Alteryx Weekly Challenges - What, why and how?

by Tom Pilgrem

Alteryx Weekly Challenges – What, why and how?

Have you just started using Alteryx, seasoned pro or stuck in a rut and want to progress your skills? Alteryx weekly challenges may be just for you.

What are they?

Alteryx challenges are simply that – challenges. They get posted up weekly, at three different difficulty levels, by members of the Alteryx community. Somebody will post up an Alteryx packaged workflow with an input and output file. Your goal is to get the data from the input format to (you guess it!) the output format. These challenges can include data preparation, analysis, spatial and much more. Often they will have a real world focus that you can apply to your daily use of Alteryx. Which brings me to my next point.

Why do them?

Think of them as the Makeover Monday of the Alteryx world. They test your skills and expose you to tools that you may not know existed. Quite often I may not be able to complete the challenge from memory, but with a quick search or a sneak peak at someone else’s solution I will find a way. This means you’re learning skills and technique that you can then go and apply in your own work. There are beginner, intermediate and advanced levels of difficulty, so you’ll find an appropriate level for you. Don’t be scared about going for a harder challenge – that’s the point of them surely! Test yourself – maybe you can do it, and if not then you’ll learn so much along the way. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the Alteryx community as well. The great thing about the challenges is that everybody posts and shares their own solutions, so you can see how different people work around the same task.

How do I take part?

It’s simple. Head over to the Alteryx community site and click on weekly challenges. I’ll even give you a link here to save the searching. Just find one and go for it! Don’t forget to post your solution and keep track of what you’ve done.

Some tips

  • Don’t expect to get everything – use people’s solutions to help your own learning. This doesn’t mean copy – just look at the tools people have used to aid your thought process. Try to figure out the configuration of tools yourself. If you get really stuck then you can always look further.
  • Don’t worry about using the minimal number of steps. I quite often find people use the challenges as a shortest route possible challenge. This is fine for advanced users – but I don’t necessarily believe it is the best for learning. For me, I like to use more tools if anything. I find that by breaking down the workflow into more segments and compartmentalising into smaller steps then I better understand what is going on in the process.

That’s it, enjoy! Go, get stuck in and try one!

Any questions or feedback, please feel free to get in touch on twitter or linkedin.


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