Hi everyone, welcome to this week’s blog post on Alteryx. I hope you enjoyed my last post on how to build an interactive line chart in tableau. Time has just gone so fast. We have gone through our three weeks of intensive training at the data school already. However, I just feel like yesterday. The amount of knowledge and skills that we have been learning so far are massive. From knowing nothing about Alteryx, we are now able to build a massive workflow using a batch macro to pull data from different APIs. As the workflow includes too many steps of pre-processing the data. It is very difficult for the audiences to understand Unless we document our workflow. Hence, today I would like to share with you tips and tricks on how to organise your workflow in a way that your colleagues could access it and understand it easily.
There are a few tips that are very helpful in editing your workflow such as using containers, comment tools, and annotations in as many steps of the process as possible.
- Containers. This is the most essential step in organising your workflow. There are 2 ways that you can access the container tool. You could either highlight the desired then right-click and choose Add To New Container on the tool palette. Or you could navigate to the Documentation tool palette then dragging the Tool Container into the canvas then dragging your desired tools into the container. At this step, your logic comes in handy. As the tools that are grouped together should be related in one big process of your workflow. We should avoid putting everything in the container for the sake of it. Let’s just have a look at the photo below you will understand what I mean.
- Annotation. This tool is your best friend. You could access the annotation by navigating to the configuration window and clicking on the tag icon. On the annotation box just type in your step description or you could use a comment tool when the annotation is not enough. You want to limit the amount of words on the annotation because it will make your workflow look a bit messy. The comment tool is in the same palette as the Tool Container.
- Label your connection line. Always remember to put a label on your connection line. This could be done by clicking on the configuration window, under the name box just type in the text description. This tip is handy when you want to joinor union your data. Because it lets the audiences know where is the data coming from.
- Tool alignment. Another useful trick that I have learned from my coach at the Data School is using short-cut for tool alignment. You could align your tools either horizontally (Ctrl Shift -) or vertically (Ctrl Shift +). Aligning your tools helps the workflow look nicer and tidier. Tools should be placed not too closed and too far from each other. You should consider the distance based on the annotation of each tool. The best practice is not to let the annotations overlap each other.
It is so amazing how you could impress your colleagues with your high level of attention to detail by using small tips and tricks. I hope this week’s tutorial is useful to you. Drop me a comment if you have any questions. I will see you next week.