Keeping it Clean and Tidy in Alteryx

Learning workflows in Alteryx can be a challenge. However, something that can help with that learning process, and beyond, is keeping things neat and tidy. The following text describes some methods that are utilised to keep workflows (and their associated file storage) structured.

Containers & Comments

Let’s say you have a workflow. Within this workflow, you should have certain segments designed for a specific task. In this case, it was to clean and create new column names, and utilise a pivot. By putting all these tools into a container, it becomes clear to the user what this section is meant to do. Containers can be made when you highlight the desired tools, right clicking, and creating a container.

Alteryx Comments and Containers

Not only that, but you can also add comments to these sections by dragging on a comment tool from the tool bar. These comments can further help you describe the purpose of your workflows.

Alteryx Containers and Comments

Distributing Evenly

If there’s a bunch of icons clumped together with no space between them, and you have another icon connected to that group very far away, not only does it look visually unappealing to you and your potential client, but it also makes working with your workflow within that clutter a little bit difficult. So to avoid this issue, consider distributing your icons evenly. You can do this by selecting the icons you wish to distribute, right-clicking, and selecting one of the distribute evenly options.

Alteryx: Distribute Evenly

Naming files correctly

Let’s say you create a really important workflow. One that you’ll definitely be using at a later date. If that workflow file is saved as ‘workflow_abhf…’ and saved to some random folder on your pc that has no significance, it’s going to be a hassle to locate. So it’s important that you name the file something significant and relevant to the workflow, and also place that file in a folder that is also significant.

Revising workflows to see if you can reduce redundancy

The final tip I have is to revise your workflows. This way you can attempt to remove any redundancy. For example, if you have two select tools one after another, you could combine the function of these tools into one select tool. This way, there will be less tools in your workflow, potentially becoming much easier to interpret.

Alteryx: Removing Redundancy

Benefits of a neat and tidy workflow

To summarise, here are some of the benefits of keeping your workflows in alteryx neat and tidy.

  • Containers can help split your workflow into subsets with specific functions. This can help clarify to a user (potentially yourself at a later date) what the workflow is doing.
  • Distributing tools evenly can keep the workflow visually appealing and easier to read, again helping the user.
  • Naming files correctly allows for easy access to the created workflow at a later time, with no hassle being caused in trying to locate the file.
  • And finally, revising workflows allows you to remove redundancy and make it more efficient. Making your workflow simpler and easier to understand.