Alteryx Tools

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  • Last Updated January 08, 2019

Data works as crude oil for all the organizations, which is filtered out according to different needs and can be used accordingly. However, analysts waste most of their time in the preparation of data for Analytics. Here, Alteryx plays the role of a Game Changer, and enables you to intuitively and quickly source/blend data, cleanse it, and enrich it with spatial and predictive insight. Alteryx mainly works as a workflow designer and allows users to collect, analyze and showcase data from almost every source including database connections, flat files, salesforce, APIs, etc.

Alteryx offers you a variety of tools to blend and filter your received data according to the requirements. Alteryx has been made by combining several components along with various tools to make the user experience better than ever. Under this article, we are going to study all the components and tools of Alteryx, by which you can understand it more deeply and technically. Let us take a look at different parts of Alteryx mentioned in the below-given points.

Alteryx Designer

The Alteryx Designer works for empowering all the data analysts by combining data blending, analytics and data preparation under the same intuitive UI. With the help of this highly advanced platform, you will be able to perform all the desired operations on your data without any trouble. Moreover, it also offers a facility to share your results. 

[Related Article: Alteryx Designer 11.5 Release]

Alteryx Server

‘Analytics at Scale’, this is the tagline Alteryx Server works with. Alteryx server includes macros and APIs, by which you can integrate different Alteryx processes into rest of the external and internal applications. In simple words, we can say that it helps you in making informed and fruitful data-driven decisions.

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Alteryx Connect

Alteryx Connect can be termed as a collaborative data exploration platform, as it allows you to make a catalog of your data assets along with the results of prior analytics efforts. With the help of it, you can dodge the same information collected by other organizations or a similar analysis. It lets you spend extra time searching for information rather than the analytics part.

The Alteryx Gallery is basically a self-hosted or cloud-based application, which is used for executing, publishing, and sharing workflows. You can easily sign-up here to share your macros, workflows, and applications either publically or with desired users. Moreover, you can also host your own server infrastructure with the help of its Private Gallery.

What are the components in Alteryx framework?

Alteryx is undeniably one of the finest data analysis platforms available across the entire globe. The UI of Alteryx is referred to as the Graphical User Interface (GUI), which is basically made up of 6 components. Now, let us have a look at these components to get a detailed description of every one of them in.

Tool Palette

Tool Palette in Alteryx

Tool Palette is the place where you can find all the tools along with their names and images to recognize them. Tools are further organized into tool categories under Tool Palette, and you can simply see all the categories further in this article. Moving forward, you can simply select any tool and drag it to the workflow canvas to use it. Apart from this, you can also use any tool by right-clicking on the workflow canvas and select insert. In simple words, we can say that Tool Palette is the place where you can get all the tools available in Alteryx.

Overview Window

Overview Window of Alteryx

As its name represents, the Overview Window offers a scaled-down image representation of the entire project. Sometimes, a project can get very complex and needs multiple pages and the overview window simply allows you to get a simplified view. The clear box in it showcases the workflow canvas, whereas the grey shaded area showcases the work outside it. Hence, in simple words, we can say that this component can help you in getting a complete work overview of the entire project at a single screen.

Workflow Window

The area where entire work is done or workflow is built is known as the Workflow Window in Alteryx. An Alteryx Workflow is sort of a workspace file, where different operations can be performed. You are also allowed to share your workflow with your colleagues either via email or via a shared drive. During your work, you will also experience that editing an existing workflow and swapping out its inputs and outputs is way easier than creating a new workflow. 

Properties Window

The properties section in Alteryx dynamically adapts to selections in the workflow. In simple words, we can say that it provides you options relevant to the workflow or any tool brought in it. You can easily make changes in the workflow window or any tool with the help of the properties window.

[Related Article: Alteryx Server and Gallery 11.5]

Output Window

As its name represents, Output Window shows the output of your workflow as well as logs the status of the entire analysis. With the help of it, you can get all the information related to the project like when it began, when it got finished, and what process or tool the engine is working on. Apart from this, you can click on any text or tool in the output window and it will automatically get selected in the workflow.

Interface Designer

The interface designer in Alteryx provides you with a facility to customize the macro or application interface. You can perform a variety of tasks with the help of it such as reordering interface actions and questions, testing values, including content, and adding cosmetic elements. In simple words, we can say that the Interface Designer will help you in creating your self-designed User Interface of Alteryx.

Checkout Alteryx Tutorials

What are Alteryx tools?

With the reference of time, new data types have been introduced that are more complex and require many additional tools to analyze it. Covering up the entire situation, Alteryx has a great number of advanced tools that can cleanse, blend, and analyze modern data types along with the traditional ones without any hustle. Let us take a look at these following tool categories available in Alteryx that can improvise your experience with data.

Alteryx tools Description
In/out Tool To execute all the input and output operations in a workflow, these in/out tools are used. There are a total of 9 in/out tools available including Input Data, Output Data, etc. Browse tool among them offers a temporary view of the data.
Preparation Tool The Preparation category tools, as its name helps in preparing data for downstream analysis. There are 14 preparation tools available in Alteryx including sample, select, sort, Filter, etc.
Join Tool Join Tools are used for combining two or more streams of data. There are a total number of 7 Join Tools available in the Alteryx including fuzzy match, join multiple, make group and union, etc.
Parse Tool The Parse Tools in Alteryx helps in separating data values in a standard table schema, by which they can be used at other places. It contains a total of 4 tools including date time, regular expression, xml parse tool, and text to columns.
Transform Tool The tools that help in summarizing data in Alteryx comes under Transform Tool category. There are 7 tools under this category including Transpose, Summarize, Count Records, etc.
Reporting Tool The tools which aid in data organizations and presentation in Alteryx comes under this category. There are a total number of 12 tolls available in it including charting, email, layout etc.
Documentation Tool The Documentation Tools in Alteryx help in improvising tool organization, workflow presentation, and annotation. The tools included in this category are explorer box, text comment, and tool container.
Social Media Tool Social Media Tools in Alteryx help in performing operations on the data extracted by leading social media platforms. There are a total of 4 tools available in this category including the datasift connector, foursquare search, gnip search, and Twitter search.
Spatial Tool The spatial category in Alteryx provides an array of spatial object editing, data manipulation, and processing tools. There are 14 tools under this category including buffer, distance, generalize, make the grid, etc.
Interface Tool These tools are basically used to author macros and applications. Interface category tools make it easy to update workflow tools and design UI elements based on the user specifications. There are a total of 17 tools available in this category which include action, file browse, macro input, etc.
Data Investigation Tool As its name represents, the tools which are used to investigate data come under Data Investigation Tool category. A total number of 14 tools come under it including association analysis, frequency table, plot, etc.
Predictive Tool Predictive Category Tools are basically macros, which use the R Tool. To make these tools function in a proper way, you must have installed R along with packages used by it in your system. There are a total number of 22 tools available in this category including AB analysis, AB controls, AB treatment, etc.
Time Series Tool This category in Alteryx contains tools to perform different operations on time series models. A total of 7 tools indulge in this category including TS Arima, TS compare, TS forecast, etc.
Predictive Grouping Tool Predictive Grouping category tools in Alteryx help in making groups and cluster of desired data, so that, appropriate operations can be performed on it. There are a total of 5 tools under this category including append cluster, find nearest neighbors, principal components, etc.
Connectors Tool Tools under this category are basically used to push or retrieve data to the intranet/internet or cloud infrastructure. A total number of 13 tools come under this category including google analytics, hdfs input, hdfs output, etc.
In-Database Tool This category in Alteryx includes tools for connecting to any database as well as for viewing and blending specific data. Furthermore, it also contains tools for writing directly to a database and bringing other data types into an In-Database workflow. There are a total number of 12 tools available in this category including connect in-db, filter in-db, formula in-db etc.
Address Tool Tools under this category are US data-specific and requires a special license to be executed. These tools help in standardizing email lists and geocode to the 9-digit zip code level. It contains a total number of 5 tools including parse address tool, US Geocoder, street geocode etc.  
Demographic Analysis Tool You will need a license for an installed Allocate dataset to access these tools, as these will offer you an ability to extract data by utilizing the Allocate engine in Alteryx. There are a total number of 4 Demographic Analysis Tools available in Alteryx including allocate input, allocate append data, allocate report etc.
Behaviour Analysis Tool The tools under Behaviour Analysis help in extracting data by utilizing the Solocast Engine in Alteryx. There are a total number of 10 tools available under this category including behavior meta info, compare behavior, cluster code etc.
Calgary Tool  It is basically a list count data retrieval engine, which is designed to perform large-scale analysis of different databases containing numerous records. It contains a total number of 5 tools including Calgary loader, Calgary input, Calgary join etc.
Developer Tool The tools in this category allows you to create macro and analytic applications. Moreover, it also helps in running external programs under Alteryx. There are a total number of 18 tools available in this category including API output, Blob input, Blob convert etc.
Laboratory Tool This category in Alteryx contains newly built tools, which have been tested for stability. You are also allowed to give your feedback while using these tools. Currently, there are 2 tools available in this category including JSON Build and Make Columns.
Unknown Tool The unknown tool can also be termed as ‘Generic’ Tool and is not available in the toolbox, as you will not use it in normal cases. You will be able to see the Generic Tool automatically at the workflow when Alteryx will try to find a Macro.

Is Alteryx an ETL tool?

Now, this is quite an interesting question, and firstly we need to know what does ETL means. The full form of ETL is Extract, Transform and Load, and in computing, it is a basic process of copying data from one or more sources into a destination system that represents the data. Alteryx satisfies all the needs of ETL technology, so, Yes, Alteryx is not an ETL tool.

Alteryx has all the things an ETL tool needs like restart, recovery, logging, auditing and dependency management, etc. So we have now cleared a very popular question which will not make you confused from now onwards.

What makes the Alteryx platform different?

Alteryx works with a different approach towards analytics. Its platform and services are entirely focused on developing fresh data partnerships between analytics team, IT and same kind of businesses. Whether you are a data scientist or an analyst, you will be able to solve all the complex analytic business problems with less effort and time by using Alteryx. This will allow you to make great business changing outcomes for your organization. Rest of the tools and components have already been showcased above.

Checkout Alteryx Interview Questions

Is Alteryx a data visualization tool?

Of course Yes, Alteryx is a data visualization tool and it supercharges the data in your data visualization. With the help of Alteryx, analysts can source and blend data, enrich it with spatial or predictive insight, or cleanse it in a very quick way. Alteryx gives you the power to supercharge Microsoft Power BI, Tableau, or other data visualization tools. Let us have a look at some of the capabilities assigned with it in the following points mentioned below:

Play with data: You can perform faster data blending and create smarter visualization with the help of Alteryx.

Data preparation: You can experience a plug and play data preparation experience with the help of its Analytic Templates and support for Tableau, Power BI, etc.

[Related Article: Alteryx vs Tableau]

Lights out data preparation: It is blessed with in-built automation and scheduling capabilities to schedule and run analytic workflow when required.

Scale-out: You can easily scale out your workflow with the help of Alteryx. In simple words, you can shift from loading your visual analytics tools to loading a warehouse or data mart directly.


In a single line, we can conclude that Alteryx is a fine ETL platform that makes your data analytics very easy with the help of its varied tools and components.

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