Data Types

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Last modified: October 29, 2019

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

The Select tool, or any tool that includes select functionality, can be used to modify the type of data in a column. See Select ToolAppend Fields ToolJoin ToolJoin Multiple ToolFind Nearest ToolSpatial Match Tool.

String Data

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 processed as 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.

It is more efficient to store strings as variable-length strings. This is because fixed-length strings reserve space for the specified number of characters; and variable-length strings use only the amount of storage needed for the data in that cell. Set a high limit for variable-length strings to avoid truncating data.

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.

Numeric Data

There are several different numeric data types including integers, decimals, floats, and doubles. With the exception of Fixed Decimal, numeric data types are not adjustable in length. 

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 28 0, 1, 2, 3....253, 254, 255
Int16

A numeric value without a decimal equal to 2 bytes, or -(215) to (215)-1

–32,768 to 32,767
Int32 A numeric value without a decimal equal to 4 bytes, or -(231) to (231)-1 –2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647
Int64 A numeric value without a decimal equal to 8 bytes, or -(263) to (263)-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 10-38 to 3.4 x 1038 with 7 digits of precision.

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 1038 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 10308 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 10308 with 15 digits 

Date/Time Data

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

Boolean Data

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.

Spatial Objects

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.
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