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At Alteryx, scholarships are our “responsibility” to help aspiring leaders develop skills for changing workplaces | Leeds Business School

The software company’s co-founder says companies need graduates who aren’t intimidated by data.


Libby Doan leaning on a staircase in a conference center.

When I co-founded Alteryx 25 years ago, Libby Doan saw the need to bring business analytics to the masses. Part of that vision now includes scholarships for Leeds students like Jordyn Gerstle-Goodman (bottom right), who graduated in May.

When she co-founded Alteryx in 1997, Libby Duane and her partners had a clear vision of a future in which business analytics would move from the role of a dedicated group of knowledge workers to the responsibility of everyone throughout the organization.

It is safe to say that the world, in the past twenty-five years, has proven her right.

“Analytics is no longer reserved for a select few at work,” she said. “It has become our responsibility, as business leaders, to ensure students graduate with these data and analytics skills, to make them better career candidates and prepare them for long-term success.”

This is the main reason why Alteryx has become a partner in the life-changing scholarships at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds Business School. Besides offering support to first-generation and underrepresented college students, Duane — now the software company’s chief advocacy officer — said the business world needs graduates who aren’t intimidated by data.

“Data is not going away. Being able to work with data is a skill that the job requires now,” she said. “The more students invest in this skill set, and develop their ability to work with data, the greater their career opportunities.”

Jordyn Gerstle-Goodman in front of the Rustandy Building.This is certainly true for Jordyn Gerstle-Goodman (IA, Fin’21; MSBA’22). She learned about data science during her undergraduate work, and thanks to an Alteryx scholarship, I was immediately able to pursue a master’s degree while learning about an invaluable set of tools.

“With the Alteryx scholarship specifically, it’s very much about my skill set,” said Gerstel Goodman, who will return to Disney after an internship in data analysis at the company. The money obviously helps, but there are also these great learning opportunities. I’ve attended programming bootcamps and gained access to Alteryx tools, as well as job opportunities.”

While Gerstle-Goodman is a confident programmer, Duane – who has a background in marketing – is not. But this does not mean that they refrain from analysis.

“Modern analytics are code-free and code-friendly,” she said. “We need to be able to support all the learning styles and skills that every learner has, and that’s what the Alteryx analytics platform enables. It enables you to learn analytics as a code-free individual, which is me.”

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“Data is not going away. Being able to work with data is a skill that the job requires now.”

Libby Doan, Co-Founder and Chief Advocacy Officer, Alteryx

This is the main reason Alteryx invests in business school students, through scholarships as well as its SparkED education initiative. The company supports students in other majors, from engineering and computer science to medicine, “but the business schools where we see all of these departments and majors have built pipelines for companies that are the biggest consumers of analytics right now,” she said. Alteryx and Leeds share another major relationship – the company’s CEO, Dean Stoecker, is a Leeds alumnus who studied international business at CU Boulder.

A key feature of business software

At Leeds, analytics has become a core feature of many academic programmes, from bachelor’s programs in information management and accounting to master’s degrees in supply chain management and business analytics. Earlier this month, with the support of Alteryx, Leeds hosted a conference for Masters in Business Analytics Program Managers, to help schools study best practices and learn how to collaborate in keeping programs cutting-edge in line with industry requirements.

For these business schools, Duane said, it’s important to make sure graduates are comfortable with data while learning about analytics, learning how to interpret information and using data to tell a story to make better decisions — no matter what industry they end up in.

“It doesn’t matter where your passion is,” she said. “Whether you’re interested in entertainment, fashion, automobiles, financial services or sports – analytics is everywhere, because data is everywhere. Students shouldn’t be thinking, ‘I’m going into fashion, I don’t need analytics.’ Yes ​​you are. .”

Why Leeds Master in Business Analytics Leeds Scholarship Support