10 Tips for Writing a Topnotch Use Case

June 20th, 2019

This article is by Thalita Carrico and originally appeared on the Alteryx Nation Blog here: https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Alter-Nation-Blog/10-Tips-for-Writing-a-Topnotch-Use-Case/ba-p/407279


Every year at Inspire we recognize outstanding Alteryx use cases and celebrate the game changers behind them who are making an impact. As the 2019 Alteryx Analytics Excellence Awards approach, we would like to share some tips for writing an award-winning use case.

#1 Everyone has a good story
Sometimes people think their story is not worth sharing. Let me tell you: it is! Don't let the impostor syndrome make you doubt your accomplishments. You never know, maybe there is an Alteryx user on the other side of the world with a business problem that you have already solved!

#2 Clarity
We are a global community. We have users from many industries, departments and cultures. Not everyone who will read your story is from the same area or industry. Make sure you explain acronyms and avoid using jargon. For example, do you know what FF means? I bet you those folks in the airline industry do. It means Frequent Flyer!

#3 Style
The easiest way to write a use case is to tell the story in the first person, singular or plural. Feel free to use sentences like “I worked with my team on...” or “we discovered that...”— it makes writing easier, and people will better relate to your story. Also, if writing paragraphs is not your thing feel free to use bullets points, it works!

#4 Challenge
This is the part where you explain the problem you addressed with your Alteryx solution. Here, you can illustrate how your job was before using Alteryx and identify stakeholders and departments involved.

#5 Solution
Where is your data coming from? What are you doing with it? After you process the data, what is the output? Here, tell us how you solved your problem. You can include details about your data such as source/storage, format and type. Explain what type of analysis you performed, what analytics stack you used, tools that you used, etc.

#6 Impact
We love to hear from customers about the impact of their solution! One customer told us once that Alteryx helped his organization save 7,736 hours per year. Another said Alteryx helped him get a job promotion, and yet another said that Alteryx “allows him to have dinner at home every night!” What value or impact is your organization experiencing as a result of your solution? If you can, include quantifiable benefits as well.

#7 Visuals
Workflows! Workflows! Workflows! Use cases that include rich media tend to have a stronger impact. Attach any documentation that supports your use case for example: workflows, apps, macros or screenshots. If you have sensitive data, we can anonymize it.

#8 Creativity
There is no right or wrong way of building a workflow. Different people use different tools to solve a similar problem. Some people like to emphasize efficiency and they try to use the minimal amount of tools as possible. Others prefer to focus on the organization of their workflow—they like to categorize and identify each step of their solution. Show in your use case how your creative mind thinks!

#9 Don't overwrite
Concise and meaningful sentences help your reader stay focused and engaged. Remove what is not relevant to the story and write sentences in the active voice. A common tendency is to write in a more complicated way than we speak, don't fall for that. You will find it harder to write, and your readers will be bored to death!

#10 Be your own critic
Put yourself in the readers' shoes, and ask whether your use case is understandable. Maybe you will find that you’re assuming your reader knows more about your industry than they in fact do. Explaining and describing the necessary information will engage your reader more.

Submit you use case for a chance to win an Excellence Award!