Altair SmartWorks Analytics


Applying Column Changes

The Column Changes node allows you to perform basic data preparation operations to any column in your table. This help page describes the general steps you can perform to apply a column change to your table. Steps to create more specific changes are provided in greater detail in the corresponding help pages.


  • An Execution Profile with an active session linked to the workflow


  1. Produce a Data Frame node by importing a CSV or database table.

  2. From the Data Preparation group of  the Nodes tabbed page, drag and drop the Column Changes node from the Palette to the Workflow Canvas. The Column Changes node has one input socket and one output socket. Connect the output socket of the Data Frame node to the input socket of the Column Changes node.


  4. Configure the Column Changes node by opening the Node Viewer. You can double-click on the node or use the Open option provided in the node menu. 


    The Column Changes Node Viewer is divided into distinct panels. The Change menu displays across the Viewer, over the Change List panel and Data Preview. The Change List panel displays a “history” of all modifications made to your table. This panel can help you keep track of the changes made to a column and modify or discard them, if necessary. The Data Preview is updated each time you apply a change to a column to show you what your output table will look like. 

  6. In the Configuration tab, select a column to which you wish to apply a change and then select a change type from the Change menu. 

  7. In the figure below, for example, the column OrderDate is selected, and its data type is changed from Text to Date/Time with the Year-Month-Day format. 


    Note how the Change List is updated when the change is applied.


  8. You can use the Change List panel to work with changes in the following ways:

    • Delete (i.e., discard) a change by selecting the Delete Change icon. Click Yes, I’m sure in the popup box that displays when you click this icon to confirm the deletion operation.

    • Note that the success of deleting a change depends on whether or not changes are dependent. When changes are dependent (i.e., subsequent changes are related to the final state of previous changes), deleting one or some of them may result in all subsequent changes becoming nullified.

    • Modify a change by selecting the Edit Change icon.

    • Undo a change by selecting the Disable Change icon. Select whether to disable only this change or this and all other changes above it.


    • Enable a change by selecting the Enable Change icon. This icon only displays if a change or set of changes had previously been disabled.

    • Apply the same change to another column by selecting the Selection List icon. This option is only applicable for changes that can be repeated. For example, you can specify a single format for all date fields, so this option will display for a formatting change. However, you cannot have use the same name for different columns, so this option will not display for a rename change.


      Tick the Split to different change list items box to indicate if the same change to a different column should be considered a separate change (i.e., another Change List item). When you have made your selections, click the Apply button.

  9. Continue making the necessary changes to your table.

  10. The Data Preview is constantly updated to reflect changes you make to your columns.


  11. Check the code that will be executed for your specified Column Changes configuration by saving your specifications and then click on the Code tab of the Column Changes Node Viewer. You can also use the tab that displays to refine the code further. 


  13. Complete the Column Changes node configuration by clicking Save. To cancel your changes and return to the Workflow Canvas, press Discard or simply close the Column Changes Node Viewer. To execute your column changes, click the Run button.