Prepare Recipe Management

The Foundational materials have introduced how to use the Prepare recipe. However, as the complexity of a Prepare recipe grows, you should be aware of all possible functionality for managing Prepare recipes.

This includes the ability to:

  • Group steps
  • Add colors and comments to steps
  • Control step previews
  • Search among steps

The video below demonstrates many of these features.

Adding Steps

To create a Prepare recipe, select a dataset from the Flow and in the Actions panel select Prepare.

"Flow with Prepare recipe selection in the Actions sidebar"

You can add steps by clicking on + Add a New Step at the bottom of the existing script. When you add a new processor to your script, you will see a live result of its effect on the sample of your data displayed in the Explore view.

"Prepare recipe script"

Hint

A shortcut to adding a new step to the script is the a key.

Adding Groups

You can organize steps into groups by clicking on +Add a Group. You can then drag and drop steps into different groups. Renaming these groups helps you and your team quickly identify the different steps of your data preparation.

In the script below, two groups have been created and renamed to add readability to a complex script.

"Grouping steps in a script"

Previewing and disabling steps

One of the most satisfying aspects of the Prepare recipe is seeing the immediate impact of the step on the sample. However, you can also enable or disable this preview.

For example, when reviewing earlier steps of an existing recipe, you can examine the sample output at any particular step. In the image below, we can view the sample output after applying only the first two steps of the recipe despite many more having been added. This makes it easier to track down the source of potential problems.

../../../_images/prepare-step-preview.png

Similarly, you can disable a step at any time to temporarily remove it from the script. When testing out different ways of processing the data, this is much more efficient than deleting and re-adding the step.

Searching steps

The data exploration tutorial demonstrated how to use the search tools in the script output. However, you can also make use of search capabilities among the steps themselves.

You can use the Search capability within the Script to find all the steps that operate on a particular column. This also can unearth steps hidden within groups, as seen below.

../../../_images/prepare-search-steps.png

Documenting steps

DSS is a collaborative platform. While code can be easily commented, documenting steps in visual tools is often not possible.

In addition to starting a discussion on the Prepare recipe itself, individual steps, or groups of steps, can be commented to help spread understanding amongst a team.

Steps, or groups of steps, can also be colored. This is another tool that can be used for organization or communication amongst a team.

../../../_images/prepare-steps-comment-color.png

What’s Next?

Having learned the ins and outs of functionality inside the Prepare recipe, deepen your knowledge of the processors library that can be used.