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Sergio: I appreciate your suggestion, but the reason we use Alteryx is to avoid coding whenever possible, and this situation is a perfect example of how the app should understand what a date is. It's not rocket science, but knowledge workers encounter this stuff every day so it needs to be automated.
Jordan: I just ran into this same date problem with Excel data, and tried your suggestion to no avail. I'm disappointed that Alteryx hasn't grabbed the date bull by the horns--because it's a recurring problem for workers all over the world. Please tell the developers that it may not be glamorous, but we all know what dates are and that they have various formats. Alteryx should see that a column called "Date" is full of dates, and can ask how we want them formatted, besides asking whether the month comes first or second, because that's a typical difference. Similarly, a column called Lat or Latitude is going to be exactly that--I wish Tableau had brains to see that one too! Alteryx's Select tool lets us tell it that what it first sees as a string should be a ... date. As seen in this thread, that setting doeesn't work as promised--but the remedy shouldn't be another tool or SQL, but a smarter Select tool with inherent knowledge of date handling. For myself right now, I'm giving up on the date in Excel and will leave it as a string, unfortunately. And that's my rant!
I have a similar issue, but my dates are not in the same format. I have pulled together 40+ data files using one of the batch imports someone was kind enough to share and all my data fields are being pulled in as V_String. For the dates it's not as simple as using a formula because there is missing data for some dates and other dates have MM/DD/YYY, YYYY-MM-DD TIME, or YYYY-MM-DD. Is there someway in Alteryx to fix this or is it easier to do it outside?
tkbruin: You hit the nail on the head--workarounds don't make for a good application! I wonder what it'll take for Alteryx developers to notice this and several other bedrock problems, and dig in to really fix them. Alteryx has the potential to be the best drag & drop, no-code automation tools in the world, if its developers will follow the yellow brick road.