Processing Global Travel Data Part 2 – The Story Behind the Story


I have determined that I am NOT going to become a video blogger (I feel like a big dork on camera!). However, I awoke today with a thought that must be completed. I feel compelled to continue this story by doing what the great Paul Harvey used to do. He would say something to the effect of: “Now, the rest of the story”.

Now, The Rest of the Story

With respect to my previous blog post (Figure 1) on processing global travel data, I’m going to tell you the story behind the story. To tell you this story will take me a few minutes by video or a few hours by text, so I’m going to pick the video. This is not an easy choice because it gives me butterflies in my stomach to do so.

All Manager's First Level Employee Travel International

Figure 1 – International travel patterns.


The reason that I need to tell you this is simple. What we did on Saturday was very risky as the project could have crashed and burned before we solved it. Making a video blog of solving a complex problem is risky. Making of video blog of solving a complex problem BEFORE you even attempted to solve the problem, is VERY RISKY. The problem we chose could have easily taken us many hours or days to solve efficiently (in fact, I sort of thought that it would, and Chas knew that it would).

The fact that it was solved in less than a couple of hours is a solid testimonial to the brilliance of Alteryx. Alteryx extracted the salient pieces of travel information with one tool, followed by a series of operations to add new components to the analysis. These new components included geospatial calculations followed by a seamless integration of the output to Tableau.

Finding the solution took some trial and error, it took some starts, stops, and restarts, and it took some serious thinking. It took collaboration between me and Chas. It took me referencing my own blog several times to extract methods I’ve previously written about. In the end, a beautifully succinct and efficient solution technique in the form of a repeatable workflow was created.

This example illustrates why I have such passion for both Alteryx and Tableau (don’t tell my wife about this blog post, please!). So without further ado…




One thought on “Processing Global Travel Data Part 2 – The Story Behind the Story

  1. Pingback: Processing Global Travel Data With #Alteryx and #Tableau – A Video Blog | 3danim8's Blog

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