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MeganDibble
Alteryx Community Team
Alteryx Community Team

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Today’s user group leader spotlight is @Banim. Keep reading to learn more about Ben and his experience with user groups!

 

Tell us a bit about your professional background.

 

I started my career working for a large bank in the PMO (Project Management Office) Continuous Improvement team, where I was responsible for mapping out Finance processes in Microsoft Visio. I found so many inefficiencies and repeated steps that I thought that there MUST be a better way to do this—so I taught myself VBA code and started building Excel macros to automate the creation of different reports. I thought I was super cool, making everyone's Excel workbooks quicker and slicker, until I was approached by my current employer, who caught wind of the automation work I was doing at the bank, and they demoed Alteryx to me. It was love at first sight, and I was hired into my current role - Data Consultant at Continuum! Continuum is an Alteryx Premier Partner, and I've been here for nearly seven years now, using Alteryx every day.

 

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The responsibilities of my role as Data Consultant are 2-fold: first, to sell Alteryx (doing pitches, presentations, talking at events), and then secondly, to train others how to develop in Alteryx (user groups, hosting training courses, mentoring sessions, filming YouTube tutorials). I also infrequently do larger scale Alteryx professional services engagements for our clients, but to be honest, I love teaching and helping others skill up in Alteryx way more than building large workflows in Alteryx myself - this is the main reason I become an Alteryx User Group leader!

 

What is one fun thing about you that community members might not know?

 

I love to express myself with tattoos, and I have two full tattoo sleeves—both of my arms are completely covered. Not a lot of people in my professional network would know about this, however, because I always wear long-sleeved shirts/jumpers to work. I bet a lot of people that I've worked with for a long time would be shocked to learn this.

 

What is your favorite Alteryx feature? 

 

It might sound dumb, but I love the "Delete and connect around" feature a lot. This saves me so much hassle, especially if I have one tool connected to something like 5+ other tools. Having to remember where the deleted tool was connected and then re-connect them manually has been a pain in the past, especially on large workflows—thank you Alteryx dev team for this feature! 🙏

 

Why did you become a user group leader (UGL)? 

 

I become a UGL because I love speaking and interacting with others - I'm a people person, and the Alteryx User Groups that I run are always such amazing fun because I can bounce around the room and network with all of my fellow Alteryx enthusiasts all under one roof! My vision is to build a lasting community of users.

 

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What is the easiest and the hardest part of being a UGL? 

 

The easiest part for me is getting up on stage and hosting the user group itself - I love speaking/presenting, and I quickly find myself in my "flow state," having fun and laughing with everyone.


The hardest part is the logistics of setting up the event, ordering food for attendees, booking a room, and generally making sure everything is aligned and ready for the event itself. Luckily for me I have a fantastic team of helpers that take the pressure off.

 

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Tell us a funny story that happened during a UG Meeting.   

 

In one of our most recent UG meetings, I demonstrated to everyone how to access the secret, hidden games in Alteryx (In Designer, select "Help" --> "About", then double-click on the Alteryx logo!). Here we all had a laugh and spent a little while playing space invaders, pong, and data breaker! We also played a prank on one of the attendees where you can update all of the Alteryx tool icons on the canvas to be what they looked like in the older version (again, in Designer, select "Help" --> "About", then double-click on the Colorado flag). They came back and were so perplexed - "What the hell happened to my tools?!" 😅

 

What was your best experience during a UG Meeting (professional networking, personal development, career evolution, etc...)? 

 

Over the 4+ years that I've been running our User Group it's been such a pleasure to witness the group become more and more comfortable sharing their use case stories. When we first started out we'd offer the opportunity to present to the group and the room fell silent—plus tumbleweed came out of nowhere and rolled across the stage...


Now we always have at least one, if not two, users come up on stage and present to the group what they've been working on, inspiring everyone else on the art of the possible. My best experience continues to be the pride I feel in seeing the group flourish and come out of its shell, making it more of a friendly and collaborative space for everyone.

 

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Do you prefer Virtual UGs or in-person UGs? And why?

 

100% in-person User Groups. The main reason being that before and after the event you can network with other users. In our User Groups we provide a complementary lunch (free sandwiches and soft drinks) so it's a great time to chat to old friends and make some new ones - something that is a lot harder to do virtually. In a Teams/Zoom/ON24 call, if you talk to one person, you're talking to everyone!

 

Here’s a quick highlight video from our last user group! 

 

If you were an Alteryx Tool, which one would you be?

 

I'd be the Join Multiple tool! My passion and skills are centred around getting people together and forming long-standing, respected relationships. I feel like the Join Multiple tool reflects my ability to bring different people together.


Tune in next week for another spotlight article!

Megan Dibble
Data Journalist

Hi, I'm Megan! I am a data journalist on the Alteryx Community Team. I work to make sure our blogs have high quality, helpful, and engaging content. As a data analyst turned writer, I am passionate about making analytics & data science accessible (and fun!) for all. If there is content that you think the community is missing, feel free to message me--I would love to hear about it.

Hi, I'm Megan! I am a data journalist on the Alteryx Community Team. I work to make sure our blogs have high quality, helpful, and engaging content. As a data analyst turned writer, I am passionate about making analytics & data science accessible (and fun!) for all. If there is content that you think the community is missing, feel free to message me--I would love to hear about it.