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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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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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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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You've gotten your long dataset and you want to combine it with another dataset for additional information. Your dataset is nice and clean. Everything is formatted the same, no null values... The whole package. You open up the data to join to and right away you see a ton of clean up that needs to happen: nulls to replace, strings to format appropriately, extra characters, white space, the list goes on. You launch the Designer, and while fast and accurate, you have to set up a new Multi-Field Formula Tool  for each situation you need to fix. If only there was a single tool that did it all.
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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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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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The Multi-Field Formula Tool offers the same functionality as the Formula Tool, but offers the added benefit of applying a function across multiple fields of data all at once.  Gone are the  days of writing the same function for multiple fields. Say there are four fields with dollar signs ($) that need to be removed. It could be done with a Formula Tool and a function written for each field:
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Here at Alteryx we believe in working smart, not hard. Building out reports to highlight business-critical metrics is a pretty smart way to track goals. Customizing those reports to everyone in the department, then distributing them as attachments to individual emails? That sounds like a lot of hard work. Scheduling those reports from a refreshing data source each month so you don’t have to remake or rerun the reports yourself - that’s genius. Logging into your work computer to open up Alteryx, then having to check the scheduled results before having any peace of mind those reports were delivered without a hitch? Hard.
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The Drop Down Tool  is part of the Interface Tool Category and can be used when creating Apps.  This tool has many great configurations from loading data from within the workflow to using outside sources to update tools. Hopefully, after reading this article and looking at the samples you will feel more comfortable using this tool in your app user interface.
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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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In life, there are few things black and white. There are gray areas everywhere and the lines that separate can be a little fuzzy. The same holds true for data – especially when it’s human entered. That’s why we have the Fuzzy Match Tool – if your data isn’t clear as day, you can still get value out of your records by matching them to something a little more standardized.
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Fact: workflows are the best. Look it up. They’re all about getting things done and, with hundreds of tools and the ability to integrate external processes , there’s no shortage of things you can get done. We know that there are some areas of analytics that require a little extra firepower, however, and that’s why you can leverage your workflows in apps and macros for added functionality.
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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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The Directory Tool gives you a data-stream input that contains information about the files and folders (file name; file date; last modified, etc.) for the location of your choice, which you can then use for more complex interactions with the file system. Basically, the Directory Tool could also finally help me track down my keys - not just where I put the keys in the house, but also how long they've been there, and when they were last moved.
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Date/Time data can appear in your data in string formats (text fields) or date formats.  The DateTime Tool standardizes and formats such data so that it can be used in expressions and functions from the Formula or Filter  Tools (e.g. calculating the number of days that have elapsed since a start date). It can also be used to convert dates in datetime format to strings to use for reporting purposes.
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I’m proud to show off some of the great features of the Interactive Chart tool.  It is a huge step forward from the   deprecated Charting tool. Using the new Interactive Chart tool, users can immediately validate the configuration options selected to ensure the desired chart is created. There is no longer a need to re-run the workflow to see changes reflected in the chart.  The purpose of this article is to give you exposure to the Interactive Chart tool, and help you get up and running on your pursuit of visualizing the story of your data in style!   
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Typically the first step of Cluster Analysis in Alteryx Designer, the K-Centroids Diagnostics Tool assists you to in determining an appropriate number of clusters to specify for a clustering solution in the K-Centroids Cluster Analysis Tool, given your data and specified clustering algorithm. Cluster analysis is an unsupervised learning algorithm, which means that there are no provided labels or targets for the algorithm to base its solution on. In some cases, you may know how many groups your data ought to be split into, but when this is not the case, you can use this tool to guide the number of target clusters your data most naturally divides into.
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