First, I would like to point you to the blog posts already on the Data School which I found immensely helpful and pinpoint the resources I found most useful.
- Alisha Dhillon’s article gives a comprehensive list of resources I would urge everyone to look through if they are preparing
- Louise Le article gives insight into the exam itself
- Nicholas Bowskill provides a useful summary to not over think the experience
The resource I found the most helpful was the interactive core certification prep guide
It was essentially the bible for all the tools and links to further resources you could need. Similarly there are videos, forums and weekly challenges that will let you explore your understanding of concepts.
In the interest of brevity, and the strong insistence you look at my colleagues work, I will recap my understanding of the tools and some tips from the Alteryx exam of September 2021.
Importantly remember that right clicking the tools will help you navigate to an example and explanation with preloaded data inside Alteryx Designer itself.
The Green tools are found in the In/Out Tab, from left to right they are;
- Text input – extremely useful for practical questions as you can mockup data to test concepts
- Input Data – the dialogue and configuration for data inputs, note use of wildcards and file formats for the exam
- Output data – there are several export options, note the several file formats beginning. yx..
- Browse – your best friend to analyze your workflow and pick up any issues
Purple in the Join tab
- Find and replace - has dual functionality in editing existing values in a column or appending in a new column
- Append - note errors on more than 16 records, this can explode your data if poorly configured as it matches every row to every row in the joining table aka a cartesian join
- Join - brings to tables together through a common field – makes your table wider
- Union – requires similar field headings – makes your table longer
Blue in the Data Preparation Tab
- Unique – select the first unique record according to groupings and discard all duplicates through a separate output
- Select – some tools contain an embedded select, be aware of them
- Select records – choose a particular record or range to analyse
- Formula – provides the ability to manipulate the data and add fields
- Sort – organize fields ascending or descending, can be done from the results window
- Sample – choose a selection of the data to analyse
- Filter – removes irrelevant data to the conclusion, contains both basic and custom functions
- Data Cleansing – an easy way to remove trailing space and replace blanks or nulls
Orange in the Transform Tab
- Crosstab - turns rows into columns, moves some values into headers
- Transpose - turns columns into rows, moves headers into values
- Summarize - aggregates your values
- Count records - can be achieved using summarize, all it does it counts the records (aka rows) of data present
Green in Parse
- DateTime - allows you to turn dates from or to strings – contains many formats but fairly intuitive with a useful custom at the bottom for manual input
- Text to columns – break down columns by a delimiter (can also do it into rows)
Dark Blue in documentation
- Tool Container - can contain, move or hide aspects of the workflow, does act on the movement of data
- Comments - doesn’t affect the workflow, consider it a separate layer allowing more written cues for workflow design
I hope some of these resources and tips are helpful when you take your exam