Engine Works Blog

Under the hood of Alteryx: tips, tricks and how-tos.
Check out our powerful new search update! You can read more here. Please let us know if you have any feedback by creating a topic here.
Meteoroid

Although generating tabular output is easy, and generating maps is easy, generating temporal output is, well, challenging. So with this in mind, I took it upon myself to write a wall calendar generator using Alteryx. The module can be found here.

 

Ok, so this may not be the most productive use of Alteryx, but it was fun to write, and the concepts could be applied to some of your own business processes.

I won't go into all of the gory details of how it works (the module is heavily annotated, and will hopefully be included in the Samples with the next release), but here is a basic overview.

 

  • You start with a data flow of interesting dates, with a comment (a calendar entry) for each one. You can have multiple entries for a given date, and the data can be in any order.
  • The module figures out the extents of your data (the earliest and latest items), and then figures out which weeks need to be produced from this. (This is actually harder than it sounds.) Using the magical Generate Rows tool, it creates blank records for each day of each week in those extents. After joining back the original data, we get proper records for every day in that range.
  • Using the Text and Layout reporting tools, we then format all of this data, arrange it into a pleasing format, and voila, a calendar appears.

Is there anything Alteryx can't do?

Labels