Tips & Tricks Series: June 2024

Jun 3 / Data Prep U (Jose Arevalo)
Welcome back to our Alteryx Tips & Tricks Series, where each month, we explore untapped aspects of the Alteryx platform and dive into three intermediate-to-advanced tips & tricks that can elevate your Alteryx skills and help you tackle common data challenges! 🚀
Fixing Strange Workflow Errors by Disabling the AMP Engine

Sometimes, workflows in Alteryx may encounter errors that are hard to diagnose due to the complexity of the data or operations. Disabling the AMP engine can help troubleshoot these issues by changing how data is processed, potentially isolating the problem. Common problems when the AMP engine is enabled include issues with reading or writing CSV files, as the engine handles file operations differently, which can cause unexpected behaviors especially when processing multiple files simultaneously. Additionally, using the 'Block Until Done' tools can lead to errors because the AMP engine might override their blocking functionality, resulting in operations being executed out of sequence and compromising data integrity.

How Does It Work?

To disable the AMP engine in Alteryx, navigate to the workflow configuration and select the "Runtime" tab. Here, uncheck the option "Use AMP Engine" to switch back to the original engine. Disabling the AMP engine might slow down the runtime of your workflow and could lead to errors if you are using tools specifically designed to operate with the AMP engine. However, this change does not affect the overall structure of your workflow. You can easily toggle the AMP engine back on if needed to suit different processing requirements or to revert to the enhanced performance and parallel processing capabilities of the AMP engine.

Customize Your Data with Unique Characters & Symbols


Inserting special or unique characters into a text field can be crucial for formatting data or preparing it for further processing. In Alteryx, you can use the CharFromInt function to convert Unicode Decimal codes into their corresponding characters, enabling the insertion of characters that are not readily available on the keyboard. This function is particularly useful for including special symbols in data outputs for Excel or other reporting tools, enhancing the readability and aesthetic appeal of your reports.


How Does It Work:


When you need to insert a specific character, such as the outlined star (⭙), which has a Unicode Decimal Code of 11097, here’s how you could set up a formula in Alteryx to append this character to a text field:

[Text Field] + CharFromInt(11097)


This formula would add the outlined star character at the end of the contents in Field1. This kind of custom formatting is especially valuable in reporting, where visual distinctions help in quickly drawing attention to key data points or categories.

Replace Data Cleansing Tools with Muti-Field Formulas

The Multi-Field Formula tool in Alteryx allows you to apply a single formula to multiple fields simultaneously, which can streamline the data cleansing process significantly, making it more efficient than using multiple individual Data Cleansing tools. One key advantage of this tool is its ability to handle unknown fields—fields that may not be consistently present in every data set.

How This Works:


Configure the Multi-Field Formula tool to select all fields that require similar cleansing actions, such as trimming spaces or replacing null values. A notable feature is the option to include "Unknown Fields" when selecting fields to apply a formula to. This is particularly useful when working with datasets that vary in structure.

For example, to trim spaces from several fields at once, set up a formula like:

TRIM([_CurrentField_])


This formula will trim leading and trailing whitespace from all selected fields, including unknown fields if that option is selected. This makes your workflow more resilient and adaptable to different data sets.
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Don't miss our next monthly post for more tips and tricks! 🚀