The X-Ray Browse: Macro Debugging Made Easier

If you’re one of those people who develops all your macros flawlessly the first time, congratulations: you don’t need the X-Ray Browse Macro. (And we’d love to get your resume.) This macro is designed for the rest of us: humans.

The X-Ray Browse Macro is an Alteryx macro debugging tool, and if you develop a lot of macros, it will undoubtedly save you time, and perhaps even your sanity: after we circulated a beta version of the X-Ray, one of our Content Engineers--deep into development of an extremely complex macro--reported: “I was at my wit’s end with this thing and then remembered the X-ray macro, dropped a few in, and immediately had my answer. So glad this thing exists :)”

What does it do?

Advanced Join Macro

Have you ever noticed that you can't do a left join or a right join in the traditional sense in a single step with Alteryx? Normally to accomplish this you'd add a union tool after the join like so:

 

Alteryx: Percentile Macro

There was a recent question on the Alteryx forum: How to use the percentile in summarize.  The question misunderstands the percentile function in the summarize and is looking for something slightly different, although with similar math.  So what does the percentile in the Summarize tool do?  From the help:

Percentile: Calculates the specified percentile value for the group. The percentile is calculated by sorting the data and returning the row value relative to the specified percentile and its position in the sorted array – the largest value is the 100th percentile, lowest value is the 0 percentile, median is the 50th percentile, the 25th percentile is the value in the middle of the median and minimum, etc.

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

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