Alteryx Designer Ideas

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Dear Alteryx Team, 

 

please put an option marker /button in the formula tool to ask if the newly added column should be placed at the beginning as first column or at the end (as it is now- this could be a default setting). 

 

The problem is that with a lot of fields it is quite time consuming to drag and drop the newly added column from the end of the field array to the beginning. Depending on where you want to reallocate the column you might want to start from the front or from the back to drag and drop (right click holded) the column in order to reorder it. 

 

Mostly I would like to start from the front, I noticed. 

 

Robinpi_0-1627299058578.png

 

Thank you

 

 

 

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

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 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...

In Excel you can use an Indirect function to create strings to return a valid cell reference.

 

For example if in column A you have a list of sheet names e.g.

 

A1 = New York

A2 = Paris

A3 = London

 

Then you could create a formula which is Indirect(A1&"!B2") to reference the cell B2 in the New York tab.

 

An example of where I'd want to use this in Alteryx is to create a dynamic value based on a variable field.

 

For example based on this data:

cgoodman3_0-1623400053993.png

 

I write [car make]+"_"+[car model] in the formula it will return the following

Volkswagen_Golf

Pontiac_Firebird

Audi_TT

Subaru_Outback etc.

 

However if I want it to be dynamic in an app or macro to allow the user to choose a suffix via a drop down this is not straight forward.

If I set up the tooling in this way:

cgoodman3_1-1623400262180.png

 

What I get is the [#1] will bring in the field name and not the field value. So it would come through as Volkswagen_car model.

 

So my suggestion is that you have the ability to something like

[car make]+indirect("["+[#1]+"]") which would evaluate to [car make]+"_"+[car model] when car model is selected in the drop down.

 

The current workaround with help from @JonathanSherman is to use a dynamic select where [Name] = [#1] then join that onto the original dataset and use a dynamic rename create a new dynamic suffix field that can then be used.

 

cgoodman3_2-1623400697588.png

 

Which while a nice design pattern, isn't as intuitive as indirect for those coming from a strong Excel background.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

It would be useful to allow for temporary local variables in formula tools. This could make code shorter, better readable, easier to maintain and help to avoid auxiliary columns which have to be deleted afterwards.

 

Arbitrary example for illustration:

if Length([Col1] + [Col2] + [Col5]) > 50 then
    Left([Col1] + [Col2] + [Col5], 48) + "..."
else
    [Col1] + [Col2] + [Col5]
endif

versus

tmpstr = [Col1] + [Col2] + [Col5]
if Length(tmpstr) > 50 then
    Left(tmpstr, 48) + "..."
else
    tmpstr
endif

The idea is that the temporary variable has limited validity inside the formula for a specific cell.

 

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.

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.

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 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 

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 

There are a fixed number of data types and I hate having to scroll through them when I set the data type in a Formula tool. Can the drop down expand into a window that shows them all at once? It doesn't take up that much real estate. They can even be grouped by type. I mocked it up in Excel.

 

seven_1-1618021201375.png

 

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

Alteryx gods,

 

Please can you include right-click options for select/de-select in all tools that have select functionality, including:

Select

Join

Join Multiple

Append

 

etc.

 

Currently this functionality is hidden in the menu which goes against the look and feel of the rest of the product.

 

I know this was raised by @MarqueeCrew back in the day, and I'm surprised this was never implemented.

 

Please, Alteryx Gods. It would make me very happy.

 

M.

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

Ever tried to copy a field rename from one select tool to another, or from one summarize tool from another.

 

Have you noticed that it doesn't work?

 

I think it should. 🙂

 

i.e., if you click on the rename box ("Total") and enter ctrl-c, when you enter ctrl-v in the other tool, it pastes this:

Field2 Sum Total

not just the name "Total"

 

Instead of just the renamed field "Category", the select tool pastes this:

True Field1 String 1 Category

 

SummarizeRename.png

SelectRename.png

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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