Alter Everything

A podcast about data science and analytics culture.
Alteryx Alumni (Retired)

We're joined by Katie Haralson for a chat about her journey to Product Management and the new Visualytics tools in Alteryx Designer.






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Episode Transcription

BRIAN 00:06 

[music] Welcome to Alter Everything, a podcast about data and analytics culture. I'm Brian Oblinger and I'll be your host. We're joined by Katie Haralson for a chat about her journey to product management and the new Visualytics tools in Alteryx Designer. Let's get right into it. [music] Hi, Katie. 

KATIE 00:28 

Hey, Brian. 

BRIAN 00:29 

How are you today? 

KATIE 00:29 

I'm great. How are you? 

BRIAN 00:31 

Excellent. Thank you for being on the show. Super exciting to have you on. 

KATIE 00:35 

Absolutely. I'm excited to be here. 

BRIAN 00:37 

Great. So let start, as always, with kind of a-- I'd love to hear about you. Tell us about where you come from, how you got here, any interesting facts, stories about your pets, whatever you think would be interesting for our listeners would be great. 

KATIE 00:53 

Okay. Sure. So my name's Katie Haralson. I've been at Alteryx for a little over two and half years. I work on the product management team. And right now, I'm driving our Visualytics strategy, so focused on all things visualization in Alteryx. It's very fun. Let's see, how I got here. I'm from Alabama and I moved to Colorado to come join Alteryx from Nashville, Tennessee. So at the time, I was working in hospitals doing hospital software and kind of looking for a change and wanted to come out to Colorado. And, honestly, Alteryx was the only place that I applied that was outside of healthcare. But it piqued my interest and this space is extremely interesting. And I saw a lot of awesome feedback on the product from our customers which was extremely appealing to me as a product manager. So that's kind of what piqued my interest and brought me out here. Quick interesting fact, I'll probably touch on this a little later but just in regards to my background, product managers come from all over the place. I have an anthropology degree and a public health degree. So actually nothing related to software out of the gate. 

BRIAN 02:00 

Wow. That's really interesting. And then that's actually-- that's something we hear a lot. Almost every guest that we have on here has some really interesting story about where they came from or what they did before analytics. Which makes sense because I think analytics is still sort of a new up and coming discipline. I think we're just now starting to see universities building coursework and degree programs and post-degree programs and things like that. So that tracks exactly with what we've heard. What did you say before? You came from Alabama and then Nashville and then Denver. Which one's the best? 

KATIE 02:38 

Oh, I love Colorado. No, I can't talk bad about my home states but Colorado's very fitting. 

BRIAN 02:43 

I tried. Yeah. Okay. Great. Good. So let's actually dig a little deeper. You were talking about sort of your path and where you came from. Maybe you could talk a little bit about how do you see-- through your travels on your way to Alteryx and now at Alteryx, what does that path looked like? What kind of phases of business have you seen? Maybe talk a little bit about that. 

KATIE 03:08 

Sure. So, yeah, I started my undergrad as an anthropology. I picked that because I thought it was fascinating. And when I got out, I realized, "Well, I'm going to need something else." So I'm looking for a graduate degree and I wanted-- what was appealing to me - I went from anthropology to public health - was they're both focused on systematic problems or systematic processes and things like that. And I was looking to apply that anthropology in a way that solves real world problems today. And that kind of took me into this path of public health. So once I got out of my master's degree, I was looking for an internship. And I'd taken a health IT course that seems like there's opportunity there and it's still focused on solving human problems in a systematic level. And I was actually chatting with my brother about this and he encouraged me to look up the company he was working at which was a start-up. Vanderbilt University had a homegrown hospital and it was a documentation system for surgeries. And that's what I ended up doing out of the gate. So I've basically been through this start-up. I was employee eight, so extremely small company. We went through a lot of growth in that first year. And we got acquired by a company that was more of a full hospital information system, outside of Nashville. And we got acquired there, which is what took me to Nashville. So coming, then, to Alteryx and seeing the IPO and going through that experience, it's been really interesting to see kind of that well-rounded process. And I've learned a tremendous amount through each of those stages. 

BRIAN 04:43 

Excellent. Okay. So I'm curious, from your perspective, two types of exits or depending on how you want to look at it, you have your acquisition and your IPO. Maybe talk a little bit about what you think the differences are there. 

KATIE 05:02 

Sure. I mean, there's a lot of similarities, also a lot of differences. I'm going to start with the similarities just because I think the speed at which things are changing in any of those scenarios brings a lot of excitement but also a lot of challenges. So with the start-up, we were small enough that you end up wearing a lot of hats. We don't really worry so much about roles necessarily but focus on just filling gaps and getting things done. So my experience was I just had to learn a lot. And they threw a ton of information at me and whatever they needed done, they would see if I could handle it and just add on responsibilities as I learned. So things were moving extremely fast. And I think some of the differences lie in how much process is wrapped around some of these things. So at the start-up we had-- obviously, every company has processes but it was really light. We're extremely quickly and just getting things done and focused on hitting the ground running. 

KATIE 06:02 

And then through the acquisition, it was really interesting to see the process of fitting into that broader context. So as we acquired companies here at Alteryx, I thought about that with Semanta and with Yhat. And just from that other perspective, being a start-up and coming into a larger organization, and fitting into those processes can be challenging. But I think that it's useful to, from our perspective as the larger organization, to also be open to the processes that are in place in these smaller places because they're agile. They're the epitome of agile because they're small and they have to move quickly. So that was really interesting to get that flip in perspective as I went from fitting into that larger organization at my previous company and then as we've acquired folks here and I've gotten to know them and I've been involved in some of their products, seeing how we can learn, also, from them on areas where we may should adjust. So but I think some similarities, it all moves really quickly. Same with the IPO. After that steps, you have to be comfortable with change. And I think embracing the speed at which some of these things are going is much more fun than being worried about it because that's just the nature of the game. We're in an industry that's fast changing and it's always going to be doing that. And I think that's exciting because it keeps us on our feet. And if we embrace that change and just roll with the punches and communicate with each other, it's a really fun process. 

BRIAN 07:35 

Great. Okay. I want to also dive into your experience as a product manager. But I think what would be really great before we do that, I would love hear your perspective on what's the difference between a product manager and a project manager. Because I think that a lot of people don't fundamentally understand what you do, necessarily-- 

KATIE 07:58 

Yeah. Definitely true. 

BRIAN 08:00 

--and I think just in general. So that it'd be really cool to kind of hear your perspective on what those differences are and what you view the role of a product manager as. 

KATIE 08:07 

Absolutely. So I'm going to start by telling you how I got into this to just give you a little perspective. So at my last company, when we got acquired, as it goes with acquisitions, I was doing kind of all of the day-to-day work in training new people and still also managing all of our processes with our customers. And so we had-- our development organization was in Dallas, Texas and I was visiting because we also had a customer out there who was needing some what they called training. So I went to Dallas to the office, our development office, and was working with these nurses to help them train up on the system. And we had some of the development team sitting in there, kind of watching and helping me where they could. And what it turned into was our customers telling us what challenges they were having with the product. This was especially because it was a small company product. There were a lot of things that we needed to improve. And it just turned into this, "Look, here's where we're having trouble and here's what we're trying to do. And here's the problems we're trying to solve." And through that conversation of me working with them on understanding their problems and figuring out how to make our system work with their processes and tweaking it so that we could make that happen, the development team was watching me. And came up to me afterward and was like, "You need to be our product manager." I was like, "Oh, well, what's that?" And so I ended up filling that role as a product manager because I was already doing it. 

KATIE 09:44 

And why I wanted to tell that story is because that's kind of a perfect example of what a product manager does. It's all about understanding how people are using the software, what kind of problems they're trying to solve, what challenges they're seeing, what they love about the product, what they struggle with around how the product works, and not just listening to what people say they want but understanding the underlying problem they're trying to solve and focusing on adding value to a product so that you can help them solve problems in better ways. So to me, that's kind of the fundamental thing that is a product manager. It's that focus between the customer and the development teams on understanding what we're actually trying to do and where we can provide value. Value being the key word there. That's something I think a lot about, especially when I prioritize and features and things like that. 

KATIE 10:42 

But I would say the difference there, the focus is on the product. How can we make our product better to solve customer problems? On project management, to me-- my experience with project managers has all been about coordination. So when you are trying to build software, for example, you have tons of people involved, whether it's the development team or the quality assurance team or the support team or the customers themselves or implementation processes. And trying all those pieces together into a timeline and a plan that actually gets you from ideation to delivery requires a lot of effort. So there's an extreme amount of coordination between teams that needs to happen as well as timeline planning so that you know, for example, when you're going to be able to release software or when do all the pieces come together. Project management, in my mind, is essentially, you have a bunch of people working on railroad tracks and you need to make sure they line up in the middle. And that's where the focus is, is more on the execution and tying the ends together versus the strategy of what do we need to build. So product management is all about what problems are we solving and how can provide the most values to our customers by building out the actual product. And project management is kind of the execution and how you pull all those pieces together and make sure people are communicating in the right way that makes it successful. 

BRIAN 12:11 

Interesting. Okay. And so how does that influence your view on-- so kind of taking your definition there and taking it kind of in a little bit of a different direction, how does that influence your view on analytics culture? And kind of talk to me about how you view, from your seat and sort of the things that you're working on, what's important for an analytics culture to first be created and then thrive? 

KATIE 12:43 

Absolutely. So some of the things that I try to focus on through my processes as a product-- product manager processes, one of the biggest ones is, "What problem are we trying to solve?" If you ask yourself that kind of when you're doing anything, it helps you focus on the big picture and the real value. And I think that that has value in the broader context of just building an analytics culture. We also serve different roles in that culture and it can be very easy, especially day-to-day in the nitty-gritty, getting kind of siloed and focused on whatever project you're working on at that particular time and forgetting to expand that out and making sure that you're focusing on the right things that provide the most value. So I'm constantly asking myself, whether it's from some wide-level strategy question or it's in a specific tactic of how we're going to build something, what problem are we trying to solve? And I think organizations should try to keep that in mind as a whole so that you keep your organization's values at hand and you're always all driving towards that same value. I think that's extremely helpful. 

KATIE 13:56 

And then another piece that I just wanted to shout out, I also worked, in my graduate program, on some research. And this was my first foray into data of any kind and it was definitely around the data collection side of things, so this is a little different. But I think that we sit kind of in this interesting space between, "Okay, we have data and we need to figure out what to do with it." But it's also important to focus on not only data collection methods-- your data is only as good as you can collect it, on one hand. But it's also only as good as you can communicate it. So this is what attracted me to the visualization side of data analytics is you can-- it's extremely important, obviously, to understand what data you have inside of your organization and to have access to it and to be able to communicate about it and to clean it up and get it together and analyze it and get to some sort of insight. But even once you have that insight, if you can't communicate it in a articulate way, then you're missing a big chunk of this. So your data is only as good as you can communicate it. And that is what excites me about the Visualytics side of the world. 

BRIAN 15:07 

Interesting. And so what's the-- who do you go to talk to? So you talked a little bit there about looking at strategy versus tactics and then honing in certain ideas. What does the group of people look like that you interact with on the daily or regularly, at least, to understand, "Am I headed in the right direction? Am I focusing this product or products in the correct way to get to the vision that we have?" Talk to me a little about sort of the collaboration piece there. 

KATIE 15:40 

Absolutely. So I think that this always, first and foremost, starts with customers, for me. As I mentioned previously, that's even how I got into the role, is just one-on-one, understanding what problem are our customers trying to solve. And that's where it gets really interesting, especially with Alteryx because we sit inside of so many different industries and that's just a really interesting topic. But I think that-- I had an interesting moment at Inspire this year. I got to show off some really cool new stuff that we're working on and had a lot of people talking to me afterward about it. And they were just really excited about these projects. But someone was giving me some feedback about our interactive data grid that I got to show off and telling me what they would love to see it do and some of the ideas that it sparked. And I asked him to reach out to me. I was like, "I would really love to set up some time and understand how you would use this and what kind of use cases you have." And he was kind of like, "Oh, really?" "Absolutely. I mean, I don't just come up with this stuff on my own." Honestly, I'm inspired by customers, absolutely, 100%. And really, customers make us look good, right? Because they give us ideas by telling us what they're trying to do and explaining where they're getting stuck. And that's my biggest source of motivation from the initial stages. It's like, "All right. What are you trying to do?" Understanding that problem. What is working and what is not? And then incorporating some of the specific feedback that they have but also really focusing on that underlying, "What problem are they trying to solve?" 

KATIE 17:15 

And so from there, when I kind of have a general idea of that problem and some of the ideas that people have, especially if there's some specific ideas that everyone is saying,  which happens a lot when you get into ideation. But from there, I like to then do my homework on what other companies are doing, honestly. So what kinds of things are our partners doing or even our competitors? And what are people love about other products and what are they struggling with with other products? So that we're getting the best ideas from a well-rounded perspective. And then there's a lot of collaboration that happens internally. I mean, I'm very much on the kind of, "Here's the problem that we're trying to solve and here's why it's important. Here's the impact it has to our customers. And here's some rough ideas that I have about how we can go about resolving this." 

KATIE 18:07 

And then I'll involve our UX team. So we typically have-- let's say I have an initiative such as the interactive data grid. I'll start with kind of an outline kickoff of, "Here's what we know. Here's what we don't know. Here's what we're trying to do and here's why it's important. Here's how it'll impact our customers." And then we kick it off with a variety of people internally. So  the UX team, the dev leads, a variety of development talent that are going to understand the impacts to different pieces of the product. And we'll have a kickoff and we'll just get in a room and talk about where we see some issues coming up or how we might go about solving some of these problems. So that's actually one of my favorite parts about the ideation process, is just getting in a room with a variety of people and talking about that idea and fleshing some of those details out. And then once we have that really pretty well defined in regards to what we're building, it ends up being a back and forth collaborative relationship with the development team on a regular basis so we can get into the, "How are we going to build it?" And then that turns into the timeline and the planning around, "How are we going to get this to market?" And then we start involving a bunch of people across the company, marketing and sales and support. And making sure that everybody's prepared for what's coming. And at Alteryx we have so many teams that have the opportunity to be really close with customers, more so than even I do as a product manager. So I try to involve them as well because they're really the finger on the pulse of our customer base in understanding what's going to have the most value. So we try to just collaborate with a variety of people as we're ideating so we make sure that we're really focusing on that value. 

BRIAN 19:48 

Okay. And the last question I have for you on this particular thread, before we move on-- one of the things that I'm becoming more aware of all the time is that we're attempting to spread our wings as an organization into higher education, right? So we're giving away licenses for free through Alteryx for Good, to university students, for example. And I suspect that somewhere along the way some of them will watch a video where you're presenting on stage or they'll listen to a podcast like this. So if I'm someone who's, let's say, in the middle of my university degree or just graduated and I'm interested in becoming a product manager at a company like Alteryx, where would you point them? What kind of focus would you like to see them have to kind of build their skills to make it into consideration for a role like that? 

KATIE 20:43 

Yeah, absolutely. Good question. I've been asked this several times before in the past because product management is kind of this strange thing that everybody's like, "I don't know. There's not a career for that. How do you get there?" I would say my initial advice here is do not worry about having the right background. Product managers come from all over the place. And my experience, and a lot of other product managers that I've talked to, is you sometimes just need to point yourself in a general direction, whether it be in a specific industry that you're interested in or a product or even a specific organization, and be curious. If you're curious and you seek interesting opportunities within that area, you end up finding yourself in a good spot. 

KATIE 21:24 

So I think some of the main skills and qualities in a person that make good product managers are things like curiosity, an inquisitive nature, decision making, and strong prioritization skills are some that come to the top of my mind. So another that I would encourage people to do is to be proactive. So something I notice about really successful product managers is that they don't wait for someone to tell you, "This is what I need from you." But they keep their eyes open for gaps, whether it be in processes or in strategies or in product areas, and they own it. They go in and they fill in. They make suggestions about how to make improvements. So this is, in my experience, how you get to a point where you own an area and you're given more and more opportunities. That's absolutely what happened with me at my last job and as well here at Alteryx. So I would say being proactive and just always having your eyes open for-- even if you're just using any product that you use every day. We all use products all the time, every day. Spotify. I use Spotify on the regular, right? So always looking at products with an eye for curiosity and improvement. It's like, "I really wish they had this share feature that would allow me to do this," or whatever. I think keeping your eyes open to any products that you use on a day-to-day basis and being curious about ways to improve them is something that you can just do that really gets you in that product management mindset. 

KATIE 22:53 

And then another thing that I like to encourage people to do is seek opportunities even in areas that may be new for you. So I think sometimes people find a job that sounds interesting and they're like, "I'm not really qualified for that." You've got to apply anyways. Just do it because that's what got me here. When I was looking to move to Colorado-- I have family here. I have friends here. I specifically was looking in Colorado when I was interviewing. And, honestly, I applied for a lot of jobs in this area that were pretty similar to what I was doing previously, in working in hospitals and hospital software. And then I came across Alteryx, got very interested. I was like, "I really don't know if I'm qualified for this job. It's a new industry. I don't have the background. I'm going to apply anyways." And here I am. I think being curious and proactive about just taking that initial step is a really good idea because sometimes you're a much better fit than you would initially expect. I think my background of coming through the start-up world and the acquisition and everything was kind of what got my foot in the door here at Alteryx. And then just the way that I was passionate about solving problems the way that Alteryx does and the background research I'd done and how excited I was about this industry was probably what got me into Alteryx. 

KATIE 24:13 

But I think that you have to be curious. And if you're excited about something, you should go for it, whether or not you think you're "qualified" because we also-- I do a lot of interviewing here at Alteryx to bring in good talent. And it's often about people's attitude and whether they're hungry to learn, whether they love the idea of what we're doing, that encourages us to hire people versus they check every box that we put out there. So I think especially in product management where it's kind of this fuzzy thing that people don't exactly know how to get into, just be curious, check out products, come up with product ideas, and put yourself out there and go for it. 

BRIAN 24:56 

So what's number one on your Spotify playlist right now? 

KATIE 25:02 

Oh, it changes so much. Lately, I have a lot of work to do so I'm listening to jazz because there are no words and I can focus. Yeah. 

BRIAN 25:10 

Okay. So any potential candidates should come locked and loaded to their interview ready to talk about jazz is what we're getting at here. 

KATIE 25:16 

Just be passionate about something. 

BRIAN 25:20 

Great. The next thing I wanted to talk to you about, and kind of cut you loose here on because I think you're going to have quite a bit to say about this but-- I went to Inspire and I went to this keynote. I don't know if you know about this-- 

KATIE 25:34 

I think I remember. 

BRIAN 25:34 

--but I went to this keynote and someone named Katie Haralson came on the stage, I believe for the second year in a row. Was this two in a row for you? 

KATIE 25:42 

Yep. That's right. 

BRIAN 25:43 

Okay. Yeah. So you came up for your yearly awesomeness. And you unveiled to the world what you've been working on from Visualytics. And I'd love to kind of hear from you the story on that and where you think that's going. 

KATIE 25:58 

Okay. Awesome. Yeah. Of course, I have lots to talk about here. So first, I just want to say thanks. I mean, the keynotes are so much fun and I feel super honored because, really, I'm getting to show off hard work of other people. I get to be the face of Visualytics, which is extremely exciting for me, but there are a lot of people working on these products that are really the masterminds behind the curtain. So it's been a great honor to be able to show off some of these awesome new features. So I'd say we have a lot of ideas about this. I mentioned earlier your data's only as good as you can communicate it. That's something that I believe and I'm excited about Visualytics for this. So I would say the feedback that we get-- we have this really wicked strong reporting suite that allows you to do a lot things that I think that a lot of our customers don't know about. You can dynamically create repeatable reports that can be batched into really complex reports in large quantities and you can deliver them in targeted ways to individuals. And on top of that, you can do it in a way that fits your audience more perfectly by creating either PDFs or PowerPoints or Word documents or HTML pages. So we have this suite of tools that's already powerful but we definitely know they're too hard to use. They're unapproachable and we have some work to do on exposing that power by adding a much nicer user interface. So we've been working on that for sure, quite a while. 

KATIE 27:31 

And I showed off a new interactive chart tool that we're super excited about. We've got some devs working really hard, just in the other room over there, to polish that off. But the idea there is we want to make it a lot easier for you to build beautiful, D3-based charts and put these into your reports or put them into your websites and schedule those to refresh. So that's kind of one piece of it is we're starting to bring interactivity into these visualizations so you, as either a data analyst or whether you're working through your analysis, can interact with your data in a more meaningful way. Or whether you've moved into this creative side and are trying to communicate your insights to other people, we want your consumer to have that interactivity as well so they can really understand that data in a richer context. So we're focused on not only exposing the power of the kind of static reporting that allows you to generate those repeatable PDFs and PowerPoints and that sort of stuff, delivery through email. But also, as we mentioned onstage, we want give our customers the option to stay inside of Alteryx to build interactive insights or dashboards into their products. So we get a lot of feedback here that, "We need more flexibility in how we communicate our insights. And yeah, okay, sometimes we need a report that, oh, I just want to print and put on my boss's desk so he can look at it in the morning, or email it to him. So 8:00 AM every day, that's what he or she is looking at, first thing." 

KATIE 29:01 

But we also know that there's this need to explore your underlying data in a more broad way. And that's why we're introducing the Insights tool, to allow people to have that exploration capabilities. So really, when we think about Visualytics, we're focused on two main areas. We're calling it Inline Visualytics, which is the interactivity that you get throughout your analysis process. Think data profiling, the interactive data grid, anything that helps you get to your moment of insight faster by exposing trends in your data and giving you visualizations that help you understand what's going on. That's all Inline Visualytics. And then another big focus is this Visualytic Output. So to me, they're kind of distinctly different because you flip into this creative mode where you're no longer trying to understand what your data is telling you. But you're now trying to figure out the best way to communicate it. And that what Visualytic Output is all about. And that's where our reporting and our insights come to play. So it's really exciting. It's rounding out-- we have a ton of ideas. We've been getting a lot of awesome beta feedback on our interactive chart tool. So for any of those that are listening that may have participated in the beta, I appreciate it so, so much. It's extremely helpful and it's helping us make that tool much stronger. So it's been really fun. We have a ton of ideas, especially about how to add those visualizations into the platform to make a smarter experience. We want to help you get through your processes faster and give you the flexibility that you need when it comes to communicating those insights with others. 

BRIAN 30:35 

Yeah. And I can totally vouch for especially the Inline visualization features because I remember when I joined the company back in early 2015, not all of those were in the product at that time. And it's one of those things that now we take for granted. We're used to seeing the information there about how many nulls might you have in this column or this field that you should take a look at as you're working on the workflow and building out your process. But I remember now, in 2015, building out all these workflows, hitting Run, getting an output, and then maybe trying to put it into a visualization package or something, and realizing, "Oh, I have to go back and completely, no, not start over but do a lot more work because I didn't realize until I got to the end of the process that something had gone very awry much earlier in the process, right?" And now with the Inline pieces, as I'm working with various pieces of community data or lists or whatever it is, I just get so much more interactivity and sort of visual cues in the product about, "Hey, there's something here. You probably should take a look at or you should do this because it's going to be too late by the time you're at the end, trying to put it into a pretty chart or graph to throw on a slide to show to somebody, right?" So I definitely recommend everybody taking a look at those and kind of understanding the value because I think it's a game changer. Although they're sort of subtle, right? They're there but not until you really, I think, explore them do you appreciate what that brings to the process. 

KATIE 32:10 

Yeah, Brian. Absolutely. And I think another thing I would love to ask for from anyone who's listening is this is a value for us. This is something we're focused on. But we know that we're just a few steps in and we've got a lot of other things that we want to do to expose that sort of stuff so that you don't have to get to the end to know that you have a problem that you need to address. Or you may just even completely miss some really important insight because you just didn't know was there. So we're trying to figure out the right way to add to data profiling so that we're giving you the right information. But not only that, by showing you correlations between your fields and things like that. How can make our product smarter? To expose the right information to you as you're working through your analysis. To make make it not only faster and more efficient but also just actually find those really good tidbits of information that are extremely important for what you're trying to communicate. So for anyone that's listening, please reach out to me if you have ideas about how we can do this. We, obviously, are always looking for feedback. And we got the start of that at Inspire through the UX labs. We got some great feedback on what we've done so far and some of the ways that we can improve, for example, our data profiling as well as the results grid. But we have a lot of ideas about how we can continue this in the future. And our goal there is to make it smarter for you. 

BRIAN 33:34 

Yeah. It's crazy how many people get a platform like Alteryx and they put their data in and they do all of the work and the analysis. And then they output it to Excel because they want to make the chart in Excel. And if you're out there, please stop. Please don't do that. We want to build tools so you don't have to do that anymore. Because I think that's a huge piece. 

KATIE 33:55 

I agree. And one of my favorite moments from the keynote was showing off the interactive data grid. You asked me about our processes for coming up with an initiative like this and this one was very much pure customer feedback like, "I am copying my data out of the results grid and putting it into Excel so that I can sort and search and validate what I'm doing." And it just makes me cringe, right? So this is where we were like, "All right. We're going to give them the ability to do this in here." And I pulled that thing up and I didn't even show off what I was talking about and the crowd start clapping before I could even get there. That was awesome because that's extremely validating that we're pointing in the right direction. And it's things like, "Hey, we just want to be able to search and sort right inside of Alteryx." So it was really fun. 

BRIAN 34:38 

All right. On to the community picks segment. Katie, what has been exciting to you in the community recently? 

KATIE 34:43 

Sure. So when I first arrived in Colorado, obviously I was new and looking to meet people and also understand what people were into in my community. And aside from kind of the obvious, get into the mountains, do a lot of snow sports, all that sort of stuff, I also came across a pretty fun organization that's kind of spread out along Colorado called Data for Democracy. This really touched on some things that I value a lot and that brought me into the data analytics space, being focused on solving current real world problems that are systematic. So I know that there's a chapter in Denver and one, as well, in Boulder. And basically it's just a group of people that get together for any sort of data project that they want help with. And they pick something that is focused on solving social issues, whether it be environmental issues or whether it be healthcare or anything like that. And it's an open platform for people to come in and collaborate, to find data and use data to help make social change. 

KATIE 35:49 

One of the projects that I went to one of the meetings and they were talking about was using data around some of the power plants in Colorado and the expenses related to those and different things like that. And they were actually putting together some really interesting data to help legislators in the Colorado area make data-driven decisions about what they were going to do with some plants and things like that. So my shout out is for Data for Democracy. 

BRIAN 36:15 

Very cool. We will definitely put the link to that in the show notes. So for anybody who's interested, go to and you can find that. Mine is something I've already referenced earlier in the show which is your keynote at Inspire US in Anaheim. So we'll put the link to the YouTube video so that anybody can go take a look and see what you presented, sort of, visually see what we're talking about here on this audio recording, right? So I thought it was fantastic. You did a great job. I'm always so excited to see you up on stage and you're such a good presenter. I can tell, just looking around while you're speaking, people are really enjoying it and obviously very excited about the things you're presenting as well. As you said, the raucous cheers that we hear for your portions every year, so we'll-- 

KATIE 37:06 

Thanks, Brian. 

BRIAN 37:07 

Yeah. All right. Well, thank you so much for being on the show. It's been wonderful. I'm real excited to bring this to the people and I'm really excited to see the reaction to Visualytics as we get it in more people's hands and we educate them about it. So thanks again for being on and we will talk to you again soon. 

KATIE 37:26 

Absolutely. It was a great time. [music] 


This episode of Alter Everything was produced by Maddie Johannsen (@MaddieJ).