Data School Week 12
Week 12 was another client project week, with some student teaching mixed in. The week kicked-off with a one-hour Makeover Monday session visualising Sydney Ferries Network data.
After, we went straight into client project mode. I worked on the Alteryx this week.
Excel to Alteryx
My job on the client project involved me replicating their Excel model in Alteryx. The Excel model combined four different data sources using the VLOOKUP function. Luckily for me, Ben Moss from DS2 wrote this excellent blog post with everything I needed to know.
Unfortunately, things aren’t always straight forward when dealing with duplicates, and this project involved lots and lots of duplicates. For example, Table 1 contains a list of dogs names and breeds; Table 2 contains a list of my siblings and our dogs’ names. I want to use my list of dogs in Table 1 to find the breeds of all my siblings’ dogs in Table 2.
My VLOOKUP in Excel looks for the Table 2 Pet in Table 1 and then returns the Breed for the first match it finds.
In Alteryx it is possible to bring through multiple fields from multiple tables in a single Join tool. When I join Table 1 and Table 2, Alteryx sees there is a duplicate in Table 1, so it adds a row to our results table.
VLOOKUP tells us that my Sadie is a Labrador Retriever. Alteryx tells us that I have two dogs a Labrador Retriever and a French Bulldog. Both answers are incorrect! When dealing with duplicates, you really need to know your data or could end up analysing the wrong numbers.
This week we had two student teaching presentation. I taught a class on Dashboard Design on Thursday and Natasha taught a class on Designing for Mobile. Teaching is much harder than it looks, especially when you are providing beginner level training to advanced users. I learned that when teaching you want to keep your slides to a minimum, teach in the product whenever possible, and have plenty of exercises prepared.