We have discussed on several occasions and in different forums, about the importance of having or providing Alteryx with order of execution control, conditional executions, design patterns and even orchestration.
I presented this idea some time ago, but someone asked me if it was posted, and since it was not, I’m putting it here so you can give some feedback on it.
The basic concept behind this idea is to allow us (users) to have:
This approach involves some functionalities that are already within the product (like exploiting Filtering logic, loading & saving, caching, blocking among others), exposed within a Tool Container with enhanced attributes, like this example:
The approach is to extend Tool Container’s attributes.
This proposition uses actual functionalities we already have in Designer.
So, basically, the Tool Container gets ‘superpowers’, with the addition of some capabilities like: Accepting input data, saving the contents within the container (to create a design pattern, or very commonly used sequence of tools chained together), output data, run the contents of the tools included in the container, etc.), plus a configuration screen like:
This should end a brief introduction to the idea, but taking it a little further, it will allow even to have something like an Orchestration layout, where the users can drag and drop containers or patterns and orchestrate them in a solution, like we can do with the Visual Layout Tool or the Interactive Chart tool:
I'm looking forward to hear what you think.
This has probably been mentioned before, but in case it hasn't....
Right now, if the dynamic input tool skips a file (which it often does!) it just appears as a warning and continues processing. Whilst this is still useful to continue processing, could it be built as an option in the tool to select a 'error if files are skipped'?
Right now it is either easy to miss this is happening, or in production / on server you may want this process to be stopped.
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:
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.
Love the new updates to the Browse tool in 2019.2! However, if you choose the option Open results in new window, which I do often so I can see my whole dataset, the search/filter/sort functionality goes away. Would be great if that new functionality also worked in the new window. Thanks!
Can't wait for the new base maps!
In-app screens, lot of space is wasted because components/tools can just be stacked one below the other.
It would great if we could also insert them horizontally.
Tags : screen, app, macro, layout, tools, UI
The Data Sources page currently lists all the different data sources that Alteryx supports - however for an administrator it's almost impossible to ensure that their designer users have the drivers for these, or are on the right version.
As an early step - can we add 1 more field to this list which points to the downloader for the driver where applicable
The next step is to create a bundled driver pack that Admins can download once to cover all the relevant drivers needed for the data sources provided & supported.
I would like to see a time interface tool similar to the Date and Numeric Up Down tools. I am working on some macros where the user can select the time they would like to use a filter for the data.
Example: I want all data loaded after 5:00 PM because its late and needs to be removed.
Example 2: I want to create an app where the user can select what time range they would like to see records for (business hours, during their shift, etc)
Currently this require 2-3 numeric up downs or a Text box with directions for the user on how to format field with Error tools to prevent bad entries. It could even be UTC time.
It appears that the Workflow Dependencies window does not report dependencies from all tools. In the example image, you can see that the file input from the Amazon S3 Download tool is not listed. Some tools may have dependencies that do not easily fit the current field structure of the window, but maybe the input/download tools could be listed with an asterisk or partial reference.
Analytical apps currently do not have the ability to provide any indication of progress to users when hosted on the galaxy.
It would be valuable to be able to provide a progress bar or some indication of progress to the user when invoking analytical apps from the gallery.
So - with Challenge 111 - many folk used the Optimization tool
… and Joe has done a great training on this here
But it's still to hard to use. It requires you to have pre-knowledge of a bunch of parameters and different types of knowledge.
Can we improve the interface on this tool so that it can be used by folk who do not have a background in R - for example, take all the different inputs, and make them parameterized on drop-down boxes or input boxes on the tool?
Thank you all
When a tool container is disabled, I'd like the lines that are going into it to be different from "enabled" lines.
They could be grey or dotted for example.
When working on a workflow and disabling containers, I find that the lines entering disabled containers become confusing or cluttering. It would be much simpler to focus my attention efficiently if lines that remain enabled could be distinguished quickly.
It may be user-friendly to display the DSN description. It's usually stored in the windows registry under "description" :
This should display in the log and when you configure a connexion.
As Alteryx becomes more focussed on the Enterprise - it is important that we build capabilities that support the needs of large-scale BI.
One of these critical needs is dealing with heterogeneous data from different systems that use different IDs for every critical entity / concept (e.g. client; product)
Here's the example:
- In any large enterprise - there are several thousand different line-of business systems
- Each of these was probably built at a different time, and uses a different key for specific concepts - like Client & Product
- Most large enterprises that I've worked at do not have a pre-built way of transforming these codes so...
- This means that any downstream analytics finds it almost impossible to give single-view-of-customer or single-view-of-product.
Solution option A:
Reengineer all upstream systems. Not feasible
Solution option B:
Expect some reference-data team to fix this by building translations. More feasible but not fast
Remaining Solution Option:
Just as Kimball talked about - the only real way is to define a set of enterprise dimensions, which are the defined master-list of critical concepts that you need to slice-and-dice by (client; product; currency; shipping method; etc) in a way which is source-system agnostic
Then you need a method in the middle to transform incoming data to use these codes. This process is called "Conforming"
What would this look like in Alteryx?
In BI in smaller contexts, or quick rapid-fire BI - you don't have to worry about this. But as soon as you go past a few hundred line-of-business systems and are trying to do enterprise reporting, you really have to take this serious. This is a HUGE part of every BI persons's role in a large enterprise - and it is painful; slow and not very rewarding. If we could create this idea of a simple-to-use and high-velocity conforming process - this would absolutely tear the doors off enterprise BI - and no-one else is doing this yet!
Alternative data sources namely #altdata are key for enriching data. One source is social media.
I believe Alteryx lacks in social media analytics.
If you are into #media, #advertising, #marketing analytics, #influencer analytics please support the idea by seconding...
https://www.instagram.com/developer/authorization/ is the link for the graph API updated after the latest acebook scandal... now fixed...
It would be nice if this option would take you to the correct download page relative to the version the user has installed. Currently, this always loads the download page for the current version which is confusing for users of a company who are still required to use an older version.
Please offload map rendering, in Browse Tool, to the video card using DirectX or OpenGL, the software rendering currently used is embarrassingly slow and disruptive.
I have a problem when transferring records between different O365 Sharepoint Sites. It seems that Alteryx cannot maintain 2 separate connections at the same time. I can transfer fine if I read from one site to a temp file and then, in another workflow, read from the file and write to the second site.
I can work around the problem using Block until Done, but there are some situations where I need to be able to compare between lists in 2 different sites and write back to one or both depending on the results. it would be much more convenient to be have multiple connections open simultaneously. I'm aware that Alteryx uses the SharePoint API to move information around. This API does allow multiple connections. I'm not familiar with the internals of how Alteryx accesses the API, perhaps the OAuth token is shared through out the workflow process, but this should be posssible
Thanks for considering this
When output is disabled, Alteryx's output tools are helpfully grayed out and include the message 'output has been disabled by the workflow properties.'
However, if a macro has an output, there is no visual indicator that output is disabled, even though the macro's output will also be suppressed by this workflow configuration.
Obviously, macros can be very complex, and could have both a file and a macro output, or have an optional file output, so these cannot be entirely locked out just because there is an output.
To that end, I suggest some other kind of color-coding/shading be applied visually to these tools, and that a message be added to the interface for these macros that says something like "output has been disabled, this macro may not perform all of its functions".
I just spent about 10 minutes debugging why a macro wasn't working properly in one workflow but was working in another, and it was because I had disabled output, which I wasn't thinking of because this particular macro uses the Render tool to produce a hyperlink. I wouldn't have spent more than 30 seconds on this if there was some kind of visual indicator showing me what I was doing wrong!
I really like the Directory tool. Its very handy, especially in combination with the Dynamic Input.
But... I'd like to see other object (files and folders) attributes, like object level security (who has read, write, full, etc), last user to access, and user that created.
When I add a data connection to my canvas - it's only added to the Data Connections window under certain circumstances (e.g. when I use an alias, or the SQL connection wizard) rather than showing ALL data connections.
Given the importance of data connections for Alteryx flows - it would be better if ALL data connections were grouped together under a Data Connection Manager, which was as visible as the results window not buried deep in the menu system - and you could also then use this spot to change; share; alias etc.
In Microsoft SSIS there's a useful example of how this could be done - where the connections are very visibly a collection of assets that can be seen and updated centrally in one place. So if you have 5 input tools which ALL point to the same database - you only need to update the connection on your designer in one place - irrespective of whether this is a shared connection or not.
Recently my trial license expired, and after receiving our activation licenses, I needed to upgrade from the 'User' version to the 'Admin' version.
When uninstalling the previous 'User' version, it appeared to complete successfully, and I then started installing the 'Admin' version from the installer.
After installation completed, I noticed that three versions of Alteryx appeared in my Windows 'Programs and Features' in Control Panel - Alteryx (Remove Only), Alteryx (Admin), and Alteryx (User).
When attempting to uninstall the 'User' version, it appeared to complete as expected, but did nothing when examining the application or root directory location, and I could still access and open and use the 'User' version of Alteryx.
To make a long story short, after going into regedit and removing all registry keys named 'Alteryx' including the SRC source key for Alteryx, I was able to manually remove all three of these versions and reinstall the 'Admin' application successfully.
Some kind of an uninstaller to wipe out all Alteryx directories, installations/versions, etc. to perform a clean uninstall/reinstall would be super valuable and probably save some folks a ton of time who are evaluating the product and moving from a Trial(User) version to an activated Admin license.
One of the biggest areas of time spent is in basic data cleaning for raw data - this can be dramatically simplified by taking a hint from the large ETL / Master data Management vendors and making this core Alteryx.
- Allow the users of the server & connect product to define their own Business Types (what Microsoft DQS calls "Domains")
- Example may be a currency code - there are many different synonyms, but in essence you want your data all cleaned back to one master list
- Then allow for different attributes to be added to these business types
- Currency code would have 2 or 3 additional columns: Currency name; Symbol; Country of issue
- Similar to Microsoft DQS - allow users to specify synonyms and cleanup rules. For example - Rupes should be Rupees and should be translated to INR
- You also need cross business type rules - if the country is AUS then $ translates to AUD not to USD.
- These rules are maintained by the Data Steward responsibility for this Business Type.
- This master data needs to be stored and queryable as a slowly changing dimension (preferrably split into a latest & history table with the same ID per entry; and timestamps and user audit details for changes)
- When you get a raw data set - user can then tag some fields as being one of these business types
- Example: I have a field bal_cur (Balance Currency) - I tag this as Business Type "Currency"
- Then Alteryx automatically checks the data; and applies my cleanup rules which were defined on the server
- For any invalid entries - it marks these as an error in the canvas; and also adds them to a workflow for the data steward for this Business Type on the server - value is set to an "unmapped" value. (ID=-1; all text columns set to "unmapped")
- For any valid entries - it gives you the option to add which normalised (conformed) columns you want - currency code; description; ID; symbol; country of issue
Data Steward Workflow:
- The data steward is notified that there is an invalid value to be checked
- They can either mark this as a valid value (in which case this will be added to the knowledge base for this business type) or a synonym of some other valid value; or an invalid value
Cleanup Audit & Logs:
- In order to drive upstream data cleaning over time - we would need to be able to query and report on data cleanups done by source; by canvas; by user; by business type; and by date - to report back to the source system so that upstream data errors can be fixed at source.
Currently I am running two version of Alteryx and some of the macros were created/updated in the newer version of Alteryx. I would like to see only one error message displayed for all of the macros created in a newer version rather than having a dialog box pop up a dozen plus times (one for each macro) every time I open an instance.
when using the R-Tool for simple tasks (like renaming files, for example) in an interative macro - there's a delay on every iteration as the R Tool starts up R.
The following are repeated on every iteration (with delays):
Can we look at an option to forward scan an alteryx job to look for R Tools, then load R into process once to eliminate these delays on every iteration?