The Best Advice I Ever Received

At Knight, we have some data problems. These problems are not unique to us, but rather we are one of many companies that are stuck in this transition between legacy systems like AS400 and those that exist today. So the question is, without being chained to expensive contractors or an employee base that is drying up, how do we continue to move forward in a world where data and information about your business is one of your most important resources.

Flashback: Time – November 2015, Place – Fender Offices, Scottsdale, AZ


I got an invite from Brian Blevins whom (or “who”, I don’t know, I majored in Economics, not English) I had met at an earlier Phoenix TUG meeting and Jeff Phipps to come check out this software. Free pizza will get you a long way with me. So I am talking to Jeff, who at this point is pretty new at Alteryx but super amped about the software and I am explaining the problems we face with AS400 and he stops me and says “Trey! If you have these problems with data blending and your company doesn’t at least look at Alteryx, you need to quit your job and go somewhere else.” Now those are some pretty big words. In my head I am thinking, “well he is just a sales guy and his job is to get me to spend money”. Later that evening I was talking to Brian about all of the same things and he said “Listen, you have these problems that the business is trying to solve through antiquated means. If we can show you that Alteryx works and they don’t even give it a chance, then I will help you get another job somewhere that does.” To someone who is trying to find their way in this world, this is not something that you take lightly. Two separate individuals who, granted, sell Alteryx are trying to push this opportunity onto me and have guaranteed success if I am willing to put in the effort. <–(that’s not a great way to end a paragraph, but in this conversation we are having in my head, it seems like a good cliff hanger)

Long story short, I demo’ed the product and did some awesome things, we got the pilot, I got a promotion, we made a purchase and now I am in charge of developing ten other employees in this tool.

Now this advice impacted me in two completely different ways. The first impacts me on the surface and that is if I want to do my job well and really do powerful analytics and data blending without being a data scientist, I need Alteryx (or a similar tool, but I haven’t found one). The second and this is more of a foundation shift for me is that, I need to be really confident in my product. This effects me across so many layers of my life. For this forum, it is important to note that professionally my life has gotten crazy awesome.

  • I now speak confidently about the work that I do with all levels of leadership in my company.
  • I have been invited to present at several events around the country regarding what we are doing with Alteryx and how it impacts my business.
  • I speak with business leaders across the valley (Phoenix) about how the tool can transform their businesses.

Jeff and Brian will tell you that this is a huge change from the person that walked into Fender a year ago.

Feel free to reach out with any questions.

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