160|ALTERYX – The Formula to Success

BYU Student Author: @Marta_Ellsworth
Reviewers: @Andrew_Wilson, @Sterling_Lane
Estimated Time to Solve: 30 Minutes

This is an intro challenge that is part of the Alteryx Learning Path.

We provide the solution to this challenge using:

  • Alteryx

Need a program? Click here.

Welcome to the Simple Screenprinting team! Our screenprinting company is facing a challenge with our job tracking system. We’ve got data issues that are slowing us down, and we need your help to fix them. Your task is to clean and organize our job data using Alteryx. But here’s the catch: you can only use the Formula tool, plus inputs and outputs, to get the job done.

This is a great chance to show off your Alteryx skills and make a real difference in how we operate. You’ll be tackling things like missing information, messy formats, and figuring out job priorities. It’s all about making our data cleaner and our processes smoother. Let’s jump into the data and start making improvements. With your help, we can keep our operations running smoothly and our customers happy!


  1. Clean Missing Data:
    • Import the Orders tab from the starting dataset.
    • Use the Formula tool to fill missing values in the SalesRepID column with a placeholder value of 0. This will indicate jobs without an assigned sales representative.
    • For the OrderDate, DueDate, and ShipDate columns, fill missing dates with a specific date that indicates an unknown date (e.g., 1900-01-01). This helps in identifying jobs with missing date information. (Extra Challenge: Try and do everything in question 1 in a singular formula tool.)
  2. Format Job Names:
    • Some job names contain extra quotation marks (e.g., “DON’T STOP ME NOW”). Use the Formula tool to remove these quotation marks from the JobName column.
  3. Calculate Days Since Shipment:
    • Use the Formula tool to calculate the number of days since shipment. Use 2021-08-12 as today’s date. Create a new column named DaysSinceShip for this purpose.
  4. Categorize Job Types:
    • Use the Formula tool to create a new column named JobTypeCategory based on JobTypeID. For example, if JobTypeID = 2, then JobTypeCategory = ‘Embroidery’, if JobTypeID = 7, then JobTypeCategory = ‘Art Only’, and so on. (You can find this information on the JobTypes Table.)
  5. Total Charges:
    • Use the Formula tool to create a new column named TotalCharge that sums the charges in the ChargeArt, Setup_Charge, and Charge_Special columns.
    • In the same formula tool change the data type for the TotalCharge column to a float to allow for possible decimals.

Data Files

Suggestions and Hints
  • Remember you are only using the formula tool, so you don’t need to join the JobType table, just use the information to create an IF statement.
  • Make sure you format the dates as YYYY-MM-DD in the formula tool.
  • If you aren’t sure what function to use you can click the ƒx button in the Formula tool and Alteryx will give you options based on what you are trying to accomplish.
  • Use the function DateTimeDiff() for question 3.


I was able to solve this challenge using a series of formula tools. I was reminded how powerful the formula tool is and what can be done with the formula tool. Great intro challenge!

This challenge really opened my eyes at the various uses of the formula tool: conditional logic, string manipulation, and number summarizing. I especially liked learning about the DateTime functions and can see those being super useful! Great reminder for me!

A great intro level challenge! I think this is awesome because as I was doing it I was able to visualize more efficient ways for solving the problems presented (such as joins instead of formulas for question 4) and how I could apply these steps to other problems (like filling out the other null columns). Here is my solution screenshot below:

Time to Complete: 25ish
Rating: Intro/Beginner
That was a lot of fun going through everything that the formula tool can do. I haven’t had to use some of the commands in quite a while!

Time to Complete: 30
Rating: Beginner
Not too challenging, but I definitely added some new formulas to my toolkit!

Time to Complete: 40 minutes
Rating: Beginner
Thoughts: I thought it was a fun introduction to Alteryx as I am completely new to Alteryx. I do have some background in R which I thought was useful in that Alteryx seemed like R but visualized into a flowchart and is much simpler to navigate.