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Alteryx Designer Knowledge Base

Definitive answers from Designer experts.
The Date Time Now Tool is part of the Input Tool Category and it is actually a macro encapsulating other Alteryx tools . To use it, only one selection needs to be made: an output format. That's it, then you can go about your business. You also have the option to output the time with that date.
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The key component of any batch macro , the Control Parameter Tool is the gear that keeps things moving. Using the  input , the control parameter accepts a field of values that will be used within the batch macro to reconfigure and rerun the macro for each of the standard input records - unless using the GroupBy feature that matches certain control parameters to buckets of records to be batched through the macro together. Adding this interface tool to any macro will upgrade it to a batch macro and will give you the ability to loop through macro configurations for added customizability. While one of the more sophisticated solutions you can build into your workflows, there are few problems you can’t solve with a batch macro:
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With the Input Data Tool (master it here ), our Connector Tools , and the Download Tool (master it here ), data in the Designer is aplenty. But what about manually entered user data? In analytics, we’re often trying to avoid human-entered data (unless we’re cleaning it) because it is more prone to error. In spite of the risks, there are a number of situations that manually entered data can be useful in Alteryx. However, it’s dangerous to go alone; take the Text Input Tool and simplify those instances with the techniques below:
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Believe it or not, data can be beautiful. Take your black and white data points and add some color to them in visuals with the suite of tools found in the Reporting Category https://help.alteryx.com/current/index.htm#Getting_Started/AllTools.htm#Report_Presentation_Tools ! If you’re looking to create reports, presentations, images, or simply output data with a bang, you can use the Render Tool https://help.alteryx.com/current/PortfolioComposerRender.htm paired with other Reporting Tools to create HTML files (*.html), Composer files (*.pcxml), PDF documents (*.pdf), RTF documents (*.rtf), Word documents (*.docx), Excel documents (*.xlsx), MHTML files (*.mht), Power Point presentations (*.pptx), PNG images (*.html), and even Zip files (*.zip) – packed with formatting and visual aesthetic that’ll make any data-geek’s mouth water.
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This is the place to be if you are trying to learn how to download data from your Amazon S3 onto Alteryx Designer, or uploading data from Alteryx Designer to your Amazon S3 account. 
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Did you know the average football game lasts 3 hours and 12 minutes and only amounts to roughly 11 minutes of play? Now, I love trying to eat Doritos through my TV screen as much as the next guy, but for me the highlights are definitely a better watch. The Summarize Tool would probably agree - the most effective communication of your data is the most concise summary of it. Whether it’s concatenating strings for storage, merging reports to have better readability, getting your spatial objects to interact, or even calculating averages and other formulas on groupings of data, the Summarize Tool can reframe your data to be more informative. This article provides a few examples on how.
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To do your best data blending, it is a critical need to have the flexibility to connect to as many data stores as possible. No puzzle reveals a complete picture without all the pieces in place, and the same adage holds true in analytics. While we’re proud to boast a list of supported input file formats and data platforms that may even be large enough for database storage itself, unfortunately, in the ever expanding world of data you just can’t catch them all. Enter the Download Tool . In addition to FTP access, this tool can web scrape or transfer data via API (check your data source – there’s almost always an API!), giving you access to even the most secluded data stores. With the examples compiled below, and the wealth of data accessible on the web, you can turn nearly any analytical puzzle into the Mona Lisa :
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The Join Tool is the quintessential tool for data blending within Alteryx.  As such, it is also one of the most widely used tools. The Join Tool allows you to join data together from two different sources in two different ways: by record position and by specific fields. Selecting by record position will attach the two datasets together where it will match up each record by the position it is in. Thus record 1 of the left dataset will be in the same row as record 1 on the right in the J output and so on. If one dataset from either side has more records than the other those records will not be joined and they will be placed in there corresponding right or left output (L or R). Joining by specific field will match records up based on a specific field or multiple fields. This article goes into how that option works in more depth and detail. I highly recommend it as a read, as it covers frequent behaviors of the tool that you might run into.
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This 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 Record ID Tool on our way to mastering the Alteryx Designer:   Here at Alteryx, we do our best to keep things simple. Analytics is hard enough, there’s no need to overcomplicate things. That’s why we have the Record ID Tool – true to its name, if your records don’t have a unique identifier or row count just drag this tool onto the canvas. That’s it. Put your feet up, take a deep breath, and celebrate the win. The best part? The Record ID Tool doesn’t stop there – there’s countless applications of the tool that can simply other operations, too. It’s a gift that just keeps on giving:   Use a Record ID field to create primary keys in database tables created by a workflow Split your output into multiple files using Record IDs to specify precise record counts Process workflows in “packets” of records leveraging a Record ID - in some cases, this decreases run time Compare datasets down to the last record by mapping them to a Record ID Use the modulo (mod) function to make groups of your data from the Record ID field, simplifying otherwise complex reshapes (see examples 1 and 2) You can also enforce a record order to your datasets using a Record ID (just sort by it), which often comes in handy before reshaping or macro processing. If you’re looking to assign “Group By” Record IDs that reset to unique values of a particular field, try using the Tile Tool.   That’s a lot of operations made simpler by a single tool; it could be a record. Now, if that’s not worth celebrating, we don’t know what is.     By now, you should have expert-level proficiency with the Record ID 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.
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A common task that analysts can run into (and a good practice when analyzing data) is to determine if the means of 2 sampled groups are significantly different. When this inquest arises, the  Test of Means  tool is right for you! To demonstrate how to configure this tool and how to interpret the results, a workflow has been attached. The attached workflow (v. 11.7 ) compares the amount of money that customers spent across different regions in the US. The  Dollars_Spent  field identifies the amount of money an individual spent and the  Region  field identifies the region that the individual resides in (NORTH, SOUTH, EAST, WEST).
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The  Numeric Up Down Tool  can be used in a variety of ways to enhance your macros and apps. This very simple tool requires just a few seconds to configure and you're on your way!
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Have you ever wanted to restrict the fields that flow through your workflow based on their data type? What about only allowing fields that begin with the same word or are in a specific position? The  Dynamic Select  tool is just what you’re looking for!
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A must-have for any app or macro, the  Error Message Tool  displays a prompt to the user based on input from  Interface Tools . Using any expression that evaluates to true, along with any number of user inputs from question  anchor connected Interface Tools, the Error Message Tool can layer even the most involved applications with failsafes that ease a user’s experience through more robust interactions.
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The Arrange Tool allows you to manually transpose and rearrange your data. It can be used to combine multiple fields into a single target field.
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The  Append Fields  tool adds  every  row of the source input to   every  row of the target input as new columns. This is also known as a Cartesian or cross join!
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A part of the Spatial Tools Category, the Distance Tool calculates how far apart spatial objects are.
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The  Multi-Row Formula Tool  functions much like the normal  Formula Tool  but adds the ability to reference multiple rows of data within one  expression . Say, for example, someone was on the ground floor of a house and had a Formula Tool. They would only be able to talk to the people also on the ground floor. If they had a Multi-Row Formula Tool, though, they would also be able to talk to the people upstairs, in the attic, and in the basement as well.
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Binary Large OBject (BLOB) data types are often used to store images, audio, and other multimedia files/objects in a single, standardized, format for simplified database management - making them a frequent filetype in the Alteryx Designer. Fortunately, with the  Blob Convert Tool , along with the  Blob Input  and  Blob Output   Developer Tools , working with BLOB objects is no more difficult than the file types they represent!
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The  Filter Tool , which is part of the  Preparation tool category , separates your data into 2 output streams, True and False, based on a basic filter or custom expression.
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The TS Filler Tool t akes a data stream of time series data and fills in any gaps in the series.
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