Alteryx Designer: The right in- & output tools for every use case

Alteryx Designer: The right in- & output tools for every use case

In this blog article we will focus on specific in- and output tools available in Alteryx. Understand when and how every tool can be used and which problems you may encounter.

Input

Bring data into your workflow by selecting a file or connecting to a database (optionally, using a query).

When should I use this tool?

Use this tool to bring data into your workflow by reading from a file or connecting to a database. You can read many different formats in a fast and flexible way.

Tips & tricks

Use a wildcard to read simultaneously multiple files with similar field structure. Select or limit the rows that will be read.

Directory

Input a list of file names and attributes from a specified directory.

When should I use this tool?

This tool is the best option to read a file or file type in a specified directory or sub directory.

Tips & tricks

Use the directory tool to run a macro on all files contained in a directory. You can also use relative file paths.

Map

Manually draw or select map objects (points, lines, and polygons) to be stored in the workflow.

When should I use this tool?

Enter one or more locations of which you do not have the coordinates at hand.

Tips & tricks

Set a reference base map as a default. Load an Alteryx data file that contains spatial objects to use as a reference for drawing new points. It is possible to manually select only certain data points from a reference file based on their location on the map.

Text

Manually add data which will be stored in the workflow.

When should I use this tool?

Enter small sets of data that do not justify creating a file: parameter values, replacement text, …

Tips & tricks

The “Import” option allows for browsing an existing data file. You can then add columns or rows of data for manual data entry.

Date Time Now

Input the current date and time at module runtime, in a format of your choosing. This is, for example, useful for adding a date-time header to a report.

When should I use this tool?

This tool can be used anytime you need to add a specifically formatted time stamp to your data.

Tips & tricks

Use the "Append Fields Tool" to add the output date to every row of your data.

Output

Output the contents of a data stream to a file or database.

When should I use this tool?

Write to many file formats with flexible options.

Tips & tricks

You can write the data to multiple files in function of the value of a specific

Browse

Browse Alteryx

View data from a connected tool and view data profile information, reporting snippets, maps and behavior analysis information in the data.

When should I use this tool?

This tool provides you snippets of your data profile information, maps and reporting.

Tips & tricks

The browse tool requires temporary space and memory on your computer which may impact performance at run-time. When workflow development is complete, browse tools can be disabled to improve performance.

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