Troubleshooting and FAQ

Last modified: September 09, 2021

Docs are available before the release of Designer Cloud so you can get a sneak peek. This content might change between now and the official release.

Find answers to frequently asked questions and browse troubleshooting tips for common issues in Designer Cloud.

What's the difference between the Transpose tool and the Cross Tab tool?

The Transpose and Cross Tab tools are alike in that they both transform the orientation of your data, but are opposite in their behavior.

The Transpose tool pivots horizontal data to a vertical axis. The CrossTab performs the reverse, pivoting vertical data to the horizontal axis, by summarizing the data on a grouping field.

Visit the Transpose tool and Cross Tab tool pages for more information.

How do I rename a column?

The best place to rename a column is through the Select tool.

There are a number of tools that have an embedded select within the tool. Therefore you can rename a column there as well. Tools that contain an embedded select are the Join tool, Join Multiple tool, and Append Fields tool.

How can I change a column type?

Use the Formula tool to change a column's type. This tool provides you with more control for custom conversion.

You can also use the Select tool or any of the tools that have an embedded select in the tool, including the Join tool, Join Multiple tool, and Append Fields tool.

My workflow takes a long time to run—how can I speed up the processing time?

The best way to speed up processing time is to use the Select tool to remove columns you are not using as early as possible in the data stream.

What is the Dynamic/Unknown column showing up in the Select tool?

The Dynamic/Unknown column shows up and is checked by default in the configuration properties of the Select tool (as well as other tools.)

The purpose of this column is to allow new columns to come in, in cases where your input file might change. It gives you the ability to determine where new columns go in the file by moving the column's position.

How do I save an expression?

You can save expressions so that you can use them over and over again without having to create them from scratch. To save your expression...

  1. Create your expression. Use the expression editor to select variables and insert them into functions.
  2. Once you're happy with your expression, select Save and specify a name for the expression. Your expression is now saved for future use.
How do I remove quotation marks around the text columns in my file when it is output to CSV format?

By default, Designer Cloud adds quotes in these situations:

  • An empty field value is replaced with "". This is so Designer Cloud can differentiate it from a NULL.
  • A field value that contains leading or trailing whitespace becomes quoted. Whitespace outside of quotes in a CSV file gets ignored by most software.
  • The field contains delimiters.
  • The field contains single or double-quotes.

There are 3 options for quoting in a CSV file from the Output Data tool. Choose Never to never add quotes to output fields.

I use a simple filter:[Value] > 2, but I'm getting values equal to 2 in my TRUE stream—is this a bug?

Check the data type of the column you are filtering on. Most likely this column is a double. This is not a bug, it is how computers store numbers. The value of 2 stored as a double with 16 decimal places of precision is actually somewhere between 1.9999999999999999 and 2.0000000000000019.

To demonstrate this, use a Formula tool to create a new column and set the column type to string 20 length. Use this Conversion function to convert the value to a string:

TOSTRING([Value], 16)

To get around this...

  • You can convert the column to an integer or fixed decimal if you intend to compare the values of columns.
  • Use the CompareDigits or CompareEpsilon test functions to compare values of columns.

For more information about Floating Point numbers, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floating_point.

I use the Join tool, and it displays many columns as "Missing"—how do I make them go away?

Each time the Join tool is configured it remembers the columns that were there in each configuration. If the columns are not currently there, they are still remembered by the tool and appear as "Missing". Select Remove or uncheck the columns individually to remove the missing columns.

Any tool with an embedded Select tool has this same functionality: Append Fields tool, Join tool, and Join Multiple tool.

When I bring in an Excel file as my input, Designer Cloud gives me the choice to duplicate sheet names, one with a $ and one without—what's the difference?

The difference is that a table with a  references a worksheet contained in the Excel file, whereas a table without a $ references a range of cells to import. In most cases, the range incorporates all cells so there is no difference when bringing in the file.

As a best practice, the recommendation is to bring in tables with a $ in order to ensure you are referencing the entire worksheet because if rows are added and or incorporated in the range, you will miss some rows.

For more information, visit this page:

http://www.infocaptor.com/dashboard/excel-cell-ranges-using-sql-named-unnamed-odbc-jdbc

What are conversion errors and how do I fix them?

Conversion errors are reported when Alteryx can't convert data from one column type to another.

Conversion errors appear in orange text:

● ProcessNodeDbfInput10: Enrollment: is not a valid number.

This Conversion Error is reported because the column type for "Enrollment" is a number, yet there are strings within the column. The string values are inconsistent and should be fixed. The values can be cleaned via a Formula tool or filtered out with a Filter tool.

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