Browse tool icon

Browse Tool

Last modified: September 09, 2021

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One Tool Example

Browse has a One Tool Example. Visit Sample Workflows to learn how to access this and many other examples directly in Alteryx Designer.

Use Browse to view data from a connected tool. You can see data Profile information for a single column of data, or for multiple columns at once in a single holistic view. You can view information on data type, number of records, and data quality.

Tool Components


The Browse tool has 1 anchor.

Input anchor: Use the input anchor to connect to the data that you want to display via the Browse tool.

Configure the Tool

  1. Drag a Browse tool onto the canvas.
  2. Connect the Browse tool to the output anchor of the tool that contains the data that you want to view in detail.

 Enable Data Profiling

By default, data profiling is disabled. To enable data profiling features, check Data Profiling in the Results window.

View Data Profile

After you run your workflow, all columns of data display in the Results window with a container for each column of data. 

After enabling data profiling, each container displays summary information, including the column name and a data quality bar. The column's data type is indicated by an icon to the left of the column name. A data profile chart or a list of the column's top values is displayed depending on the column's data type. 

Data Quality Bar

Each column displays a data quality bar under the column name. When you hover over the data quality bar with the cursor, percentages with the following descriptors are shown:

  • Ok: The percentage of values in the column with no identified quality issues, for example, leading or trailing whitespace.
  • Null: The percentage of values in the column that are null, excluding empty values.
  • Not Ok: The percentage of values in the column with identified quality issues like leading or trailing whitespaces, or embedded newlines.
  • Empty: For string data types, the number and percentage of values in the column that contain strings with no values. If you convert the string to a different data type, empties are converted to nulls.
Data Profile Chart

Depending on the data type you choose, a data profile chart is shown under the data quality bar. The type of chart shown is also based on the type of data you select:

Data Type Chart Description

A pie chart of true, false, and null counts and percentages.


A distribution chart that shows counts and percentages for grouped values of a numeric field. A data range is displayed under the chart.

Date, Time, Date-Time

A histogram chart that is configured according to these rules:

  • If all values lie within a 24-hour range, an hour-based chart is shown.
  • If all values lie within a 7-day range, a day-based chart is shown.
  • If all values lie within a 12-week range, a week-based chart is shown.
  • If all values lie within a 12-month range, a month-based chart is shown.
  • If all values lie within a 12-quarter range, a quarter-based chart is shown.
  • Otherwise, a year-based chart is shown.

Only One Value

For columns that contain only one distinct value across all rows, the "Only one value" message displays.

All Values Are Unique

For columns where each value is unique, the "All values are unique" message displays.

No Profiling Available

If the column's data type is not compatible with data profiling, the "No profiling available" message displays.

Configure the View

To configure the view of the Results window, select the menu next to the column name. 

Column Position and Width

For each column, there are 4 options for Column Position and Width:

  • Pin to Beginning pins the selected column to the left most side of the columns.
  • Pin to End pins the selected column to the right most side of the columns.
  • Don't Pin is the default column position.
  • Autosize Column Width expands the width of the column so that the results are less compressed.

Rename allows you to change the name of the column. 

Change Data Type

Change Data Type allows you to change the data type of a column. Data types that can't be selected are grayed out.

You can also change the data type by selecting the data type icon next to the column name. See Data Types for a list of data types.


All columns from the input data are shown by default. Use Remove to remove columns from the Results window.


Select Filter to access filter options for the data profiling Results window. These filters only apply to the Results window. If you want to filter your dataset for downstream processing, use the Filter tool.

You can filter based on 4 operators:

  • = (Equals) allows you to select all data points equal to that value. 
  • != (Not Equal To) selects all data points, except for those with the value selected.
  • Is Null selects data points in the column that are null, excluding empty values.
  • Is Not Null selects data points in the column that are not null.

Data Profiling Limit

Data Profiling in the Browse tool is capped at 300 MB. This allows you to process very large datasets faster. For each record in the incoming dataset, we process the record and add the record size to a counter. Once the counter reaches 300 MB, we stop processing records.

It is important to note that there is no specific number of records that we can process. This depends on the dataset since a record size can range from 1 byte to a few thousand bytes. This record size is different from the file size, displayed in the Results grid and Data Profiling Holistic View. The file size is generally different since it has been compressed to optimize spacing.

In other words, 300 MB of record size is not the same as 300 MB of file size.

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