It’s been a little while! The Thor: Ragnarok trailer came out in the last month and I have been pretty much watching that in my free time.
(Don’t tell Disney this is on here, they will probably shut me down)
I have talked a few times about how to be passionate and push yourself forward through things like self confidence and drive. If you have read my other stuff and not gotten that from it, I am obviously a terrible writer and I apologize. One of the things I have come to quickly realize on this journey is that it’s cool to do your own cool stuff, but it’s the greatest feeling when someone you guided through their journey produces some crazy awesome product that blows people away. So let’s talk about that now.
I have now been able to work with a few folks through their journey into Analytics and each of them have been a unique experience. The first thing I think should be said is that before you can champion anyone, they have to want it. Don’t waste your time putting your own energy into someone who isn’t interested in igniting their own life through whatever Kool-Aid you are selling.
Now, I think it should be said that it’s crazy important to not write off those who lack a certain level of self confidence as a disinterested. If you see greatness in someone, they may need to be inspired. Those lacking self-confidence can be hugely rewarding and at the same time, frustrating to mentor. This can manifest itself at any point in this journey.
So if you are open to it, you will either find someone to mentor or someone will find you. That’s the first point.
# 1 Find someone worth mentoring. There will be a time in this process where you have to put your name on their product. So take this serious and don’t go after it looking for your own reward.
For this, I’m just going to go through two cases of individuals that I am extremely proud of.
I don’t believe that I have talked about Brandt before but he is a pretty cool dude who was ready to jump right in when the opportunity presented itself. Brandt was an intern who had some background in Microsoft Excel, so his department made him in charge of all reporting. From that, you and I both know that at some point, he would have been fine without me deciding I was going to work with him (we were actually set up, it was like a blind analytics date). But Alteryx and Power BI really accelerated what he could do within our business. During our first encounter, we talked about what he was doing everyday in Excel and how it was taking him hours of data prep just to put results into separate processes and push to a report that frankly, looked awful. So I showed him how simple it was to just put a few input tools in and a few formulas and joins and then you have a repeatable process that takes human error out of the equation with the press of a play button. The point where this guy understood the power of the tool, was at that exact moment.
“Wait… all I have to do is press the play button? Like… for real?”
This was the “Holy shit! moment” as I like to call it. When you see a spark in them and they are just opened to be molded.
I have talked about Shana (LinkedIn still kind of under construction…) before on here, but she was different because she was seeking someone to lead her down that path. I had just started working here and was not involved with Alteryx or Power BI or Tableau. As a matter of fact, I had been promised Tableau and it didn’t happen (booooo). I was automating a ton of stuff in excel through direct SQL connections and some heavy formula writing (kill me now) when she just came up to my desk and was like, “Teach me what you do!” It’s okay to be guarded in these moments I think. A lot of people will ask you to teach them, but really just want you to do it for them. So I was compliant to an extent and sent over some stuff I was working on. All of that information about how it works was on there and if she could figure out the formulas then she would be okay. I said that if she needed any help she could reach out and I would walk through it. About a week later, she came back to my desk.
“This is awesome! I took a bunch of the things that you do and added them to my processes and it saves me a bunch of time!”
I am talking about these individuals here, so needless to say, they were some of the first in the Alteryx pilot and it has been yielding dividends way past what I could have ever hoped for.
So step #1 is finding someone worth championing. Part 2 will be out soon!
A fun story real quick since you guys brought up Kool-Aid. There is a lad on my team named Rohan. He is from India so we have decided that it’s important to show him all that life in America has to offer. So the other day we made Kool-Aid, which was on his “Things to do in America” bucket list.
Look how happy he is!