When we have several files to import such as monthly sales data into Alteryx, it can be (is definitely) a pain to import each file one by one. Subsequently using a union function to combine all data into the one table we need, giving us a headache inducing and muddled workflow in the process looking like this:

However, by using a wildcard asterisk character (*) within the filename, as seen highlighted below when importing data, it will include any file where the path fits the condition set.

For example, if we have several files in our Sales Data folder:

  • Jan Sales Data
  • Feb Sales Data
  • Mar Sales Data
  • Apr Sales Data

As highlighted in the input tool configuration window above, replacing the part of the filename that changes, in this case Jan / Feb / Mar / Apr with an asterisk (*) all files ending in “Sales Data” will be imported into Alteryx from the referenced location in one foul swoop (much simpler than the previous workflow. Furthermore, if needed we can create a new column displaying the filename for our reference through the selection of option 5 “Output File Name As Field”

Once run, the new (and more efficient) workflow should look like: