Alteryx Designer Desktop Discussions

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Fuzzy Match on Nicknames not working as expected

11 - Bolide

Hello Everyone!


I am trying to demonstrate to some colleagues that Alteryx is the best tool for Fuzzy Matching (as opposed to Kalido MDM, Oracle Text, or others). They are very concerned about Thesaurus matching (the examples they use are matching "William" with "Bill" for names or "Drive" with "Dr" for addresses). I decided to test these specific examples and to my dismay, they FAILED!


So I took a step back and looked at the Fuzzy Match tool documentation:

Excerpt from Fuzzy Match Documentation.PNG

I decided to test fuzzy matching with Andrew, Andy, and Drew using the Name with Nicknames match style as suggested....

Sample Name Data.PNG                            Fuzzy Match Nickname Configuration.PNG


....and Alteryx returned NO MATCHES!!!!


I've attached a workflow showing my failed attempt to match Andrew, Drew, and Andy or Bill with William. I also have there my failed attempt to match "333 Reed Drive" with "333 Reed Dr" with the Address No Suite algorithm.


Please help me figure out how I can get Alteryx to see these as matches! (I have to be missing something if the example in the process documentation doesn't even work!) Also, does anyone know where Alteryx stores the "common Nicknames table" mentioned in the documentation?


Thank you!


P.S. I have already tried lowering the match strength; still no success!

Alteryx Alumni (Retired)

As to the location for the nicknames file, in a default install it should be located in...


C:\Program Files\Alteryx\bin\RuntimeData\FuzzyMatch\Nicknames


Note that you can add your own YXDB in that location and the dropdown should pick up the additional files to use.

11 - Bolide

Great to know Rod! Thank you!


It is interesting/frustrating that Andrew --> Andy and Andrew--> Drew are in that Nicknames table...but they don't match in my example....why is that?

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Update: @patrick_digan worked with me offline and discovered that if you edit the Names with Nicknames option to NOT generate keys, all of a sudden Andrew matches with Andy and Drew!! (Note, at least 1 field has to generate keys so we included a dummy field where we gave every record the same last name and chose match style = Exact for that field). Other nicknames worked as well! My conclusion is that the presence of the keys on the Names w/ Nicknames option prevents these Nicknames from matching despite the alleged use of the common nicknames table! Is this an appropriate conclusion? (I hope not because that is the same thing as saying the Nicknames table is not even applied!)

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I'm following this post with great interest, because fuzzy matching has always given me a fuzzy head!


There's an Alteryx webinar on fuzzy matching next Tuesday... and I'll be there for sure!

11 - Bolide

Update: Thanks to @cbridges for notifying me about the webinar! I attended and it added much needed clarity!


In the webinar, @CailinS shared her personal preference to turn OFF key generation when using the Names w/ Nicknames option because the key generation DOES overpower the nicknames table lookup! Perhaps the Alteryx developers kept key generation as part of the Names w/ Nickname option so that the Fuzzy Match tool is less likely to be broken if that's the only field the matching is being performed on (at least one match field must have keys generated). To turn off key generation, click "Edit" next to where you choose the Match Style and change the Generate Keys drop down to "[None]".


If you would like to get a glimpse of the process the Fuzzy Match tool performs behind the scenes, definitely check out the recording of @CailinS's webinar(s) using @cbridges link.