Extracting one or more values from within a column of values can turn data into meaningful and discrete information. This section describes how to extract column data, the methods for which may vary depending on the data type. 

Extract vs. Split

Extract and split transformations do not do the same thing:

Extract methods

In the Transformer page, you can use the following methods to extract values: 

By selectionSelect part of a value in the data grid to prompt a series of suggestions on what to do with the data. Typically, extract options are near the top of the suggestions when you select part of a value.
By column menuFrom the menu to the right of the column, select Extract and a sub-menu item to begin configuring a transformation. See Column Menus.
By Transformer toolbarAt the top of the data grid, click the Extract icon in the Transformer toolbar to begin configuring extract transformations. See Transformer Toolbar.
By Search panelIn the Search panel, enter extract to build a transformation from scratch. See Search Panel.

Extract text or patterns

A primary use of extraction is to remove literal or patterned values of text from a column of values. Suppose your dataset included a column of LinkedIn updates. You can use one of the following methods to extract keywords from these values. 

Extract single values

The following example transformation extracts the word #bigdata from the column msg_LinkedIn:


Constrain matching

Within the extract transformation, you can specify literals or patterns before or after which the match is found. This method can be used to remove parts of each cell value from erroneously matching on the literal or pattern that is desired.

The following example extracts the second three-digit element of a phone number, skipping the area code:

Extract single patterns

You can also do pattern-based extractions using  or regular expressions.

The following example extracts all words that begin with # in the msg_LinkedIn column:

extractpatterns type: custom col: msg_LinkedIn on: `\#{alphanum-underscore}+` limit: 50


Advanced options

Number of patterns to extract

Set this value to the total number of patterns you wish to extract.

NOTE: This value determines the number of columns that are generated by the extraction. If no value is available, an empty value is written into the corresponding column.

The default is 1.

Ignore caseBy default, pattern matching is case-sensitive. Select this checkbox to ignore case when matching.
Ignore matches betweenYou can enter a pattern here to describe any patterns that should not be part of any match. This option is useful if you have multiple instances of text but want to ignore the first one, for example.

Extract multiple values

In your pattern expressions, you can use the vertical pipe character (|) to define multiple patterns to find. The following example extracts any value from the myDate column that ends in 7 pr in 8:

You can use the vertical pipe in both  and regular expressions.

Extract first or last characters

You can extract the first or last set of characters from a column into a new column. In the following example, the first five characters from the ProductName column are extracted into a new product identifier column:

You can change the Option value to Last characters to extract from the right side of the column value.

Extract and remove

If you need to remove the characters that you extracted, you can use the following transformation. In this case, the first five characters, which were extracted in the previous transformation, are removed:

Extract by positions

You can extract values between specified index positions within a set of column values. In the following example, the text between the fifth and tenth characters in a column are extracted to a new column.

Tip: This extraction method is useful if the content before and after the match area is inconsistent and cannot be described using patterns. If it is consistent, you should use the Extract text or pattern transformation.

Extract by Data Type

You can perform extractions that are specific to a data type or based on failures of the data to match a specified data type.

Extract date values

You can use functions to extract values from Datetime columns.  The example below extracts the year value from the myDate column:

The following functions can be used to extract values from a Datetime column, as long as the values are present in the formatted date:

You can also reformat the whole Datetime column using the DATEFORMAT function. The following reformats the column to show only the two-digit year:

Extract numeric values

You can extract numerical data from text values. In the following example, the first number is extracted from the address column, which would correspond to extracting the street number for the address:

Empty values in this new column might indicate a formatting problem with the address.

Tip: If you set the number of patterns to extract to 2 for the address column, you might extract apartment or suite information.

Extract object values

If your data includes sets of arrays, you can extract array elements into columns for each key, with the values written to each key column.

Suppose your restaurant dataset includes a set of characteristics in the restFeatures column in the following JSON format:

  "Credit": "Y",
  "Accessible": "Y",
  "Restrooms": "Y",
  "EatIn": "Y",
  "ToGo": "N",
  "AlcoholBeer": "Y",
  "AlcoholHard": "N",
  "TotalTables": "10",
  "TotalTableSeats": "36",
  "Counter": "Y",
  "CounterSeats": "8"

You can use the following transformation to extract the values from TotalTableSeats and CounterSeats into separate columns:

After the above is executed, you can perform a simple sum of the TotalTableSeats and CounterSeats columns to determine the total number of seats in the restaurant.

Extract array values

In some cases, your data may contain arrays of repeated key-value pairs, where each pair would exist on a separate line. Suppose you have a column called, Events, which contains date and time information about the musician described in the same row of data. The Events column might look like the following:


The following transformation creates a separate row for each entry in the Events column, populating the other fields in the new rows with the data from the original row:


NOTE: This type of transformation can significantly increase the size of your dataset.

Extract components of a URL

URL components

Using functions, you can extract specific elements of a valid URL. The following transformation pulls the domain values from the myURL column:

In some cases, the function may not return values. For example, the SUBDOMAIN function returns empty values if there is no sub-domain part of the URL.

The following functions can be used to extract values from a set of URLs:

Query parameters

You can extract query parameter values from an URL. The following example extracts the store_id value from the storeURL field value: