In this blog post, I am going to highlight an overlooked tool in Alteryx which can help make formatting multiple columns a little bit easier.

This tool is the Arrange tool.

It has the ability to take data from multiple columns and combine them into one column. Interested? Read on.

Alteryx Challenge #83 presents an excellent use case of the Arrange tool. In the data you will find there are 12 columns based on 3 categories: Beer, Pop Tart and Score. Each of the categories had an iteration attached to it.  See below image for clarification.

Own Pairing 1, Own pairing 2 etc.

 

The task was to join all the data into their respective fields without worrying about the iteration number. So all the Beer columns would appear in a single column, the Pop-Tart columns into one as well, etc.

This is where the Arrange tool comes in and it can save us from all that transposing, cross-tabbing and cleaning of the data. You can find it in the Transform tab.

Using the tool we can pick the columns (“Key Fields”) we want to keep and add a new column….

 

… And then manually choose which of the columns to group into the newly added column.

We do it for the other categories and it will begin to look like this

The end result is an output that is easier to work with than what we were previously provided!

Of course, further cleaning will be required after combining the data, but it makes the job a little bit easier.

Try out the Challenge #83.

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Thank you for reading and have a great day!

The Data School
Author: The Data School