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To help get you excited for three iconic days of learning, we held a Q&A session with Alteryx ACE, Cathy Bridges. If you don't know much about Alteryx ACEs or the ACE program, ACEs are our very own Icons of Analytics - a talented group of data analysts and consultants, from small boutique analytics shops to some of the largest multi-national organizations in the world, and they are all very passionate about data and sharing their knowledge and expertise with the Alteryx community. We're also debuting an all new ACE Track at Inspire 2017, so you can learn directly from them!
A big thank you to Cathy taking the time to answer our questions - make sure you say hi to her in Vegas!
What's your single favorite reason to attend Alteryx Inspire?
Hanging out with my Alteryx peeps! The Alteryx team members, other ACES, people I've met at other conferences or events - they're like family to me.
Can you share 3 reasons you would recommend a new Alteryx customer attend Inspire?
One is to make connections. You might create a lasting friendship at lunch. Second is the training. You'll never find a higher concentration of solutions engineers and ACES who can help you out. Third is just for fun. Inspire is not a typical conference. It feels more like a celebration for data geeks.
What's your funniest memory of Inspire?
That would have to be talking with Ned Harding (Alteryx CTO), not knowing who he was. I told him I had heard he was "some kind of Alteryx wizard". He said, "I don't know about that," and later casually mentioned that he built Alteryx.
What Icon of Analytics have you met at an Inspire conference? What happened during the meeting?
Towards the end of the conference, I was invited to join Jonathan Drummey for dinner. He introduced me to Anya A'Hearn. That meeting was really inspirational for me and ultimately opened the door for me to work with DataBlick as a consultant during a job transition. It was very serendipitous.
How can an Inspire attendee best allocate their time at the conference?
I wouldn't fill every timeslot with workshops. Carve out some time to hang out in the Community Hub or the Solutions Center. They're very energizing spaces where you can refuel. And plan to stretch beyond your comfort zone. Whether you're with co-workers or on your own, the undiscovered gold lies just beyond the familiar, and that's true of relationships and training. Push past the butterflies and experience something or someone new.
Can you share 1-2 Product Training sessions that would be helpful for a new Alteryx user to register for?
The best place to get started is the Getting Started trainings! And the Tips and Tricks session is great, too.
The Alteryx Technology Track has a lot of new sessions — including some new topics that were voted on by the Alteryx Community. Which Tech Track sessions sound most interesting to you?
I'm excited about Ben Gomez' sessions. I got to meet Ben at last year's Inspire and later in Broomfield, and he's super committed to an outstanding user experience, so I know he's got some great stuff in store.
Did you participate in any extracurricular events at past Inspire events? How did you hear about those events?
Yes, I was in the Community Fun Run, and it was a blast! I learned about it in the community forums by following threads about Inspire.
How do you recommend someone keep up-to-date on what's happening at Inspire?
Last year, the app was an invaluable tool. And following the #alteryx17 hashtag on Twitter helps, too.
This year's party will be held at Brooklyn Bowl. How are your bowling skills?
I'm definitely not an ACE when it comes to bowling, but I do have fun.
What recommendations do you have for someone who would like to become an Alteryx ACE?
Get involved in the online community, whether it's by helping people with solutions, posting product ideas, or commenting on other people's ideas and posts.
If you haven't registered for Inspire 2017, there is still time. If you ARE registered, make sure to sign up for sessions while there is still space because some sessions are nearing capacity. And be sure to keep track of all things Inspire in our Inspire Buzz page on the Alteryx Community. See you in Las Vegas!