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An extensive guide to Alteryx Workflow

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by Anjaneyulu Naini
Last modified: August 6th 2021

Alteryx Workflow is a self-service data analytics platform that enables customers to create data analytics solutions from the comfort of their homes. It has the capability of being utilized as an Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) tool. Users will be able to discover, prepare, and evaluate data in a single location. They can even implement analytics and share them with their colleagues. By tracking data back to its source and classifying, it enables more visibility into data for governance. Alteryx simplifies the process of connecting to data from a variety of sources and processing it without the need to write any code. It also gives data scientists with powerful modeling capabilities that are code-based. 

Alteryx Workflow enables the creation of repeated processes to automate the completion of manual operations. Our goal in this article is to provide a thorough explanation of the Alteryx processes. You can learn everything you need to know about creating efficient processes through this blog. By the end of this piece, you will also have learned some useful tips and tactics that will assist you in creating more pleasant workflows.

In this blog, we'll explore:

 What is an Alteryx workflow?

Alteryx Workflow is constructed to accomplish a variety of tasks. A workflow is something that you create by dragging and dropping items onto the workflow canvas in Alteryx Designer's workflow editor. It is saved in the Alteryx file format, which is the industry standard. yxmd. It features a number of tools that each performs a particular purpose in the data processing process. A workflow can only be created by going to the "File" menu and selecting "New Workflow" from the drop-down menu that appears. A fresh workflow canvas appears on the screen. It has a large number of tools available in the tool palette. 

The only things you have to do are drag and drop the tools you require into the workspace canvas. Instead, you can right-click the process, which will bring up a selection of tools from which you can choose which ones to include. You have the ability to customize the workflow and tool parameters. Whether working vertically or horizontally, the links between the tools in a workflow are in a downstream direction.

Related Article: Alteryx Tutorial

How to build Alteryx Workflows?

An Alteryx Workflow is made up of a collection of tools that are linked together and execute distinct roles in order to process data. When creating a process, you will be adding and connecting tools. You are also in charge of configuring the tools and workflow parameters. To create a new workflow, choose File > New Workflow from the menu bar.

Workflow connections proceed in a downstream direction, either vertically or horizontally, depending on the workflow layout that you select in the workflow designer. The window for configuring the system

Workflow Configuration 

In the workflow configuration, you can make individual changes to a workflow without having to change the workflow as a whole. It is possible to utilize the workflow configuration to modify workflows that are provided by SAP and that you are unable to modify yourself. Requirements can be made in the selected input fields during the workflow configuration process, and these specifications are given priority in the assessment process throughout the workflow execution.

For example, you can customize the selection of the responsible agents or the recipients of the messages to ensure that all stages are completed. A defined deadline monitoring system can also be customized to fit your specific requirements.

Take note that in the SAP system, the workflow setup is exclusive to the client. In addition, it is possible to move a workflow definition from one client to another client; however, only the most recent active version of the workflow definition is transported. The WF definition is replaced if an identical version number exists on the target system and no workflows are currently operating; otherwise, the WF definition is stored with the free version number.

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Workflow Management

In the context of Alteryx Workflow management, it is the identification; organization, and coordination of a specific set of tasks that are intended to produce a specific outcome. Workers in workflow management are concerned with increasing production by optimizing, enhancing, and automating processes whenever possible in order to reduce errors and boost output.

An Alteryx Workflow can consist of any number of steps and can involve a combination of humans, systems, and equipment, depending on the situation. Workers in the workflow management field are constantly looking for ways to reduce bottlenecks and improve visibility into the flow of information.

Workflow Dependencies

While examining the Workflow Dependencies pane, tools are categorized as per the origin and destination route, and also data elements (for example, macros) that were utilized during the configuration of the workspace. Paths can be edited individually or as a group, and they can be set to be relative or absolute.

When a workflow is open, go to Options > Advanced Options > Workflow Dependencies to bring up the Workflow Dependencies window.

Views

Workflow Dependencies displays a table containing all of the inputs, outputs, and data that are involved in a given workflow. In this case, the table can be viewed in two different ways:

  • Individual Tools: This option displays the configuration of each tool that is dependent on a data file by default.

  • Group by Dependency: Displays tools in groups based on the fact that they all rely on the same thing.

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Edit Dependencies 

Select Edit from the drop-down menu next to the dependency.

Examine the specifics of the dependencies.

  • Directory: Demonstrates the entire contents of the interdependence as provisioned in the workflow.

  • Table/Query: Displays the name of the table or query that was specified for the dependency in question.

  • Test Error: This function displays any errors that were associated with the data.

Select or deselect the tools to which you want to apply edits based on your preferences. The list displays all of the tools that are affected by the dependency.

To edit paths, click on one of the buttons.
Modifications to Paths are available.

Click OK

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Workflow Optimization

Alteryx Workflow optimization is defined as the process of optimizing existing workflows through a mix of cost reduction, increased efficiency, and workflow automation, among other things. In most cases, the procedure begins with the completion of workflow analysis. In many cases, firms that fail to enhance their workflows make the error of automating procedures that are already inefficient. As important as automation is in your workflow optimization approach, it should not be viewed as a solution and should only be implemented after careful evaluation.

Those firms that have had progress with workflow optimization have tended to follow a core set of best practices in their implementation. Following these principles will significantly improve organizational efficiency, allowing you to acquire a major competitive advantage over your competition.

Schedule workflows

Schedule workflows, apps, or items to run on a regular basis at a specific frequency, date, and time that you choose. The following workflows can be scheduled to execute in different places, depending on the configuration of your company:

  • Alteryx Server: Change the schedule to your company's Private Gallery or to a controller using the.

  • Using Designer in conjunction with Desktop Automation (Scheduler): Create a schedule on your PC.

Schedule a process by selecting the Add Workflow to Schedule icon at the top of the canvas, or by selecting Options -> Schedule Workflow from the drop-down menu on the workflow canvas. To schedule an application or workflow package, select Options > View Schedules from the menu bar.

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What are Alteryx Workflow Groups?

Workflow Groups are essentially a collection of workflows that you would want to have open at the same time for convenience. You can store three individual workflows that you have created for a project together as a workflow group, which means that when you start working, you will only have one file to open: the group of three workflows. Its sole purpose is to help you organize the workflows that you deal with in Designer. This is a feature that I personally do not utilize.

What are Alteryx workflow constants?

Defining the constants for a workflow on the Workflow tab of the Document Management Configuration window’s global variable. Changing a value in one place and having that value change apply to the rest of the workflow is made feasible using constants.

Tips and Tricks to make your Alteryx Workflow look nicer

When you program in a programming language, you must adhere to certain coding standards in order for the code to be aesthetically pleasing and easily accessible. In a similar vein, you can tidy up your workflow so that it is both visually appealing and easily intelligible when you share it with your colleagues. Here are some suggestions that may be useful in making your workflow more attractive.

  • Containers can be used to arrange workflow tools. Separate boxes of logic can be configured independently of one another. Each container should have a brief description.

  • The annotation tool allows you to create bespoke descriptions of what is happening inside a tool by writing on the tool itself.

  • If you want to assign the tools in your workflow horizontally (Ctrl-Shift -), you can do so using the Ctrl-Shift - key combination.

  • Connect the tools that are less important to you without using a visible wire.

  • If you have a large number of inputs to a tool, group them together rather than scattering them throughout your canvas.

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Conclusion 

Alteryx workflows provide the most often used data preparation methods, which are embedded within the workflows. It also has built-in functions for combining datasets, which is particularly useful. A variety of options are available for undertaking predictive analysis. You may even write mathematical calculations directly into your workflow with relative ease if you choose. It is 

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NameAnjaneyulu Naini
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Anjaneyulu Naini is working as a Content contributor for Mindmajix. He has a great understanding of today’s technology and statistical analysis environment, which includes key aspects such as analysis of variance and software,. He is well aware of various technologies such as Python, Artificial Intelligence, Oracle, Business Intelligence, Altrex etc, Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.