Getting Started
Introduction Data Input Designer Interface
Data Preparation
Selecting Data Data Type Conversion Cleaning Data Exercises
Filters & Joins
Documentation Filters Join Types Inner Join Outer Joins
Formulas & Aggregations
Formulas Aggregating Data
Sort & Output
Sorting Data Output Data
Other Tutorials & Content
Learn Python Python Data Science Reference Blog

Selecting Data

At any point during an Alteryx workflow we can select which fields (columns) to keep and which to discard. We do this by adding a Select Tool (shown below) from the Preparation tab on the tool pallet.

Alteryx Select Tool

Removing fields as soon as you no longer need them is a good habit to get into for two reasons:

  1. It keeps your workflow organisd by removing any fields you do not require and therefore makes it easier to work with the remaining workflow
  2. It makes your workflow run quicker as any processing done downstream has to be carried out on fewer fields. This can be significant once you start building large workflows that process big data sets.

Step 1:

Let’s add a Select tool between our input and browse tool in our sales_report workflow that we created in the First Workflow section

Add Select Tool

Step 2:

Selecting the tool once in the workflow (as with all other tools) will display the configuration window. As you can see in this case we have nine fields and next to each one is a ticked box indicating the field is selected and will pass through to the rest of the workflow. Along with this you can also see the field name, type and data size.

You can also see a Rename parameter. Entering text into this cell will change the field name if required. To deselect any of the fields simply un-tick the box next to the field name and it will not pass through to the remaining workflow.

Alteryx Select Configuration

Step 3:

For our sales_report workflow we can see that there are four fields labelled Field_6 to Field_9 that look like they contain no useful data so let’s discard those. Deselect these fields so that they will not pass through to the remainder of the workflow and run the workflow (Ctrl-R).

Alteryx Deselect Fields

Step 4:

Once the workflow has finished running, select the browse tool and you should now only see five fields in the results window.

Alteryx Deselect Fields

Now let’s move on to see how we can convert the data types of the fields we have selected.