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Automatic/Dynamic data type in the Formula tools

I surprisingly couldn't find this anywhere else as I know it's been discussed in person on many occasions.

 

Basically the Formula tool needs to be smarter in many ways, but this particular post focuses on the Data Type component.

 

The formula tool, should not always default to V_String as the data type when entering data or a formula into the formula tool, it should look at the data type and estimate the most likely option.

 

I know there are times where the logical type might not be consistent in all fields, but the Data Preview and the Function of the formula should be used to determine the most likely option.

 

E.G. If I type a number or a date directly into the formula tool, then Alteryx should be smart enough to change the data type from the standard V_String to Int, Double or date.

 

This is an extension to the ideas posted here:

https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Alteryx-Designer-Ideas/Tab-from-Select-Column-to-Enter-Expression-H...

https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Alteryx-Designer-Ideas/Formula-tool-data-type-should-be-prominent/i...

https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Alteryx-Designer-Ideas/Alteryx-11-formula-tool-default-data-type/id...

4 Comments
12 - Quasar
12 - Quasar

yes yes yes!!!! it already evaluates the expression as you are typing it, so that logic is there somewhere. Hopefully it isn't too much trouble to utilize that in the field type selection. 

14 - Magnetar
14 - Magnetar

This would be so helpful! When your formula evaluates correctly, it can be easy to forget to change your field type.

Moderator
Moderator

Hi all! Thank you for your feedback!

 

It's awesome to see an idea catching such quick traction and interest, it really helps our product team gauge the interest of certain features among our wide range of users. For anyone interested in this idea please be sure to provide your feedback as well as any use cases and to check out of Submission Guidelines that go over the idea boards process in a bit better detail.

14 - Magnetar
14 - Magnetar

@KylieF 

 

This is a very simple example/use case, but I think it illustrates the point. In the screenshot below, you can see that Field1 and Field2 are both numeric field types. Therefore, in my formula tool, it can easily add these two fields together to create the new Sum field. The result in this new field is technically a number because it is the result of a mathematical formula. Currently, however, Alteryx defaults all new fields to V_WString so this seemingly numeric field is actually seen as a string by Alteryx. It would be awesome if Alteryx could recognize that this should be a number and change the assigned data type automatically.

 

Kenda_0-1593089185381.png