Chat GPT is an incredibly powerful addition to the Alteryx Analytics Platform. It can help guide people through using advanced features such as Regular Expressions (RegEx), predictive analytics, and help automate many manual processes.
What is Chat GPT?
Chat GPT is a Natural Language Processing chat bot, that utilizes advanced AI and Machine Learning to answer questions similar to how a human would. It’s a transformative leap in technology. Chat GPT improves upon prior chat models by having contextual awareness of questions being asked and allowing people to ask follow-up questions.
The chat bot has been trained on massive datasets which include broad general knowledge along with special depth of understanding of computer programming languages like Python, SQL, Java, and working with API’s.
What is Alteryx?
Alteryx is one of the best data analytics platforms on the market today. It has an incredibly wide range of use cases ranging from business intelligence, and predictive modeling to enabling digital transformation. It utilizes drag and drop tools that are brought onto a canvas to create a workflow. Each tool is specifically configured and ranges from simple to complex.
Using Chat GPT to help With Regular Expressions
Regular Expressions or RegEx are an incredibly powerful method to parse data in Alteryx. Unfortunately, they can be somewhat painful to learn and the syntax can be challenging even for experienced Alteryx developers.
You can use Chat GPT to convert a string into a RegEx formula that can be copied and paste into the RegEx Tool. You will still need to add parenthesis when parsing and a basic understanding of the tool is useful, but Chat GPT will do the difficult part for you.
Let Chat GPT Suggest Which Tools to Use in Alteryx
New and experienced Alteryx users can have difficulty figuring out which of the many tools is the right one for the data prep or analytics task that you’re working on. If you can describe what you’re trying to accomplish with your data, Chat GPT can not only suggest which tools to use, but it can suggest how to configure them.
In the following example, we asked Chat GPT how to fill down numbers to replace nulls in Alteryx. It correctly comes back and recommends use of the Multi-Row Tool and goes on to show the exact formula that we would use, and how to set it up.
For additional information, you can feed Chat GPT with your specific field names, if you don’t want to update a generic formula, saving even more time, allowing you to copy and paste the answer into the Alteryx formula field.
Chat GPT for Writing Alteryx Formulas
When asking Chat GPT to generate a formula for you, it’s helpful to tell it that you want a formula. Because there are so many ways to create a process in Alteryx Designer it may not jump to using a formula tool as its first suggestion.
In this example, we use Chat GPT to suggest using a DateTimeParse formula. Date formulas can be tricky, but can save you a lot of time. A lot of conversions need to occur if you’re used to working in the Excel world as Alteryx will bring Excel dates in with a string data type.
Using Chat GPT to Troubleshoot Alteryx Connectors
Establishing connections to different sources can be a challenge with Alteryx. While it can ingest data on premises or from a cloud service, not all connectors are created equal. Chat GPT can guide you through troubleshooting connector issues. Sometimes the feedback is too high level to be useful, but you can copy and paste workflow runtime error messages into Chat GPT to gain more insightful information.
Chat GPT also includes a lot of technical reference information on setting up SQL connections on your computer through ODBC, and can even help troubleshoot Oracle or SAP connectors without resulting to paid 3rd party connector add-ons.
Extend Alteryx Capabilities with RPA Integrations
The primary use cases for the Alteryx platform are analysis and process automation. It has a wide array of connectors, but at times there are legacy systems that do not allow you to connect directly to them.
There are also instances where you want to take data from an Alteryx workflow and input it into a pdf file or a web form. Some of these activities are possible by embedding Python scripts into your workflow. The more robust solution is to augment Alteryx with an RPA solution such as UiPath or Power Automate.
Use Alteryx to Connect to the Chat GPT API
Alteryx is capable of connecting to API’s to get data and to send data. With OpenAI recently announcing the availability of an API, and with Microsoft Azure OpenAI API’s widely available, you could enable employees or business users with the ability to submit questions in bulk to Chat GPT.
Rather than give a detailed explanation of how to setup a Chat GPT API connection here, you can prompt Chat GPT to generate the scripts necessary, as well as explain which tools to use within your own workflows.
How to Auto-size Excel Columns After an Alteryx Workflow
Companies generate a large amount of Excel Spreadsheets, especially within accounting and finance departments. Alteryx helps people turn spreadsheet creation into repeatable processes, saving a lot of time and opportunities for error.
Anyone who has actually done this in Alteryx Designer will find that the Excel Spreadsheets being output from Alteryx are generated with a standard column width that does not adjust for the width of information in each column.
This ranges from a minor annoyance to a time consuming task, depending on the number of sheets in a workbook.
We used Chat GPT to create a Python Script that could be embedded into an Alteryx workflow using the Python tools, or it can be compiled as an .exe file to run separately after the output is written.
Machine Learning and Advanced Forecasting
Alteryx includes many data science capabilities. The tools are relatively easy to configure and utilize prebuilt models that enable a non-technical business user to perform advanced analytics.
The challenge with ML and advanced Forecasting Models is that it can be difficult to understand what the model is telling you, and whether or not it is a good fit. There are a number of learning paths available on the Alteryx Community, but we like using Chat GPT to make machine learning easy to understand. When asking it to explain models you don’t have to have an expert skill level or an advanced degree in mathematics to understand the data that is being presented.
Using Chat GPT for SQL Query Optimization and In-Database Tool Guide
Chat GPT can be used to help Alteryx users get the most out of the platform for ETL processes by guiding users through writing SQL queries. It can even help user optimize SQL queries to reduce the amount of time it takes for workflows to run while connecting to databases.
Alteryx includes a number of In-Database Tools that can also reduce workflow runtimes by offloading data processing from the machine that’s running Alteryx Designer or Alteryx Server back to the SQL server that’s hosting the data.
In-DB tools are often not as well understood as other tools, but Chat GPT can walk you through setting them up if you don’t want to write a lot of SQL queries. The benefit of Chat GPT is that it makes these techniques approachable to more users. This reduces the reliance that data analysts have on departments with specialized skills in database queries, and enables them to spend more time analyzing the data.
Chat GPT as a Data Visualization Reference Guide
While Alteryx has a number of reporting tools, its capabilities as a data visualization tool is limited. Platforms such as Power BI and Tableau can generate interactive reporting dashboards that are easily drillable for business users to explore data in different ways.
Alteryx has the capability to output data directly to Tableau Hyper Files or to Power BI Datasets. This is usually the starting point of a dashboard and report build out. Depending on the desired end result it can require the setup of complex formulas or other workarounds. Chat GPT can be a great resource regardless of which platform your company utilizes.
Chat GPT is a great resource for getting the most out of the Alteryx Analytics Platform. Whether you are a beginner or advanced user, it can provide a lot of useful information to help you develop workflows faster. Going beyond Alteryx, Chat GPT can be used with RPA or Data Visualization tools that can augment your process automation efforts. Even with minimal knowledge of other platforms, you can lean on Chat GPT for the information you need to get the job done.