Alter Everything Podcast

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In this episode of Alter Everything, we’re joined by Carlene Jones and Nynne Haagensen. Dialing in from Copenhagen, they have a chat with host Maddie Johannsen about building analytics culture using a staircase framework, and how to be responsible with your data, and why you should think bigger and just get things done.

 

 

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Transcript

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MADDIE: 00:04

[music] Welcome to Alter Everything, a podcast about data science and analytics culture. I'm Maddie Johannsen, and I'm excited for you to hear this chat I had with Carlene Jones.

CARLENE: 00:14

Hi, everyone. My names Carlene, and I work as an advanced analytics solutions manager at Novo Nordisk in Copenhagen, Denmark. That means that I lead a team of data scientists and data engineers, and we are trying to optimize our global pharmaceutical supply chain. Thank you for having me today.

MADDIE: 00:37

And Nynne Haagensen.

NYNNE: 00:39

Yeah. Hi, my name is Nynne, and I'm an intern at supply chain analytics at Novo Nordisk, and I'm working as a data analyst kind of role, and I've been here approximately a year where my task has been to support some of the supply chain projects. But lately the past, I would say six months, I've been working very much together with Carlene building up the analytics community. So that's been my role for the past six months, I guess.

MADDIE: 01:14

Carlene and Nynne are wicked smart, and they're building analytics culture at a young age and enabling other young data enthusiasts to think bigger. They also dialed in from Copenhagen, which just is so cool. Let's get started.

MADDIE: 01:31

Great. Yeah, I'm so glad to have you both here. I think you both are going to have a really cool perspective, just with where you are in your journeys. So I want to start our conversation by talking about building an analytics culture. So we hear leaders talk about this concept quite often, but I want to take a minute to fully let the weight of that sink in - right? - because we think about, let's say, the culture in Denmark. And that culture, obviously, didn't happen overnight. It took countless people over a long period of time, plus it's constantly evolving and in flux, right? So to bring it down to a much smaller scale at a company, where the moving pieces involved are always in flux as well, and you have to bring people together and really kind of work together to build this culture of analytics, I'm curious, from your guys' perspective, what are the moving pieces that are involved with building this culture of analytics at an organization?

CARLENE: 02:32

Wow--

NYNNE: 02:32

Want to go ahead, Carlene?

CARLENE: 02:33

--what a question. [laughter] Sure. I think, as you say, there's many moving pieces of the culture. And I think, as in a country, immigration it is similar. At a company, having people coming in and out of the organization, bringing different cultures in with them from old organizations, bringing different knowledge, that's one of the biggest things that is kind of in flux. In the same way, you have the people who have been at a company for a really long time, and they are also bringing a different perspective of growing or changing to fit whatever the new is. So you kind of have, just like a country, those two waves of new people coming in and out and those who stay. I think there's also a lot of things in flux, with all the various initiatives that companies have, and each one of them presses on different culture buttons, you could say. So now, we have a culture of where we focus a bit more on sustainability. How does that affect things? Now, we focus on quality, highest quality. Now, we focus on efficiency. Each one of those big initiatives, coming from the top, really changes culture underneath. But just as a culture in a country, it takes a long time to build an analytics culture, I believe, and Nynne and I were talking previously about how it's more of a staircase approach. You have one person coming in, who maybe has brought an idea from the outside, or one person internally, who really has this spark, and just the staircase effect up until you have a-- yeah, [crosstalk].

MADDIE: 04:30

A community.

NYNNE: 04:30

[inaudible]. I'm actually agreeing on that one. It's very much like it's hard to say what makes one of the other as well because it's a lot about the input you get, and the input's often the people. The people are requesting it, or the people who keep saying that they want it or need it or see the potential of it. And young people that come straight out of school, or at least certain people that often the most hungriest ones, the ones that are most eager to build something like that or to see the need for it. And I think, at least from my perspective - I've been here for a year - and at least those who I've met on the way that have been the hungriest of building communities or those who see the need for it the most are young, new people inside of work's environment. Not that they are the solutions for it, but it's very much you're building on top of each other. As a new, young person, you perhaps don't have that much grounding in the company that you're working for to perform anything, but at least you have the lust, you have the energy, and you have the hunger for it.

CARLENE: 05:42

And it's interesting, Nynne, now you bring up, what is the difference between an analytics culture and the community that sits around it? What comes first? And I know, Maddie, you wanted to touch on that a little bit today of, what comes first? How do you do it?

MADDIE: 05:59

Yeah. I'd love to hear your thoughts on that, especially because I think it's so important. The young people that are coming in and setting up programs for them to really get involved with that staircase approach, like you said. So yeah, I'd love to hear your perspective on the community that sits around the analytics culture and how those things kind of work together.

CARLENE: 06:21

Yeah. I think one of the interesting things that you hear is that the culture rules, and that these communities are a way to really play into that. And what I heard for a long time is that the strongest communities are built from the bottom up, and I 100% agree that the [music] strongest communities are built from the bottom up. You have people who really want to be there and want to share their knowledge. Power is not in the knowledge you have. It's in the knowledge you share, and that's kind of why communities can really change a culture of a company. [music] But of course, you also have to have that spark of culture change in order to push that community forward. And I think that a lot comes from what we call a sponsor. So our community, at Novo Nordisk, is many, many people, but at the beginning, we had a very strong sponsor, a senior leader who really made it her prerogative to change this culture around being more data-driven. So my advice for people, in building an analytics community, is remember the staircase. It is bottom up but find your sponsor. And if it's not the first person you try, that's okay. Find another. There's someone who will sponsor this mindset shift, and without that, it will just be another group of people getting together on a Friday night. [laughter]

NYNNE: 08:18

And then, also, you need people like Carlene who just have the energy and have the lust to actually do these things. So I mean, if you can find someone like Carlene, hire that person and attach them to a sponsor, and they will do great things together, I believe.

CARLENE: 08:40

Thank you, Nynne.

MADDIE: 08:41

And Nynne, when you say people like Carlene, for the people who don't know Carlene or haven't seen her on webinars, or what's like a quality, I guess, that you can point to that really helps to spark that culture?

NYNNE: 08:57

Right. Yeah. I think that characteristics, like Carlene's characteristics, on the paper are a very good combination of a data-driven person that also have a great people knowledge or have good people skills, and who really does not take no for an answer but just are a doer. I think Carlene's model without saying it out loud [laughter], without saying it too ambitious, is just do it. She's very much into just get it over, just get it done, and then you ask for permission afterwards or for forgiveness afterwards. And I think that has helped Carlene a lot in her journey here at Novo Nordisk is to just do it. And I think you get a long way with just taking the responsibility and say, "Okay, I'm just going do it," and then see if something falls in, right? But yeah.

MADDIE: 09:55

Yeah. I think that's really cool. And especially as an intern, kind of getting that exposure to somebody, who has that quality and that kind of mentality, I think is really important because I had a couple internships when I was in school, and I didn't really get that same kind of radical approach to things. It was kind of more, "Let's do things by the book. Here's what you do," just kind of more structured. And I think having that kind of more, I guess, fluid approach and just kind of like, "Yeah, if you believe that this is the right thing to do, let's get it done. Let's do it. Just do it and ask for forgiveness later." I think that's a really cool thing to learn early on when you're working to upscale yourself and when you're purchase feeding in programs like an internship program.

NYNNE: 10:40

Yep. I think just so there's a lot of people who are just afraid of-- at least I can only speak for how it is in Scandinavia. Obviously, it's different from different cultures and different countries. But at least in Scandinavia, you've been acknowledged if you're a person that takes initiative and just do it because a lot of Scandinavian people are just sitting on their hands and waiting for things to be done, and if it's not a part of your job, you're not going to do it. So Carlene really came in with a different mindset, a different perspective of things, and it was very healthy for many people to kind of see that energy that she brought in to the table.

MADDIE: 11:18

That's great. And yeah, because, Carlene, I don't know if you mentioned earlier, but you're from the States, correct?

CARLENE: 11:23

Yes. [laughter] Yes. I'm from Ohio. And yeah, [laughter] there's maybe some cultural bounds I may have broken coming into such a Danish workplace. But [laughter] yeah, let me give an example I think of. In America, it's not unusual for me to talk to random people, for example, at the grocery store or on a train. Here in Denmark, they actually have cars in the train that are silent cars [laughter] to ensure no one will talk to you. 100% you never talk to someone you don't-- I mean, I do, but like I said, I'm breaking cultural boundaries, so just a fun small fact about Denmark. But I do have to say, I would not have been so successful in kind of my get-her-done approach without those sponsors I found very early on. And that's, again, why I emphasize it's great if you have someone who comes in and knocks walls down, but if they don't have support for doing that, they will get frustrated. And then at worst, they will leave the company, but at best, they will maybe just give up a bit. Yeah.

MADDIE: 12:59

Yeah. I think that's a really cool perspective to have.

NYNNE: 13:03

Yeah. It's really cool.

CARLENE: 13:05

I think we have 7 nationalities on our team of 18 people, and just each person brings with them a different aspect, and I think that's what makes our team so successful.

MADDIE: 13:21

Very cool. So I want to learn a little bit more, Nynne, about the internship that you have. So maybe just give us some background and maybe some of the things that-- maybe some huge takeaways that you've learned so far.

NYNNE: 13:36

Yeah. Sure. Well, I want to start kind of more academically. So I'm doing a master's in business analytics at a university in Oslo, Norway. And during the second year, it was possible to do an internship and actually get credit for it, and this internship could be anywhere in the world as long as it was related to business analytics. And I'm half Danish, so I wanted to move back to Denmark to see how it was to live in Denmark as a more adult, at least older. So I found this internship at Novo Nordisk in supply chain analytics and applied for it and got it. And the idea was that I was only going to stay here for six months, so from August and then six months ahead. But I enjoyed it so much, and I think people enjoyed having me here. So my internship got prolonged, or I extended the internship.

NYNNE: 14:37

So I've been here for almost a year now, and in the start, I was working-- actually when I started, I didn't know about Alteryx. I had heard about it during my interview, but I didn't know about Alteryx. I knew about some of the other tools that they were using, but I didn't know about Alteryx. So I think it was like the second week they kind of just said, "Okay, you're going to be working with this project," that was a supply chain KPI project. And basically, you need to make everything around it, all the data around it, and the visualization, and present it. And I was like, "Yeah, okay, how hard can it be?" kind of. You come in with this a little bit like, "I'm a student. I'm almost done with my studies. I know a lot." And then you figured out you opened this program, and it was like, "Oh, my god, what are all these buttons?" Because I've been working with open source programs like R & Python a little bit, but I was like, "Okay, here's a lot of things I can drag and drop." But I was like, "There's so many things." When I was working with that, I was like, "Okay, I really want to become good at this because it seemed like a really good tool." And it seemed like something that I knew across our organization was really much sought after, and people were in the team that were really good at it.

NYNNE: 15:59

So I said to my manager at that point, and I was like, "Okay, by the end of my internship, by the end of Christmas, I would like to become so good in these tools that you are using, that I can actually be a part of the community, so answer questions to people who are wondering or be this person who can answer those kind of questions." So that was my goal, and I worked really hard. And then at the same time, Carlene did all these amazing things in Alteryx, during the Alteryx conference in the autumn. So I was like, "Okay, I really need to become a pro in this." So that's kind of where my journey started, and that's also how I think I got attached a little bit to Carlene and to all her projects was a little bit I really wanted to see where this Alteryx journey could take me.

MADDIE: 16:53

That's so cool. Yeah, I love hearing how community kind of really inspires people to upscale and challenge themselves, and speaking of that conference, Carlene, last year we met, I believe, at the top contributor's event at Bounce which was this [laughter] ping-pong place. Do you remember that?

CARLENE: 17:14

Yes. Yes. Yes. [laughter] Ping-pong bar in London.

MADDIE: 17:18

Yeah. That was so fun. But yeah, I mean, it's stuff like that. It's just such a thriving and rich community full of just these incredible people, so it's really cool to hear that that community of people inspired you to really push yourself and learn and upscale with the Alteryx platform, so very cool. So I want to ask you guys about just working in supply chain. I think that comes obviously with a lot of responsibility, right? And I think especially working in analytics, you're in a really influential position, and I've heard a lot of people refer to Alteryx as their magic secret weapon. And yes, of course, the platform really allows for that independence for analysts and data scientists to find the data they need and to quickly deliver insights. But I think what's really important to remember - and you guys kind of touched on this earlier - is that there's an actual human driving those workflows. And they need to have a level of expertise in order to deliver insights responsibly. So you guys talking about upscaling and being able to have that level of expertise, I'm curious, what are some of the things that analysts, data scientists, and even business leaders need to keep in mind in order to be just basically responsible with their data?

NYNNE: 18:51

That's a big question. [laughter]

MADDIE: 18:56

And I guess maybe to kind of go in it further, I hear sometimes people make jokes about like somebody will have a conversation with somebody, and they'll be like, "Oh, yeah, my boss asked me for a dashboard, and that's it." They're not asking for specific-- they're not sure what they're asking for, right? They just want to see a chart, or they want to see some sort of insight. But maybe that's not the right one, so maybe that's not the most responsible way to run the analysis, or the most responsible way for them to even ask for an analysis, right? So I'm curious, what are some things that they need to think about in order to be, I guess, responsible consumers of data and the analytics output?

CARLENE: 19:39

I think it's a tough question because it depends, of course, on who you ask. I personally say that it is the analyst's responsibility to stand up for what they think is right and responsible. But at the same time, it's also the responsibility of the business to upscale themselves in asking the right questions and being open to maybe answering some different questions that they hadn't thought about before, or questions that maybe don't get them the outcome that they were hoping for. And I think it boils down to the fact that the responsibility is through dialogue, and that it's a responsibility from both parties to understand that, and that there needs to be an agreement there. I know we were talking about, specifically, what would be the responsibility of an analyst to make sure their work is being used correctly? Is it just plop, here's my graph, and do with it what you want? Or is it their responsibility to make sure that it's being used the right way to make decisions? And that becomes very difficult when you're in a very big organization where maybe that is getting passed around in different circles, and people using it as they wish. So the responsibility I think is to be as clear as possible, and it also goes into the skill set of what skills should analyst think about more? And that is the skill of communicating their results and solving the right problem, and it all goes back together. The better you are at that, the more responsible you become with your results. Nynne, do you have anything to add?

NYNNE: 21:40

Yeah. And I totally agree on that. I think it's a lot to the-- you can touch upon people skills, right? When you've been sitting in meetings for where there's an analyst just talking over the head about these extremely difficult terms or going very deep down in the data, but you can see the stakeholders around the table are just like, "What are going on? I don't understand anything." So it's a lot about decoding what the client wants, what the user wants, and what they're going to use it for. And like, "Okay, build me a dashboard." "But what are you going to use the dashboard for? What kind of need is it going to solve? Or what do you want to use it for?" So I think a lot ask the right questions. It's a lot about reading, understanding, decoding the client and really making sure that the client know what they want. I mean, we work in a department that can almost stand to say in-house consultancy department where we kind of work on projects for different other departments across the organization. I mean, it's a huge organization, at least in Danish standards. So for us, we kind of get a little bit consultancy when we have our clients are kind of other departments that say, "We want this," or, "We would like to have this. We would like to have a dashboard." And like, "Okay, is it really going to solve your problem? Are people going to use the dashboard?"

CARLENE: 23:13

Yeah. I think no matter if you're team is kind of an internal consultancy or an actual consultancy or if you're just an analyst sitting by yourself, the one skill I really felt was lacking my first year working was UX experience. Just I've had a ton of analysis or dashboards or products just completely flop because I wasn't answering the question that would drive value, or maybe I was doing exactly what they told me to do, but that wasn't actually what they wanted. So I had a huge personal education in UX, and I recommend it for everyone thinking about building data products in the future of how can you really understand the need and the problem in order to solve it in the right way?

MADDIE: 24:07

I love that. And can you point to any sort of recommendations, or how can people upscale themselves in UX?

CARLENE: 24:17

Go to the library. [laughter] I think I started on Amazon, but I would go to the library for free. But I started with two books - one is What is UX? - because a lot of the times it's grouped into the design of an app is what UXers do. But that's not really true. UX is not about what fonts there are unless it enhances the user experience. So I got a book on What is UX? And the other book I found extremely helpful was about UX interviewing techniques or how to better get from your customer, whoever that may be, what they actually want. It is most likely not what they say they want, so just a book of 25 different interviewing techniques to find out what it is they will actually need. And those two I have at my desk and reference them quite often if I have a tough meeting with maybe people who are not used to having someone come and say, "What do you want? I'll build it for you." How to go into those meetings with some new techniques about how to get the information that you'll need to build a good product.

MADDIE: 25:41

That's amazing. Yeah. We'll be sure to link to those books in the show notes. But yeah, I think that that's-- I love what you both said about making sure that you understand what the client wants and helping them get there to understand what they want, right? So kind of working with them to make sure that they understand that they're asking the right question, and it kind of reminds me of another interview that I did with somebody named Manuel Coello, and I'll link to his episode as well. But he said something very similar where he essentially had these experiences where he was working super, super hard, but people weren't really seeing the value. And it all boils down to the value is determined by the end user - right? - so the client. And I think that that's super important to remember is that I think as an analyst or a data scientist, you have a responsibility to be accurate at the very basic level. But also I love that you're calling out that the responsibility for communicating the results properly also falls on the analyst. And so I think that when you think about value, it is our responsibility to communicate that and make sure that the business leaders are understanding the work that you do. But I also I think that there is-- I wonder if we put enough emphasis on data literacy as an essential business skill, or if this is something that we need to be talking about more. So Nynne, as somebody who's working for a business education, I'm curious if that is already an essential skill that's being talked about in Scandinavia, or if that's something that you maybe think is lacking.

NYNNE: 27:32

Yeah. Well, it was also something we talked about prior to this podcast here. And at least in my education, they are trying to, but it's kind of falling between two chairs because they want to educate students in an academic level or on an academic level. And they tend to forget a little bit about you can build the most amazing model that is super accurate that are doing absolute great things, but if you can't communicate it, if you can't make a nice user face or interface for it, nobody's going to buy it, or it's not going to be used as it perhaps would have been. So I think not in business schools. They're still a way to go, at least in Scandinavia to include a lot more courses as UX design or as data visualization. Most people are taking these classes as a kind of easy way through and not really taking it serious. So there's for sure like a big way to go, and people are thinking it as soft skills, as maybe something that is not so important. But for sure, all these things I've learned the past year, these are things that I could never have learned at business school. It's not something they learn at business school. Building a analytics community, or stakeholder management, or how to present a nice graph is not really necessarily something you learn at business school. It's something you need to learn by yourself. Well, why can't we just include it a little bit more? And I was lucky. I got it through an internship that was a part of my school, but for sure something that we could put more emphasis in higher education.

MADDIE: 29:22

Yeah. We had an intern last year on the community team, and even something like just putting together a deck and presenting it to the small team was really impactful for them. And I think that those are things that, yeah, you have to present in college, and you have to do a little bit of public speaking. But I also think that there's more emphasis on the content, rightfully so. I think that content obviously has to be accurate and well-represented. But the way that you deliver it and the way that you speak to people, I think it's so interesting that soft skills can sometimes be looked at as maybe second class when--

NYNNE: 30:03

Very much. Yes.

MADDIE: 30:04

It's just so interesting to me, and I don't think it has to be that way. I think I completely agree with you on that.

NYNNE: 30:11

Yeah. It's very much like selling stuff as a sales person. It's seen as kind of a fraud, or if you're good at selling, you're almost lying. But it's also just presenting things in a nice way, in a good manner. It is super important, and it's a really good quality to have as far as I see it.

MADDIE: 30:32

So then kind of going along with that, the soft skills, presenting things, the UX design that Carlene mentioned, what are some business skills that you think analysts and data scientists maybe lack or don't focus on that need to be a focus?

CARLENE: 30:46

I think we could divide this up into two, so you have who are your data people coming out of university? What are they kind of lacking versus you have someone who has worked from 20 years, what are they lacking? Or what skills should they focus on? So if we start-- I think we've really touched a lot on the ones coming out of university that the best analysts, of course, have good work, and are very analytical, and can find gold mines in data that will bring lots of value. They're creative, all of these sorts of skills, and the things to focus on are communicating results, stakeholders, customers. And one thing I'd like to add, looking at so many resumes and cover letters in hiring, I really find it impressive. Students who have gone out of academia and maybe have just improved a model, maybe they've done a Kaggle competition to someone who has taken a project and said from the very beginning, "What is the problem I'm solving?" all the way down to, "What value did it bring afterwards?" So having that end to end, of course, not all data scientists will be working in sort of an end to end way, but being able to do each step a little bit, makes people much more ready to be in the workforce.

CARLENE: 32:18

On the other side, you have people who have either been in-- maybe they've been in business a long time, and they want to more convert-- they're trying to reskill with these more analytical skills. And I have not been out of school that long, but I am grouping myself in that category with how much things are changing, how hard it is to keep up with new things, and yeah, just some suggestions on having a college student who's your reverse mentor or these sorts of ideas to see what is coming in and being able to remain inspired and on that front edge. So there's kind of two different sides I think of. In one sense, you have those who need to gain more soft skills, and on the other side, you have those who need the harder skills a little bit more and find it very difficult in their day-to-day when it's super busy and under pressure to spend that time to continue learning about the world of analytics.

MADDIE: 33:29

Yeah. I love that perspective, and also I really grabbed onto when you said kind of a reverse mentor and staying inspired by the people who are coming in. I don't think that there is enough emphasis on that, and I don't know if it's the same in Scandinavia, in Denmark. I feel like there can sometimes be an immediate sense of competition and competitiveness in the States especially. And sometimes when people come in, then there's always kind of when you're the new person, you really want to make sure that you're showing value right out of the gate, right? And I think that sometimes if that person does really succeed, then you see sometimes people, teammates, really trying to compete with that person. And I think that the opposite can be more productive where you just instead embrace them, and just really feed off of each other, and work together as a way of just being more impactful and learning and even upscaling yourself even if you're the veteran teammate. So I think that's a really important callout that you made.

CARLENE: 34:38

Definitely. Definitely. I now our team especially emphasizes that we always have interns and newly graduated on their team to inspire both ways to bring with them the most recent learnings while at the same time bringing in that [music] long tenure of experience at the same time is a fantastic mix. [music]

MADDIE: 35:01

Thanks for listening. Our data science journalist, Susan Currie Sivek, wrote a follow-up piece to this interview that is linked in our show notes along with the other resources that Carlene and Nynne mentioned throughout the episode. You can find the show notes, subscribe, and join in on the conversation at community.alteryx.com/podcast. You can also share ways that you're building an analytics culture by posting on social media using the hashtag #altereverythingpodcast. Catch you next time. [music]

MADDIE: 35:39

Awesome. So you both are living in Copenhagen now, and I'm sure that that is so much fun. I've never been to Copenhagen, but I would love to visit sometime or even do an extended stay myself. So I'm curious, what are some of your favorite things about Copenhagen and Denmark in general?

NYNNE: 35:57

Well, it has-- Carlene, maybe you should go as your more foreign than I am. [laughter] That's [fine?].

CARLENE: 36:01

No. But I think, Nynne, you should start because you're half, and then I have the full [crosstalk] afterwards.

NYNNE: 36:07

So I'm half Norwegian and half Danish. I was born in Denmark, but I lived half my life in Norway and half my life in Denmark. And I recently just moved back to Denmark like a year ago. And I think one of the best things or where I really feel energized and feel free as a human is really just biking through Copenhagen. It's just such a beautiful experience, biking through, feeling free, looking at the old buildings, look at all the happy people sitting on the cafes and just enjoying life. I might like paint a picture of it here of a happy picture, but living in Denmark - I can only speak for myself - it's a very free country in many ways. And it's like the culture as well is it's very open and very free. And Scandinavia, in general, are very relaxed countries.

MADDIE: 37:06

That sounds awesome. Yeah, I'm booking my flight right now [laughter] after you explained that. [laughter]

CARLENE: 37:10

If only. [laughter] Okay, Nynne [laughter] [crosstalk] was describing summertime in Copenhagen, [laughter] [crosstalk].

NYNNE: 37:18

Also, November, December, January, February which are not so [laughter] happy months maybe, but I like to be on the positive side. I'm half Norwegian, and Norwegians, they tend to look at things positively, and Danes tend to look at it a little more pessimistic. So I'm choosing to look at each month as contributing to something nice. But yes, the weather in Denmark during wintertime, it's not fantastic. I can agree on that.

MADDIE: 37:43

Yeah. I'm definitely not a winter person, so that might be tough, but [crosstalk]--

NYNNE: 37:47

Come in summer. [laughter]

MADDIE: 37:49

Yeah. I definitely will make sure to make it out there next summer. [laughter]

CARLENE: 37:53

And I completely second. My favorite part of Copenhagen is just being in it. For the Americans who are listening, it is completely legal to drink outside in parks, and that is the favorite past time, or to sit by the canals with an ice cold beer, and just the most fantastic experience. I have lived in Los Angeles for five years, and although I hate winter here, it creates a difference. The winter is slower. There's this concept of [who good?] that you're inside and cozy with your friends, and then you have, on the other hand, the summertime which is outside. It's time to grow and be amazing. I think--

NYNNE: 38:45

Be social. Yeah.

CARLENE: 38:46

Be social, and the Danes are very-- hermits is a good word in the wintertime. They are like hibernating bears. I think somethings that have surprised me about Denmark are the family dynamics are very different, how much the role of the mother and the father play in childhoods. That's super interesting to me. Also--

NYNNE: 39:12

And also maybe the humor, their way of joking.

CARLENE: 39:16

Oh my goodness. [laughter] The Danes have a [laughter] horrible sense of humor. I cannot get it yet. So it's like super sarcastic, and people still in business meetings say, "Carlene, that was a joke. Don't do that. That was a joke." I still don't get it. I'm getting better, but I still [laughter] don't get it. But I encourage everyone to visit Copenhagen. It's not perfect by any means, but it's definitely the perfect place for me, and the perfect place to do analytics. Actually, if I may add to that, it is the perfect place to do analytics. It's the best place in the world for free access to data. It's why a lot of medical research is done here. And yeah, so if you are interested in doing a project with public data, Denmark is your go-to. That's just a side note, maybe we take that out.

MADDIE: 40:20

No. [laughter] I think that's amazing. [laughter] It's so cool.

NYNNE: 40:23

Anybody that applies to Denmark and goes like, "Whoa." [laughter] Yeah, it's also I think-- we're trying also to be very much on the gender and racial diversity, touching upon that aspect as well. I mean, from my perspective at least, it's very gender neutral, or not very, but it is quite good on the gender aspect as well even though, I mean, when you started, Carlene, you were more or less the only female in the team, right? But I mean, that has changed just the past year, and it's just in general I think we have a very balanced gender policy in Denmark compared to other countries at least.

CARLENE: 41:08

Most definitely. Most definitely.

MADDIE: 41:12

That's fantastic. Yeah, it's definitely something that we-- I can only speak for myself, but at Alteryx, we are definitely making an effort for the gender diversity and gender equality initiatives. But I think, in general, in the States overall, it's a struggle and a pain point, and also when we think about racial diversity, there's so much going on in the States right now and around the world. But it's great to hear that you guys are making strides as well. We're all learning, and we're all growing together, so that's great.

CARLENE: 41:48

Definitely.

NYNNE: 41:49

For sure.

MADDIE: 41:51

Awesome. Well, thank you both so much. This was fantastic.

NYNNE: 41:55

Thank you.

MADDIE: 41:55

I really appreciate you dialing in from Copenhagen. How exciting. I think you guys might be my first guests that have recorded from Copenhagen. I've talked to a couple people at Inspires who are from Denmark. We talked to Daniel Brun and just a couple other people. So this is cool, though, to actually talk to somebody who's in Copenhagen right now, so. [laughter]

CARLENE: 42:19

Yes. Thank you, and I just want to leave a note to everyone. Just think bigger, and just do it. [laughter]

NYNNE: 42:28

Yeah. Just do it. [laughter]

CARLENE: 42:30

Do now what you can. Just do it.

NYNNE: 42:33

It's that just in a fun side note. We had a discussion when we were preparing for the podcast, and I was saying, "Well, good enough might be okay." And then Carlene was like, "Good enough is not good enough for me." [laughter] So yeah, think bigger. [laughter] Oh, that's good.

CARLENE: 42:50

Thanks for having us. It was so much fun.

MADDIE: 42:52

Absolutely. Absolutely.

 

This episode of Alter Everything was produced by Maddie Johannsen (@MaddieJ).
Special thanks to @andyuttley for the theme music track, and @jeho for our album artwork.