Alteryx Designer Advanced Certification - Experience

by Liu Zhang

Given it is free to take the exam, it was a bit procrastination on my side not to attempt it earlier. As long as people are willing, you can always give a (weekly) test to gauge your Alteryx skills.

Within the Data School there are numerous resources available to help guide people in their preparation. Plenty links and suggestions in the following blogs.

The Data School - Getting ready for your Alteryx Designer Advanced Certification Exam: tips and resources
The Data School - Alteryx Advanced - A Step Up
The Data School - Alteryx Certification: Designer Advanced Exam

Personally, I find the practical questions easier than the multiple choice questions. With the former requires familiarity of the commonly used tools, while the later are more niche, accompanied with plenty requirement on understanding different choices, settings, configuration that I have never encountered. Quick Googling skill helps only a bit when questions are ambiguous.

Parse & Join:

I will definitely recommend people to practice more with RegEx tool instead of Text to Columns, whenever they can, usually it is one of the hardest part for this type of practical question (always come up). Pivoting tables are the next tricky bit, Cross Tab (pivot wide) is the one being tested as Transpose (pivot long) is reasonably straight forward to use. The data set I encountered had limited number of columns, so the choice is limited as well, hence quite easy to figure out.

Macros:

This was the one question almost caught me out, as I had to leave it first and come back to it in the end. The task is to build a batch macros to load multiple excel sheets (one of the most common use of batch macro). The building of macro itself wasn't the hard part, but the annoying structure difference in each sheet caused trouble, where you couldn't union all sheets in one go. So those Dynamic (Input/Rename/Replace/Select) tools become important. Luckily I trial and error-ed in time to do it.

Spatial:

Probably the hardest for most people when attempting the exam, as it requires familiarity with a group of tools. It is not often practiced unless there was requirement in training and placement. I was lucky to have picked it for my LWTDSL session and also did an extra session on TTT, so it forced me to be familiar with Spatial tools, it really paid off here. Nothing stopped me in this practical question, it was the easiest for me among all the practical ones.

Reporting tools:

One of the hardest part for me in multiple choice questions. Despite reading up each tools, it is quite hard to know all the possible setup for them. I felt I had to make quite high amount of guessing compared with other multiple choice questions. Some good Googling is needed if people have never tried them.

Interface tools:

Try as many Alteryx Challenges as you can on macros, it will force you to be familiar with the Interface tools. And don't just stop at the required results, you can always add more tools into the macro to make it as complicated as you can, so you have chance to practice with more tools and understand their configurations.

Date Investigation:

Given my background in mathematics, this is the simplest part for me among the whole exams. Once I am familiarized with the tool configurations, the interpretation of the results is straight forward. If anyone who are less confident in statistics, I am happy to help.


Looking for more guides, tips and tricks in Tableau or Alteryx? Go check out the other blog posts from the Data School.

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