In the world of data analytics, every bit of information counts. Sometimes, the information we need isn’t readily available in a spreadsheet or database – it’s tucked away in a URL or requires selective processing. Enter Alteryx, a powerful data analytics tool that enables users to perform complicated tasks with relative ease. In this blog post, I will explore two such features of Alteryx – URL Extraction and the Detour tool.

The first tool, URL Extraction, allows us to dissect a URL and pull out critical data. Each component of a URL is a potential goldmine of information. Consider a URL like, which I got from here. This URL serves a unique function – it generates a password that may include numbers, characters, and capital letters. To extract this information using Alteryx, we can utilize the Download and Regex tools, and channel the output into separate columns. This method enables us to translate a single data point – the URL – into actionable insights.

However, merely extracting information isn’t our ultimate goal. We always strive to make our data more valuable and applicable. So, how can we leverage this knowledge to create an amazing app like this one?

So, without further ado, let me introduce a user-focused tool in Alteryx – the Detour tool. The Detour tool is a little more abstract in concept but equally powerful. It allows users to control the flow of data in a workflow dynamically. Let’s imagine you’re building a workflow that processes sales data. Most of the time, you’re interested in processing data from all regions, but sometimes you only want data from a specific region. Rather than creating two separate workflows, you can use the Detour tool to ‘switch’ the flow of data as needed.

The Detour tool has two input anchors and two output anchors. When you set the Detour tool to the first position, the data enters through input anchor 1 and exits through output anchor 1. When you set it to the second position, the data goes through input anchor 2 and output anchor 2. This switching is controlled through the Detour tool’s configuration window. You can also automate the switch using the Detour End tool and a condition based on a macro or other factors.

In this case, I’ve designed four choices for users, addressing the length of the password and the inclusion of numbers, characters, and capitals. I’ve incorporated three Detour tools, each corresponding to one of these three checkboxes. If users choose to enable an option, the data flow diverts to the right output, appending specific parameters to the end of the base URL. However, if users opt not to enable these options, the workflow continues from the left output, leaving the base URL unmodified.

Finally, after integrating these two steps, we’ve constructed this Alteryx application. The strength of Alteryx is not just defined by its array of tools, but also by the innovative strategies we employ to reveal insightful data. Therefore, don’t hesitate to experiment with these features and embark on a journey of discovery in your data analytics path, unlocking new and exciting possibilities along the way.



Flory Hou
Author: Flory Hou