Alteryx Designer Ideas

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it would be great if the formula tool could expand the intellisense to the select column box. For example, I could start typing in the select column box and it would widdle down the list of fields down.let's suppose I wanted to update field 79A, I could type in 7 and it might show something like 

7

17

27

37

70

71

79A

79B.

 

So if I typed in 79 then, it would further reduce it to 

79A

79B

 

And i could select 79A.

 

patrick_digan_0-1614186078945.png

 

Cleanse Macro

Given a choice between the delivered macro and the CReW macro, I’ll choose the CReW macro for both speed and functionality.  Wikipedia says, “Data cleansing or data cleaning is the process of detecting and correcting (or removing) corrupt or inaccurate records from a record set, table, or database and refers to identifying incomplete, incorrect, inaccurate or irrelevant parts of the data and then replacing, modifying, or deleting the dirty or coarse data.”  If Alteryx were to convert the macro to a true tool, here is my feature request list:

Performance:

  • AMP compatible – Fast!
  • Faster than the CReW macro for deleting empty fields/rows
  • Resolve time it takes to load the tool (current macro versions are slow), html is faster.

Feature Enhancement:

  • Allow selection of fields based on data type
  • Include incoming/outgoing SELECT functionality
  • Allow for PREFIX functionality (like multi-field formula), but NOT default
  • Read incoming metadata to provide color coding of fields to indicate where potential problems exist (e.g. NULL, Whitespace) – part of browse everywhere currently
  • Allow for Nulls to convert to 0/blank or 0/blank to convert to Null
  • When removing punctuation, provide for exceptions (e.g. Numeric set of negative, comma and period).
  • Include HTML tag removal
  • Support internationalization (character sets)

Going the extra mile:

  • Display or opt for output, cleanup metrics.  How dirty was my data?  Potentially, allow for ERROR to stop workflow if garbage is detected.
  • Optional:  Detect outliers in numeric data.  I’ve got an outlier detection macro that we can review, but while you are passing all of the data for numeric values, explaining or tagging outliers would be useful.  Could be a box-whisker on numeric values maybe?
    • Make outlier actionable
      • Identify in data (new field indicator)
      • Remove
      • Modify/Impute
    • Test/Preview against metadata:  (pre-run), see what the incoming/outgoing results would be on *all of the metadata before I run the workflow.
    • camelCase:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camel_case
    • Identify/Replace unknown values (e.g. N/A, Not Applicable, #) with Null() or other?
    • Identify/Remove duplicate values within a cell
    • See also:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_cleansing
    • Option to point to a “personal” dictionary for spelling or validation
    • Provide “smart” annotation on tool

I use the field name auto-complete feature whenever I can. One issue with it, however, is when there are parentheses in a field name. After auto-completing the field name, Alteryx highlights a portion of the field name after the first parenthesis. This is not ideal as I typically expect the cursor to be at the end of the field name so I may continue to type. In this scenario, unfortunately, I would begin to type over my field name and the expression gets messed up. 

 

For example, as shown below, I begin to type "st" and then hit the tab button to complete the field name in my expression.

Kenda_0-1609951383915.png

 

In this case, because my field name has parentheses in it, however, some of the field name remains highlighted and the cursor does not go to the end of the right bracket, as one would expect.

Kenda_1-1609951450797.png

If I were to continue typing at this point, the highlighted portion of the expression would get erased and replaced. 

 

Field names that do not contain parentheses continue to function correctly as shown below. 

Kenda_2-1609951545766.png

 

Kenda_3-1609951564063.png

 

 

 

 

Similar to the thoughts in this idea, it would be great if the parenthesis matching functionality could be added to the formula tool as well.

When configuring a FILTER tool, the results of your formula are uncertain until you RUN/PLAY the workflow.  Compare that experience with the configuration of a FORMULA tool where you see a "Data Preview" of the first record results.

 

capture.png

 

TRUE or FALSE could readily be added to the Filter Tool and save the execution time for the workflow.  

 

When you get to HTML tool versions, you could check many rows of data and potentially give back counts of TRUE and FALSE results as well.

 

I'll put this on my x-mas list and see if Santa has me on the naughty or nice list.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

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...

Could we please have a Type field added to the "Select Fields to Cleanse" configuration window for the Data Cleansing Tool? This small feature would save a lot of time (saving the time needed to check the Metadata for every field every time I use the Data Cleansing Tool). Similar functionality to the way the Summarize Tool displays both Field and Type (just one additional field).

 

Today:

Data_is_mymiddlename_1-1596494044492.png

 

Future Version:

Data_is_mymiddlename_4-1596494405502.png

 

Pardon my sad photoshopping 🙂

Note: I realize the Data Cleansing is a macro and this functionality is not currently available with the "Check Box" interface tool.

 

Thank you!

 

I often need to create a record ID that automatically increments but grouped by a specific field. I currently do it using the Multi-Row Formula tool doing [Field-1:ID]+1 because there is no group by option in the Record ID tool.

 

Also, sometimes I need to start at 0 but the Multi-Row Formula tool doesn't allow this so I have to use a Formula tool right after to subtract 1.

 

So adding a group by option to the Record ID tool would allow the user not to use the multi-row formula to do this and to start at any value wanted.

When writing an expression in a Formula tool, I love that you can just type an open bracket and suggestions pop up that allow you to auto-fill the rest of the variable name. What I find frustrating, however, is that once you type the open bracket, the highlighted field automatically moves to the one where your mouse is pointing, regardless of if you have moved your mouse or not. I think it makes more sense to always highlight the first field in the list and only take mouse position into account once it has actually moved.

 

It is hard to describe in just a picture as opposed to a video but essentially I had my mouse below where I was typing in the screenshot below then when I typed the open bracket, the 3rd field listed automatically got selected even though I never moved my mouse.

Kenda_0-1589975960106.png

 

 

Cc: @Hollingsworth 

I am very new to Alteryx, just beginning to learn the ropes! I would like to provide feedback because my experience right now may provide an opportunity to make suggestions regarding user experience!

 

I just have one (minor) suggestion for the multi-row formula tool's interface:

 

gillburling_2-1610038858322.png

 

The dropdown field (circled above) sits directly below the "create new field" radio button. This lead me to assume that it applied to the "create new field" option and not the "update existing field" button which I had selected.

 

Yes, there were a couple of clues that may have helped me see this had I been paying very close attention. Unfortunately, in the chaos that is learning a new technology (especially one as expansive and powerful as Alteryx) I didn't not catch those clues and instead spent a few hours trying to figure out why my calculation wasn't doing what I wanted it to do.

 

I imagine the drop down would be better served by being separated from the radio buttons (by space or a line). But there are any number of ways that this design could be improved.

 

This might seem nitpicky to some, but I think it's important to strive for technology that is as "human friendly" as possible! Thanks!

It would be useful to be able to select a single container (containing a data input) or multiple containers using Shift, and run those and only those.

 

When building a new element to a larger workflow, I often enter a new Input in a new container, the ability to run just that container without having to turn off all my other containers would be really useful in speeding up the start of joining things together.

 

Hope that makes sense.

 

Thanks,

 

Doug 

This is a pretty quick suggestion:

 

I think that there are a lot of formulas that would be easier to write and maintain if a SQL-style BETWEEN operator was available.

 

Essentially, you could turn this:

ToNumber([Postal Code]) > 1000 AND ToNumber([Postal Code]) < 2500

 

Into this:

ToNumber([Postal Code]) BETWEEN 1000 AND 2500


That way, if you later had to modify the ToNumber([Postal Code]), you only have to maintain it once.  Its both aesthetically pleasing and more maintainable!

  • Category Preparation

When we edit formula tool, only first expression is expanded. I prefer all expressions are expanded as a default. When I want to shrink them, I want to 'expand all' icon like attached snap shot. This icon is toggled same as each expression's expand icon('expand all' <-> 'shrink all')

formula.PNG

Lately I've used the 'Add Prefix to Field Names' option in the Select tool. It works great, however when you click the button to add a prefix, the new window pops up and the focus is on the checkbox. I think when this box pops up, the focus should be in the text box so the user can start typing right after they click the button. This is the same case for the Add Suffix option, too.

 

Annotation 2020-05-05 072010.png

 

Annotation 2020-05-05 072034.png

My friend @jdunkerley79 posted a terse idea:  https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Alteryx-Designer-Ideas/FieldName-constant-in-Generate-Rows-Tools-an...  it is inactive, but I want to extend his thoughts.

 

Rephrasing his idea as mine:  The tool defaults the expressions to use [RowCount].  If you should either "Update Existing Field" or change the "Create New Field" the default expressions MUST be updated manually.  Please update the expressions to make use of the new field.

 

Well, that doesn't always work!  Often it will.  But if you change the TYPE to date, it certainly won't.  In fact, I see many questions about joining from within a DATE  RANGE and the technique to build date rows from the range requires the use of DateTimeAdd().  Wouldn't it be nice (like your sample workflows) to modify the default expression based on the change of data type?  I think so.

 

If we were thinking easy.  Suppose you could have a RANGE function (dates or numerics) where you simply selected the from, to fields and gave the user the option to select the units.  Now the tool auto-configures itself to create all of the "days" between the from and to dates or "1.0" and it creates all unit values between the two numeric amounts.

 

These would be "Alteryx" worthy enhancements in my opinion.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

With the 2019.3 release the summarize tool now includes prefixes for grouped fields. While a nice addition, in application it makes using this data downstream (like joining to other tables) more involved because of needing to remove this prefix. 

 

It would be nice to have this as an option (a checkbox to add/remove prefixes maybe) or just revert back to pre-2019.3 behavior...thanks!

In a Formula tool expression editor, when I type "nu", the first result in the autocomplete suggestion dropdown is "Null()". When I hit TAB to autocomplete, my cursor is placed in between the parenthesis, as if to enter an argument. Null() takes no arguments. Therefore, my cursor should be placed to the right of Null(). I can then continue typing rather than hitting the Right Key first and then typing. For the speed demons out there, this extra keystroke is a big slowdown. This same functionality applies to any function that does not take arguments, such as DateTimeNow().

 

Please change the expression editor to autocomplete and place the cursor to the right of any function that does not take arguments.

The Multi-Field formula tool has three really powerful features that it supports:

[_CurrentField_]

[_CurrentFieldName_]

[_CurrentFieldType_]

 

These are really powerful within Multi-Field formulas because they allow for a dynamic process to apply across multiple fields.

 

However, they would also be very helpful in regular formulas and Multi-Row formulas, for code transportability.

 

A basic example:  I have a Longitude field that is a string.  I need to set it to a value of 0 if there is a null value.

 

My formula today:

IF ISNULL([Longitude]) THEN 0 ELSE [Longitude] ENDIF

 

Now lets say I want to use the same formula somewhere else, but for Latitude instead.

 

 That formula looks like:

IF ISNULL([Latitude]) THEN 0 ELSE [Latitude] ENDIF

 

If I could use [_CurrentField_] instead, that would allow me to instead write both formulas as:

 

IF ISNULL([_CurrentField_]) THEN 0 ELSE [_CurrentField_] ENDIF

 

This code can easily be copied for any field that requires replacing Nulls with 0s, and doesn't require refactoring to use a Multi-Field formula instead.

 

This also means that if I later change my field name, the code will remain consistent.  This not only speeds up development time and flexibility, but more readily allows for validation that the existing code has not changed.

Working in the accounting department, this has come up too many times now to ignore! 

 

Would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see a new formula available in the DateTime formula suite that mimics the function of the EOMONTH() formula when working with dates in Excel. 


The beauty of the EOMONTH() formula in Excel is that I can just give it a date, and then tell it how many months in the future or past I would like it to add/subtract... Alternatively, in Alteryx, this can require 2 or 3 nested DateTime functions to arrive at the same answer. 


Example: To find the end of the month 2 months in the future from today's date, I would use the following formula...

Excel = EOMONTH(Today(),2)

Alteryx = DateTimeAdd(DateTimeAdd(DateTimeTrim(DateTimeToday(),"month"),3,"months"),-1,"days")

 

Seems much more complicated than it needs to be in Alteryx, and easy to get lost in the nested formulas & non-intuitive adding/subtracting of months/days! I can see a new formula (something like DateTimeEOMonth?) being structured as follows in Alteryx: DateTimeEOMonth([Field],increment)

 

Please consider! Our accounting department thanks you heartily in advance... 🙂

 

Cheers,

NJ

  • Category Preparation

When we create new workflows, we like to have them in our company template, to stnadardise documentation. This makes it easier for a supervisor to review, and for a colleague to pick up the workflow and understand what is going on. For instance, we have all data input on the left, and all error checks and workflow validation on the right, and a section at the top with the workflow name, project name, purpose etc. We have a workflow that we use as a template with containers, boxes and images all in the appropriate places

 

It would be great if there was an option to select a workflow as a template. When a new workflow is opened, it would load this template rather than having a blank canvas.

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