Microsoft Excel Power Query and Alteryx are both powerful data manipulation and analysis tools that can automate data transformation of large datasets.  While both products can streamline complex manual tasks, there are some key differences that should be considered before implementing one or the other. Below is a very high-level comparison of the two products.

Excel Power Query is a free Microsoft add-in that allows the user to connect to various data sources, transform and cleanse data, and create impressive visualizations and analytical reports. Because it is an extension of MS Excel, it looks and feels like the rest of Excel which makes it more user-friendly and relatively easier to learn compared to Alteryx.

On the other hand, Alteryx is a more advanced data preparation and analytics platform that offers a wide range of features and capabilities in exchange for thousands of dollars of annual subscription fees. Like Excel Power Query, Alteryx allows the user to connect to various data sources, perform advanced data transformation, and join or blend data from multiple data sources. Alteryx also has a large library of pre-built data connectors and workflows, making it a great tool for data professionals who need to handle very large and very complex datasets.

Alteryx and Excel Power Query offer data transformation features that allow the dragging and dropping of icons on the solution’s work environment to produce the desired output.  Both products promote “LC/NC” (Low Code/No Code) concept which means little to no computer coding is required.  However, to take advantage of some moderately advanced features of either tool the user must have some level of experience in computer coding (Excel Power Query “M” scripting language – Alteryx “R” scripting language).  In addition to familiarity with coding, the user must also be familiar with some basic data manipulation concepts like looping, indexing, and pattern matching etc…

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Common Tax Department DIY Cost-Saving Plans And Consequences

Ignoring professional technology services by a tax department can have several significant costs and consequences. Here are some of the potential drawbacks:

  1. Inefficiency and Error-Prone Processes: Without the assistance of professional technology services, tax departments may rely on outdated or manual processes for data entry, calculations, and reporting. This can lead to inefficiencies and a higher likelihood of errors in tax returns and financial statements.
  2. Compliance Risks: Tax laws and regulations are constantly changing. Failing to keep up with these changes can lead to non-compliance and the risk of penalties or legal issues. Professional technology services can help tax departments to avoid non-compliance.
  3. Data Security Concerns: Tax departments handle sensitive and confidential information. Ignoring professional technology services can expose this data to unintentional security breaches and cyberattacks. Tax IT professionals  can implement robust security measures to protect sensitive data.
  4. Missed Opportunities: Tax Technology professionals can help tax departments to efficiently identify potential deductions that can save a company significant taxable income. Without Tax IT expertise, opportunities for tax savings may be overlooked.
  5. Inefficient Resource Allocation: Tax department personnel usually spend a significant amount of time on manual and repetitive tasks. On the hand, a competent and trusted Tax IT professional can easily automate these processes by creating repeatable solutions that will significantly reduce the time to perform the repetitive tasks. Any inefficient resource allocation can limit a tax department’s ability to focus on strategic tax planning.
  6. Lack of Data Analytics: Professional tax technology services can provide tax departments with the tools and skills to analyze large volumes of financial data. This can be valuable for making informed business decisions and optimizing tax strategies.
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Date: Thursday November 9th 2017

Time: 9:00AM PDT/10:00AM MT/11:00AM CT/12:00 NOON EST/5:00PM GMT London

You may be like most- overwhelmed with all the corporate tax and finance software- now is the time to understand how to make sense of it all. On Thursday, November 9th, TaxConnections is hosting a  COMPLIMENTARY WEBINAR that corporate tax management teams will benefit from attending on tax technology. Join us to learn how to weave together your corporate tax and finance software!

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