Hello Alteryx Community!!
We are @kat and @NicoleJohnson! Back in 2018, we took the Grand Prix by storm and made it the year for women solvers, taking the Grand Prix Champion title home at both Inspire Europe and Inspire North America!! We are excited to answer any questions you have today around our Grand Prix experiences: how we prepared for the race, what the competition was like, our favorite tools to use, best songs on our playlists that got us pumped up... whatever you want to know!!
And if you’re interested in competing in the Alteryx Grand Prix (you should!!), check out this blog post about registering for Grand Prix 2021!
We’ll be online for the next hour (10-11am PST) to answer alllll your questions - just leave a comment below! Ready... Set... Go!
Kat & Nicole
PHOTO: Kat & Nicole after Kat's Grand Prix victory in London (along with pit crew extraordinaire, Dan Hare!)
Bit random, but I remember spending a lot of time putting my playlist together for the Grand Prix - I wanted to make sure it was upbeat and motivational, to keep the adrenaline going. However, I only remember 2 songs - the first one that played when I first put my headphones on, which was Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton singing "Say Something"... and then I remember I was getting close to the answer on Round 1, I KNEW I had it, and then AJR's "Burn the House Down" came on, and I legit remember starting to dance a bit on stage. Don't remember any of the other songs, but to this day when I hear one of those songs, it brings me back on stage!!
@kat - did you have a song or two that got you in the right frame of mind??
Thank you @carlosteixeira ! 🙂
I'd suggest just doing any and all weekly challenges left to do and doing them all properly, - i.e. giving it a proper shot before looking at the solution. Would also recommend just familiarising yourself with every tool available - you never know what crazy question they'll come up with!
Hope we'll see you on stage this year @carlosteixeira 😁
What is the technique that you use to quickly resolve a workflow? Do you prefer a beautiful workflow or one that solves?
On a daily basis, in our jobs we have more time to think about solutions, let's say more elegant. hahahaha
@Thableaus - "Do you think preparing for a Grand Prix helped you on passing the Alteryx Expert Certification? Even though the format is totally different."
That's a great question! Yes & no - the Expert exam challenges you to know very particular things about some of the more advanced tools & concepts in Alteryx, so in that sense, being able to quickly get done with the things you do know how to do so that you can focus on tweaking the things you aren't as familiar with was definitely a Grand Prix type skill... but there are distinctly fewer people cheering you on while you're taking the Expert exam, which is really a shame 🙂
I do think that any time you can challenge yourself to think through a problem in your mind, start to finish, and to plan ahead/always be thinking about the downstream steps, you'll be setting yourself up for success, whether that is in a Grand Prix or while taking an Expert exam!
@NicoleJohnson my music story is terrible... I didn't realise that one would have to listen to music. Added to that I normally work in silence. It was my first Inspire and I, super naively, assumed the headphones were so good at cancelling out noise that all I'd need to do was put them on 😂 So day before @CailinS told us we needed to listen to music while there and I panicked a bit. Wasn't sure whether I'd be able to think at the same time... I ended up going with classical music as I figured there wouldn't be any lyrics to distract me. Worked out somehow! The music was probably quite a funny counter point to the madness around me.
While maybe slightly different this year, I would highly recommend practising working with distractions, if that's not something you're familiar with.
@carlosteixeira - being able to read through a problem and at least partially visualize the solution before you build it is a great way to get started. I would also say that knowing the pitfalls of certain tools - remembering to change numeric formulas to a number data type, for example, instead of the string default - is a good thing to keep in mind too. You are totally right in that it is counter-intuitive to how we usually perform our jobs - speed over quality is not usually a good thing haha. BUT just because you build it fast, with too many tools and some odd choices, doesn't mean it's wrong - just like how it's not wrong when you build something differently for work than a coworker might have. There are 200 different ways to solve pretty much any problem with Alteryx, so it's less about building it the right way and more about building in a way that makes sense to you and the way YOUR brain operates. While it might not be pretty, and you would NEVER give it to your boss... well in this case, that won't matter, if you can instead show your boss your awesome new trophy 🙂
Considering this year people have probably been working at home with pets & children & spouses causing distractions all the time, that's probably far less of an odd scenario nowadays to have distractions while you are solving 🤣