4. Q&A – Interface and Importing Data

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This lesson will review information regarding the Alteryx Interface and the process of importing data

Lesson Notes

Content reviewed in this lesson

  • Question 1: What are the different parts of the Alteryx Interface?
  • Question 2: How do you import data?
  • Question 3: How do you handle character heavy fields?


Alteryx is predominantly a drag-and-drop environment where you input your raw data and then combine different elements to manipulate this data into a resulting output.

This whole process is called a workflow. The interface itself is made up of seven key components, File, Menu and Toolbar, Tools palette, Canvas, Configuration Window, Results Window, Interface Designer and Overview Window.

To connect a dataset, simply go to the In/Out tab on the Tools palette and drag the Input Data tool onto the canvas. In the Configuration Window, there's an option to connect your data. Click the down arrow and then either navigate to the file or into the appropriate database to find the data you require.

Once you have the file you need, click Open.

Connecting a simple CSV, a comma-separated values file, is straightforward, however, if you're connecting to spreadsheet files, for example, Excel, you'll need to specify which sheet you require.

Field length is an important consideration as unstructured data can have fields of indeterminate length.

The default setting is for 254 characters.

At nearly two tweets in length, this may seem generous but if your data contains text-heavy fields, you may need to adjust this number.

This will make sure that all your text comes through and does not get truncated or chopped off.