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Alteryx Designer Knowledge Base

Definitive answers from Designer experts.

Tool Mastery | Basic Data Profile

Alteryx
Alteryx
Created on

Basic Data Profile.pngThis article is part of the Tool Mastery Series, a compilation of Knowledge Base contributions to introduce diverse working examples for Designer Tools. Here we’ll delve into uses of the Basic Data Profile Tool on our way to mastering the Alteryx Designer:

 

Inside the Data Investigation tool set you'll find the Basic Data Profile Tool. This tool is similar to the Field Summary Tool in that it provides information about each field within your data such as length, type, source, shortest and longest values, and more. It differs from the Field Summary however when you get to the missing data details. The Field Summary tool gives you a single value for Percent Missing, but makes no distinction between whether that percentage is Null or Empty values. The Basic Data Profile tool gives you a count of records that have Null values, and a count of records that are blank. 

 

Taking it a step further, the Basic Data Profile Tool also lets you know the number of records that have leading and/or trailing whitespace so you can get a quick picture of the data you need to clean up.

 

The full list of of information provided is below:

 

Output.png

 

So how does this help? Maybe you're trying to build out a predictive model and keep getting strange errors from R. Missing data can cause those errors and this tool lets you quickly and easily see where you might have missing information that needs to be cleaned up.

 

Another possible use here is for joining data. A common question we receive is from users having issues trying to join their data knowing it should match but not actually getting any matches. The secret here is often leading/trailing spaces that are not readily obvious. This tool will show you which fields have records with those issues so you can quickly use the Data Cleanse Tool to remove them and tidy things up a bit before your join.

 

By now, you should have expert-level proficiency with the Basic Data Profile tool! If you can think of a use case we left out, feel free to use the comments section below! Consider yourself a Tool Master already? Let us know at community@alteryx.com if you’d like your creative tool uses to be featured in the Tool Mastery Series.

 

Stay tuned with our latest posts every Tool Tuesday by following Alteryx on Twitter! If you want to master all the Designer tools, consider subscribing for email notifications.

Comments
Asteroid

I think this tool would benefit from being able to select which fields in a table you want to profile. So a list with check boxes next to the fields to select which fields you want this profile on - rather than all fields.  Sometimes my tables have 100's fields and I dont' need to profile all of them.

 

The option to LImit for Exact Count - took me a bit to figure out that limits the 'Count Unique' output.  Why not just call it 'Limit for Count Unique'

 

I recently saw LavaStorms DataVerse and it has some super sweet data profiling which is much more visual than this. 

Community Data Engineer
Community Data Engineer

Hey @brendafos - great suggestions on how to improve the Basic Data Profile Tool! If you'd like to also make a post on our Product Ideas Board, other users will have the opportunity to weigh in on the value of those features. It'll also make the suggestions visible to our product team as they're considering improvements for future releases! 

Meteoroid

SSIS profiler has some really cool features and a UI to view the results in a UI based tool along with the data.

One of the feature which I would like to be added is identifying the patterns in the data in the form of RegEx.

This is very useful for email, phone number and some other fields.

 

Hope to see these features in next version of Alteryx data profiler.

Community Data Engineer
Community Data Engineer

Hey @Beena! The RegEx Tool's match output method should be able to help you identify those patterns in your data if you wanted to take that route. Any other improvements you can post to our Product Ideas Board for better visibility to our product team!

Meteoroid
Thank you very much Matt. I will check the RegEX Tool and see if it fulfills my requirements. Thanks a lot!