WeeklyAlteryxTips#39 How to use the Make Columns tool


Do you know the Make Column tool in the Transform category? It was in the Laboratory category till 2023.2, so I wonder some people don’t know it. Nowadays many people become to know since its category was changed.

This tool is difficut to explain by text. So let’s see the behavior and input and output.

Input and Output

For example, here is the input data.

Supposing that we want them into 3 x 3 pieces box. In instance, please see the screenshot below.

Use the Make Column tool

This is the setting of the Make Column tool.

Regarding the Arrange horizontally option, the data is folded by the specific number(Number of Columns). Regarding the Arrange Vertically option, you can only set Number of Columns, so this tool fold the data into the same number of records in the specific columns.

Finally, that data will be the below data when you set Number of Columns to 3.

Let’s think another sample. This data is the combination of the latitude, longitude(latitude is Field 2, longitude is Field 3) and group(Field1).

When you set Number of Columns to 2 and Arrange Horizontally, it will show the result below.

This means that the rows are treated as a single block and are arranged according to the tool settings. In other words, this tool looks at the rows as follows:

And then, it arranges as follows according to tool setting(Number of columns is 2 and Horizontally).

In this case, the setting is as follows.

Can I this by another tool?

Of course! This is good quiz to learn how to operate the data. For this task, you can use the Cross Tab tool and the Tile tool(or the Multi-Row Formula). The sample input is 1st one.

In this case, set the Number of Tiles to 3 because we need three columns horizontally.

Thereby you can get the data below.

The TileNum field works as row number toward the row and Tile_SequenceNum field works column name as fields. You need to set as follows at the Cross Tab tool.

The Make Columns tool does these complex setting as one tool. If you face that situation that the Make Columns tool can solve, please use the Make Columns tool!

Now, there is no Sample Workflow in older Designer, so please use this blog for reference. If you use 2024.1, you can see the sample workflow in Designer.


Do you know Rurouni Kenshin? This is Nine-Headed Dragon Flash(九頭龍閃).

Sample Workflow Download

Contents of the next blog

The next post is about Arrange tool.


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