Sometimes, it seems that Excel is the most popular database format for our customers. My response has always been that Excel is not a database, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter – they have data there that they want to use in Alteryx. In reality I am sure other formats get used more, its just that I hear about Excel so often because there are so many issues.
Our support for Excel files is through a Microsoft driver. In the case of modern Excel (XLSX files) that support comes from the Access Database Engine. There are a bunch of issues with this; if you have a 32bit version of office installed, you can only have the 32bit driver which makes us have to jump through additional hoops if you have a 64 bit Alteryx. For various reasons, it is a hard one for us to install as part of Alteryx, so it is left to the user. This leaves these files unreadable on many machines.
Recently I got the following on our internal support email:
… The issue here is that when you bring the data of the spreadsheet into Alteryx, it rounds up the decimal points to fewer than from data that is showing in Excel. Where the spreadsheet shows 5 decimal points, Alteryx only brings in 4 decimal points. The user doesn’t need the entire decimal range, but at least wants to have the 5 decimals of data. …