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Alteryx Designer Ideas

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Many software & hardware companies take a very quantitative approach to driving their product innovation so that they can show an improvement over time on a standard baseline of how the product is used today; and then compare this to the way it can solve the problem in the new version and measure the improvement.

 

For example:

- Database vendors have been doing this for years using TPC benchmarks (http://www.tpc.org/) where a FIXED set of tasks is agreed as a benchmark and the database vendors then they iterate year over year to improve performance based on these benchmarks

- Graphics card companies or GPU companies have used benchmarks for years (e.g. TimeSpy; Cinebench etc).

 

How could this translate for Alteryx?

- Every year at Inspire - we hear the stats that say that 90-95% of the time taken is data preparation

- We also know that the reason for buying Alteryx is to reduce the time & skill level required to achieve these outcomes - again, as reenforced by the message that we're driving towards self-service analytics & Citizen-data-analytics.

 

The dream:

Wouldn't it be great if Alteryx could say: "In the 2019.3 release - we have taken 10% off the benchmark of common tasks as measured by time taken to complete" - and show a 25% reduction year over year in the time to complete this battery of data preparation tasks?

 

One proposed method:

  • Take an agreed benchmark set of tasks / data / problems / outcomes, based on a standard data set - these should include all of the common data preparation problems that people face like date normalization; joining; filtering; table sync (incremental sync as well as dump-and-load); etc.
  • Measure the time it takes users to complete these data-prep/ data movement/ data cleanup tasks on the benchmark data & problem set using the latest innovations and tools
  • This time then becomes the measure - if it takes an average user 20 mins to complete these data prep tasks today; and in the 2019.3 release it takes 18 mins, then we've taken 10% off the cost of the largest piece of the data analytics pipeline.

 

What would this give Alteryx?

This could be very simple to administer; and if done well it could give Alteryx:

- A clear and unambiguous marketing message that they are super-focussed on solving for the 90-95% of your time that is NOT being spent on analytics, but rather on data prep

- It would also provide focus to drive the platform in the direction of the biggest pain points - all the teams across the platform can then rally around a really deep focus on the user and accelerating their "time from raw data to analytics".   

- A competitive differentiation - invite your competitors to take part too just like TPC.org or any of the other benchmarks

 

What this is / is NOT:

  • This is not a run-time measure - i.e. this is not measuring transactions or rows per second
  • This should be focussed on "Given this problem; and raw data - what is the time it takes you, and the number of clicks and mouse moves etc - to get to the point where you can take raw data, and get it prepped and clean enough to do the analysis".
  • This should NOT be a test of "Once you've got clean data - how quickly can you do machine learning; or decision trees; or predictive analytics" - as we have said above, that is not the big problem - the big problem is the 90-95% of the time which is spent on data prep / transport / and cleanup.

 

Loads of ways that this could be administered - starting point is to agree to drive this quantitatively on a fixed benchmark of tasks and data

 

@LibbyD ; @SteveA ; @JPoz ; @AshleyK ; @AJacobson ; @DerekK ; @Cimmel ; @TuvyL ; @KatieH ;  @TomSt ; @AdamR ; @APolly 

 

 

 

 

It has become clear that the Jupyter Notebook integration caches code and does not appropriately clear when there are changes made - resulting in "saved" workflows that do not contain updated code. This happens when two people are using a "shared" workflow (emailed back and forth or from a shared drive) if one person does not completely shut down out of Designer Desktop if they had previously had the workflow open at any point. This has been confirmed by Alteryx Support and is not just my hunch. 

 

This also happens sometimes with a single user - where the Jupyter Notebook save button has been pressed multiple times and the workflow has been saved, but the changes do not make it to the file. 

 

The integration is a step in the right direction for sure and is great to use - but my idea is that the cache should be attached to the workflows, not the entire session of Designer. Not knowing if changes were actually saved, and discovering that some were not is extremely frustrating. 

The method of saving the results of one app to be read in by a follow on app seems very clunky to me. Can we develop a method to use the results within a workflow to feed drop down lists in later stages in the same workflow? That way an app can stand on it's own without having to save files out and chain further apps to read them again.

 

It seems this only works for selecting fields to include in the output but not for list of values to feed to a drop down list.

Hey all,

 

I would love to be able to have an interface tool that allows a user to search through drop down values (when there are more than 100 or so) similar to autocomplete. It would be helpful as a multiselect or single select drop down. I have inserted a very poorly mocked up picture below. It would essentially be a modified version of the drop down as all the values would be in the tool, but the user could type to find what they are looking for.

Alteryx Idea - Searchable Drop Down.png

When writing a good amount of code, it is easy to get lost in a sea of parentheses.  Just when you think you're all done, you get an error that can force you to scour through your code to find the missing, extra, or misplaced parenthesis. 

 

A common feature today is to highlight a parenthesis when its partner is clicked on.  This instantly lets you know if you have the wrong number of them and where. 

 

I didn't think this was that important early on in Alteryx, at least for me.  Formulas were meant to be short and easily readable at a glance.  Now as I dig deeper, there's R, Python, SQL and other text-heavy inputs. 

 

I don't need a full-fledged text editor in Alteryx, but I would love some quality of life features like parentheses matching.

With an increasing number of different projects, involving different machine learning models, it's becoming difficult to manage different package versions across workflows. Currently, the Python tool has a single virtual environment, so we need to develop models in different projects always using the same Python and package versions as the Python tool venv. While this doesn't bother the code itself too much, it becomes a problem as soon as we store and load pickled models, which are sensitive to even minor changes in packages.

 

This is even more so a problem when we are working on the Alteryx server, where different teams might use different packages. Currently, there is only the server admin who can install packages on the server and there can only be one version per package.

 

So, a more robust venv management in the Python tool would be much appreciated!

 

We are using Alteryx designer to bulk upload to Snowflake database. We also use Alteryx Connect to pick up metadata from Snowflake. It would be awesome if the designer can add table and field description and snowflake loader can pick up the description automatically. 

 

As of now, the metadata loader doesnt pick up metadata content in real time. This feature will motivate our analysts to document which will improve Connect adoption in our department. 

Hi GUI Gang

 

At the moment, I have a lovely formatted XLS with corporate branding, logos, filled cells, borders etc.  The data from the Alteryx output needs to start in cell B6.  I have tried the output tools to this named range, but Alteryx destroys all the Excel formatted cells in the data block.

 

As a workaround on the forums, many Alteryx users pump out to a hidden "Output" tab, and then code =OutputA1 in the formatted sheet.  This looks messy to the users who then go hunting for the hidden tab.  Personally I end up pumping the workflow out to a temporary CSV file.  Then opening that in Excel, selecting all, and then pasting values in the pretty Excel file.

 

This is fine for one file, but I need to split the output report block by a country field and do this 100s of time for each month end.

 

Please can we have a output tool that does the same as my workaround.  Outputs directly from a workflow to a range in Excel that doesnt destroy the workbook's formatting.

 

Jay

Add to SQL Server Database Connection an Authentication Type for Multi-Factored Authentication (MFA). Allowing to connect to databases which require 2-step authentication (a separate token key each time user connects).

 

clipboard_image_0.png

 

The above added to

clipboard_image_1.png

Currently the cross tab tool automatically sorts alphabetically by the "New Column Headers" field. Often times I have to output data with dates across the columns and therefore have to do a cross tab to achieve this. The problem is when I have the dates formatted with month names, the crosstab automatically sorts it in alphabetical order instead of date order (i.e. Apr, Aug, Dec, etc vs Jan, Feb, Mar). To get around this issue, I have to use a dynamic rename tool. It would be great if there was a way to choose the order of the crosstab (i.e. in the order of the data, crosstab, another field, etc.).

Referencing the previous idea: Inputs/Output should have the option to read/write a compressed file (ZIP or GZIP)

 

This idea has been implemented for inputting .zip files. However, we still need to use the run command workaround for outputs. It's very common for many users to want to output their .csv, .xlsx, .pdf to a .zip. The functionality would also need to extend to Gallery.

 

See the following links for people that are looking for this type of functionality:

https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Alteryx-Server-Discussions/Download-Multiple-Outputs-from-the-Galle...

https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Alteryx-Designer-Discussions/Output-files-to-ZIP/td-p/163502

https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Alteryx-Designer-Discussions/Zip-files/td-p/151456

 

Feel free to merge this idea with the previous one for continuity.

Hi Alteryx,

 

Can you add the search functionality in the dropdown (Apps) where the user enters specific text and the dropdown list gets filtered accordingly?

It would enhance the user's experience while using large lists in dropdown.

It is just a bit of annoyance, really. I'd like to see the option of inputting a hexcode of color and/or a screen color picker in the color dialog. At the moment, you have to change R, G, B separately or play around with the cursor to find the right color.

The color dialog is relevant for the documentation purposes but also reporting tools and I'm sure it would make life easier to some people, especially when branding colours are important.

 

 

image.png

The "Manage Data Connections" tool is fantastic to save credentials alongside the connection without having to worry when you save the workflow that you've embedded a password. 

 

Imagine if - there were a similar utility to handle credentials/environment variables. 

 

  • I could create an entry, give it a description, a username, and an encrypted password stored in my options, then refer to that for configurations/values throughout my workflows. 
    • Tableau credentials in the publish to tableau macro
    • Sharepoint Credentials in the sharepoint list connector
  • When my password changes I only have to change it in one place
  • If I handoff the workflow to another user I don't have to worry about scanning the xml to make sure I'm not passing them my password
  • When a user opens my workflow that doesn't have a corresponding entry in their credentials manager they would be prompted using my description to add it.
  • Entries could be exported and shared as well (with passwords scrubbed)

Example Entry Tableau:

AliasTableau Prod
DescriptionTableau Production Server
UserIDJPhillips
Password*********
+ 

Then when configuring a tool you could put in something like [Tableau Prod].[Password] and it would read in the value.

 

Or maybe for Sharepoint:

 

AliasTeamSP
DescriptionTeam sharepoint location
UserIDJPhillips
Password*********
URL http://sharepoint.com/myteam
+ 

 

Or perhaps for a team file location:

AliasTeamFiles
DescriptionRoot directory for team files
Path\\server.net\myteam\filesgohere
+ 

 

Any of these values could be referenced in tool configurations, formulas, macro inputs by specifying the Alias and field.

1-3-2019 12-43-52 PM.png

My specific use case relates to writing to AWS but am sure there are many other use cases for federated user session token support.

 

Specifically, using the S3 Upload tool or Athena Bulk Write (via SIMBA and Athena ODBC), the configuration works when using a IAM user, access key, and secret access key but when using a federated user via Okta there is no option to enter the session token and authentication fails.

Alteryx desktop should support federated users' session tokens.

Hello,

Well, the title is pretty simple : it appears that the tendancy right now is to  have web version of any software on a server.

A few notes about that :
-a lot of Alteryx competitors are already in this mode and it's hard to sell you're still with a desktop-only mode for design, even if the product is far better.
-a good idea is the one used by Qlik with Qlik Sense : they still have a desktop and a web version of Sense but the desktop works mainly as an hidden browser plus an engine. The web version is cool too because you can make your own application, or your own data connection etc..
-the main interest of a web implementation of Alteryx would be to reduce installation on client computers (and that means packaging the installer, managing the data connection, the paths, the access to macros... etc) and to have a better control of the users.

PS : this idea is soooo simple and so obvious I'm surprised I didn't find it. It may be a duplicate.

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!

1.JPG

 

Can't wait for the new base maps!

When upgrading to 2019.1, the content of my Python tool was deleted. Although this may be a bug in the 2019.1 version, or just a bug in the upgrade process. Either way, it is problematic that details of a canvas would be deleted at all.

 

My guess is if the content of the Python Tool could be reliably stored in the canvas XML this issue could potentially be resolved.

I just downloaded Alteryx Designer 2019.2 yesterday and got busy straight away but couldn't help notice that while I like the general look and feel of the tool and general design language, I'm concerned that configuring the tools I work with will require so much scrolling.

 

Could we add the ability to set the zoom level of the configuration pane like we do in the workflow window or have some form of control on how the config pane sizing of contents.

 

I have attached the config panes using the crosstab tool as an example with 2018.4 on the left and the new 2019.2 on the right. I took care to snapshot both versions the same dimension for a more apples to apples comparison.

Screen Size 2018.4.PNGScreen Size 2019.2.PNG

Now that 2019.2 is officially released I'll raise this here as I know it was raised as part of the beta testing. With the new interactive browse tool when filtering results the record numbering restarts.

 

For example in this window from a weekly challenge, I originally have this:

Interactive Results 1.PNG

Then when I filter on the Allocated column for records where the Allocated amount is 0, I get this:

Interactive Results 2.PNG

And as you can see the Record on the left hand side is numbered 1 - 15, so when trying to locate one of these lines to check the formula is working as expected it makes it difficult to isolate, where as if I knew that filtered record 10 was actually record 394 in the data I can then scroll to that point.  

 

I know a solution to this would be to add a record ID field to the data, but this is not always needed.

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