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Challenged with the need to keep current with the available knowledge base Tool Mastery articles, I often found myself searching to find the needed reference materials. Using Alteryx to create and organize an index of the articles made helping others (and myself) a non-event. To take this to the next level, I enlisted the help of friends at Alteryx to make this a Community Resource.
Describe the business challenge or problem you needed to solve
Finding Tool Mastery articles within the KB posts was often a challenge. Have you ever found yourself struggling to accomplish something that should be relatively easy to do with Alteryx? I have! One of the many resources available are the ever-growing lists of Tool Mastery documents available in community. Look as I might, sometimes I remember seeing a document and couldn’t quickly find it. Maybe my patience was already tested and maybe this search became a welcome distraction, but I wondered how (without modifying the search or underlying Lithium framework) I could better manage the Tool Mastery documents myself. My solution was to compile a listing of documents myself. I could schedule a workflow to run daily and keep my list updated. That seemed reasonable at the time (pause for effect).
Describe your working solution
Using designer (with automation on the scheduler) I used a download tool to scrape the KB posts and find the Tool Mastery documents. Once found, they were organized and published via Alteryx reporting tools..
I knew where to find the Knowledge Base (KB) articles in Community, but there were many pages to search. I looked at the HTML and found that there was a known last-page. I then used that information to construct a unique URL for each page that I would want to search. 36 pages exist today.
Using the download tool, I could now return the contents of each page and then find the entries that contained the LINKs and the TITLEs for each KB article. From this listing, I only wanted to see the “Mastery” articles. That brought 719 KB titles down to 84. That is a lot of knowledge!
I had compiled an index to the articles. Job done. Now to improve on that! Using both a manual grouping and a known grouping (Default Settings.xml) for each tool, I could classify the tools by their pallet group and make finding the tools easier. I used The Report Text Tool to create a clickable hyperlink in the index.
This hyperlink made my index actionable. The Tool Mastery Index was “done.” In agile terms, this was a MVP (Minimum Viable Product). What challenge could I tackle next? Enter @JoeM, @MattD and @TaraM. When Joe took over the Weekly challenge reigns he created an index to classify each challenge and make it easy to find the next article to undertake. This was my inspiration for the Tool Mastery index. I then went to Tara and Matt to show them the value of the index. They took it to the next level (Tool Mastery Index)!
Describe the benefits you have achieved
With teamwork and great resources we had created something of value for the Alteryx Community. I’d like to see Tara incorporate this into the Periodic Table of Alteryx tools too, but that’s what a product backlog is for. Now for an interesting metric. How many times has this Index article been viewed? As of the writing of this entry there have been 27,302 views of it. It might not have the 44,714 views that the “How to Guide to Google Analytics” has, but it does have enough views that I think that I made the right decision to move it from my desktop to the Alteryx Community.