Viva la Revolution Analytics

Last Friday was a very busy day for several of us at Alteryx in the wake of the announcement that Microsoft and Revolution Analytics had agreed to have Microsoft acquire Revolution Analytics. In this post I won't go into the Alteryx angle of this story, other than to say we think this is a net positive. Instead, I wanted to provide a few words of appreciation for what Revolution Analytics has done for both R based technology and for their non-technology contributions to the R community since its creation (as REvolution Computing) in 2007.

The Date Aggregator Macro

Time series data is used in many of the industries we work with here at Alteryx. In some cases, we start with data that’s been measured by day and find that it’s a little too granular. The obvious solution here is to start rolling up the daily data into larger groups and experimenting with different aggregation levels, but this can quickly become difficult and/or tedious depending on the kind of aggregation you’re trying to do.

The Cleanse Macro

People say you can spend upwards of 60% of your time “preparing” your data rather than analyzing it. Alteryx Designer has great, user-friendly tools to try to cut into that estimate, but the tools are purposefully generic so that they can be applied to as many situations as possible. If you find yourself applying the same sequence of tools over and over to get your data clean, perhaps a macro is in order.

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.

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