If you’ve read about or have downloaded the new Alteryx Analytics 11.0 release, you know it’s full of exciting new and enhanced features, including a redesigned Formula tool. At Alteryx, we are focused on listening to you, our customers, and with every release we strive to enhance the Alteryx platform in ways that will positively impact you and help you perform your job faster, easier and more accurately. It is for this reason, we have redesigned the Formula tool to provide suggestions, error notifications, and auto-completion of expressions.
If you find yourself using the Formula tool time and time again, you aren’t alone, the Formula tool is one of the five most frequently used tools in Designer – one of the many reasons it’s listed in the ‘Favorites’ palette, And one of the reasons we’d argue it’s a true ‘icon’ of Alteryx. Though writing expressions is a common activity when building analytic models, we recognize that writing expressions can be challenging irrespective of tool, and can be tricky to master in any platform. We wanted to make the processes of writing expressions easier. We based our enhancements on what you’ve told us on the Alteryx Community Product Ideas page, as well as observations of brand new users interacting with the Formula tool. We listened, we heard you, and we hope that we have delivered.
One of the features we’ve implemented into the new Formula tool is quite popular on Community. Coming in at 37 stars and suggested multiple times, we’ve incorporated an autocomplete feature within the Formula expression editor. Autocomplete will make intelligent suggestions as you’re building your expression, so you can write expressions quickly and update them easily. Look for autocomplete improvements and inclusion in other tools as we revamp other tools moving forward.
In addition to autocomplete, we’ve introduced several other features in the Formula tool to help you write expressions. Based on the data type, you will see suggestions at the top of the functions menu as potential first steps. Rather than navigating through a list of available options, you can use the new search box. And, if you need additional help while you’re navigating through the available functions, not to worry! Help is at your fingertips, just press F1 to open.
One of the great suggestions we received from the Community idea post revolved around validating expressions within the Formula tool. With Alteryx Analytics 11.0 we’ve added syntax highlighting, and to help you determine if the formula will result in the correct output, we’ve included a data preview, which shows you the first row result of the specified column as you’re completing your expression, helping you write expressions faster.
We’ve also implemented features that will help you find and resolve errors quickly. The expression editor now has in-line error indication. If there is an error in your expression within the Formula tool, error messages will show in the data preview area.
We hope you’re as excited about the new Formula tool as we are, and that you find the redesigned Formula tool helps you write and validate expressions, so you can get to your results faster. Please let us know what you think of these new features. We promise to keep listening to your suggestions, and continue to make improvements that make it easier for you to deliver results faster than you ever thought possible with Alteryx.