Alteryx Designer Ideas

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Here is the issue I have, when you are using a Join tool and you have multiple columns that you are joining on (to the point that they don't all show in the 
Configuration window), i have a tendency to use the mouse scroll wheel to move down to see additional columns i am joining on.  The mouse scroll controls different things depending on where your cursor is.  If your cursor is over the Left or Right columns then the scroll button will change the Fields you are using to join on.  I have messed up more workflows then i care to mention due to this.  I do not think it is appropriate for the scroll wheel to effect and change the fields in the configuration window and it should only be used to scroll up and down in the configuration window.  




Alteryx is unlike many BI tools in the sense that it joins NULL. It is difficult to think of another platform that has this behaviour. Either people know about this and work around it or they don't and their joins are a ticking time bomb. Please add a check box to the Join and Join Multiple tools to allow or prevent joining NULL. This will serve to remove the need for workarounds as well as educate users about this default behaviour.



This idea is to suggest we add additional comparison capability to the Designer Join tool to more closely mirror what is possible in SQL. Usually, teams work around this limitation by adding tools after the Join tool (or using SQL queries at the start of a workflow), but it would be great to do this in the Join Tool itself.


The current Join Tool in Alteryx only allows for exact field comparisons, but not for more flexible joins, such as the example below



LEFT Join Table B

ON A.Firstname=B.FirstName

And A.Country <> B.Country

AND A.Lastname LIKE (B.Lastname)

OR A.Nationality = B.Nationality


I've drawn a mock-up of what I think could be enhancements to the existing tool. In simple terms, I think there are these options for improvement:


1. When joining on specific fields, allow the user to specify operators for how the fields should join, e.g. Field A=Field B and Field C  !Contains  Field D (almost like the Filter Tool does this). This could be enabled by permitting operators in the menu between the 2 fields, as illustrated below


2. Have the option to say that if either field matches, you'd like to join (i.e. option to choose if this is an AND or OR join condition). A new field would need to be made to the left of the field selection, as illustrated below


3. Perhaps there could be the option to write the expression as you would a formula for the Error message tool (but in a positive context), e.g. Field A != Field B


4. How about enabling the Left Join/Right Join/Full Outer Join options from within the Join tool? E.g. if you select the Venn Diagram buttons, you will return your selection? If you don't want to compromise existing capability, you can automatically add a pre-configured Union tool (with the correct left/right/join inputs) after the Join tool based on the user's selection?

Screenshot 2021-03-12 064806.png





Dear Users, Fans, Compatriots, and Fellow Alteryx Nerds:

One of my favourite parts of using Alteryx is that in all the in-memory tools, there is a quick-and-dirty count in each of your tools' output nodes. You know, you use these all the time and when you switch back into SQL, you get frustrated with having to run the query two or three times just to see the count in each of your join outputs. 

One thing I'm missing as an INDB user is that I have to employ a manual workaround to see what is happening. INDB tools are a bit black-box in that we don't see the counts.

All I want...All I want...



I've been using this workaround for a little over a year now and I haven't found it to be incredibly taxing on my resources, so I'm wondering if Alteryx may be able to look into doing this on the back end to make the INDB experience that much closer to the in-memory experience. I just want those numbers above; I don't need to know the byte count, just the record count.

What I need to do to get itWhat I need to do to get it


Now, I imagine this is not implemented already for a Very Good Reason. But, enough is enough! Let's shoot for the moon and make this tool all that much better!! Anyone with me?


-Cedric Justice

Cambia Healthcare


I don't know if this has been implemented or talked about, but it would be a pretty nice QoL change to add a select all button when appending fields to record via the find and replace tool. 

For example, I  have a dataset where I will end up with 1000+ fields needed to be appended. Going through and clicking 1000 times is not ideal. If this is already a feature or has a hotkey, please let me know.

Have you ever used a Join tool with several (or many) Join fields, looked at the the L and R outputs and wondered, why didn't these records join? When there are many columns in your data, this can be a hard question to answer. It would be very handy if Alteryx could somehow report the Field(s) that each record failed to join on (perhaps as an optional added field to the L and R outputs).

  • Category Join


In cases where more than one field is being used in a join, the "Join (Tool ID) String fields can only be joined to other string fields" error message could be improved by indicating which field has a mismatch.


For example, if I'm joining Fields A, B, C, D... to fields Z, Y, X, W... in Join tool 24, and for some reason Field Z gets changed from String to Double, it'd be nice to see a message like:

"Join (24) (Field 1) String Fields can only be joined to other String fields"


"Join (24) String Fields can only be joined to other String fields (A)"


So that I know I need to go to a select tool and change the type of either A or Z.


Otherwise I look at the Join tool output and try to figure out which pair no longer has matching types, which can take a minute when dealing with a multiple-point join.


Thank you!

I think it would be nice to be able to more easily reorder fields that you're joining by in the Join tool.




For example, I have already joined by CASS_Address and CASS_City. After I did this, I realized I wanted to go back and join on Name, too, and I want that to be first. How the tool is configured now, if I want Name to be first, I must redo all of the drop downs. I would like to be able to add Name to the next set of open drop downs then use some arrow buttons to be able to move them up in the order (similar to the Summarize tool).

  • Category Join

The US Address/Company Name/Zip Code Fuzzy Match template options are great. If there isn't already, it would be great if there was a UK version of these too!

I am using Union Tool to effectively append two datasets that share about 30 columns, but the field names are slightly different so I had to manually configure fields. The primary dataset has 300+ columns and none of these can be dropped... The process of clicking the arrows to align the fields is driving me nuts lol


Can we have the 'drag and order' feature in Append Fields Tool? That would be much appreciated!

Sometimes I find myself having to union too many tools together and get bothered with the drag-and-drop repetition. It'd be nice to be able to select multiple tools and have a "Union All" in the right-click menu that creates a union tool that is connected to the output of all the selected tools. 


It's kind of like a smarter "Insert After"


I'd say that 95.437% of the Joins I do are straight Inner Joins.


So each of those times I have to remember to go down to the Select part of the Join tool and deselect all the fields I joined on the Right Side since they'll be duplicates.


I'd like a checkbox like below (defaulted to CHECKED)  to deselect all the joined fields from the right hand side. In the rare cases where there's a need I could uncheck it.


Deselect R join fieldsDeselect R join fields

  • Category Join
I would like to be able to use the join tool to join on inequalities.  We could join two tables, A and B on A.value is >= B.value1 AND A.value <= B.value2.  This would replicate the "between" function in SQL.  The equvalent feature in Tableau is pictured below.

  • Category Join

I think it would be incredibly helpful for Alteryx to include a "Fuzzy Join" operator, similar to what is described in this article:


Virtually every client/project I work on, there is a nead to clean up data.  Most of the time, that involved standardizing to some existing list of data.  However, as we all know, data from differnet systems or being manually collected will not match perfectly in all cases.  This is most often when I tend to use the Fuzzy Match tool.


However, I have to use a lot of weird steps to effectively create a "Fuzzy Join", which is something I've done using database functions in the past.  I think it would be great if a new tool were created that would do the following:

  • Accept two inputs, one for the "raw" data and another for the "list" of data to match to.
  • Perform a fuzzy join based on similar functionality to the fuzzy match, convert data to metaphone keys and then run Jaro/Levenstein matches.  By default, return only the highest matching result.
  • Expand the pre-process functionality to include words to exclude from the analysis (beyond just "and", "the" and "in").  
  • Match on the whole string.  No need to try and do joins based on partial words within a string.


This seems like a very common thing (I've created a macro for this anyway) that could be made to be simpler for everyday use.



Today, any Alteryx tool with "Select" functionality has an option for "Dynamic or Unknown Fields" which, when checked, allows any new fields to pass through that tool.  This is a great function for most of the tools as you can allow workflow updates to pass through the tool without issue.

However, in the Join tool, there are some use cases where there is NEVER a reason to pass new fields from one side or the other into the tool, but you might still want new fields from a primary process.  Examples being something like a lookup/cross-reference to do an inclusive join, where adding new fields to the lookup might inadvertently pass these downstream.  Having the option to only allow unknown fields from one side through would greatly enhance this output.

When bringing data together it is often needed to assign a source to the data.  Generally this happens when you union data and need to know things later about the data for context.  It would save time to generate a source field that is assigned based upon the input connections of the union tool.  Perhaps when unioning data you can assign a name to each input stream?



  • Category Join

We build some pretty robust maps with multiple connections and it would be great to copy the map tool and paste it with all of the connections when we want to tweak the map slightly but keep our original map.  It is a regular occurrence for us to have a very detailed map grouping by trade area name and then may want to have an overview map with all of the same connections but slightly different layout.  Tracking down the connections, reconnecting them and naming them accordingly takes a substantial amount of time even in the most organized of workflows.  This function would be a huge time-saver.  It would also be of value with joins and unions - anywhere you have multiple streams coming in.

Back in the days of Visual Basic 6, and Delphi 3 - the development environment for software coding started introducing the idea of Optimization hints - specifically looking at things like variables you'd declared but never used.


All of the Alteryx tips guides say "as early as possible use a Select tool to remove fields that are not used in the workflow" - it would be very useful if the Alteryx system did a reverse walk through the workflow (from outputs back to inputs) and suggested fields that were not used anywhere or components that could / should be removed because they don't go anywhere.


For example

  • Unused Components: if I have a filter with a summarize on both legs, and only one leg goes to an output - then the summarize on the other leg is just a waste of processor and memory.   
  • Unused Fields: If I've been lazy and brought in all the fields in a spreadsheet and only used two of them through a complex and heavy workflow - then suggest that I only bring in 2; or that I add a select component for those two fields early on
  • Ineffective data types:
    • Numbers stored in a double that could be stored in an int16; 
    • numbers stored in strings;
    • strings stored in very large containers which only need 10 characters;
    • dates stored in strings
    • Using a field for "True" and "False" instead of the Boolean True and False (1 and 0)

By adding a reverse-walk to a workflow (sort of like an A-B-Tree prune on a game-tree) - Alteryx could spot many of these kinds of issues - and by observing the workflow in action over a few iterations, it could identify the remainder.



When the append tool detects no records in the source, it throws a warning. I would like to have the ability to supress this warning. In general, all tools should have similar warning/error controls.

I've come to realize that the JOIN tool is case-sensitive by design but it would be helpful if you could turn that behavior on/off (via checkbox?) within the JOIN tool.  For those of us that work predominantly in database environments that are not case-sensitive, this default behavior has caused me problems many times.  Having to force the case to either upper or lower upstream of the JOIN on both flows in order to ensure a successful join is an extra step that would not be necessary if you could disable case-sensitive with a checkbox.

  • Category Join
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