Overview

This is part 2 of a series of blogs on tools and tips around them. As part of a series of blogs on Alteryx, I shall focus on the lesser-used aspects of certain tools in Alteryx and the assumptions around them. I feel that quite often, we forget that these options exist and try complicated solutions when the tool provides simpler solutions upfront. I will focus on the Alteryx Output Tool. It is used to write the results of your workflow to any supported database or file format. Alteryx can also output directly to Tableau Server and Power BI.

Output Tool – Multiple Files

As we work on automating data tasks, we may need to provide output in separate files. This could be due to the fact that there are other systems that take these files as input or input data is categorized in a particular manner.  Alteryx provides simpler options to do this.

Option 1 – Limit the no. of records in each file

This option is useful when we might want to reduce the size of the files to be used. This could be achieved in the following way. For this example, we intend to generate files with only 3 records in each. The input files contain data in the following format. The workflow will process them, add a field called status with a value “Processed”.

The snapshot of the workflow for this simple example is shown below:

In the output file, select the file type, .xlsx and location of the output file. Also, set the name of the output file. I have selected the folder as below and set the name of the output file as “Customer Sales.xls|||Sheet1$”. You need to add “|||Sheet1$” at the end of the path so that Alteryx writes it to a sheet. The sheet name is “Sheet1”. This will help you avoid an error.

I have set the max records per file to be 3. Once the workflow is run, it generated multiple files as it places 3 records in each file.

A sample of the output file is shown below. This file has only 3 records. This is a good example of simplifying a task by creating smaller files.

Hope this post helped you understand a basic feature of the Alteryx Output Tool.