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SusanCS
Alteryx Alumni (Retired)

 

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Alteryx CEO Dean Stoecker recently hosted an “Ask Me Anything” live video event, attended by members of the Alteryx Community from around the world. In addition to answering questions submitted by the Community in advance, Dean also took some questions live — but there were too many questions to address during the event! Dean wanted to follow up with some of those additional questions asked by attendees, and we’re excited to share his answers here.

 

 

Data Careers and the ADAPT Program

 

What role do you think a portfolio of personal work plays for someone just starting out in their career, or for someone further along in their career? 

Not sure I totally understand the question, but let me give it a shot. Your portfolio of personal work, or professional work, should give you an understanding of the types of work you love to engage and the challenges certain kinds of work give you. That résumé is also what helps employers understand both your ‘will and skill’ in performing the portfolio of work they need to get accomplished. Personally, I think the portfolio of work should inform you more than any future employer about how you want to guide your career. Data science and analytic skills allow you to ‘graze shallow’ in lots of industries and functional areas until you find your passion. That same data science and analytic skill then allows you to ‘go deep.’ Some of the roles we fill are best suited to one or the other approach.



Do you have any recommendations on how to move from being viewed as an analytical workhorse to a thought leader within an organization? 

Great question. The hardest part of analytics is knowing what question to ask. When in a meeting with a bunch of colleagues, I tend to gravitate to those who ask the best questions that allow you to view an issue differently. Yes, you need the workhorses, but producing dazzling insights for the wrong question leads to the same results. If you want to be considered a thought leader, work on the skill of asking the right question.

 

 

 

If you want to be considered a thought leader, work on the skill of asking the right question.

 

 

Hello Dean. Thank you for taking the time to talk to us. I am enjoying learning new skills with the ADAPT program. I got the Core certification three weeks ago, and now I am doing the nanodegree course at Udacity. I am thinking about a career transition now after working as an engineer for the past 20 years. The question that I have for you is: We are now living on the edge of a big recession. Please share your thoughts about jobs in the data analytics market in this scenario. Is it a promising career? 

First, congratulations on your work in ADAPT. I love to see this happen, particularly in a mid-career move. I believe data and analytics skills give you the best hedge for future-proofing your career. Yes, we are in a terrible pandemic and economic dislocation, but yesterday I read a note from an investment banker who said that the number of job postings from Fortune 500 companies looking for Alteryx skills was up 21% last quarter. Businesses around the world need lots of data workers, so keep pushing. An engineering background is a bonus on top of these skills.



 

I believe data and analytics skills give you the best hedge for future-proofing your career.

 

 

Are there entry-level positions available for people who pass the ADAPT program? Where would you suggest looking for employment with these newly acquired skills? 

LinkedIn is a pretty good place to start your search, as you can isolate the roles looking for Alteryx skills. Lots of companies have been ignoring the practice of analytics for far too long, and COVID-19 is now a wake-up call for them to get more data and analytically savvy — so I imagine as the economy improves, these jobs will emerge as leading categories. Most research says that data and analytics investments are the second most important and largest investments companies will make next year. This is a great sign for those possessing the skills obtained via ADAPT.

 

 

Making the Most of the Alteryx Community

 

Thanks for having us here today. One question I have is that you mentioned that Alteryx puts a lot of effort, hours and money into the Community. How do we, the Community users, make sure that we are rewarding this awesome team and taking advantage of every hour/dollar spent on this great Community? 

Well, your patronage and engagement in Community are the sincerest form of thanks you can give to our amazing Community team. Helping other Community users will pay dividends for everyone. I have a saying: “You have to learn as much as you teach.” Doing both in Community is probably what gets our Community team most excited about their work.



 

 

Helping other Community users will pay dividends for everyone. ... You have to learn as much as you teach.

 

 

Dean, recently you brought to the Community "Alteryx Innovators." Can you talk about how you determined who are Innovators? 

In our interactions with keen customer advocates across the world, we were noticing a definite shared desire to network with like-minded peers across regions, industries and skill sets to exchange not only Alteryx knowledge, but data and analytics best practices and how this can have exponential business impact. Our customer advocates are folks who are leveraging the Alteryx Platform to automate antiquated and manual processes, introducing new ways of thinking at their organizations, helping teammates become upskilled, and pushing boundaries as they venture into advanced analytics to drive their businesses forward. The common denominator is that they want to share these experiences both within our Community and beyond, and the Innovator program is the platform to do this. Again, listening to our customers’ suggestions and ideas on what they wanted from an advocacy program helped us shape our outreach strategy. Our burgeoning Community and customer-centric account teams helped us identify candidates to engage, and we also allow future Innovators to proactively sign up via the Community.



What is an area, feature or part of the Community that you want people to know about? 

While there are nuggets of goodness everywhere in the Community, I spend most of my time in the Use Cases area. It is fun to see what people are doing with our platform around the world. 

 

 

Many thanks to Dean for joining us for the live AMA event and for sharing more advice and insights here. Be sure to learn about and sign up for ADAPT if you would like to strengthen your data and analytics skills. And don't forget to explore all the great resources on the Community for learning and connecting with other Alteryx users!

Susan Currie Sivek
Senior Data Science Journalist

Susan Currie Sivek, Ph.D., is the data science journalist for the Alteryx Community. She explores data science concepts with a global audience through blog posts and the Data Science Mixer podcast. Her background in academia and social science informs her approach to investigating data and communicating complex ideas — with a dash of creativity from her training in journalism. Susan also loves getting outdoors with her dog and relaxing with some good science fiction. Twitter: @susansivek

Susan Currie Sivek, Ph.D., is the data science journalist for the Alteryx Community. She explores data science concepts with a global audience through blog posts and the Data Science Mixer podcast. Her background in academia and social science informs her approach to investigating data and communicating complex ideas — with a dash of creativity from her training in journalism. Susan also loves getting outdoors with her dog and relaxing with some good science fiction. Twitter: @susansivek