Accessing compressed data on the web inside Alteryx

The following post was written by Joseph Lombardi, an intern working with the Alteryx Advanced Analytics team.

OverviewAs with any real-world data source, nothing is perfect. Things can be dynamic, unsorted, or even encrypted, so it is useful to have the tools and skills to work around these issues. Alteryx comes in handy, as it gives its users the customization and data modification tools to make this problem-solving go a lot quicker.

There are three main topics covered:

 Automating the download of multiple filesUnzipping compressed dataFormatting the data to be read correctly into Alteryx

The real world example used to address these can be found here: http://thedataweb.rm.census.gov/ftp/cps_ftp.html

Solutions Center Theater at Inspire 2014

The Alteryx Inspire Conference is upon us (June 16-18). There has certainly been a lot of excitement around this event and for good reason. Sure it will be in San Diego, but it really doesn't matter where it is. There is so much to love about Alteryx and here are 3 full days to discover new ways to use Alteryx and other things you may have never even thought of using Alteryx for.  I am looking forward to meeting new users and catching up with our veteran advocates, to reminisce about how far we’ve come, discuss where we are going, and what we can be doing better. This will be my 10th Inspire and if you’ve been paying attention, as I have been, Alteryx Associates are generously rewarded for a decade of service – so there is that too…

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.

Since I don’t have the commenter’s data, I made a set of CSV files for each US State with the 2000 & 2010 Census population for each county.  For each file I want to read it in and then calculate the % growth in a new field and write it back out.

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.

Tableau Mapping Using Alteryx

Back in July Alteryx released Alteryx for Visual Analytics; a version of Alteryx Desktop specifically tailored to deliver data natively to Tableau Software.  Since then I have begun to explore what Tableau is all about and in my opinion the two products are a beautiful pairing:  Alteryx allows you to do all of the preparation, heavy lifting, cleaning, blending and reformatting of your source data; and Tableau provides you with beautiful interactive visualizations and dashboards of that data.

Reverse Geocoding Experiment

A few months ago I wrote about an experiment using TomTom’s Geocoder API.  Well, after a bit of time and a few requests, we decided to conduct a new experiment and try building out a reverse geocoder, only this time it would be specifically built for the desktop (no API involved).  What makes this so special?  In order to correctly perform a reverse geocode, a few key elements are needed.

Alteryx: A Reusable NVD3 Macro

As I am drawing to a close in exploring interactive charting in Alteryx, I wanted to create a macro for the people who say “Can’t I just have it now?”   One of the great things about Alteryx is the macro system and the fact that you kind of can have it now.  Once again, I am wrapping the NVD3 library as a starting point.  The macro has 4 different chart types exposed:  Line, Bar, Area and Scatter Plots.  I produced samples for the 1st three.  NVD3 supports lots more types of charts, but most of the rest take more specific user input or only work for a limited number of dimensions.

Alteryx: Processing Groups of Records in a Macro

I have been working on a blog post that is going to integrate a variety of different aspects of Alteryx together to paint a larger story. As I have been building towards it, I have run into a variety of challenges that have grown into blog posts in their own right. It started with Weighted Medians and continued on with Downloading from TIGER. Today I ran into a very common problem – I needed to process records in groups. The solution I outline is extensible to any macro; it should be a useful technique for any data artisan.

Pages

See Alteryx in Action

Watch a demo, try out Alteryx in our Analytics Gallery, or download a free trial