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I'm new to Alteryx and figured a good way to get an initial understanding of the software would be to go through the self-paced learning. However, I'm currently stuck on the first lesson on data blending. After adding two Join tools, I am supposed to add a Formula tool and I have no clue why. Any advice on this lesson as well as possible other ways to best become comfortable with using Alteryx would be very welcomed advice.
It looks like goal of the exercise is to write a separate file for each Product Group and Client combo
so the FORMULA tool is to construct that filename in a new field. Then in the OUTPUT DATA tool you can specify to use that field as the filename.
In these exercises there is a hint box you can open up. Also you want to unzip everything first as you are currently reading from the zip itself. When you unzip there will also be a folder with the solutions for you to look at.
For learning - I'd check out the Sample Workflows under the HELP menu.
Also the best thing to do is work with some of your own data as that by far will make the most sense. Take a problem you have or have already solved and try it in Alteryx.
If you get really comfortable with all the Favorite Tools you can do a lot!
To @Bob_Blackey's point above - the formula tool is used there to create a single field out of product group and region in order to pump these out as different files. In other words - product group "Plumbing" for region "EMEA" becomes filename ""Plumbing_EMEA".
If you look at the sample output in the solution file - there are a load of small CSV files, each with a filename like this.
To generate all the files with no extra effort - this new field becomes your filename
you set this on the output component by using the setting right down at the bottom that says "Take File/table name from field" - this means that each row potentially can go into a different file or table