Inspiring Ingenuity

Alteryx, Bicycles and Teaching Kids Programming.


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Alteryx: Skip Last N Records

Sorry for the lack of posts the last few weeks – I have been busy few weeks heads down working on a futures project (code named LockIn.)  I went as far as turning off email and IM to get some real focus.  It was very productive –  I haven’t produced that much code in a while.

Anyway, this week I have a very quick post answering a question from the Alteryx forums.  The questions asks:  How do I skip the last N records from a data stream.  Skipping the 1st N is very easy, just use the sample tool, but it doesn’t have a mode to skip the last N. Continue reading


Alteryx: Wildcard Inputs

Wow, what a conference that was last week!  I loved meeting all kinds of amazing customers in the Solutions Center and getting all kinds of product feedback, as well as being able to help people solve their problems.  In particular, if you haven’t seen it, check out Adam’s Blog Macro Pack.  He took a bunch of macros from this blog as well his and Chris Love’s and packaged them up with a cool installer so they show up in your tool palate.

imageMuch of the feedback is already under consideration by product management and some of it has already been put on the development teams backlogs for Alteryx 9.1.  There was one request in specific though that is actually much easier to implement as a macro then it would be as a native tool.  The customer asks:

While I know that the input tool will accept a wildcard, it fails if the schemas are different.  How do a read a set of files using a wildcard when the schemas don’t exactly match?

Continue reading


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Alteryx: Regular Expression Tokenize

Before I start, let me say that I am looking forward to seeing lots of my readers next week at Inspire.  You will most often find me in the Solutions Center.  Please don’t hesitate to come ask questions, give suggestions or just chat.  I love the opportunity to teach & learn.

Recently I got a question on our internal support board:  How do I parse a file that is Ctrl-A delimited?  Normally for reading delimited files you just read the file as a CSV and set the delimiter in the input settings and you are done.  The problem with Ctrl-A is that it is a special (unprintable) character and it is not possible to set in the GUI.  The normal backup for parsing issues like this – the Text To Columns tool – has the same limitation. Continue reading


Alteryx: 9.0, 9.1 & Beyond

When the Alteryx 9.0 release got near crunch time, I got busy and obviously stopped posting here.  Once you get out of the habit, you forget to start back up.  Anyway, the time has come to start up again.

I hope that I am going to see many of you in just over a week at Inspire.  Inspire is many things to different people, but to me it is a chance to connect to our customers.  I will be found in the Solutions Center for as much time as I can possible manage.  I love talking to customers, helping your with issues, listening to product ideas, and just generally understanding how you work.  Please do not hesitate to ask me anything – in the solution center, at meals, or any other time you see me.

Inspire really is an amazing opportunity for clients, prospects and us in development to connect.  Many times what we learn there talking to people can shape the road map for months or even years to come.  So if you are on the fence, it really is worth it, I promise.  Again, I hope to see you there.
Continue reading


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Alteryx: Simple Batch Macros

This comment asks how to create a simple batch macro in Alteryx.  Batch macros can seem very intimidating, but they are really quite easy to build once you understand how they work.

The 1st thing to understand is that you will be building 2 modules, not 1.  The batch macro itself is designed to process a single item, however you define item, and the module outside sends in a list of items.  In the case of this specific question, he would like to read a list of files, do some simple processing on them and then write them back out. Continue reading


4 Comments

Alteryx: Amazon S3 & the Gallery

AmazonS3DownloadA variety of questions have come up from Alteryx users that all have the same answer:

  • The Alteryx Gallery will only allow me to upload about 100MB of data, how do I upload more?
  • I need to change my data daily/hourly/monthly for my Gallery module, how do I do that without re-uploading my entire app every time?
  • How do I persist data from run to run in a Gallery module?
  • How do I share data in Alteryx Desktop with coworkers/clients/partners without sending huge files around?

The answer to all of these questions is to use the Amazon S3 tools. What is S3?  Amazon says it is:

Amazon S3 is storage for the Internet. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers.

Amazon S3 provides a simple web-services interface that can be used to store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web. Continue reading


Alteryx: It Takes a Village

I get a lot of the credit for Alteryx – the product. Having been the original author and still the lead architect that makes sense, but there are a whole host of people who deserve the credit as much or more than I do. Some of the people are the fantastic programmers you have met every year at Inspire, like Linda or Rob among many others who have contributed hugely. Others are the team of product managers, like the original Alteryx product manager: Tara. More recently there has been an influx of new energy from people like George, Dan, Geoff, Ben and many others helping to take the product to the next level. Obviously my co-founders Libby & Dean have had at least as much impact on the product as I have as well. There are just so many people who have made such a huge impact on the product and the users of it that it would be impossible to name them all. Continue reading

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