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This article is part of the Tool Mastery Series, a compilation of Knowledge Base contributions to introduce diverse working examples for Designer Tools. Here we’ll delve into uses of the Browse Tool on our way to mastering the Alteryx Designer:
Far more than just a window to your data, the Browse Tool has a catalog of features to best view, investigate, and copy/save data at any checkpoint. That observation into your data anywhere in your prep & blend gives valuable feedback that often speeds workflow development and makes it easier to learn tools by readily visualizing their transforms. Be equipped, and browse through the catalog of useful applications below!
Split Views Use one of the Split View options in the Browse Tool. This will allow you to select the table view on one side, and the map view on the other, thus enabling you to identify which records are associated with particular spatial objects on the map:
# Records, # Fields, # Bytes Use the Browse Tool to gain an insight on your data at a particular stage in the module. Next to the view selection buttons, you will see that the Browse Tool provides you with: # of records, # of fields, and size of the data in bytes:
New Window Open your Browse in a New Window. This is great for use with comparisons of data, whether it be of a tabular or visual nature:
Cell Viewer Use Cell Viewer to see what’s going on inside your data:
Field Selection Options Select and deselect the fields that you wish to display, directly in the Browse Tool. This is helpful when working with data that contains a large number of fields, but you’d like only to view a few of the fields in your Browse:
Stop to see your fields, types, and sizes; just switch from "Data" to "Metadata" view:
See previews of reports/maps before formal output/visualization
In the Browse Tool's configuration menu you can see a "Report" or "Map" tab if you are working with reporting or spatial objects, respectively. Sneak a peak at them before outputting to a formal report format:
Data Profiling in the Browse Tool
The Data Profiling in the Browse Tool was created to assist the user in better understanding the quality of their data at any point within the workflow.
This option will assist users in understanding the quality of their data, assist in troubleshooting and help fix issues that may arise when attempting to parse, join, or output their data.
How Data Profiling works:
Add a Browse Tool after any tool you want to check the quality of your data. We highly recommend getting into the habit of adding a Browse Tool after your Inputs. This will allow you to understand right off the bat what the condition of your data is.
You can then run the workflow and select the Browse Tool. The Configuration Window will display graphs relating to each of your columns in your data as well as some specific information on the field and the type of data. By selecting a specific column in your Results window the Data Profiling in the Configuration Window will change showing you the quality of the data within that column. You will receive different graphs and information depending on the data type in the field.
Please see our wonderful online Help document for the Browse Tool which contains all of the information on the charts and Metadata.
Tips and Tricks:
The Browse Tool will only render the Data Profiling when the Browse Tool is selected. Depending on how much data is flowing into the Browse Tool, it may take a little time for the Browse Tool to render the Data Profiling reports. If you don’t select the Browse Tool when you are working in the workflow it will not use any memory until you place the Browse Tool to render the reports.
If you would like to capture this data and use the data in a workflow or extract that information you can use the Basic Data Profile Tool . This tool will grab the information from the Data Profiling in the Browse Tool. At this point in time, we do not have the option to export the graphs.
You can turn the Data Profiling feature off by going to your user settings and uncheck the "Collect and display data profile information". However, as recommended earlier in the article, using the Data Profiling after your Input Data Tool is now considered best practice and at the very least the Data Profiling should be used at this point. You can always turn the option off after you have reviewed your data.
Copying and Pasting Lat./Long. Values
Copy: In a Browse tool, under the map tab, right click on any point on the map. The Latitude and Longitude for that location will be displayed. If you click on [Copy Point (x.y)] you will have copied that Latitude Longitude value to your clipboard.
Paste: Right click on the module canvas, select “Paste” and a Text Input tool will be added to your module, with the values of your copied point already populated in the tool.
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