I’m excited to share what I’ve made. As the title suggests I’ve created an ordering and invoicing system, which is currently being used with my friend’s hobby business. The customer can use google forms to place an order, then in the backend, I’ve created an analytical app in Alteryx to pull in the orders and create invoices to print.

Some techniques used include app chaining from a Main Menu interface, in which you select the next app to run (not as straightforward as you’d think), and creating invoices in batches using the report tools. This will be the first in a blog series showing the system and how it works. But first here is what it looks like.

Google Forms contact details, and item pages

Invoice example

The Problem

My friend sent out an email to a community I’m part of, that she was offering to sell fruit and veggies direct from farmers to the group, and had an order form in a word document. I thought to myself, ‘Hey my skills in data analysis can be useful here. Why don’t I offer to process her orders into Alteryx?’. However, too many people were handwriting orders, and imagining the different ways someone could fill out a word document on a computer, it was starting to seem like a big hassle. So I looked online and found the solution in Google Forms. If everyone filled out an online form it’d be easier to get responses in the same format.

The other problem was that all the orders needed to be summed up so that my friend could go and purchase all the items. This was solved in Alteryx.

Using Google Forms

Google forms was so easy to use. You can make survey’s with many different response types e.g. multiple choice, short answer etc. It also has response validation, which means you can make someone write their order the way you want them to. e.g. They can only write quantities in numbers between 0 and 50, instead of people writing ‘half kilo’. They even have regex validation, however I didn’t require this, so haven’t really tried it. Another great feature is that when people submit the form you can auto-email them their responses, with a short message attached.

When it comes to using the data, you can download all the responses into a csv. However an even better way to use the data is to use the google sheets option. Its a feature where responses are automatically inputted into an online google sheet. This can then be interacted with directly in Alteryx so you don’t have to manually download anymore. The more automated the process is the better. The Google Sheets tools don’t come with Alteryx but you can download them from the community here.

Next time I’ll show the analytical app.



Frank Salmon
Author: Frank Salmon