Seriously, Regular Expression (Regex) almost made me want to quit Alteryx.

Imagine you are in a huge library and looking for a book, the first person you might think of is the librarian. To data analysts, regex is the librarian, and data is the book they are looking for.

 

But this librarian doesn’t speak English!!!

 

He/She (I haven’t figured out yet) speaks:

….[(\d{7})(.*)\s\((\d{4})\)\sCAT:(.*?)\sPUB:(.*?)\s\$(.*?)…

 

 

Apparently, this librarian doesn’t like chit-chat.

Apart from all the nonsense, Regex is somewhat a lovely person, because:

  1. The library never closes at 6pm, neither Regex
  2. You can meet Regex anywhere as long as you have a computer
  3. You never need to wait for his/her service

 

My Data School colleague clearly knows how to talk to Regex, and she showed me how with a book called ‘White Space’:

([A-Z].+?[a-z].+)([A-Z].)

OK, THIS IS MAGIC.

 

I also discovered that Alteryx thought about the communication problem and put a dictionary on the desk:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not sure if this is a good thing or not, but Regex is never in a rush.

Maybe this is something we should all learn from Regex. Patience, and never giving up on looking for a book.

 

Luke Yin
Author: Luke Yin

Before joining the Data School, Luke was a PhD researcher studying urban history of global cities at the University of Melbourne. Previously, Luke worked as an internal accountant for a Melbourne local winery. When conducting urban research, Luke discovered his passion for data visualisation and analysis through a number of university-based digital projects. Later, this became the reason for him to join the Data School. Luke wants to combine his expertise in research and business with data analysis to help solve real-world problems.