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Alteryx Knowledge Base

Definitive answers from Designer experts.
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Quick navigation for the Tool Mastery Series!
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  Alteryx has a full set of integrated predictive tools but even with developers working at full  speed , it is hard to keep up with the R community. Sometimes users want to install and utilize their  favorite  R packages. This post demonstrates how to use and install additional R packages.
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A large component of data blending is applying mathematical or transformational processes to subsets of your data.  Often, this requires isolating the data that complies with a certain criteria that you’ve set. The Conditional functions build expressions that allow you to apply processes to data that satisfy conditions you set.
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Far more than just a window to your data, the Browse Tool  has a catalog of features to best view, investigate, and copy/save data at any checkpoint you place it.  That introspection to your data anywhere in your blending gives valuable feedback that often speeds workflow development and makes it easier to learn tools by readily visualizing their transforms. Be equipped, and browse through the catalog of useful applications below!
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For any macro or analytic app – one of the inevitable questions that you may encounter is “how do I configure this to do what I need?” For example, if you build a macro that checks if two fields are equal, but sometimes you want to ignore the case such that “A” equals “a,” and sometimes you want an exact match. This is where the Interface Tool Category comes to the rescue, with a super-tool called Check Box!
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Did you ever play that party-game called  6-degrees of separation  where you have to figure out how you are connected to someone famous in less than 6 relationships  (or the movie version – 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon)? Well that game just got a whole lot easier with the Make Group Tool!
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When it comes to tools, Alteryx has a full box! With over 200 tools and macros in the basic installation, you may wonder how you'll  master  them all. Don't worry - we have 'apps' for that!
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Between the  RegEx ,  Text To Columns , and  XML Parse Tools , the Alteryx data artisan already has an exceptionally robust selection of tools to help parse uniquely delimited data. However, there are still some data sets so entangled in formatting that it’s labor intensive to parse even for them. Enter the  Find and Replace Tool , which captures the ability to find your nightmarish parsing workflows and replace them with sweet color by number pictures. Just kidding, it finds bad jokes and replaces them with good ones. Seriously, though, you could do both if you wanted to because this tool has the capability to look up a table of any number of specified targets to find in your data and will replace them with a table of specified sources. With the help of a few quick configuration steps, this tool can simplify some parsing use cases significantly.
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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.
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While the  Join tool  is easily one of the most used tools in Alteryx, it can also be one of the most misunderstood. This is even more likely true if a new user hasn’t previously used joins in any other data-manipulating platform or they are joining big tables where they might not be keeping track of the records inside the fields they are joining on.
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Sometimes, a dataset will contain numbers stored as text. I order to do calculations using those numbers, the datatype will need to be converrted to a numeric data type. If the data is clean, changing the data type in a   select tool   can do the trick. Another option is to use the TONUMBER() function in a   formula tool or   multi field formula tool   (if you have more than one field to convert). 
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The Dynamic Replace Tool allows the user to quickly replace data values on a series of fields, based on a condition or expression.
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One of the best things about Alteryx is the ability to read in multiple files very easily and automatically combine them into a single dataset. This becomes a bit trickier when dealing with files that have different schemas or Excel files with multiple tabs. Adding both multiple excel files with multiple tabs, and having the schema change within each tab takes it to another level.
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The Alteryx Gallery is full of interesting and useful Macros which provide 'out of the box' solutions to a lot of use cases! With well over a 1000 macros available which ones do you find most useful?
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For most tools that already have “dynamic” in the name, it would be redundant to call them one of the most dynamic tools in the Designer. That’s not the case for Dynamic Input. With basic configuration, the Dynamic Input Tool  allows you to specify a template (this can be a file or database table) and input any number of tables that match that template format (shape/schema) by reading in a list of other sources or modifying SQL queries. This is especially useful for periodic data sets, but the use of the tool goes far beyond its basic configuration. To aid in your data blending, we’ve gone ahead and cataloged a handful of uses that make the Dynamic Input Tool so versatile:
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The Input Data Tool is where it all starts in the Designer. Sure, you can bring in webscraped or API data with the Download Tool (master it here ) and our prebuilt Connector Tools , but the tool that makes it a breeze to grab data from your most used file formats and databases is the Input Data Tool.
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The Fuzzy Match Tool provides some pretty amazing flexibility for string joins with inexact values – usually in the case of names, addresses, phone numbers, or zip codes because many of the pre-configured match styles are designed around the formats of those types of string structures. However, taking advantage of the custom match style and carefully configuring the tool specific to human entered keyword strings in your data can also allow you to use the loose string matching feature of the tool to match those values to cleaner dictionary keyword strings. If done properly, it can help you take otherwise unusable strings and, matching by each individual word, recombine your human entered data to a standardized format that can be used in more advanced analyses.
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If you need more geographical information on a coordinate, try converting it into a spatial object and using the Find Nearest Tool to find coinciding Experian geographical data from an Allocate Input Tool.
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Ever been confused about whether you should use a Join tool or a Union tool? This article explains the differences and use cases for each tool. 
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Have you ever tried writing to multiple tabs within the same workflow and have received an error? This article is for you!
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