Alteryx Designer Ideas

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Mapping field names from various tables using drop down lists

I often find myself combining data from different sources. It is external data I have no control of. One of the main problems I face is that columns are often named differently: 'this is a comment' in table1 is called 'a comment this is' in table 2 and 'comment' in table3.

 

The union tool is convenient for tables with few columns only: when the columns are many, moving them left and right is confusing and time-consuming.

 

I currently list and associate the column names in Excel, then use this as the basis to rename columns in Alteryx with a select tool, then do a union in Alteryx.

 

It would be extremely convenient and efficient if Alteryx had some kind of drop-down box to do this association. I have tehse steps in mind:

1) Alteryx tries to guess associations by column names (if two columns have the same name in two tables, they are associated to each other)

2) for the ones with no associations, rather than scrolling left and right as is now the case with the union tool, the suer would be able to choose from a drop-down list. This would make it evident that 'this is a comment' matches 'a comment this is', etc

 

 

4 Comments

I've had some luck using dropdown menus to associate incoming data fields with standard fields I always use, like Name, Address, City, State, etc. The contents of the selected fields are then copied to new fields with my standard naming conventions, and the rest of the fields are preserved in their original state and arrangement. After that, any processing is done based on my standard field names, so I don't have to rewrite/adjust my forumlas.

 

More details in this thread:

http://community.alteryx.com/t5/Data-Preparation-Blending/Passing-Field-Names-with-Non-alpha-Charact...

 

 

Bolide

This would be great! There's a way to do it, explained here:

http://sculptingdata.com/alteryx/dynamic-field-renaming-in-alteryx/

 

But I still think it could be made much easier and more intuitive.

ACE Emeritus
ACE Emeritus

I agree with the responses above...there are workarounds, but manual union configuration could be easier.  Its so easy to re-order fields in the select tool, why is the union tool such a different experience? 

 

Could you orient the field lists for each inpute vertically, and allow for right-click drag and drop in each column...similar to the select tool, just replicated left to right?

Alteryx
Alteryx
Status changed to: Not Planned

This is not currently planned.