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One of the tools that I use the most is the SELECT tool because I normally get large data sets with fields that I won't be using for a specific analysis or with fields that need re-naming. In the same way, sometimes Alteryx will mark a field in a different type than the one I need (e.g. date field as string). That's when the SELECT comes in handy.
However, often times when dealing with multiple sources and having many SELECT tools on your canvas can make the workflow look a little "crowded". Not to mention adding extra tools that will need later explanation when presenting/sharing your canvas with others. That is why my suggestion is to give the CONNECTION tool "more power" by offering some of the functionality found in the SELECT tool.
For instance, if one of the most used features of the SELECT tool is to choose the fields that will move through the workflow, then may be we can make that feature available in the CONNECTION tool. Similarly, if one of the most used features (by Alteryx users) is to re-name fields or change the field type, then may be we can make that available in the CONNECTION tool as well.
At the end, developers can benefit from speeding up workflow development processes and end-users will benefit by having cleaner workflows presented to them, which always help to get the message across.
What do you guys think? Any of you feel the same? Leave your comments below.