Book Image

Learning Alteryx

By : Renato Baruti
Book Image

Learning Alteryx

By: Renato Baruti

Overview of this book

Alteryx, as a leading data blending and advanced data analytics platform, has taken self-service data analytics to the next level. Companies worldwide often find themselves struggling to prepare and blend massive datasets that are time-consuming for analysts. Alteryx solves these problems with a repeatable workflow designed to quickly clean, prepare, blend, and join your data in a seamless manner. This book will set you on a self-service data analytics journey that will help you create efficient workflows using Alteryx, without any coding involved. It will empower you and your organization to take well-informed decisions with the help of deeper business insights from the data.Starting with the fundamentals of using Alteryx such as data preparation and blending, you will delve into the more advanced concepts such as performing predictive analytics. You will also learn how to use Alteryx’s features to share the insights gained with the relevant decision makers. To ensure consistency, we will be using data from the Healthcare domain throughout this book. The knowledge you gain from this book will guide you to solve real-life problems related to Business Intelligence confidently. Whether you are a novice with Alteryx or an experienced data analyst keen to explore Alteryx’s self-service analytics features, this book will be the perfect companion for you.
Table of Contents (17 chapters)
Title Page
Credits
About the Author
About the Reviewer
www.PacktPub.com
Customer Feedback
Preface

Preface

Alteryx is a platform that allows analysts to prepare, blend, and analyze all their data using workflows. Different business groups involved in marketing, sales, and healthcare find it difficult to quickly study and analyze data. Alteryx solves this problem using the different tools it has to offer for gathering, cleaning, and joining data.

A leading data blending and analytics platform, Alteryx needs no coding and provides a very user-friendly environment, with the names of the tools that are used given names that are relevant to the function they carry out, making it easier for users to exploit the different functions Alteryx has to offer.

Apart from being user friendly, it's the efficiency of this platform that makes it one of the leading business intelligence platforms in the world at the moment. What makes Alteryx attractive as a data intelligence platform? Well, this platform will help you to derive insights from data, which means a huge volume of data and also how to share these derived insights without any coding.

What this book covers

Chapter 1, Getting Started with Alteryx, introduces us to Alteryx as a platform and also shows how to download and install the Alteryx Designer. It looks inside the Alteryx Designer architecture and helps us understand how the Alteryx Engine drives data processing in a repeatable workflow.

Chapter 2, Workflow Optimization, focuses on workflow optimization concepts and gives us information about best practices for the application of runtime selections and to speed up execution. Workflow design is vital to ensure that the workflow runs efficiently, allowing for optimum processing. 

Chapter 3Data Preparation and Blending, explains the processes of data preparation, blending, and joining, which are the most powerful capabilities of Alteryx. Data analysts have found themselves struggling to get the best results from their data using Microsoft Excel or other tools. You'll be sent on a journey to discover self-service analytics and build a quick and reliable dataset for business decision making. 

Chapter 4, Writing Fast and Accurate Expressions, introduces various tools in Alteryx that allow a broad variety of calculations. You will utilize multiple expressions to create new data columns, update existing columns, and reference data to qualifying rows. You will move through more rigorous expressions to maximize the potential of the Formula, Multi-Field Formula, and Multi-Row Formula tools. The goal is to gain a solid foundation in the different types of formulas to write with these tools.

Chapter 5, Transforming Data, helps us to arrange and transpose data in Alteryx that can be developed to ensure the dataset best fits the needs of how the output data should be analyzed. You’ll learn the pivot orientations of the Transpose and Cross tab tools, and how they help guide the pathway to a visual representation of your data. Once your data has been aligned to meet the business needs, you will dive into summarizing your data to perform various numeric, and string actions.

Chapter 6, Data Parsing Techniques, explains the Parse tool palette, which offers parsing options that will save you time by having the tools do it all for you. The Text to Columns tool allows you to split text from one field to multiple columns or rows. Not to forget, the numerous times a file comes in with a string-formatted field and it should be a date-formatted field. This issue is solved by utilizing the DateTime tool. 

Chapter 7Creating Data-Driven Custom Reports, helps us understand the suites of reporting tools used to create high quality data-driven reports and deliver them into customers. These tools have been designed with the Alteryx design paradigm in mind creating snippets in each of the tools. You will create a report from start to finish, with the best design output, which will help organizations to make informed business decisions. Whether it’s developing a data table or visual representation, the reporting tools suite will help you produce presentation-quality reports.

Chapter 8, Using Macros in Workflows, explains that a macro workflow has the flexibility to run as a single tool within another workflow. There are various macro types, which are built by using Interface Tools with the Interface Designer. Batch macros are designed to run repeatedly in the context of a workflow. The ability to run a single tool through every record, and loop the records back through the workflow until a condition is met, can be accomplished by creating an Iterative Macro. 

Chapter 9, Sharing Your Insights, explains how to publish, schedule, and share workflows through Alteryx Server and Alteryx Public Gallery. Alteryx Server empowers teams to collaborate on data-driven decisions quickly and easily through a scalable platform. You’ll identify how data can be deployed through effective and secure collaboration across teams. Alteryx Public Gallery is an analytics cloud platform that delivers a consumer-based analytics experience. Organizations look to cloud business intelligence to deliver faster deployment.

Chapter 10, Best Practices, takes a look at the data necessary to make critical business decisions, which is best consumed by streamlined workflows. You will learn best practice solutions on building efficient workflows, reviewing data exploration techniques, and handling data sources. These best practice guidelines, along with tips and tricks will save you valuable time in the business decision making process.

What you need for this book

The technical specifications are key to ensuring that the system requirements are met before installation. Alteryx Analytics 11.0, which is what we will install for this book and the future versions, is only available for 64-bit machines with a Windows operating system of 7 or later.

The following chart illustrates the minimum system requirements:

Machine requirements

Operating system requirements

Chip

Processor

Ram

Disk size

64-bit

Microsoft Windows 7 or later

Quad core i7

2.5 GHz

8 GB RAM

500 GB - 1 TB

Who this book is for

This book is for aspiring data professionals who want to learn to implement self-service analytics from scratch, without any coding. Those who have some experience with Alteryx and want to gain more proficiency will also find this book to be useful. A basic understanding of data science concepts is all you need to get started with this book.

Conventions

In this book, you will find a number of text styles that distinguish between different kinds of information. Here are some examples of these styles and an explanation of their meaning.

Code words in text, database table names, folder names, filenames, file extensions, pathnames, dummy URLs, user input, and Twitter handles are shown as follows: "The next lines of code read the link and assign it to the open function."

A block of code is set as follows:

IF Contains([DataValueUnit],'%') &&
 !IsNull([DataValue]) THEN [DataValue] + '%'
 ELSE [DataValue]
 ENDIF

New terms and important words are shown in bold.

Words that you see on the screen, for example, in menus or dialog boxes, appear in the text like this: "In order to download new modules, we will go to Files | Settings | Project Name | Project Interpreter."

Note

Warnings or important notes appear like this.

Note

Tips and tricks appear like this.

Reader feedback

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Downloading the color images of this book

We also provide you with a PDF file that has color images of the screenshots/diagrams used in this book. The color images will help you better understand the changes in the output. You can download this file from https://www.packtpub.com/sites/default/files/downloads/LearningAlteryx_ColorImages.pdf.

Errata

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Questions

If you have a problem with any aspect of this book, you can contact us at [email protected], and we will do our best to address the problem.