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Alteryx designer Discussions

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Summarize operator without aggregation


I have a small doubt about functioning of Summarize operator.

What if I have summarize operator thats grouping on say 4 columns and not aggregating any column.

Is it same as getting Unique rows based on those 4 columns?


In that case how is it different than a Unique operator?

Alteryx Certified Partner

If you only have 4 fields, that should produce the same result. If you have more than 4 fields, the Summarize tool will drop the fields that aren't set as 'GroupBy', where the Unique tool will keep the first record for the remaining fields following the unique set.


A group by and the Unique operator as indeed very closely related, but different outcomes.


My attachment shows this, but the Unique tool actually performs something that would take several separate steps in SQL and would involve a Group By statement. Essentially a Distinct groups up by the columns you're using for distinctness, then joins back to the first record in the group to get the other columns.



The Summarize tool is the same concept as a Group By in SQL, without the join back.


So as you can see, in some instances they will yield the same result, but the tools' usefulness and raw capability are quite different.