What Tools in Alteryx can do Spatial Analysis that aren’t in the default Spatial Category?

I feel this blog will be more a test of my knowledge of Alteryx than anything else. The challenge is to name the tools in Alteryx that are capable of spatial analysis that are not part of the default category of spatial tools. The added caveat is I won’t be naming any tools that you need to purchase an additionally package, such as the Address Tools or Demographic Analysis tools.

Alteryx: Default Spatial Categories of Tools

Map Input

The first tool is the Map Input tool from the In/Out category which allows the user to digitise on a map creating points, lines or polygons from a reference map.

In/Out Category: Map Input Tool

Preparation Tools

The formula tool contains over 30 different functions just for spatial analysis and can essentially replace many of the default spatial tools. The formula tool in most cases is the Swiss army knife of any Alteryx workflow. The link provided gives more detail in regards to the functions in the formula tool link.

Preparation Category: Formula Tool

As the formula tools has spatial functionality the other variants of the formula tools, Multi-Field Formula and Multi-Row Formula also share some of those functions. The Multi-Row formula is quite a powerful tool for spatial analysis when you are calculating distance between points. The Alteryx weekly challenge #26 could be solved with two tools if you utilised the Multi-Row formula.

Alteryx: Weekly Challenge #26

Summarize Tool

The Summarize tool is capable of a number of spatial processes such as Combine, Create Intersection, Create Bounding Rectangle, Create Convex Hull and Create centroid. The following link provides more detail in regards to those functions link.

Transform Category: Summarize Tool

Reporting Tools

A number of the Reporting tools give the user the ability to create a static map such as the Report Map, Map Legend Builder and Map Legend Splitter. The Report Map tool is intended to be used with other spatial inputs from an Alteryx workflow hence why it’s able to accept multiple spatial inputs, allowing for these inputs to be layered in a thematic map.

Map (Interface)

This tool display an interactive map for the user to draw or select map objects in an app or macro. I’ve previously used this tool in an app where the user could input a point which was used downstream in the app, to do catchment analysis based on drivetime or straight-line distances. 

Interface Category: Map

Dynamic Input

The dynamic Input tool has a really great feature which is Spatial Filter which uses a polygon object in the incoming data, to determine if latitude and longitude are in the database contained within the object’s bounding rectangle. In my previous role we used this features in a catchment profiler application where the end user would select a point, then I would use this point to create a tradetime area to query against our demographic data to only bring the data to sufficiently do the analysis rather than attempting to bring in demographic data for the whole country which increased the run time of the application.

Developer Category: Dynamic Input Tool

R Tool and Python Tool

The last tools in this list is the R Tool and Python Tool which both have libraries of tools to work with Spatial Data. There are entire books dedicated to spatial analysis in these code languages showcasing what the capabilities are.  As both these tools enable a user to write code scripts you have nearly endless possibilities in term on analysis.

Developer Tools: R and Python Tool

Hope you find this blog helpful. Please leave a comment especially if I missed out a tool or reach out to me on Twitter @JosephSerpis or on the Alteryx Community and Linkedin.

One thought on “What Tools in Alteryx can do Spatial Analysis that aren’t in the default Spatial Category?

  1. […] First, we need some demand points and some supply points. The former is just small-area population counts (for example Output Areas or LSOAs from the census which are displayed as centroids). For the latter, we need to create some potential facilities, as we don’t actually have any locations in mind. We can do this with a 10km grid around the UK coastline, and then extract the centroids with the spatial info or formula tool). […]


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