Well that was a fun London Alteryx User Group last night!! Firstly, we gave Lilian Hoang a big welcome to the London Alteryx User Group Committee team. @LilianH has experience leading user group having ran the Washington DC UG for a couple of years before moving over to London, so we’re excited about the creative ideas she can bring.
The slides that we spoke through are attached and I’d like to call out a few important links here:
Podcast Theme Music Contest
If you are more musically talented than me (which won’t be hard) then this “Theme Music Contest”, could you be right up your street! The amazing Alter Everything Podcast host @MaddieJ is running a contest where anyone of you could submit a 60 second musical clip for a chance for it to be featured as the new Podcast Theme Music in 2020 – HOW COOL?! Send your clips to firstname.lastname@example.org by December 17th to be in the Jukebox for a chance to win.
London Alteryx User Group 2020 Weekly Challenge Leaderboard
I’m sure many of you have been doing Weekly Challenges and often think the peak of the leaderboard is a summit too high to reach with 24 users in the Top 10, all having completed 168 challenges of more!
Whilst the weekly challenges are necessarily a competition, we know that gamification and competing with your peers always helps increase engagement. So, we are planning on starting a 2020 London Alteryx Leaderboard, which we will regularly update and share people’s statuses at meetups throughout the year.
You will still need to complete the weekly challenges in the same way that you always have done (details here), all we’d need from you is a simple sign-up for our local challenge. Please enter your name and community handle here: http://bit.ly/2020WeeklyChallenge and @paul_houghton will take care of the rest!
Alteryx of Code
@Niklas gave us the annual introduction to Advent of Code and how Alteryx can save Christmas! The Advent of Code is a advent calendar of daily programming challenges and a group of Alteryx users are challenging themselves to complete them using BaseA Alteryx (see here for details on this!). There’s an Alteryx Communal Leaderboard, a WhatsApp channel, Github postings, etc. providing great collaboration and communication!
Join the fun here:
After the usual announcements we had 3 topics in store for our Christmas meetup. Here’s a brief review of each and the materials for you to look at or re-use yourselves. If you do the “White Christmas Challenge” or run “Alteryx Bingo” yourselves, then please let us know how it goes!!
@hannah-r's Festive Fitness Challenge Review
Hannah, being a Yoga enthusiast, wanted to ensure that her and her company stayed fit and healthy in the lead up to Christmas and again what better way to do this than to make a bit of healthy competition using analytics! The idea is a very novel one and the analytics work in Alteryx to create teams and to scrape and collcect the data made tracking this competition a breeze! You can find Hannah’s slides in the attached PDF and she would love to hear if you’ve done something similar!
@LilianH's White Christmas Challenge
We wanted a fun way for User Group attendees to work together in teams to solve a data challenge! However, we made the task more difficult as the rules meant that the challenge had to be first completed with paper Alteryx Tool cuts outs, before being demoed back to the audience.
I have a list of 15 cities I want to visit—which is the best place to experience a white (snowy) Christmas?
The winning team on the day completed this in THREE tools!
How many tools do you think you could answer this question in?! Please share your workflows if you think you can match or beat this! The input data is attached.
There’s not much explanation needed here, but you might be wondering how we pulled this together, so here are all the links and workflows that you need to run this yoursELF! 😊
Step 1: Collect Images that You’d Like to Use for Your Bingo Card
Gillian collected the Alteryx Tool images that she wanted from Alteryx’s online help pages! These are handily saved as PNG files, with transparent backgrounds and much better quality than taking screenshots of your canvas. Gillian added a few festive additions to the mix too!
Step 2: Upload Images to an Online Bingo Card creator!
Gillian used: https://www.bingomaker.com/
I also remembered that there was a Bingo Card Creator Weekly challenge, so this could ALL be done within Alteryx--why not give it a go yourself: https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Weekly-Challenge/Challenge-191-BINGO/td-p/495204
Step 3: Create Random Tool Selector Workflow
Gillian was on holiday the week leading up to the User Group, so I decided to volunteer to help create a random tool selector workflow for the Bingo Game. As with all challenges, multiple ways of doing this popped into my head.
My first idea was to build a workflow or iterative macro in Alteryx that would randomly select an image from the folder, use RunCMD to open this image, wait 5 seconds and then do the same until all images has been cycled through. However, the limitation here would have been that Gillian may have needed to manually pause this to discuss a tool and wouldn’t allow us to run it at our own speed.
My second idea which I settled on was to use an analytic app as this would give us the flexibility to press run at our own speed! I wanted to run this on the gallery as it would look neat running from a web browser and I could use blobs to render the images! However, one limitation was that with Analytic Apps in the Gallery, the user cannot decide which output tab to display first. My problem occurs because I need to keep a record of all of the previous runs and to do this I was inputting and appending to a SQLLite table in the workflow, and annoyingly this would be the first thing that displays in gallery! Here’s a “Under Review” idea from a few years ago, so maybe I’ll be able to fix this soon. https://community.alteryx.com/t5/Alteryx-Server-Ideas/Specify-Order-of-Output-in-Gallery-App-Results...
To get around this minor limitation above, we ran the app directly in designer rather than on gallery and the workflow and images are attached in a zip file for you to use. If you come up with a better way of running this, then please let us know because I think this will be a long-term staple of our Christmas User Groups meetings to come!
See you in 2020 and big love for these Alteryx Xmas Sweaters Jumpers (@Niklas is taking orders!):