Alteryx Designer Desktop Discussions

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Similar Inputs with slightly different column names

7 - Meteor

Hi all - I tried searching for this problem, but I may not be looking for the right phrases.


I have a variety of Excel files coming in from vendors.  Every file will contain an Email address, but the column might be named "Email" or "Email address", or some other variation.  This is the only column from each file that I need to combine with employee data later in my workflow.  Is there a way that I can read the input file and just pull in the column with the email addresses, regardless of how it's named?  I do some cleansing and joining on this column, but so far I've had to change the name each time I read a new file.  I looked at the Dynamic Input tool, but I'm not sure if this will fit the bill.

Let me know if you have other ideas!  Thank you!

11 - Bolide

Hi @jseaburn


You may be able to accomplish this with the Dynamic Select tool to keep only fields containing "email" in the Field Name, and a Dynamic Rename to define a consistent name for the rest of your workflow:



15 - Aurora
15 - Aurora

Hi @jseaburn, I have put together a solution that will read-in all of your individual excel files irrespective of their column names. The key detail to really keep in mind is within my second macro tool. I adjust the Output Mode of the workflow to Auto Configure by Position, which is basically telling Alteryx to union the data based on column position as opposed to the column names themselves.


Let us know if you have any more questions.


15 - Aurora
15 - Aurora

Hi @jseaburn,


I'd use the a similar approach to @Aaron_Harter. However to ensure you're still picking up the column even if it doesn't contain "email" we could pick up columns where one or more values in that column contains @




Inside the batch macro is a dynamic select tool which is being passed the column names to keep:




In this case it would lead to the following result:




And it would also work where the column name doesn't contain "email"




If this solves your issue please mark the answer as correct, if not let me know! I've attached my workflow for you to download if needed.




7 - Meteor

Thank you all!  I used Aaron's suggestion to get me through the first step and that works nicely.  I appreciate the additional suggestions and will incorporate those to make the workflow even better.  Thanks again!