Love is Sweet

So its valentines eve and everything is silent in the Unicorn house, no children are stirring not even a mouse! So I have decided to download Alteryx version 2019.1, which was released in time for valentines, and what a sweet gift it is too.

Installation was seamless, a few clicks and its all happening.

A few things you should know about me before I carry on:

  1. I love Disney, so yes my blog posts will feature hidden mickey’s! My fellow Disney nuts (you know who you are) will love this, so keep a lookout. πŸ™‚
  2. My tech is always sexy, because that is just who I am.
  3. I am a coder, so knowing how to code, nothing frustrates me more than a badly coded UI. (User Interface for my non techy friends reading this)
  4. First blog post, so I have a lot to learn!

What am I excited for in version 2019.1 of Alteryx?

  1. I haven’t yet installed since the new look and feel, so I am really looking forward to having the darker theme on my laptop. I love darker themes. Visual Studio is always dark so having Alteryx dark too, bonus.
  2. Excited to play with the Jupiter Notebooks πŸ™‚ I am hoping it will play into the blog in future posts.
  3. Not something I can test on my laptop at home, but I am excited to read about the PAC support, we have numerous firewalls at work, so hoping this would be really helpful. I know when they introduced User name and Password to the download tool, it moved mountains, so I hope this does too.
  4. How can I not be excited about multi-row caching? Alteryx literally changed my life again when they introduced caching at one point in the workflow, now I can use it in my larger workflows! AMAZING.

So update so far I started installing at 20:20 and it completed around 15 mins later. Let’s do this…

Alteryx 2019.1

So far the best part of the install, is without a second install, the python tool is available to use instantly. You can add your own libraries, notebooks and interactively play with it, within Alteryx itself. The applications are endless when you think you can put this into an analytical app, or on the server. For those of us who know and use R for predictive analysis, a further installation is required.

The tool palette

So one of the first thing I teach my users is how to turn on / off the tools they don’t need so that they don’t get overwhelmed. I am the opposite when it comes to unboxing a new version I love to turn them all on and see what is new and I came across this handy feature… (one I admit has been there a while but only now does it stand out so beautifully)

This is epic! A little drop down box, can make all the difference when its going to turn on / off a number of tools to make it easier for new users or experienced users to quickly get access to the tools they know and love. Today, I click all, because I would love to know what is new.

What did I find?

ODBC Loader!

Looks interesting I think I will need to explore this more at work where I have databases I can connect to and explain further. Will do a separate post! I’ll add the PAC testing to that post!

Python Tool

Nothing excites me more than a coding tool within Alteryx. I know Alteryx is all for the non-coders, however as a coder, who loves making it simple! What better way to achieve that having all your data sorted prior to Python and then using python funky libraries to complete the picture all end to end in ONE APPLICATION?

Honestly best addition to Alteryx since R! Thank you all for the hard work that has gone into this. I love how easy it is to add a cell and copy and paste some code in and hit run! Just LOVE it. I tested the Fibonacci sequence because its one of my favourite sequences and this was the result.

Fibonacci in Pyhon, opening Turtle Graphics πŸ™‚ Happy!

Visualytics

Further improvements have happened within the interactive charting tool. There is now a transformation section which will split the data into groups, using the columns in your data. One thing I have noticed doing this offline, means access to data is limited. So must scout Kaggle and save some cool datasets locally for nights like these. #PutitontheJobList

Interactive chart before Transforming
Interactive chart after Transforming

I have to admit, charting in Alteryx is not my favourite pastime, it just doesn’t make it easy. I am not sure that’s because other tools make it easier, such as Tableau and Excel, but its great to see that development is happening here. Keep it coming please!

Multirow caching!

Yes Yes Yes! Alteryx, thank you! This is exactly what we need especially when we are working through larger datasets and trying to accommodate for the various possible routes we need to do in order to solve the problem at hand. By far this is the best part of this release.

For giggles, I turned on the original tool icons and gave caching a go with an Alteryx example straight from their “Start here” menu. The examples are so neat that they run in less than 1 second. So clearly this is another one that needs testing with real data. Caching on or off. I know for sure when I upgrade we will use this all the time.

Yes you can select more than one tool and run it, using the shift button to select your tools and you will find the cache and run at the bottom of the right hand click menu. πŸ™‚

Overall


This sweet release will be well received by Alteryx lovers. The two main reasons why are Python with Jupiter Notebooks and Multirow caching. Can’t wait to unbox this version at work!

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