Alter Everything

A podcast about data science and analytics culture.
Alteryx Alumni (Retired)

Who doesn’t love a good work/life balance refresh? Jamie Beason, Sr. Director of BI and Analytics at JLL shares her tips for a sustainable work environment, and how she leads her team to do the same.









Jamie (2).png



Episode Transcription

MADDIE: 00:00

Welcome to Alter Everything, a podcast about data science and analytics culture. I'm Maddie Johannsen. And today I pass my hosting mic to my friend Luis Gonzalez, manager of customer advocacy at Alteryx.

LUIS: 00:14

I'm a huge Yankees fan. And so if you know anything about baseball and the Yankees, Luis Gonzales was a name that I had to live with for a few years because he, Luis Gonzales from the Arizona Diamondbacks, crushed us in 2001 World Series.

MADDIE: 00:32

Luis had a conversation with Jamie Beason, Alteryx innovator and Senior Director of Business Intelligence and Analytics at JLL.

JAMIE: 00:40

Just to throw a curveball for entertainment's sake, when I was growing up - I'm talking grade school, middle school, even into high school - I wanted to be a veterinarian passionately.

MADDIE: 00:52

During their chat, they explored topics like Jamie's refreshing approach to leading teams, her strategies for sustainable work-life balance, and how her team found a breakthrough with Alteryx. You're going to love this episode. Here's Luis. [music]

LUIS: 01:11

This is super exciting, Jamie. Thank you as always. So I'll get started here. Welcome, everyone, to 2021's first episode of the Alter Everything podcast. My name is Luis Gonzales. I am manager of customer advocacy here at Alteryx. And do not be afraid; Maddie Johannsen is still your fearless leader and host. I am just honored to be a co-host today as we are featuring one of our best and brightest Alteryx innovators, which is our advocacy program at Alteryx, really designed for our customers to network, share best practices, and allows us to highlight their work and really who they are as human beings behind data and analytics. I'm really thrilled today to be joined by Jamie Beason, Senior Director of Business Intelligence and Analytics at JLL and self-proclaimed data science ambassador. I recently met Jamie, and we've worked together on putting together a case study. And she has a really great way of leading her data and analytics teams, a really great story on how her career has skyrocketed and her leverage of Alteryx. So I'd really like to provide Jamie an opportunity to say hello and introduce yourself. Jamie.

JAMIE: 02:34

Hi. It's nice to be here. Yes, I am a self-proclaimed data science ambassador. I think the hat I officially wear no matter my job title is citizen data scientist. So my original track was in data science coming out of college, and my first few jobs were in supply chain at industrial companies. But I always leaned on analytics for survival. And long story short, I continued to trip and fall in love with analytics, and here I am today. So a couple jobs ago, we brought in Alteryx. Completely changed how we did work. The whole team was promoted. And then here, a couple months ago, I was scooped up by JLL. I was at Ingersoll Rand previously, and now here I am, leading a full BI shop. So we've got about 20, 25 people responsible for standing out business intelligence for our client. And we love what we do. I love my job. The most rewarding career on earth, in my humble opinion. I'm located in the Charlotte area. I went to UNC Charlotte, graduated from the Business Honors Program, University Honors Program. I still stay plugged in with my alma mater. I'm married, and we have one kid. His name is Eli. He's 7, and he is doing well with this weird work home from school, all the things that have to be at the house now because of COVID. So he's doing really well.

LUIS: 04:02

Thank you for that intro and background. And I love this setup, Jamie, because I am a huge fan of Quentin Tarantino. And most of his movies tend to start off where, "This is where I am." But then you kind of quickly flashback into how it started. And so I really want to talk to you about your aspirations growing up, right, because we've spoken in the past, and you've always said the phrase, "I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up." And so what were your aspirations coming up in school? I know that you are a citizen data scientist, and therefore not formally trained in statistics and math and analytics. But what were those aspirations when you were in college? What were you looking-- what did you envision your life to be, your career to be?

JAMIE: 04:50

Yeah, I'll start earlier than college just to throw a curveball for entertainment's sake. When I was growing up - I'm talking grade school, middle school, even into high school - I wanted to be a veterinarian passionately. And that was my first job. Was working at a animal hospital. Fast forward when I went to college, I kind of didn't want to go down that path anymore. I knew I wanted to do something in business, mainly because I didn't want to go to school for nine years to be an animal doctor. So I wanted to do something in business, but I wasn't sure what it would be. So I picked finance under the guise of when I graduated, at least I would know how to manage my own personal finances. So I would at least have that credential. And then I ended up with a minor in supply chain towards the end because I had a supply chain internship as a supply chain analyst and really liked supply chain because when I was a kid, my favorite types of toys were the logic puzzles, the wooden cube that's tilted sideways and you have to put it all together, or the logic puzzles on paper where they give you clues and you have to back into the answer. That whole type of thought process I thought was fun. And so supply chain with that, but you get paid to do it.

JAMIE: 06:11

So I liked solving complex problems. And so I ended up with a minor in supply chain, and then I was interning at GE Plastics in the supply chain analyst role. And then right when I graduated was when the recession hit. And I was very fortunate to be hired on full time by GE as the-- they called it regional fulfillment specialists, but it was demand planner. So my first job was trying to predict the future in unprecedented times. So as you can imagine, I needed analytics just to succeed and maintain my sanity because we were dealing with our competitors who were declaring force majeure, which means that their customers were coming to us. And then we also had capacity limitations. And it was this whole giant mess that I was trying to navigate. So long answer, but that was sort of my start into-- I needed to lean on-- at that point, it was Excel to maintain my sanity, plus some minor macros at that point.

LUIS: 07:14

Right. Well, it sounds like you always had a knack for the complexity and solving that complexity. And then there was a need that you needed to fill. And it wasn't vet school, obviously, but when you were going towards that path now you're fully embedded in, "Analytics is really something that I truly enjoy," and your career starts to really take off, you start to lead teams, Jamie. And what I have noticed about you and through our conversations is that you really embody the concept of growth mindset. And so what does that mean to you, and why is it so important?

JAMIE: 08:02

Well, first of all, that's a huge compliment to me because of how much stock I put into the importance of a growth mindset. So to me, in a nutshell, it means that we reserve the right to be smarter tomorrow than we were yesterday, in a nutshell. So as we're trying things and learning things and building things and partnering with people from all walks - is it the customer; is it our manager; is it our direct report, whatever, heck family, all of it? - we're learning or we should be. If we're not learning, then you need to check your echo chamber because you might not be pulling in new information. So my whole view on-- if I scope it down to just BI specifically is we should be constantly evolving. I mean, the technology is changing. We need to stay abreast of that. And I learned this acronym a few years ago that really was sticky with me. And it was for FAIL, first attempt in learning. So when I learned that, it was like I was given a free pass to get a little messy, experiment, figure out what works. And I learned that when I had first joined Ingersoll Rand, and it was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders because I-- and a lot of us have this perfectionist thing about us. And I still have it; don't get me wrong. But having the right to get a little messy was really freeing. And when we have that-- so that acronym crossed my desk at the same time that I was leading my first ever team. I had three direct reports, first-time manager, and we were doing really repetitive tasks. And they said, "None of us like our jobs. We're doing the same thing all the time. We work at a lean company. We've been taught to remove waste. This is just waste all over the place." And I said, "I'm with you. I don't like this either."

JAMIE: 10:05

So those two things were happening at the same time as I went to an internal analytics summit at Ingersoll Rand, and they talked about one of the tools they use in shop is Alteryx. And I was like, "Sweet." So we brought Alteryx onto the team. We did a trial license for a while. And long story short there was we created our first workflow. Automated all of that heartburn out of our team. Took four full-time people's worth of work. Boil it down to about half a person the work that was left. Transferred that work into a different group. And then the site leader-- so we were sitting in a distribution center. Our site leader promoted us all as a four-pack to fully support analytics and productivity for the distribution center. And when we did that, we brought in Tableau to help surface our insights. And none of that would have happened if we weren't allowed to get messy, if we were too scared to go learn a new software or too scared to stick our necks out and raise our hand and say, "We want to take this risk and try this thing," or too scared to network, right, because a lot of how we learned the software at the beginning was largely in part from the community online, but almost as importantly, maybe more, was the people we worked with that knew how to get us connected into the right servers and with the right credentials and things like that. So all of that-- when we had the first attempt in learning growth mindset, we viewed the learning sessions-- we called them learning lock-ins at the beginning because that's what we do. We viewed them as fun challenges, logic puzzles like what I played with as a kid. It wasn't this daunting elephant we have to figure out how to eat. No. It was just something-- it was fun. So for me, whenever I'm hiring someone or talking to someone and I'm trying to figure out whose opinions matter, whose perspectives are worth leaning into, I tend to always gravitate towards the people that have this growth mindset and this open-mindedness to listen to new information.

LUIS: 12:10

I love that. And you spoke about a few things that really stand out, one of them being, obviously, failure, right, and the word FAIL, first attempt in learning, and really the word scare and scary and fear. And those two are so closely related, right? And so one of the things that I take away from your story here is the learning lock-ins because that's related to something that's really cool about you, Jamie. And as a leader, what you've done is you've created those safe spaces to be able to allow yourself and your team to get messy, to fail, to repeat, right. And I recall when you first mentioned the learning lock-ins, and if you can go into detail on that, is you basically put yourself and your team into a room, and you applied some lean and some agile strategies. And for the audience, not only is Jamie a Lean Sigma Black Belt, but she has two black belts. So watch out - wax on, wax off - because she will kick butt. So as a leader, you've done this. You've created these safe spaces, these learning lock-ins. And with the help of Alteryx, I do understand that you've been able to create those workflows, automate your way out of those repetitive processes. So if you want to talk a little bit about that and how that helps your team and what inspired you to take Lean Six Sigma and Agile and implement that to your team.

JAMIE: 13:55

So I'll address the two black belts first. So for our audience, my dad made me get a black belt before he would let me date. So I've had a black belt since-- I think I got it when I was like 12 or 13, way before I actually started dating, but preventive measures. So yes, I can still kick people's booties if I need to. And I will say, we have a son, but if I had a daughter, we'd probably do the same thing because it gave me this confidence I wouldn't have had otherwise at a young age. And I think that sort of set the foundation for me, being able to be a little bit more brave in these spaces, which is exactly what we're talking about, right, like having a healthy view of being brave and failure. And then to the learning lock-ins. So I mean, I have to give so much credit to my team, though. I'm the one that gets to speak at moments like this, but it was the four of us. And all four of us thought learning was fun. So we didn't have a fear of not being able to figure it out or working too hard. We just enjoyed a fun challenge. So I asked them, I was like, "All right, we know our problem. We know our solution for Alteryx, but we don't know how to get there. What should we do?" And we kind of said like, "I don't know. We just need to hash it out." So the idea of a learning lock-in was a collaborative aha moment. And so we'd book a conference room for eight hours, and we'd surface for food, water, air, those type of needs. But we started with a whiteboard because we had never built a workflow like this. We knew what we were trying to solve for, and it was a fairly complex ask. We knew what we wanted the result to look like. So we were an inventory team. We wanted to be able to stratify all of our excess inventory in the click of a run button and tell us why we have too much and all these different reason codes.

JAMIE: 15:59

And to give the audience some feel for complexity, our site was generating half a million dollars in revenue per year, supporting four different business units, $60 million in inventory. It was Ingersoll Rand's largest distribution center in North America. So there's a lot of moving parts. So we started with the whiteboard and then kind of parsed out our inputs and then kind of built it from there. And it wasn't just one lock-in. We would do the same thing for multiple things downstream. So you mentioned Agile. I mean, that's another thing we started from scratch. So I had an agile coach helping us walk through the baby steps. So when I joined the team, we didn't have anything like this at all. And so just like learning Alteryx starting with a whiteboard, we learned Agile starting with a different whiteboard and index cards clipped to the board. And we learned the concepts around story points and sizing and sprints and retrospectives.

JAMIE: 17:02

And we didn't go from having nothing to nailing all of the buzzwords that you hear with Agile. We took incremental steps and continued to iterate and continued to evolve. And then before you knew it, we were using an online platform. We were using Fibery. I think it's I think it's owned by Targetprocess, but it's an online, build-your-own Kanban board type of setup. It competes with Jira and Trello and a few others in that space. So by the time I left the team, we were completely online, doing two-weeks sprint, having retrospectives, having planning meetings, partnering with our customers, which is huge. And that's one of the biggest benefits of Agile is you get to show your customer, "I built this thing. Is this what you thought you'd see? Now that you've seen it, what other questions do you have?" And you kind of evolve with your customer so that the thing you build in the end is what they actually needed, not what you thought you heard or what they thought they said.

LUIS: 18:08

Tying it back to the customer is the most important thing. I mean, we at Alteryx are so customer-obsessed. And every time we speak to our customers - you included, Jamie - we learn something new, we're inspired, we're motivated, and all of the work that this wonderful story that you have at Ingersoll Rand and moving your career forward at JLL-- one thing that pops up is sustaining that level of leadership, of processes, of production, of your productivity. I have to almost say the year that shall not be named, right, and how a leader continues to strike that sustainability, that balance as a human and a worker-- in 2020, how were you able to promote that kind of productivity to not make people feel overwhelmed and fill your bucket?

JAMIE: 19:20

What a complex question. So I have a long answer, and I'll give you everything that I've put together, and we'll take it from there. So when COVID first hit, I was very lock-tight with the team asking-- not really asking, "Are you okay?" Because nobody wants to answer that question, but saying, "Check in with yourself. Feel free to step away whenever you need to. Work outside if you want to." I was even encouraging, like, "Go to the grocery store at odd hours to help navigate through the crowds. I don't mind when you step away from work to do it." And then two of the four of us had children, so there's the complexities of daycare and school and all that. So I was hyper-flexible, and I was more concerned with my team's ability to navigate those really scary waters at the beginning than I was with us missing a deadline. That said, though, I don't think we did miss any deadlines because when we balanced it like that, we had enough mental juice left in the tank to still hit our deliverables. If I take a step back and give you a more holistic answer, my husband and I had this epiphany a few years ago, and I'll explain. So we grew up with a concept that with your money, there's this rule or law or suggestion called 10/10/80. So you're supposed to save 10%, share or give away 10%, and then live off the 80%. Our epiphany a couple years ago was that we were not doing that with our time. We were basically burning the candle at both ends. We'd come home from work both completely exhausted, and we'd try to play with our kid. And it was weak at best because we were so just mentally fatigued from the day.

JAMIE: 21:11

And it's not that we were working tons of overtime. It's that when we were working, we were working so hard, there was nothing left. Our tanks were emptying. So we said, "You know what? Time is more valuable than money anyways. Why the heck aren't we treating our time like money?" So we set this kind of like challenge out for ourselves to start sharing 10%, which is more like the focus on family time, saving 10%, which is-- oh, and philanthropic stuff is also in the share. Saving 10%, which is take time for yourself. For me, that's exercise and reading. Those are my big tank fillers when I need some alone time. And then the 80 is how you spend it. So I'm not saying only try-- it's hard to phrase because I don't want people to hear me say do less at work. But that's kind of what it is because you need a sustainable pace. So for me, I live off of that 10/10/80 philosophy as best as I can. What's the saying? Do as I say, not as I do? I haven't mastered the art. I've still been known to give over 100%. But I'm trying and it's really helping. And then if you want, I can dig in. I took some notes on how I prioritize my time and what I do personally to calm my nerves and keep my mental sanity and things like that.

LUIS: 22:31

Of course. I mean, all of a sudden, we're all home. We're dealing with our children. Some of our family members - I'm looking at my dog - love this because he gets to spend more time with Dad. But we've had to adapt our routines. So yeah, if you can share, that'd be great.

JAMIE: 22:54

Yeah. I'll say, the beginning was really jarring. It took me three to four months to figure out what my new routine even was. So we'll skip the rough four months, and I'll tell you what's working for me now. For several months now, I start my day-- I wake up at 5:30, and I meet a virtual group at 6:00 AM to exercise. And complete kudos to this lady named Heather Robertson. She has a YouTube channel. She has all this free content for exercising. And so we meet, and we join a Facebook group, a Facebook Live group. I don't even know what it's called, but that's how we see each other. And then we open our laptops and tune into Heather Robertson's YouTube channel. And she has monthly calendars, so we all click the link, and we're all working out together, and we say, "All right, everybody go." And we click play and then mute on the phone. And so we are exercising together, even though we're all in our homes. And that has been critical for me because exercise checks a lot of my boxes. And before COVID hit, I was using ClassPass, which is an app that lets you go to a bunch of different gyms. And I was really social. I would go to five different gyms each week, Monday through Friday, and I'd have different circles of people. And sometimes they overlapped, and that was what-- and it was still before work that I would do all that. So to have that taken from me when COVID hit was really tough. So now we have this workout group, and it's the absolute bee's knees for me. So that's how I start. And then I make an easy breakfast and watch cartoons with my son because I don't have to get fully assembled anymore. I've been really sporting a work mullet these last several months. So I wear a nice shirt, and I make sure I do my hair and half of my makeup, but I'm wearing yoga pants and socks. And it's really comfortable, so.

LUIS: 24:51

Athleisure all the way.

JAMIE: 24:52

Athleisure for the win, yes. So I don't take as much time to get ready. And then I make a quick breakfast. My son and I watch cartoons. Sometimes my husband joins us. Sometimes he sits outside and read. And then we start our day, and I do my workday. And then I try really hard to take some semblance of a work or a lunch break. I try really hard to do at least 30 minutes. And sometimes that's eating with my family since we're all here. Sometimes we take laps around the neighborhood, and we'll just walk. Sometimes we play chess. I try to make sure that I have some family time in the middle because my son's doing school from home. And so it's not fair to him to be completely alone all day. He has two houses in the neighborhood that are in our germ bubble that he can play with, but still, he needs extra attention. And then at the end of the day, we play our family playlist on Spotify and eat dinner together and just kind of chillax. And I'm usually in bed by 9:30 or 10:00. And that's the rhythm that's been working for me.

LUIS: 25:55

And I love it. I think you have adapted. You've suffered a little bit from removing your circles. I'm a big fan of ClassPass myself. And I want to go back to your goals and how you orient them. You visualize them and you achieve them. And it's very obvious from hearing you speak and tell the way that you structure your life. So how do you go about visualizing a goal? And then that question is kind of two-pronged because it's got the word visualization. And I happen to know of a really great story and work that you did in your past, where you were able to leverage Alteryx and Tableau and visualizing something for your pick lines, if I'm speaking correctly. But I'd love for you to dive into that before we wrap up into some more fun questions.

JAMIE: 26:57

Yeah. There's a few different ways to answer your question. So if you're asking about work-specific goals, visualizing them is important. Even if it's just a picture in your mind's eye about this North Star goal thing that you're working toward, even if it's nebulous and it's some mega thing, that will still get you pretty far. The gamified dashboard that you're referencing, a guy on my team, Ethan Schuttler, he built a dashboard that the pickers-- so for those that aren't familiar with distribution operations, a picker is someone who physically picks product off of the shelf before it ships. And this dashboard gamified their operations. So they had a fork truck symbol that would scooch across the screen and turn various colors based on how they were performing to target. And we immediately saw the team have some friendly competition ensue as they were trying to raise their fork trucks across the screen. And then the other way to answer your question is more holistically around how I view goal setting. So I have three rules that I kind of just thought up as I was thinking through your question. So one is make it SMART. So there's another acronym. So the goals need to be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. There's a lot to unpack there. I won't go through it here. And then step two is make it sticky, so be able to articulate why this goal is worth doing to anyone and everyone. Even if your own family asks and you have to describe to your grandma what this thing is, you should be able to articulate it in a way that is sticky and they understand it. And then the third one is make it happen. So usually, my first step in how I make things happen is context collection.

JAMIE: 28:47

I'm a huge proponent for what's the history? How did we get to where we are today? There's got to be a reason. People aren't just dumb. Tell me what happened. What's the gap? What are the people's sentiments around here? Who are our allies? Who are stakeholders that aren't so on board with this? I'm trying to get that whole ecosystem. And then assembling your quorum and being clear on who wears which hats? So you could have someone wearing multiple hats. You've got your doers, your knowers, your sponsors, your stakeholders, your fresh eyes. You got to make sure you've assembled the right team. And then from there, you draft the plan, and that's where it gets more tactical. But I think starting out and even setting the right goal at the beginning and assembling the right team is fundamental to being able to achieve a goal.

LUIS: 29:34

Awesome. One of the things that we encounter often with our customers is they realize the value and the breakthrough that they experience while leveraging Alteryx, but they have a tough time getting that buy-in from the executives, right, and upstream. So Jamie, if you could talk about what your first or maybe perhaps your most impactful breakthrough leveraging Alteryx was for our audience, and then how you were able to get that buy-in upstream to continue leveraging Alteryx, to grow, etc.

JAMIE: 30:19

I was very fortunate to have a strong ally as a manager. So the site leader that I was reporting into is a very strong advocate for analytics, and he's fairly savvy himself. So he didn't need any selling on the benefit that Alteryx could bring to the team. But what he needed help with was the business case. So it costs money. Is it going to save more than it costs? And so during our free trial period, the team, when we were deciding which workflow to build in our learning lock-in, we had to find one - again, this word comes up - that was sticky. So what was something that if they took it away from us would negatively impact-- not operations, but our team, the business, things like that?

JAMIE: 31:11

And that's why we picked excess inventory. So we picked analyzing the number one thing people asked us. And at the end of it, not only did we automate it, but we had this new data set that we'd never had before, which could tell leaders however they want to displace and dice the data, "Here's what your excess inventory is made of." And I'm not talking about product code and lead time, things that are already in the data. I'm talking the reason you have too much. You could tell how much was from long lead times. You could tell how much was from a missed forecast. You could tell how much was from a minimum or multiple purchase requirement and things like that. So it gave leaders new visibility they'd never had before. And after that, I didn't need to make another business case. We all four of us were granted licenses at that point. And then the burden was shifted back onto us to continue to deliver sticky things that added value. And we did. We did so much of it. We actually won an internally prestigious President's Award for growth and innovation for everything we had stood up using Alteryx and Tableau.

LUIS: 32:29

Truly amazing. And for our audience and for our Alteryx innovators who will listen to this podcast, we did an event earlier last year, where we focused on building up those skills to be able to deliver a business case. And your two points, make it sticky and have it be about something that's extremely valuable, it hits at the core because we kept talking about your business case. When you go to your executive-level decision makers, it has to mean something to them, and it cannot waste their time. So this is really great, Jamie. Thank you so much. We want to wrap up with some fun things. During 2020, I personally did something called COVID Silver Linings, where you kind of just, "Hey, you know what? We're home, we're quarantined, but there are some silver linings about these things." And one of them was the fact that if you're working from home and you love music as much as I do, you're able to blast whatever you want as long as you're not on a call. So I happen to know, Jamie, that you have two separate playlists from Spotify that we will provide to our audience so that you can share. And one of them is a focus playlist, and the other is a workflow playlist. Can you explain those?

JAMIE: 33:53

Yeah. So the focus one is a Spotify curated playlist. It's what I use when I really need to think. So if I have to build something or think deeply, what I call a onion, like I'm layers deep into this thing, I listen to a playlist called Peaceful Piano. For whatever reason, my brain cannot hear words if I need to think. So it's purely piano. There's no lyrics or anything. And then the other one is called Alter This. I made it. It's 10 songs on Spotify. And it's just a hodgepodge of-- the first several tracks are just fun songs that got me and my family up dancing around the house in 2020 or moved us or inspired us, or just we liked them. And then the last couple tracks are more what I found myself chillax into in 2020 and kind of vegging out. So it's just a mix-- it's a little bit of everything. I tend to pride myself on saying I listen to everything, and I mean it. Everything. So it's a pretty diverse mix.

LUIS: 34:58

Awesome. All right. Senior Director of Business Intelligence and Analytics, Jamie Beason, thank you so much. If you were not a BI leader today, what would your dream job be? Is it still a veterinarian?

JAMIE: 35:14

Well, as it happens, when COVID was first hitting, I did what I call a soul quest, for lack of a better word. And I sat back, and I said, "What do I want to do?" Because I felt trapped just like everybody else did. And so I was trying to figure out, "Do I feel trapped because I am, or do I feel trapped because I chose to be here and I have more power than I thought?" So I wrote my dream job description down. Title, responsibilities. And it took a long time. I had to steal from a lot of postings that I had seen. "I like this. I like this. What do I want to be on the hook for? What do I want to be responsible for?" And as luck would have it, it's the job I'm in right now. So I am currently one of the lucky few living their dream job and getting paid to do my hobby. So right now I'm in my dream job.

LUIS: 36:09

Well, Jamie, we thank you. And it's so inspirational, so motivational to speak with you and hear your journey. I think that it resonates with everyone who's listening. And on behalf of not only Alteryx but the entire data and analytics data science community, we're so happy that you are living your dream because the world needs more people like you in leadership positions and data and analytics as this is the future of everything. So thank you. Keep up the great work, and thanks, everyone, for listening to this episode.

JAMIE: 36:50

Thank you for having me. I love this career, and I'm a huge advocate for Alteryx. So thank you again. [music]

MADDIE: 36:58

Thanks for listening. For our show notes and episode transcript, head over to, where you can learn more about the Alteryx advocacy program, find links to Jamie's Spotify playlist, and share your leadership tips. You could also connect with us on social media by tagging @Alteryx and using the hashtag #altereverythingpodcast. Catch you next time. [music]

LUIS: 37:30

Awesome. The personal black belt, I actually didn't see that one coming. I thought it really was two Sigma Black Belts.

JAMIE: 37:39

Oh no. No, no. I had to get one in karate or my dad wouldn't let me date.

LUIS: 37:45

Oh my gosh. Was this also in North Carolina?

JAMIE: 37:48

It was in the Raleigh area, yeah.

LUIS: 37:50

Oh man. So we went through your aspirations as a vet tech, your fitness, but also there's probably a lot of young men in North Carolina who are scarred because they probably got their butts kicked. [laughter] Well, thank you. You're still [kicking butt?].

JAMIE: 38:07

I didn't go out looking for fights, but it definitely paid off in the dating scene, I'm not going to lie.

LUIS: 38:14

That is great. But this was awesome. I really appreciate it.

JAMIE: 38:17

Yeah. This was fun. I have a question. Pronounce your first name.

LUIS: 38:22

I know where you're going. So this is a story all about how-- [laughter] so my name is actually supposed to be pronounced Luis, right, and that's very obvious. But the reason why you hear me say Louis is because I'm actually an immigrant from Honduras. And I came to Brooklyn, New York, when I was seven years old and not a lick of English. I actually taught myself how to speak English by reading an English-to-Spanish dictionary and literally just listening to people-- I credit mid-to-late '90s sitcoms like Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Saved by the Bell. I actually learned how to speak English by watching [crosstalk]--

JAMIE: 39:05

That was your Rosetta Stone was Fresh Prince?

LUIS: 39:07

Yeah. Oh my gosh. Everything. You name it. Friends, Martin, all of those.

JAMIE: 39:12


LUIS: 39:13

I was too young for Seinfeld. I didn't understand it.

JAMIE: 39:15

Oh, I was too, okay.

LUIS: 39:16

But I'm catching up now. And so long story short, I, like you, become very goal oriented and methodical. And I became obsessed. And what ended up happening was when I would show up to school and they would do pretty much roll call, the teachers would just say Louis. And a young eight-year-old kid is thinking, "That must be my American name." And it just stuck forever. And it's not until very recently that people actually started pronouncing my name Luis. And I'm like, "That must be the recent wokeness of our society."

JAMIE: 39:58

Yeah. The diversity awakening of America.

LUIS: 40:03

Exactly. Because I'm actually in an interracial marriage. My wife is Caucasian and my daughter is-- it's hilarious. My daughter looks just like me. So I'll sometimes go up to my wife and jokingly say, "How long have you been babysitting this child? She's really cute," as a joke. But yeah, it's Luis. But I'm so used to Louis that that's just what I go by professionally and in everyday life.

JAMIE: 40:32

So do you prefer Louis now because you're so--?

LUIS: 40:35

I do, yeah. Yeah, I do prefer Louis because I'm just so ingrained to it, and I'm a huge Yankees fan. And so if you know anything about baseball and the Yankees, Luis Gonzalez was a name that I had to live with for a few years because he, Luis Gonzalez from the Arizona Diamondbacks, crushed us in 2001 World Series. Yeah. But that's the story about my name. Thanks for asking.

JAMIE: 41:04

That's a good story. Yeah, I had heard it said both ways, and I was like, "Hmm." Because I had been saying Luis, and I was like, "Ah, I don't know if I'm saying it right." So I thought I would just ask.

LUIS: 41:13

Yeah. Appreciate it. Thank you. Those who know me very well for years and years and years, they just shorten it even more because I'm originally from New York, and it's a very Italian American culture. And Lou is what ended up happening from college to kind of my adult life. So when people call me Luis or people call me Lou or Louis, I don't mind. I really don't. As long as they just know, "Hey, that's Louis," or, "That's Luis," I'm just a human being to them and then respected. And that's all I ask for.



This episode of Alter Everything was produced by Maddie Johannsen (@MaddieJ).
Special thanks to @andyuttley for the theme music track, and @jeho for our album artwork.