Alter Everything

A podcast about data science and analytics culture.
Episode Guide

Interested in a specific topic or guest? Check out the guide for a list of all our episodes!

Alteryx Alumni (Retired)

In this episode, Alteryx Manager of Global Community Engagement, Leah Knowles, has a conversation with teammate Joe Miller, Director of Customer Enablement. They chat about the Alteryx ADAPT Program which provides analytics training and an Alteryx license to those who have experienced a career layoff due to the pandemic. Leah and Joe also talk about learning techniques and methodologies, as well as their personal experiences with learning analytics.




Leah Knowles @LeahKTwitter, LinkedIn

Joe Miller @JoeMTwitter, LinkedIn

Maddie Johannsen - @MaddieJTwitter, LinkedIn




@TaraM, @LeahK, and @JoeM@TaraM, @LeahK, and @JoeM


@LeahK, @JoeM, and @TaraM@LeahK, @JoeM, and @TaraM



image (4).png



image (4) copy.png



Episode Transcription

MADDIE: 00:00

Hey, this is Maddie Johannsen with a quick message before we get started. We've always been committed to celebrating our global and diverse community on this podcast, but I want to be better at amplifying Black voices. While this episode doesn't feature people of color, it's important to let you know that this is coming and will be more frequent. And if I can call out a few Community picks, here are some podcasts that spotlight African Americans in tech: Black Hypothesis, Black Tech Unplugged, Black Women Talk Tech Podcast, and more that I'll link to in the show notes at Here's guest host, Leah Knowles.

LEAH: 00:38

All right, I'm starting. Five, four--

JOE: 00:40

Wait, who's going to say action?

LEAH: 00:43

I'm about to. Five, four, three, two, one, action. Wait, no, hold on. Hold on.

JOE: 00:50


LEAH: 00:52


JOE: 00:53

I like, by the way, when you first launched it, you actually clacked your hands together, it was pretty epic.

LEAH: 00:58

Welcome to Alter Everything, a podcast about Data Science and analytics culture. I'm Leah Knowles, manager of Global Community Engagement at Alteryx and overall friend of the podcast. I hosted an episode a while ago and I'm so excited to be back as your host today. For this episode, I sat down with my friend Joe Miller.

JOE: 01:19

Hi, everyone. My name is Joe Miller. I'm the director of customer enablement here at Alteryx. Anything that you might see on our community around training and learning typically stems out of the team that we have here on this side of the house.

LEAH: 01:35

Alteryx just launched a new program called ADAPT, focused on enabling those who have faced a layoff or sudden career hardship amidst the pandemic and I want to have a chat with Joe to dive into the program, as he was a key driver in bringing it to life. We talked about the ADAPT program itself but I also asked him about how we learn and even how our brains work. Let's get started. Awesome. And Joe and I have been working together since the day I started at Alteryx, very closely. So much fun.

JOE: 02:10

Actually, Leah, this week I have the Google Photo memories and I was panning through it and one of the early memories that I have that was actually recorded on video was the card game that we were testing out for Inspire. Do you remember when we had the--

LEAH: 02:26


JOE: 02:27

--analytics superheroes card game?

LEAH: 02:29

I do remember that. I remember that video too. I was eating popcorn or something.

JOE: 02:34

Yeah, it was good times.

LEAH: 02:37

Anyways, we're not here to talk about that. One of the things-- new programs that we have launched recently on the Community in collaboration with Joe's team, it's called the ADAPT program and I'd love for you, Joe, to just tell us what that program is.

JOE: 03:00

That program is-- well, first of all, I should say what it stands for. It says ADAPT, what it really stands for is Advancing Data and Analytic Potential Together. And the program is targeted for those who find themselves in a place of employment challenges. They might unemployed or furloughed or even worldwide, there are different short-term working opportunities that are being surfaced and we knew a lot of people at the time were probably taking advantage of their extra time to scale up into a place that could hopefully catapult them into future opportunities. And this is something that we saw already natively happening within our Community platform and even in the smaller area of our academy. So it's no surprise that people were already out there working on this but obviously, with the ever-expanding universe that is Data Analytics and Data Science, we know the opportunities are great and even more so during these troubling times, it seems like data has become even more of a point of emphasis. People are looking at the numbers harder than ever to really understand what trends might be in place, how the economy might be turning, what they need to accommodate the ongoing survival of their business. And so it's become a really big center point for people who are in these organizations and we want to give people the opportunity to scale into places like that. So people who might be in entertainment or hospitality services or industrial-- whatever they might be and looking to make a little bit of a pivot or even just try to understand the world a little bit more, we wanted to afford the opportunity for people to join in. And while we have all this wonderful learning content, one of the things that can be prohibitive to people is having access to the right tools to perform that. And so this idea, I should mention, stemmed from a single person within this organization. His name was Peter Abramson.

LEAH: 05:06

You might recognize Peter's name as he was featured in episode 58, titled Analyzing happiness: a look into the World Happiness Report.

JOE: 05:16

And Peter had surfaced the idea and it quickly ascended all the way to the leadership who really bought into the idea and wanted to pronounce it further yet. So not only did we want to provide the opportunity for people to be trained but remove all the financial obstacles that would traditionally be in the way of that. So that came in the form of provisioning a free Alteryx license and working through a partnership with Udacity to take the course there down to free. So all the things that people would need to complete the course is merely time to do it. And so we were happy to roll that out and get the first [blush?] to roll it out to all program members and to date we have about 8,000 people who have taken into the program and started their learning journey.

LEAH: 06:03

Yeah, it's been great to see the interest and coverage that we've been getting and people seem to be really excited about the opportunity. And Joe, you started to allude to this a bit in your comments but I wanted to dive in a little bit deeper and shift gears to talk more about the value of analytic proficiency more generally. I know we've been getting quite a few questions, whether it's from people who are actively in the ADAPT program or just generally from folks in our community throughout the years on-- "I'm investing my time into developing my analytics skill set and so what? What can I do with this? What path can I take?"

JOE: 06:55

That's a great question and that's something that we come across quite a bit, right? Just because data's everywhere. People can find it in any place they look. So for people, one of the things that I query to them is, "Where do you see data?" And people might think of something super robust like a database but I ask them, "Did you look at the nutrition label of your oatmeal this morning?" Right? "Did you look at your phone? Do you have a heart rate monitor or a step counter? Anything that measures fitness?" I think to some extent, everyone is sort of a data nerd and they just haven't quite discovered it yet. You'll just have to determine a point of emphasis. And I start there because it's a good jumping-off point to say like, "You're already there and you're processing data all the time, whether you know it or not." It's somewhat intuitive to people. But the question is really, "What do you want to do with analytics skill set?" So the thing that I'd like to say is that there are kind of two things that I would bin typically for people who are just starting off. It's to say, "You can study in the analytic proficiency or the analytic skill set to become better in the analytic skill set, for the sake of studying the analytic skill set and performing in the analytic skill set, or you can do it to contextualize some of your ongoing careers, opportunities, hobbies, for example. So how can you add it as kind of a layer to your life? The first of which is something that you hear more often just because we tend to be wrapped into this world of how to be a data worker or data analyst or data scientist or citizen data scientist. And I compare those people to someone who might study the stars, like an astrophysicist, right? They study the stars to understand more about stars, so to speak, whereas someone else that I could talk about is a sailor, right? They might study stars in a different way. They might want to study stars just to understand how to navigate in the open water. It doesn't necessarily allow them to understand the composition of the stars, so to speak but it's really important to them in being able to perform the task that's set before them. And I think that's key, right, is because when people see the opportunities, yes, we can put you down this funnel of growing within the analytical skill set but it also goes very wide. If you're a social media influencer, right, maybe you start to analyze the metrics that if you posted at a certain time of day, you get more traction. Maybe if I like to do a lot of mountain biking, for example, I like to measure my resting heart rate to determine how recovered I'd be a day after a hard ride and if I should go hard again the next day or if I should take it easy. So I think that that's kind of the two components is, if you want to go into the discipline for the sake of the discipline or are you looking to go at it to contextualize the work within your life. And I do believe that no matter which you choose, the world will pivot on the literacy of data and your ability to interpret it. So even if you don't walk away with an understanding of data that's robust and you had these complex analytical methods, at least you know how to ask challenging questions and parse through those and think about them in somewhat of a scientific manner. That in itself can be a worthwhile outcome.

LEAH: 10:25

Yeah, absolutely. That's something I can personally relate to, having kind of gone through my own process to invest my own time in gaining that analytic proficiency and going through the Alteryx course certification. I feel like I think differently now and I'm more focused on the problem and how to solve it instead of, "Oh, I just need these numbers," or, "I just need to get this report to my boss," or whatever it is. It's like, "How can I use this data to answer a question that I have or that my team has." So moving on a bit to the learning process and how people approach learning a new skill, because I think that especially within the ADAPT program, a lot of folks participating-- this is a brand new skill set. Potentially something that they've never thought to dive into before and I think it'd be interesting to just hear your perspective on the different learning approaches that you've seen, having been involved in that field for such a long time, Joe.

JOE: 11:49

Yeah, so there's probably two ways to parse that out, is, how do people approach their learning and how do people who construct the learning approach the people who would consume it. I think one of the things that kind of comes from both sides that's really important is the idea of submersion and people becoming contextually comfortable with what their environment is. If you're an outsider coming in and hearing the words like Data Analytics and Data Science, those are pretty big words, right, and insinuate some pretty challenging stuff. And don't be mistaken, you can spend a whole career investigating the depths and the corners of what the field has to offer. But that shouldn't scare you as to never approach it at all and there are phenomenons in this immersion, right, where the more that you immerse yourself, the less challenging it becomes, right? And just think about jumping into a swimming pool. If you or I, Leah, probably jumped into a swimming pool today, we'd probably talk about how cold it's going to be before we ever jump in, right? Or dip a toe.

LEAH: 12:53


JOE: 12:53

And kind of think about, "Ugh, I'm going to have to do this and it's going to be unpleasant," but you kind of know on the other side that the shock is temporary. And you just kind of become accustomed to whatever that temperature is, right? But for people who dive into pools all the time, they might fear it a little bit or know that it's going to happen but they don't really think too hard about it. They just accept that that's a part of the process. And so I think once people kind of get comfortable with that discomfort of approaching something, that makes it a little bit easier to get into learning. And as you go in through the journey of the learning, especially in Analytics, like I said, you'll find that you'll start renewing these concepts and topics and ideologies and you'll start to be excited that you can take what you know, the old knowledge, break that and reform it into something stronger and continually be in this phase of break and rebuild. And so I think that's what a lot of people might fear in this case, the cold pool will be the coming to terms with the fact that they might not know something as well as they'd hope to or being able to break their old habits and ways and reforming it into something stronger. But once they see the capability of being able to do that, then that's what really facilitates the excitement around the thrill of learning or the thrill of solving.

LEAH: 14:12

So in your opinion, why do you think that some things stick and others don't?

JOE: 14:20

So one of the things that is kind of pervasive in the learning world is talking about context. Context is king. There's a reason why when people come into our learning paths or any sort of learning paths, it's going to be more effective if it somehow relates closer to the world that they understand. And so for myself, I am a father of two children, I like to hike and bike and run. If you had some examples that kind of came into my context and addressed me directly in my context, I would certainly take more interest. Because I could see, if you taught me about Data Analytics in the context of bettering running performance, I'd say, "Oh, goody. Let's pay attention. This is something that's going to be really important to me." But if it's too far out of context, then it becomes more challenging. You might say, "I don't understand someone who might be in hospitality, why Oil Field Analysis is really impactful," right?

LEAH: 15:22


JOE: 15:23

So if it gets too far out of reach or it's out of the context, it can be unsticky, right? Even if the same concepts apply. So that kind of gives context to why we've done some of the training in the way that we've done it. To some degree, it's challenging to create a topic that everyone has context in, and as such, you kind of go down the middle of the road but then you also don't risk losing people. So if you look at our weekly challenges, for the most part, none of them are really nuanced, in the way business might facilitate a specific problem as to obfuscate or scare away other people who might not want to enjoy that same problem. Because they just lack the context to jump in on it.

LEAH: 16:09

Yeah, absolutely. And I know you mentioned the weekly challenges, I think that's a great Alteryx Community example of how people can kind of have that support system. And I guess kind of looping back to the ADAPT program, what sort of support systems would you say are in place for folks within that program?

JOE: 16:31

So some of the differentiation that we have in the training is you'll actually see as you progress through some of the guides within that program, they do touch on a lot of our training but also touch on a lot of the softer stuff that we tend to omit from a learning perspective on our side, right? I was listening to many other podcasts like this to talk about experiences of working with Analytics. It's referring to local user groups or how to pollinate your ideas across the remainder of the Community and in my mind, this program is not successful unless we have a community wrapped around it. And at the end of the day, the reality is the outcome that we hope for people is that they've been able to not only learn about what it takes to be in a world like this but actually be integrated. We want them to be surrounded by people who will elevate them, who will get them connected, who they can interface and give them every opportunity to make those connections because at the end of the day, that's going to be really key, is not only how you get the knowledge but how you're going to use it and who you're going to use it with.

LEAH: 17:34

Good answer. Good answer, Joe. Okay, I think this is interesting, maybe. So okay, we talked about why things stick and others don't and we talked about-- I don't know if you touched on exactly how do you teach people something completely new. We kind of did, you talked about submersion but do you have more to say about that?

JOE: 18:08

Yes, one of the things that I'll mention about engaging people is there has to be some reliance on existing knowledge that they have, right? And it does come back into context but it does go into also that idea that I've brought up around making and breaking. How do we leverage what you know and take that to the next level? There's a reason why we have very specific trainings around, "If you use Excel, here's how you use Alteryx." Because we know that you have a very specific knowledge set and we can transmit that over. Now what's important is that to some extent we just need to be a catalyst for learning but at a certain point, people really engage with it themselves and I think I have a pretty nice graphic I've got tucked aside that I can put in the show notes. But what it is basically, we just need to prime people to start the learning journey and if you're able to catch them at a point where they're able to just extend their knowledge, just within arm's reach and grab a new concept or a new piece and add that to their arsenal, then they're able to kind of run that snowball effect and accumulate more knowledge quickly. And you'll see that as kind of the spark lands and the tinder takes fire, which is I would say a lot of our job is getting that initial start going, people, once they realize that they're fully capable and there's opportunity there, we have to do very little or less to facilitate the rest of that journey, right? People will suddenly be very motivated and excited by the opportunities that they have and actually, that spark just becomes a wildfire, right? And people will consume everything they can about it once they have grasped all the knowledge that they need to continue to make and break what they understand the knowledge or memories to be. The next thing that we see-- our opportunity is now that you've gone to the place where you understand everything, you get into sort of this vicious cycle of, "I know how to do this and therefore my job or my career is more comfortable and I've kind of reached a certain tier," and there's less motivation to kind of jump into the next sparking of tinder, so to speak, and starting the next wildfire. So there's always these translation phases or transmission phases whereas people exit out of these learnings and the learning starts to slow down again, what can we do to kind of elevate people to the next level and provide another opportunity for them to uptake and scale-up in another area in the world of Analytics.

LEAH: 20:45

Yeah, that's interesting. Personally, I can relate to-- well, I don't know if I can relate to exactly what you're saying but I thought I'd share a bit more of my own experience diving into the Analytics field. I think the biggest challenge for me, and I'm hoping that people can relate to this, was just moving past this voice that was in my head telling me that like, "You are not an analyst. You cannot do this. It's not your job to do this." And I had a lot of resentment towards feeling pressured to move forward with learning Alteryx in particular. And so yeah, I think there's a sweet spot that eventually I think I got to, where I was seeing success in little ways, being able to apply something that I learned to trying to solve a problem in Community or whatever it may be. Or doing my first weekly challenge, which I think took me like four hours to figure out by the way. But yeah, once I moved past that first hump, the confidence went up and everything became so much easier and yeah, it's just fascinating to reflect back on my own experience and kind of realize that it's part psychological but it's also the way that training is provided and presented and when right? Because there's certain times where presenting something that's super challenging or difficult to grasp, even for an actual data scientist, isn't appropriate, right? So I think that the resources we have in Academy, especially the learning paths really helped me personally and hopefully, they'll help folks in the ADAPT program as well.

JOE: 22:59

I think, to kind of build on that too, Leah, one of the important things worth noting is that, just because there's not an observable behavior as an outcome, doesn't mean it's not happening, right? If you go through the program say, "Oh, I wasn't able to do the weekly challenge the way that I thought," it doesn't mean that you haven't learned. It just means that you haven't been able to produce an outcome but that doesn't mean that it's already changed the way that you've started to think about things. And I think that's important because people shouldn't feel discouraged the first time they come up against a problem and feel like they haven't been prepared for it. The idea is to change in the way the mind thinks to address those problems.

LEAH: 23:38

Yeah and I think too, it's important to point out that even if you do feel discouraged, it doesn't mean that you're not learning, right? So of course, we feel what we feel and that's okay and you just keep moving on and you have your resources and the people that you work with or people in the program or whatever to help you and recontextualize and everyone learns a little bit differently, so.

JOE: 24:07

And it's as cliche as it sounds, right? You have to celebrate failures.

LEAH: 24:10

Oh, I like cliches.

JOE: 24:11

Yeah. Well, here I come. I'm going to throw all I got at you. But we should celebrate our failures, right, because there are a few people that will really derive a lot of meaning out of their successes outside of saying that everything seemed to be in the right time or right place, "I already knew these things that needed to be there in order to be successful." But it's the hottest fires that are going to forge the strongest steels and in this case, failure is kind of important. It's almost necessary because, when you get into the world of Analytics, nothing is mapped out. There is no secret formula to be successful. There is going to be trial and error and when we jump into our certification exams, in the way we've constructed it, failure is a big part of it. We intentionally try to surface questions that, using some of the training that we have, we know that people are capable of but they need to flex that muscle. Are they able to answer a question that's unknown to them, right? Are they able to navigate what's inside the product or inside the documentation or in the ecosystem? How can they think about the problem? Because rarely, you're going to be in a meeting and someone's going to point at you and say, "I need that," and you're going to say, "Yup, I have already built it", or, "I've got it done." It's usually there's a few puzzle pieces where you're like, "I don't know but I know that I can figure it out." And that's going to become key because you're kind of used to being able to work against the unknown.

LEAH: 25:46

I think that's what is super valuable about-- the learning programs we have at Alteryx, is that it's realistic, right? It's real life and that's such a perfect example of, how often does your boss come to you with a problem or a question and you're like, "Hold on, let me get back to you." Google it or whatever it may be. You're thinking about something and we use the resources and the people that we have and experiences to solve problems, whether it's an analytical problem or anything else in life. But I want to take a step back. I want to acknowledge that the core certification exam is hard. It's not a beginner, "Oh, I kind of know Alteryx. I know what the tools are and [inaudible]." You have to know Alteryx and so every single person who has passed the core exam should be very, very proud of themselves because it's a huge achievement and yeah, I just wanted to let everyone know my thoughts.

JOE: 27:07

Agreed. Well, the reality is, right, we wanted to create training that got people 90% of the way there. But what we didn't want was a certification where you could just read back to us what we said and say, "Good job, you heard what we said. But you weren't able to contextualize or apply that knowledge into the unknown," right? And so in that sense, it's challenging because we're asking questions that we're pretty sure that people don't know or haven't explored and it's up to them to figure it out. But using all the tools that we've given, we know it's within that reach or within that grasp. So as we go through and measure the product technical capabilities, we're also measuring people's ability to kind of solve around some of the unknown and something that's not surfaced right there. So it is a bit of a paradigm shift because I know certifications more than ever, today, if you do the course and you listen and you take the notes and you get to the certification, it's a checkbox mainly to say that you finished the course, right? Or what training has been surfaced to you, whereas the core certification, I believe, represents much more than that. And so everyone who's taken it should feel accomplished because it's not only a measure of their product proficiency but their ability to problem solve, work within the unknown, think critically through problems.

LEAH: 28:35

Absolutely and I'm not going to lie, when I first took the exam and then took it again and then I took it again and failed, failed, failed, I was mad. I'm like, "Why is this test so hard?" And it's not because I'm mad at the test or that-- whatever it is. It's because we are trained to see other learning programs and experience those and it's like, "Oh, if you listen and you take notes, you can pass the exam." And so what I love about certification at Alteryx is that I actually know how to use Alteryx Designer with a decent amount of proficiency and if it was just based off the notes I took when going through the learning pass and all of that, I could not say the same thing. So yeah, it was interesting but I'm not going to lie, it does suck to fail however many times. Joe, you have one guess, how many times did I fail the core exam?

JOE: 29:48

You said fail three times earlier, so I'm going to go with that.

LEAH: 29:52


JOE: 29:53

Five times?

LEAH: 29:55

Five total. Wait no, okay, four times and then I passed the fifth time. So it was a long process.

JOE: 30:03

So I'm kind of curious, on the flip side, right, after your fifth or sixth attempt, what was the amplitude-- was the amplitude inversed? Did you feel more excited than ever or do you feel more accomplished than you would have if you'd passed it the first time?

LEAH: 30:20

Absolutely. The fact that-- I feel like I had to work a little bit harder, not having-- and this is a major generalization but-- I don't come from an Analytics background. I went to school for Art. I have been in one job to the next. Eventually found myself into Community. I'm definitely more of a right-brained person, creative type so it was a huge challenge and I think it was more satisfying, knowing that I had to work as hard as I did. But yeah, I was pissed. I was pissed the first three times but after the second time, I was really mad. I was like, "I suck." Like crying, yelling at Elizabeth. Elizabeth is the certification program manager. I think there's people who are listening to this who can relate and I work at Alteryx and I'm saying this, so. And then I was mad, "Elizabeth, these questions are too hard," and then the third time, I was like, "Okay, I'm going to do this and I got some tips from the community and did some more weekly challenges and I took it and I had it in my head that it's okay if I fail. And I think that's the ultimate thing that helped me continue pushing forward is being okay with-- literally planning to fail and really embracing the learning process of taking an exam. And I failed again, but I wasn't as upset. I didn't cry and then the next time, I passed, so yeah, interesting.

JOE: 32:04

And you'll see, the way we have constructed the ADAPT program and the way we need to broadcast even more widely is that failure is a part of the program, right? Even in our ADAPT program, the program doesn't end until at least your third attempt, right? There's somewhat of an assumption that that first one's going to be challenging but in the downtime, you're kind of wisened to the way you need to start thinking or what you need to be doing. And so in that sense, the exam is not only an assessment but it's a total learning experience, which is why it's open book and anything is a resource for it. We want to continue to cultivate that, even through the duration of the exam. When we had first launched it, as challenging as it was, the feedback that we were starting to get was along the lines of, "Oh, boy. That was hard. That took me a while. But I have learned so much through this process at Alteryx that I just didn't do some of the learning paths or I may have seen but never really applied. So in that sense, thank you because it really fortified some of the skills that I really needed throughout that course."

LEAH: 33:11

Yeah, absolutely. And I think too, it's a good-- I'm glad we're having this conversation too because there are a lot of customers who use certification to kind of measure their team of analysts or it's an expectation and I think that one thing that is important for leaders is having that patience to understand that people learn in different ways and that not one person is better than any other person, if they pass faster or if it takes someone two attempts to pass, three attempts, whatever. We all are different and I think it's important to just really recognize that.

JOE: 33:56

1000% agree. That's a super astute observation because at the end of the day, all certification represents to people is going to be that they understand a certain level of knowledge. And can that be rushed or could that deadline be put on it? Sometimes it's good to have something that's pushing you but at the end of the day, if people are cramming unnecessarily just to have a piece of paper to think that they represent it, it's not really there. We really want people to be performing at a certain level and this is been a classic critique of even the American education system, is that we just put everyone through the same program and expect the same result. But people are just inherently different and people are going to be a little bit different but there are strengths that we can play to in each one of those scenarios. So it is about recognizing that there are those differences and what we can do to better accommodate those.

LEAH: 34:54

So Joe, tell me about how-- so, hold on. Cut. Action. I'm laughing. Okay. Action. So Joe, how have you adapted, whether in your career or personal life before?

JOE: 35:12

So one of my earlier memories of me adapting comes around when I was in-- I think I was in fifth grade. Actually, it was sixth grade. So I come from a large family. I'm one of eight children and one of the oldest children in that family and during that year, I had a younger brother who was born with Down syndrome, and with that came a lot of anatomically challenging components to the birth. So early into his life, he had heart surgery. Started to get tracheotomies and was just kind of in and out of a surgery room across two years. And obviously, our family was very close. We grew up on a farm in Northwest Ohio and what was challenging is that some of the big surgery centers that were specialists in these types of surgeries, especially with much smaller, very young children are not close by, right? At least in the respiratory units, it was the Cincinnati Children's Hospital and as you can imagine, my parents were gravely concerned for my brother's health and spent most of their days away. But what many people don't know, probably, about me was that I was homeschooled up until high school. And at that point in time, with my parents gone, there's really what normally would be your facilitators of education were gone and so the onus kind of came back onto ourselves to facilitate our learning. And don't get me wrong, my mom would check in every now and then but at the end of the day, we certainly had to adapt the way that we were trying to kind of teach ourselves from an early age. So at that point, I became kind of a pseudo-parent. I was delegating farm chores and scheduling for people's education within the household. In the afternoon, I'd be reading science books to my siblings and my brothers and sisters and at the end of the day, right, if you measured our outcomes based on the Iowa tests at the time, the standardized tests that we always took to kind of make sure that the homeschooling was keeping pace with all of the other schools in the area, everyone across the board in our family had raised their scores and performed above the 90th percentile in those exams. So it was kind of exciting to see, right? During the time, it was hard and we weren't really sure if we were adapting in the right way, to making sure that we were all going to be learning enough for having the outcome or if we were going to be-- our education would be delayed as a result of it. But in the end, as long as we put the effort in and we're kind of faithful to the effort, it proved to be worthwhile.

LEAH: 38:07

I love this example from Joe and it's crazy how much it mirrors his personality and his role at Alteryx today. He's still creating learning opportunities and lifting people up. A lot of you out there listening might already be on your analytics path but you might also know someone who's at a crossroads in their career. Let them know about the ADAPT program which you can learn more about by visiting We can't wait to welcome them on the Alteryx Community, cheer them on, and watch how they take over the world with their new analytics expertise. Thanks for joining me today, Joe.

JOE: 38:46

Thank you for having me, Leah. It's been great.

LEAH: 38:57

That was good.



This episode of Alter Everything was produced by Maddie Johannsen (@MaddieJ).
Special thanks to @andyuttley for the theme music track for this episode.