# Data Types

Alteryx processes values differently based on data type. Alteryx supports string, numeric, date/time, and boolean data types and spatial objects.

The Select tool, or any tool that includes Select tool functionality, can be used to modify the type of data in a column. See Select Tool, Append Fields Tool, Join Tool, Join Multiple Tool, Find Nearest Tool, Spatial Match Tool.

Update with Alteryx 11.0

With Alteryx 11.0, the conversion of doubles and floats to strings and fixed decimals yields slightly different results compared to previous versions:

- When converting to a fixed decimal with excessive digits of precision, the conversion accounts for all requested digits and no longer uses noise zeros. (For example, 3.14159265358979123456789 versus 3.14159265358979000000000).
- When numbers are converted to an exponential format, Alteryx uses a zero-padded, two-digit exponent (1.23e-03) instead of a zero-padded, three-digit exponent (1.23e-003).
- When rounding to a fixed decimal, Alteryx accurately rounds to the nearest number based on the internal representation of the number. (For example, if 74.876925000 is internally represented as 74.8769249999999999955, converting to a string with five significant digits results in 74.87692, not 74.87693.)

A string represents alphanumeric data and can include letters, numbers, spaces, or other types of characters. A string can also be thought of as plain text. All the characters in a string are considered text even if the characters are digits.

While a string may contain text that looks like a number (for example, "123.4"), it must first be converted to a numeric data type (either with a Select Tool, or with the ToNumber Functions) to perform calculations.

Type | Description | Example |
---|---|---|

String | Fixed Length Latin-1 String. The length should be at least as large as the longest string you want contained in the field or values will be truncated. Limited to 8192 Latin-1 characters. | Any string whose length does not vary much from value to value, and only contains simple Latin-1 characters. |

WString | Wide String will accept any character (Unicode). Limited to 8192 characters. | Any string whose length does not vary much from value to value and contains any character. |

V_String | Variable Length. The length of the field will adjust to accommodate the entire string within the field. | Any string whose length varies from value to value, and only contains simple Latin-1 characters. |

V_WString | Variable Length Wide String. The length of the field will adjust to accommodate the entire string within the field and will accept any character. |
Any string whose length varies from value to value and contains any character. |

Since fixed length strings reserve space for the entire number of characters, and variable length strings use only the amount of storage needed, it is more efficient to store strings as variable length strings. Set a high limit for variable length strings to avoid truncating data.

There are several different numeric data types including integers, decimals, floats, and doubles. Numeric data types do not have adjustable lengths except for Fixed Decimal.

Type | Description | Example |
---|---|---|

Byte | A unit of data that is 8 binary digits (bits) long. A byte field is a positive whole number that falls within the range 0 thru 255, or 2^{8} |
0, 1, 2, 3....253, 254, 255 |

Int16 |
A numeric value without a decimal equal to 2 bytes, or -(2 |
–32,768 to 32,767 |

Int32 | A numeric value without a decimal equal to 4 bytes, or -(2^{31}) to (2^{31})-1 |
–2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647 |

Int64 | A numeric value without a decimal equal to 8 bytes, or -(2^{63}) to (2^{63})-1 |
–9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to 9,223,372,036,854,775,807 |

Fixed Decimal |
A numeric value with a decimal. The length (precision) of a fixed decimal is equal to the width of the integer (left side of decimal) plus the decimal point plus the width of the scale (right side of decimal). If a number is negative, the negative sign is also included in the length. Alteryx defaults a Fixed Decimal to 19.6. The maximum precision is 50, inclusive of the decimal point and negative sign (if applicable). A Fixed Decimal is the only numeric data type with an adjustable length. |
A value of 1234.567 with a length of 7.2 results in 1234.57 A value of 1234.567 with a length of 7.3 results in a field conversion error and Null output, as the value does not fit within the specified precision. A value of 1234.567 with a length of 6.1 results in 1234.6 A value of 1234.567 with a length of 8.3 results in 1234.567 A value of -1234.567 with a length of 8.3 results in a field conversion error and Null output, as the value does not fit within the specified precision. A value of 1234.567 with a length of 11.6 results in 1234.567000 |

Float |
A standard single precision floating point value. It uses 4 bytes, and can represent values from +/- 3.4 x 10 A float uses a decimal that can be placed in any position and is mainly used to save memory in large arrays of floating point numbers. |
+/- 3.4 x 10^{-38} to 3.4 x 10^{38} with 7 digits precision |

Double | A standard double precision floating point value. It uses 8 bytes, and can represent values from +/- 1.7 x 10^{-308} to 1.7 x 10^{308} with 15 digits precision.A double uses a decimal that can be placed in any position. A double uses twice as many bits as a float and is generally used as the default data type for decimal values. |
+/- 1.7 x 10^{-308} to 1.7 x 10^{308} with 15 digits precision |

Type | Description | Example |
---|---|---|

Date | A 10 character String in "yyyy-mm-dd" format | December 2, 2005 = 2005-12-02 |

Time | A 8 character String in "hh:mm:ss" format |
2:47 and 53 seconds a.m. = 02:47:53 2:47 and 53 seconds p.m. = 14:47:53 |

DateTime | A 19 character String in "yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm:ss" format | 2005-12-02 14:47:53 |

Type | Description | Example |
---|---|---|

Bool | An expression with only two possible values: True or False |
The words 'True' and 'False' display in the results where 'False' = 0 and 'True' = non-zero. |

Type | Description | Example |
---|---|---|

SpatialObj | The spatial object associated with a data record. There can be multiple spatial object fields contained within a table. | A spatial object can consist of a point, line, polyline, or polygon. |