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JoshuaB
Alteryx Product Evangelist
Alteryx Product Evangelist

I am the Principal Evangelist here at Alteryx and you are about to understand why I am so invested in the software this team of developers, product managers, engineers, and so many more work on day after day. They know there are people like you and me out here that need their help. There is a renewed passion brewing here at Alteryx that I wish you all could see. Rightly so, I am bouncing off the walls with excitement!   

 

Let me share a quick story... 

 

A little over 10 years ago, it happened.  

 

A guy by the name of Hugo comes to me at my desk. Hugo is not your average guy either. He is smarter than 99% of those around us and works extremely diligently like he is short on time or something. He has the Stanford PhD in Operations Research to back it up. Yet this guy remains one of the most humble and down-to-earth people I have met. In about what seems like five minutes on a Friday of some week I cannot remember he did it.   

 

Backup about a month.   

 

I was at my desk and drowning in SQL. I had three to four Teradata or SQL Server queries running at any given time. I had VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) code a couple of miles long like Italy was having a sale on spaghetti and I had deadlines. Not like deadlines for getting your updates out to your boss by Friday but like multiple hundred slide PowerPoint decks out to five global regions and hundreds of VPs and Directors all waiting to make decisions on a $1 billion dollar supply chain. A billion freaking dollars of products in people's hands. Hundreds of millions of dollars of products on the water in-transit to somewhere. Hundreds more in logistics costs that needed saving.   

 

Many people right there would give up and have all the best excuses to do so. I unfortunately did not get so lucky. I figured out later I had three main reasons to keep going month after month: 

  • I had a small but bad ass team of the best and the brightest people. 
  • I worked at one of the most notable and well-known global brands of our lifetimes. A place that has changed the fabric of what it means to be an athlete.  
  • I happened to have had the VP of the Global Supply Chain take a liking to me and my obsession with data and numbers, my charm (c'mon admit it!), and my ability to work twenty hours straight.  

 

He was an extremely disciplined leader, notorious for carrying around a 2-inch stack of printed PowerPoint slide decks with every number and chart related to his supply chain. I was the person responsible for those numbers and charts. Every. Single. Month. I realized later when I was working with him on a new chart and he saw a number, cocked his head, smiled (in order to not pop my huge head that I was even in his office) but with 100% confidence and said "It's wrong mate" as if I was going to question it. But he saw my disbelief and literally reached onto his bookshelf and pulled out a deck from last year and then the one he had nearby for this year and proceeds to point out "If you divide this year by last year... you don't get that..." With all the highest respect in the universe… he MEMORIZED ALL THE NUMBERS!  

 

It was wild and I loved it.   

 

I was slogging away because the reward for me was infinitely more. I was respected, liked for my passionate+silly+obsessive-ness, got to work on important top-line impacting work, and had a fantastic team all around me that made me feel whole, but even then. Even then I have learned that you can have so much and still not keep up. I was burning the candles at both ends. I was putting the hours in, I happy was doing it, and although I was getting better, faster, and more efficient each month. It was not enough. I was falling behind.   

 

You know that feeling of letting people you respect down? It is the WORST! I was about to drive myself up a wall if I kept pushing as hard as I was.   

 

A month goes by of the same. I was already falling behind. I missed dates. I lost one co-worker to a new offer, got two consultants to help, but obviously ramp up time is hard when you are already slammed.  

 

Then it happened.   

 

Hugo… remember him? He comes by my desk, sees me and my bloodshot eyes staring down at a SQL query and says, "Hey man - can I show you something really quick before I get out of here for the weekend?"

 

My inner voice is like "Get out of here already and just let me dig my own grave, will you?"  I said "Sure" with a smile of course. He plopped his laptop up on my desk, points to his screen and says "You really need to check this software out! I just watched a webinar, and it looks incredible. I thought I would use it, but I think you'll like it more."

 

What was the software? Alteryx.  

 

I swear in that moment the clouds parted, the sun shone, and doves flew above in super slow-mo as I had just witnessed what some call an epiphany. All I can tell you is that it was the best time warp you could have ever given someone. Today, I stand here ten years later, mesmerized by all that has happened. 

 

It was wild and I loved it.   

 

Soon I am going to be sharing more about how you can become an evangelist in your company. How you can make an impact with Alteryx. I will be giving you some learnings I picked up along the way as well as share our mutual excitement for Alteryx with everyone we can.  

 

I want to hear where and when you had your aha! moment. Post in the comments below! 

 

Peace, Love, & Silliness, 

Joshua Burkhow 

 

Find me on Alteryx Community | AlterTricks | LinkedIn | Twitter and soon YouTube 

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