Web Scraping with Alteryx, Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, I talked about the development of a web scraping module that would download historical stock data using a Python script and then host it in a cloud database using Quandl's "Quandl Toolbelt" application. Once I got this version of the module up and running, I realized that there were two big areas for improvement:

The Macro District is Live!

We are very excited to be able to announce the launch of the Macro District in the Alteryx Analytics Gallery! 

Additions and Improvements in the Alteryx 9.1 Predictive Tools

The process of expanding the capabilities and improving the performance of Alteryx's predictive analytics tools continues with Alteryx's 9.1 release. Specifically, we have added new tools for data investigation, predictive modeling, and time series analysis, and have made improvements and added new features to a number of existing tools as well, including the AB testing tools. Below, these additions, improvements, and enhancements are described in more detail.

Web Scraping with Alteryx, Part 1

Talking about Alteryx with anyone who has ever dealt with data for a living tends to begin the same way each time. Almost invariably, the conversation starts with a discussion of Alteryx’s ability to manipulate data into all sorts of usable forms, whether it’s a back-end ETL process, a multi-table join, connecting to a database, or just simply reading in multiple (and disparate) file types. While there’s no doubt that Alteryx enables its users to do all sorts of other interesting and useful things, its ability to do the heavy-lifting when it comes to the data is what always seems to grab people first, and for good reason.

The Fuzzy Unique Macro

Is Fuzzy Matching a mystery to you? You're not alone. Do you wish it were easier? Of course--who doesn't like things to be easier? Let's learn why and how we use this powerful methodology, and meet a new friend that makes it easier than ever: the Fuzzy Unique Macro!

First, in case your parents never shared this one with you, here's the cliffnotes on the story of the dawn of Fuzzy Matching, born in the advanced analytics group at the rapidly-growing Super Positron Inert Thrusters (SPIT), Inc. of West Han Plains, Kashyyyk.

Fishing: Tracing the Decline of a Summertime Leisure Activity

Summertime, and the livin’ is easy. Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high.

The quote above are the opening lyrics to the aria “Summertime” composed by George Gershwin with lyrics by DuBose Heyward from the opera Porgy and Bess. While it is the waning days of summer, and hopefully the living is easy, a declining percentage of Americans are taking up a rod and reel to take advantage of the jumping fish. To illustrate this point, Figure 1 shows that the number of fishing licenses issued and paid for across the 50 states per 100 people over the period from 2000 to 2013 has generally been in a slow, steady decline. The only exceptions to this are the presidential election years of 2004 and 2012 (what triggers this apparent increase in fishing interest in presidential election years is not known, but it is interesting to speculate about).

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.

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