The Format dates step converts a column's date values to a new format. It's useful to use whenever you need to unify the date formats across various columns or change date structures into formats that make sorting by ascending or descending dates easier.

Format dates


Input data to be connected to this step needs at least one column with date data. In this example, we pass a column called "Sales Date" that it currently formatted as MM/DD/YY.

By requesting the New Format to be YYYY-MM-DD, the output data looks like this: 2020-09-15.


When configuring the Format dates step, first select the column(s) that you'd like to format. If you have multiple columns that have the same starting format that you'd like to change into a new format, you can select multiple columns under Columns to Format.

We have a feature that auto-detects your starting format. You can leave the Starting Format field blank and Parabola will auto-detect your dates' starting format for you. Alternatively, you can use one of our preset formats available by clicking the link Use a preset format.

For the New Format field, you can either select from our preset formats or type one in. Please refer to the table at the bottom of this page for date formatting that Parabola supports. If you are going to type in your desired format, please note that date formatting is case-sensitive.

The Interval Start option is useful if you'd like to group your dates by a certain time series. In the screenshot, we have Day selected as our Interval Start option. If we change it to Week, the dates will change to 2020-09-13 since that's the start of the week for these dates. Changing it to Month will change them to 2020-09-01 and changing it to Year will change them to 2020-01-01.

By default, the Format date step will format the dates within the existing column. If you'd like to preserve the date formatting of your existing column, check the box next to "Add New Column" and give your new column a name.

You can configure multiple date formatting rules within the same step. To do so, click the Add Rule link. The rules are applied top-down.

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