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DateTime Tool Enhancements: Convert Multiple FIelds & Overwrite Existing Field

The DateTime tool is a great way to convert various string arrangements into a Date/Time field type. However, this tool has two simple, but annoying, shortcomings :

 

  1. Convert Multiple Fields: Each DateTime tool only lets you convert one field. Many Alteryx tools (MultiField, Auto Field, etc.) allow you to choose what field(s) are affected by the tool.  If I have a database with a large number of string fields all with the same format (such as MM/DD/YYYY), I should be able to use one DateTime tool to convert them all!
  2. Overwrite Existing Field: The DateTime tool always creates a new field that contains your converted date/time. I ALWAYS have to delete the original string field that was converted and rename the newly created date/time field to match the original string field's name. A simple checkbox (like the "output imputed values as a separate field" checkbox in the Imputation tool) could give the flexibility of choosing to  have a separate field (like how it is now) or overwrite the string field with the converted date/time field (keeping the name the same).

Alteryx is overall an amazing data blending software. I recognize that both of these shortcomings can be worked around with combinations of other Alteryx tools (or LOTS of DateTime tools), but the simplicity of these missing features demonstrates to me that this data blending tool is not sufficiently developed. These enhancements can greatly improve the efficiency of date handling in Alteryx.

 

STAR this post if you dislike the inflexibility of the DateTime tool! Thank you!

12 Comments
Arnaldo
5 - Atom

Indeed, this tool needs the enhancements described by @DultonM, regardless of the shared workarounds.

 

Arnaldo

amtraker1777
6 - Meteoroid

The built-in tool should offer this flexibility.  Please enhance the tool to allow for multiple date fields to be parsed at the same time.