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Alteryx: How to Remove Duplicate Rows

24 August 2023

Alteryx: How to Remove Duplicate Rows

Duplicate rows can sneak into your data and cause major issues with data accuracy and integrity in your Alteryx workflows. Removing duplicate rows is an essential step in the data cleansing process. This guide will provide step-by-step instructions for eliminating duplicate rows in Alteryx using various tools and techniques.

To master Alteryx you should enrol yourself or your team in one of JBI Trainings courses in Alteryx training, Feel free to get in contact to make an inquiry or find out how we can customise a course for your teams particular requirements. 

What Are Duplicate Rows?

Duplicate rows occur when a data record is inadvertently copied. This results in two or more identical rows containing the same data. Duplicates can reduce the accuracy of your analysis and statistical models. Removing them ensures you are working with clean, unique data in Alteryx.

Some common ways duplicate rows enter data:

  • Human error during manual data entry
  • Bulk merging of data sets with shared records
  • Errors in automated collection processes
  • Issues joining data from multiple sources

Locating and deleting duplicate rows is vital for optimising Alteryx workflows.

Identify Duplicate Rows

The first step is identifying where the duplicate rows are in your data. Here are two quick methods for flagging duplicates in Alteryx:

Use the RecordID Tool

The RecordID tool assigns a unique ID to each row. You can then use this RecordID field to detect duplicate rows:

RecordID tool -> Formula tool -> IF [RecordID] occurs more than once, flag as duplicate  

This will add a new column labelling all duplicate rows.

Unique Tool

The Unique tool displays the number of distinct values in a field. Feed it your RecordID and any count above your row number means duplicates exist.

Once you've identified duplicates, you can then remove them from the workflow.

Remove Duplicates in Alteryx

Alteryx provides several tools for eliminating duplicate rows:

1. Filter Tool

The Filter tool allows you to filter rows based on specific conditions.

To remove duplicates with Filter:

  1. Connect the RecordID tool to identify duplicates
  2. Add the Filter tool and select the RecordID field
  3. Under Records, select Unique records (distinct)
  4. Connect Filter output to rest of workflow

This will filter out any row with a duplicate RecordID.

2. Select Tool

The Select tool also has a distinct option for removing duplicates:

  1. After the RecordID tool, add the Select tool
  2. Under Fields, select the RecordID checkbox
  3. For Top or Random, choose Select Distinct
  4. Connect Select output forward

This will pass along only distinct RecordID values, eliminating any duplicates.

3. RemoveDuplicates Tool

As the name suggests, the RemoveDuplicates tool is designed specifically for duplicate removal in Alteryx:

  1. Add the RemoveDuplicates tool to your workflow
  2. Select the fields you want to check for duplicates
  3. The tool will delete any duplicate rows based on those fields

The RemoveDuplicates tool offers the most flexibility and customisation for tailored duplicate removal.

Best Practices for Duplicate Removal

Follow these tips for effective and thorough duplicate elimination in Alteryx:

  • Standardise data formats - Differences in formatting can prevent duplicate identification. Standardise date formats, casing, truncation etc.
  • Define a primary ID - Adding a dedicated ID field makes duplicate detection easier. Use the RecordID tool or ConcatFields.
  • Remove duplicates early - Flag and delete duplicates as soon as possible in the workflow. This prevents duplication downstream.
  • Check for remaining duplicates - Verify duplicates were fully removed using the Unique tool on the RecordID.
  • Refine workflow logic - Removing duplicates may allow you to simplify tools without impacted performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I prevent duplicate rows from entering my data?

Improve data collection processes and joins. Validate new data for duplicates before introduction. Add primary ID fields to track records.

Will removing duplicates impact my workflow results?

Removing valid duplicates can impact results by altering data volumes. Assess necessity of deletion in each case. Focus on inaccurate record duplication.

What's the best duplicate removal tool?

It depends on your needs. Filter provides broad conditioning options. Select is fast and simple. RemoveDuplicates has custom settings just for deduplication.


Duplicate data can undermine analytics and models in Alteryx. Identifying duplicate rows using RecordID or Unique tools is the vital first step. The Filter, Select, and RemoveDuplicates tools offer flexible options for eliminating duplicates in your workflows. Follow best practices like standardising data and verifying removal to ensure duplicates are fully deleted. With clean, accurate data, you can have confidence in your Alteryx workflow results.

This article is part of a series of How To guides for Alteryx Training. If you enjoyed this article you might be interested in alteryx how to vlookup 


About the author: Daniel West
Tech Blogger & Researcher for JBI Training

+44 (0)20 8446 7555

[email protected]



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