Engine Works

Under the hood of Alteryx: tips, tricks and how-tos.

Will’s Weekly Wonders: The WhatsApp Analyser – Explained


Hello and welcome to Will’s Weekly Wonders, Explained! Over the last 18 months, I have been looking to bring data from my personal life into Alteryx. In my day-to-day, I get a great opportunity to understand how different businesses operate and the challenges they face, but it’s always with their data. I thought it would be a great time to start analyzing the data I am creating and have access to; therefore, Will’s Weekly Wonders was born.


The aim was not only to analyze my own data but also to demonstrate how you can tell an exciting story within Alteryx and introduce people to new functionality on topics they can relate to.


These topics range from my loves of football, music, and the pub to actual love (as I analyzed data from dating apps). Across these, there’s also been a wide range in functionality displayed from prep & blend to spatial and all the way up to advanced analytics and assisted modeling. Each workflow aims to not only provide great functionality but also provide some creative spark with the use of images, unique macros, and great documentation.


In the upcoming posts, I am going to provide a bit more context behind each workflow, some of the thought process, the configuration, and the workflow itself, so you can have a look!


Source: GIPHY


To begin with, we will start with my favorite and potentially most popular “wonder”: The WhatsApp Analyser. For anyone who doesn’t want to read through, you can check out the 5-minute video beneath



The Premise


WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging platforms and has given rise to the “group chat”—a place for organizing, catching up, and, more often than not, chatting nonsense. I wanted to dive into the nonsense and see what I could discover and what I could report back to the boys. I took a group chat that had been formed back in the first year of university ten years ago; six people, ten years, and 100s of thousands of messages.


Key Functionality


The data you receive from WhatsApp is particularly unclean and unstructured. Therefore, a large part of the process was in preparing the data. A variety of tools were used from the Preparation and Parse category to help get into a tabular and structured dataset. This I have converted into the WhatsApp Cleansing Macro, which simplifies the process and tidies up the workflow for anyone else looking to use it.





The data received from WhatsApp (Screenshot 1), the data after going through the WhatsApp Cleansing Macro (screenshot 2)


Alteryx Text Mining was then used to help deepen my analysis as I looked to understand more about the Sentiment and then build Word Clouds to help tell the story. Finding ways to present the analysis is often the trickiest part. For this, I’ve used a combination of the Reporting Capabilities alongside the Word Clouds produced to help paint the story of WhatsApp.




The Potty Mouth Awards – by bringing in external data from Ofcom’s ranking of swear words, I have built a mapping table to help me assess which of my friends is the rudest within the group from the messages I am sending.


The workflow can be downloaded from the Community Gallery.


The Outcome


As a result of the workflow, I am now able to have data-led conversations with my friends about our conversations (which go down a storm). I can now say with confidence that I’m the most positive in the group, and I can even work out which of my friends has the biggest “potty mouth,” which then often leads to more expletives from that person…


All of the “wonders” are available to view from my LinkedIn, but I will be writing more detailed blog posts for the popular ones in the coming months. Here is the full list of topics that have been covered in videos:


  1. Football Predictions – Predicting the final results of the Championship season

  2. Dating with Data – Analysing information from dating apps

  3. Exercising with Data – Connecting to Strava to analyse your exercising

  4. Spotify Playlist Analysis – Connecting to Spotify to pull in information about your playlists and create the ultimate Friday night playlist

  5. The Perfect Pub Crawl – Taking your location and creating the perfect journey of pubs (other activities are available)

  6. Film Club Analysis – Taking the films we watch in film club and using them to help me pick future classics

  7. Finance Part 1 – How to analyse your spending

  8. Finance Part 2 – The Investment App

  9. Christmas Analytics – How you can get help on those tricky present decisions

  10. Solving Wordle – An App that helps you complete the popular game Wordle

  11. The Calendar App – Make sure you never miss an event with automated calendar updates and reminders. No longer will national burger day be missed

  12. Trended Names Analysis – How popular is your name really?

  13. Winning the lottery – Using Alteryx to guarantee you win the lottery*

  14. FIFA UT Optimisiation – How you can create the ultimate team based on your own preferences

  15. Football Sweepstake App – The perfect way to organise your office sweepstake for upcoming sports tournaments

  16. The Sandwich Deal Finder – How you can quickly locate your nearest Subway meal deal

  17. The Heatwave App – Analysing the best way to stay cool in the heatwave and optimise your cooling techniques


Thank you for reading!

Will Davis

Alteryx Community Team
Alteryx Community Team

For all the WhatsApp fans out there, @Aguisande wrote a blog on how to send messages with Alteryx 👀 https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Engine-Works/WhatsApp-Web-Messages-From-Your-Workflow/ba-p/899845