10 Oct 23

Three Useful Technologies for Data Consultants

Miles Davenport

As a data consultant, my journey through the ever-evolving landscape of data has led me to explore a wide range of tools and applications. Each job can require different tools, depending on whether the stakeholder is technical or not, universal giants such as Python may not be applicable for certain scenarios.

I was fortunate enough to attend the Big Data LDN event where I was able to see all sorts of new technologies, as well as technologies that I have previously used. During this time, I was able to see how they performed as well as their pros and cons. This blog will highlight three tools that I feel are quite valuable for a data consultant.


Alteryx is a program that I have had the pleasure of using in the past, its simple workflow design and intuitive UI allows me to quickly get the job done, as well as the limited code (none if the user does not want to) aspect allows myself and data consultants to hand over workflows to non-technical stakeholders to run at the click of a button.


Alteryx boasts an intuitive and user-friendly interface, making it accessible to both data novices and experts alike. Its drag-and-drop functionality simplifies complex data workflows, allowing consultants like me to efficiently design, develop, and deploy data pipelines without the need for extensive coding.

It provides a wide range of connectors to various data sources, enabling seamless data extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL) processes. This capability is invaluable when dealing with diverse datasets from different sources, a common challenge for data consultants. Alteryx’s ability to handle this complexity streamlines our work and enhances the quality of insights we deliver to our clients.


I only want to give one negative to Alteryx, this is because I think it’s the one part that holds it back dramatically. While Alteryx offers a free trial, its full suite can be quite expensive, which may be a significant drawback for smaller consulting firms or individual consultants. Licensing costs can quickly add up, especially if you require multiple licenses for your team. It’s crucial to carefully evaluate your budget and the tool’s features before committing to Alteryx.


Astrato was a new technology to me, it is a dashboarding program similar to Power BI with a few special components. BI programs have tough competition to compete with, with the likes of Power BI and Tableau having a hold on the market, a given hold due to their great functionality, ease of access, and use.


Firstly, Astrato requires no code from the user, the program automatically generates SQL code allowing those not versed in coding to access the technology. Like Alteryx this allows for the stakeholders to be given a tool that if needed can be altered by themselves.

Astrato also included AI, this AI can automatically suggest charts for the dashboard based on the data available. While this AI will not pick the perfect charts that we want, it saves time, gives the user suggestions, and allows for time to be allocated elsewhere. Furthermore, the best part is that the AI can explain what the chart is showing! This is super useful to any stakeholder as extra explanations are always a bonus!


Again, like Alteryx pricing is an issue. While you can get a company-wide license for around £15,000, if the company is smaller each user can cost around £20 a month. While £20 is reasonable for software like this, it is hard to justify when Power BI Pro is only around £8 a month.

Secondly, not a negative but more of a point of contention, I have not had access to the program or heard of anyone using it thus far, so unable to give the functionality a fair test against competitors.

Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo Data is a data observability platform that helps data consultants and teams ensure the quality and reliability of their data. It automatically detects data anomalies and errors in real time, enhancing data accuracy and transparency. While there may be a learning curve and cost considerations, it’s a valuable tool for data professionals seeking to maintain data integrity and collaborate effectively.


Monte Carlo Data offers a robust data observability platform that focuses on data quality and reliability. Data consultants can use this platform to automatically detect data anomalies, errors, and inconsistencies in real time, thus saving significant time and effort in data validation and cleaning. This feature is invaluable for ensuring the accuracy of analytical results.

One of Monte Carlo Data’s standout features is its emphasis on collaboration and transparency. Data consultants can use the platform to establish data monitoring and alerting workflows, making it easier to work with clients and data teams. This transparency enhances trust in data and facilitates effective communication between stakeholders.


Like any advanced data platform, Monte Carlo Data may have a learning curve, especially for consultants new to data observability tools. Gaining proficiency in setting up monitoring rules and configuring alerts may take some time.

The pricing model for Monte Carlo Data may not be suitable for all data consulting budgets. Consultants should carefully assess their project requirements and financial constraints when considering the adoption of this tool. Licensing costs can vary depending on the scale of data being monitored and the frequency of alerts.


In the realm of data consultancy, Alteryx, Astrato Dashboard by Vizlab, and Monte Carlo Data each offer unique advantages. Alteryx simplifies complex workflows, Astrato Dashboard excels in data visualization, and Monte Carlo Data ensures data quality. These tools empower consultants but come at a price. As we navigate this data-driven landscape, we hold hope for a future where these valuable assets become more budget-friendly, allowing consultants to harness their full potential without financial constraints.


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