Alteryx: Input multiple tabs

Back on the series of Alteryx tips you can use at work!

This past week I attended my first Alteryx User Group organised by Paul Houghton and Joe Lipski. The evening was great fun and I recommend it to any one who’s learning Alteryx. James Dunkerley did a great talk on the SDK of Alteryx and how you can push Alteryx to the limit if you are that way inclined. To be fair a lot of it was beyond my understanding at this stage, but now I know who to ask if I ever need to create custom functions in Alteryx.

The second half of the evening was devoted to a hands-on session with some challenges and here’s a quick tip I learned on the night:

ProblemWe have a an excel workbook where the data for each year is separated per tabs, but we want a quick and simple way of bring all tabs in one go without having to add 10 input tabs and then having to union them all. Surely there’s a better way of doing this right? Yes, two ways in fact.

Bring all tabs I

One way of doing this will be to bring in a text input and add the tab names, one per row.

Next we add a dynamic text input that reads in the text input file and scans through each of the rows to change the tab being queried.

You can check the data was imported correctly by using the new feature on Alteryx 11 which shows a bar chart with the distribution in each column.

Bring all tabs II

As often happens in tech, first you find a solution which is akin to brute force and subsequently you try and finesse it. That was the tip from the Alteryx User Group.

What if you didn’t have to type all the tab names in the first place? That would be better wouldn’t it?

The way to do that is to read the file in that connects to the Excel workbook, instead of selecting 1 sheet, click on “list all sheets” and that is now your text input. Add a dynamic input next just as you did on the example before and you should be able to see all the data coming through.

Add a dynamic input next just as you did on the example before but make sure you change the filed name and you should be able to see all the data coming through.

Thank you Joe for sharing this with everyone at the Alteryx User Group, a really good and handy tip which should make it a lot easier to bring data from separate tabs, but also it works if the excel workbook has need tabs added to it.

Thank you for reading, until next time


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