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Alteryx Knowledge Base

Definitive answers from Designer experts.
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As long as you know where to look, data has all the answers. Sometimes, though, those answers aren’t clear as day. More often than not, they need to be communicated in an effective format - a format that can let the data talk and highlight the important motifs for you. Another favorite of the Reporting Tool Category , the Charting Tool can do just that by adding expressive visuals to any report or presentation. Offering an exhaustive list of charts to choose from (area, stacked area, column, stacked column, bar, stacked bar, line, tornado, pareto , box and whisker, scatter, bubble, polar, radar, pie), the Charting Tool will give you the ability to add descriptive visuals, with legends and even watermarks, to your reporting workflows that will help you find the answers in your data.
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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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When you’re frequently writing and rewriting data to Excel spreadsheets that you use for Excel graphs and charts, it can quickly become a hassle to make and remake your reporting objects to keep them up-to-date so you’re visualizing the most recent data. A best practice to keep the hassle out of the process exists, though! If you keep your plots isolated to their own spreadsheet, referencing cell values in another sheet used to capture your data, you can simply overwrite the source data sheet and your plots will update automatically upon launching Excel. In the example below (attached in the v10.6 workflow Dynamically Update Reporting from Excel Spreadsheets.yxzp) we’ve included the workaround to make your Excel outputs seamless.
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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 Table Tool on our way to mastering the Alteryx Designer:   Any time you want to get a good point across, it’s best to show your data. Show your data off in style in your reports or presentations by adding formatting to otherwise bland data with the Table Tool! Found in the Reporting Tool Category, the Table Tool will make it easy flair to your raw data, and give it the pop it needs to really sink in.                                         More flair = always better   Use it when:   Formatting tables of raw data (attached in the v10.6 Table.yxmd):   Be sure to add emphasis to your data by taking advantage of Column or Row rules to apply formats to specific data points or ranges – you can even use formula logic!     Creating pivot tables (attached in the v10.6 Table.yxmd):   Replicating merged Excel cell format to add sub headers and sub fields Adding images to accompany data sets Creating Distance Matrices or Mileage Charts If you're looking to apply Table Tool column rules to multiple columns, read up on the approach here!   By now, you should have expert-level proficiency with the Table 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 #ToolTuesday by following @alteryx on Twitter! If you want to master all the Designer tools, consider subscribing for email notifications.
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The Auto Field Tool : a tool so easy you don’t have to do anything – just put it on your canvas and viola. Automatically optimized data types. If you’re running into data type related issues and errors in your workflows, or just looking to add some speed or reduce the occupied disk space your data is hoarding – look no further than the Preparation Tool Category ’s Auto Field Tool, which reads through all the records of an input and sets the field type to the smallest possible size relative to the data contained within the column.
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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 Image Tool on our way to mastering the Alteryx Designer:   A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Save your breath and snap a picture to supplement your analyses and reports with the Image Tool, the camera icon tool residing next to all your other reporting needs in the Reporting Tool Category. Whether you’re looking to build a presentation, report, or email from scratch, or simply add graphics to accentuate your raw data – this tool will make it a breeze to access image files from disk, store image files in physical workflows, or dynamically access image files (even in Blob format!) to pair with any Alteryx output. Use the Image Tool to:   Add visual assets to reports and presentations (attached in the v10.6 Image.yxmd):   Perform dynamic image substitutions (attached in the v10.6 Image.yxmd):   Supplement reporting tables with graphics to make raw data more readable   By now, you should have expert-level proficiency with the Image 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 #ToolTuesday by following @alteryx on Twitter! If you want to master all the Designer tools, consider subscribing for email notifications.
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When it comes to spatial analyses, few tools come up more than the Trade Area Tool . Whether you’re looking to pad polygons around your spatial objects in distance or drive time, you won’t need to make a trade-off - just the Trade Area Tool.
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The Find Replace Tool is one of those tools that goes relatively unused and uncelebrated until you stumble into a data blending technique that would be extremely difficult without it – at which point, it becomes your favorite tool in the Designer. You can find it in the Join Category and it’ll make easy string substitutions in your data that would otherwise require herculean effort to work around. Today, we celebrate Find Replace as a hero.
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Brand new design!  Same helpful information.  Find the familiar table of contents and search bar by clicking the menu (inside the green rectangle). Getting Started resources include connecting to data sources, building workflows, and learning tools.
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We are proud to introduce you to the Manage Data Connection functionality in 11.0!
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The Association Analysis Tool allows you to choose any numerical fields and assesses the level of correlation between those fields. You can either use the Pearson product-moment correlation, Spearmen rank-order correlation, or Hoeffding's D statistics to perform your analysis. You can also have the option of doing an in-depth analysis of your target variable in relation to the other numerical fields. After you’ve run through the tool, you will have two outputs:
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This tool provides a number of different univariate time series plots that are useful in both better understanding the time series data and determining how to proceed in developing a forecasting model.
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The RegEx tool is kind of like the Swiss Army Knife of parsing in Alteryx; there are a whole lot of ways you can use it to do things faster or more effectively, but even if you just use the blade it's still immensely useful. Sometimes that's all you need, but if you do take the time to figure out how to use a few other tools in that knife, you'll start to see that there isn't much you can't do with it .
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I have had several questions from clients over the last few weeks looking to use Alteryx as the ultimate ‘middle man’ between databases and their end output, without explicitly writing anything to memory in the process. Alteryx will happily oblige in this domain whilst also providing seamless data blending & advanced analytics in the processes.   Here are some potential ways you can achieve this goal:   Use In-Database Using our In-Database tools means you never actually bring data down into memory but when you are ready you can use our Data Stream Out Tooland seamlessly pass this into our analytic tool set or to your output location. No Browse Tools In addition to the above point if you choose not to add Browse Tools, Alteryx will only cache around 1 MB of data at each tool in a temp location. This temp location is then cleared when you close Alteryx. Therefore, it is only kept in memory for the duration of the development of the workflow rather than indefinitely. Your default temp location can be found in Workflow Properties.    Changing workflows or Applications When writing out data you need not write to hard-coded paths - you can reference “%temp% in the file path. This will then write to the default location set in workflow properties outlined above. You can then reference this file location in the next workflow by using a combination of the Directory, Sort, Sample, and the Dynamic Input Tools to read in that file. Alteryx will as default write an Alteryx Engine file for each run. Using the above tools will allow you to dynamically read in the latest file and data. The bonus is that these engine files get cleared out on a scheduled basis so the cached data will not exist in memory over time. The workflow depicting this (attached) was built in Alteryx 10.6.    Output to the database or via one of our connectors which use an API You can utilize the above method mentioned in ‘No Browse Tools’ however at the end of your workflow you can output directly to a database using one of our connectors via an API. As Alteryx and Tableau work together, often clients will use the Publish to Tableau Server Macro to take data directly from an Alteryx workflow and up to tableau without keeping any data in memory. Again the 1MB of cached data will be removed from the Alteryx engine files and Alteryx pushes the data via a ‘POST’ command directly to the Tableau Server.   Best,  Jordan Barker  Solutions Consultant 
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Within an Alteryx workflow you may have instances where you have to hard code a value or only want to run workflows which have a certain field schema.   Both of these cases may cause errors in the workflow when the value or schema differ to that expected. Fortunately, there are two methods you can use to try and circumvent potential errors.    Option 1 - Conditional macros – CREW Macros Within the CREW macros pack there will be the conditional runner macro. This macro will allow you to set off another workflow if a workflow fails or succeeds. Therefore, if you are running a list of workflows from a Directory Tool and you want all the workflows to run even if a workflow fails, you can use the conditional runner to manage and continue the flow of workflows if one of them errors.   Option 2 - Expecting a set number of records or values?  You can use a combination of the Filter Tool and the Message Tool to look for patterns in the various records or files you are reading in. An example could be you are using a batch macro to read a list of files in. In each of these files you want to ensure a number of fields are included, so you transpose the data giving you a NAME & VALUE. Based on the NAME field you can use a Filter Tool and Count Records Tool to ensure you have the correct number of fields. In the false node you can have the records which didn't meet the expected value in the filter go into a Browse Tool or Output Data Tool so you can check out that file with more detail. Those records which did have the correct field headers you can crosstab the data back and continue that file through the process.    This is just a quick two ways you can look to avoid errors in a workflow, but I encourage those community members who can think of other alternatives and use cases please post below. this topic can be highly valuable for workflow conitnuity so learning more techniques can only help :)   Best,  Jordan Barker Solutions Consultant 
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Let's start with the basics of how to create a report map in Alteryx.  To start off, ensure that the layers you want to show in your map have a spatial object field. This can be checked by placing a select tool and confirming that there is a column of type 'SpatialObj.'
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Easily the most used tool in the parsing category , the Text To Columns Tool makes for an extremely quick dicing of delimited fields. To use it you only need to specify a delimited field, delimiter(s), whether you’re parsing to rows or columns (you’ll need to specify a number of columns to parse into with this selection) and you’re off.  Any way you slice it, this tool has you covered:
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One of the most underrated tool groups, the Documentation Category is full of gems that can help you improve the aesthetic, organization, and shareability of your workflows. Chief among them is the Tool Container Tool – in addition to better aesthetic this tool has the ability to disable all the tools within it, lending itself to a handful of functional applications as well:
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Question I have a table of sales data with each column being a week's worth of sales. I only want records that have data in each of those fields and want to filter out all records that have Null values. How can I do this? Answer There are two basic elements necessary to make this happen. The first is that all records in the original table have a unique ID. If you do not have a unique ID in your data, go ahead and add a Record ID Tool.     In the sample data you can see we will want data from Rows 1 and 6 while filtering out each of the other records because they contain null values.   From here we will use the Transpose Tool to pivot your data into 3 separate columns. In the transpose field choose your unique ID as the KEY FIELD and make sure all other records are selected as DATA FIELDS.      The result is that you will have your unique ID field, a field called [Name] which contains the names of each of the fields in your data, repeated for every unique ID in your original data, and a [Value] field which contains the individual values for each of the records for each of the columns in the original data.   Now we want to search for Nulls, and get a comprehensive list of the UniqueID values that do not contain Null values. Now is the time to bring in a Summarize tool and GroupBy your unique ID field, and then use the CountNull action.     The result is a list of how many nulls exist in each of your unique ID groups.   Next we can simply filter out the fields that have 0 null values in them and then use the unique IDs to join back to the original data, and pull only those records.            It's important to note here that because I'm only interested in the original fields I intentionally chose to deselect the unique ID and the Null Count fields from the output of the join so that I am left with only those records that have data in all of the weeks.   See the attached v10.5 workflow for an example of the approach above.
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Question How can I share my workflows if my recipients don’t have the same files they reference? Sending them all over separately and reconfiguring inputs separately seems like a lot of work. Halp! Answer You’re right, that does sound like a lot of work. Luckily, we have an export feature to help with this exact scenario:     Navigating in your Designer to Options >> Export Workflow will open a menu where you can include assets that are referenced in your workflow and export them into a single .yxzp file to be shared. Feel free to select whichever files you’d like to include – if a file is missing, try attaching an additional asset/file to the tool it’s associated with. At that point it should appear in your export options:                                    Note: If your workflow uses a database connection, your recipient will need to either 1) have a DSN set up (system preferred) for the connection string used or 2) use the same alias to establish a connection in their environment.   After you select the files to be included, select “Browse” to specify the location and name of the export:     You should be all set! Share this export with your files included.     To open an exported workflow, simply File >> Open Workflow >> Browse in Alteryx or double click the green .yxzp file like any other Alteryx file type:                                    You should then see a prompt stating that the file is an Alteryx Package; just hit “Yes” to begin the import:     You’ll then be given the option to change the directory that the export is extracted to; below that option you will see the exported files listed with their locations relative to the destination directory:     Select “Import” to proceed:     Once the export has successfully extracted, you will be given a notification that the import process has completed. Select “Yes” and your exported workflow should already be loaded and ready to run!
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