder GUI and later move into more advanced queries with the SQL editor.

The support illustreets has provided throughout has been first class and always met with quick responses, even when the support requested has not necessarily been related to illustreets platform!

Sam Andrews
Sam Andrews
Andrews Consulting, Australia