Week 9 – Easter Week
Easter Week at Data School was short and sweet! We had a 3-day client project and then a day SQL training, and then a bank holiday on Friday.
Alteryx Best Practices
My part of the client presentation this week highlighted some general Alteryx best practices. As always, I cannot share any client specific information, but I am happy to share the tips I recommended.
1.Use Wildcard Imports – A wildcard allows you to import all the files within a folder using one Input Data tool in Alteryx. I recently posted a 2-minute Alteryx tip video on how to do this:
The only problem with this is that it doesn’t work for Excel files. Luckily, CReW have already solved this problem for us! One of the tools in their Macro pack is a Wildcard XLSX Input. The CReW macro pack is full of useful tools like this. If you haven’t downloaded it already, I highly recommend it.
2.Speed up your workflow by using .yxdb files. Bethany (DS4) wrote a blog on this. In short, if you’re working with massive Excel files your workflow will run faster if you convert the Excel data to an Alteryx database file (.yxdb).
3.Take advantage of the Workflow Configuration Runtime settings to speed up your workflow while you are building it. From the Runtime tab, you can run performance monitoring, limit input rows and also disable writing to outputs.
On Thursday Andy taught us how to write basic SQL queries. First, we would look at how to create an output in Alteryx, then replicate it using SQL, and lastly replicate it in Tableau. It was really interesting to see the SQL queries behind creating visualisations in Tableau. For example, if we wanted to find out the number of products Superstore offers. In Alteryx, I use a Summerize tool:
In SQL, I write the following:
And finally, in Tableau, I drag Product Name to Text on the Marks card and change the measure to CNTD.
Every tool gives us the same answer, Superstore sells 1,263 different products.
When most of us returned home on Thursday after work we had a sweet surprise waiting for us from TIL CEO Tom!