my rACE track

My friend Brian Blevins has this theory about how you can size up what kind of people you are dealing with in a space. I heard it really early on in my journey with Alteryx and it has in almost everything that I do, sat in the front of my mind and I will explain it to you right…. now!

People fit into one of three categories. If you think of something like Analytics as a racetrack that everyone is racing around, you are either a Toyota, a Ferrari or an F1. Let me explain.

Your first category is your Toyota. A Toyota is a great vehicle, but when you look at the other cars mentioned above, they aren’t typically in the same class. It can take you from point A to point B without much cause for concern. It may not get you there as fast as you can, but it is probably going to get you there. Now in your career, it is no problem if you are a Toyota. The world needs Toyota’s to get us from one day to the next and really carry along most businesses.

The second category is the Ferrari. These ate high performance vehicles that as far as cars that you can actually drive on the street are concerned, some of the top end performers. Ferrari’s help move the business forward, they help create new ideas and push other employees and leaders to create better ways of doing things. There are lots of great leaders that I would put into this category and are equally important to the business.

The third category is your F1. If you have ever watched Formula 1 racing, you can understand that these machines operate at an extremely high capacity. They can take corners at intense speeds and accelerate at a blinding rate. These people are moving at maximum speed at all time. There is no off switch or slow down mode because they thrive on performing at the highest level. In any space, you can tell who these people are because they stand head and shoulders above the rest.

Now. You might be offended as you try to put yourself into one of these categories. I believe that if you are a Toyota at your job, that is perfectly fine. There are many people who are work Toyota’s that are racing F1s in other parts of their lives. If you come into work everyday and just collect a pay check, but all day are dreaming about the next chance you have to go play darts. You go out and be the best freakin’ darts player you can be. It’s what makes us unique and ultimately the world an awesome place to exist in.

Now that it’s June 6th I can talk a little bit about my journey into becoming an Alteryx Ace. I am super stoked at this opportunity to really reach out and impact the greater community through what I believe is my rACE track. See what I did there? I capitalized the letters in “Race” that spell out “Ace”. I am clever.


(A poofy Ace Jacket for those chilly nights in Phoenix when it dips down into the 90’s)

I’ll take a moment to shit on myself. I believe that when it comes to developing things in Alteryx, I am probably in the high end of the Ferrari spectrum. I am very good with the tool and I love learning new things. However, I don’t dream about building iterative macros or creating geo-spatial analysis of bird migration (Ask Bayo about his work with that) or really being the solutions provider for all of the worlds problems through the use of the platform. I was having this conversation with Jack Morgan (pictured above on the right) who became an Ace at Inspire 2016 about the very real possibility that there are possibly hundreds or thousands of users that could run around us in any specific set of tools. I imagine that when Libby reads this, she is going to be like… “What the heck have we done making this guy an Ace?”

Here is the hook. Where I believe that my definitive value lies, is that when it comes to empowering people to be better and love the work that they do, I get thrilled to death at the opportunity to help provide that through the use of Alteryx. I stand at 6’5″ and kind of have a massive personality which some might find intimidating, but I will tell you this right now. If at some point, we get the chance to meet, please please please come and talk to me (also feel free to reach out on Linkedin). If you are broken and beaten down about your work in the analytical space and are willing to open up to me about that, I will do whatever I can to help you. That may manifest itself in many forms. I’m not necessarily a job agency, but I do feel passionate about helping people create confidence within themselves. Alteryx is a dope space to do this in and I love every minute of it.

If you take away nothing from anything I have ever written but this next thing, I would be okay with that.

For me, it is easy to put myself out there in order to push others forward because I truly believe that to myself, the reward of truly changing someone’s life, far outweighs any perceived risk.

This goes back to some other things I have written, but we are more than just our jobs. We are people. If in my company, I was called to stand up for someone or help them move into something they love and it upset the balance to the point in which they fired me. I would not think twice about doing it again. How could I look myself in the mirror if I just let that person suffer at the risk of my own image?  This is where I am an F1 and ultimately why I believe I was chosen to become an Ace at Inspire 2017.

So now that I am done talking about how awesome I think I am, let me ask you this. In this space, what kind of car are you? Are you inspired to become an Ace at Inspire 2018? What does that look like for you, how can you step up in the greater Alteryx Community in order to make that happen? What questions do you have for me about the process?

I am truly serious about the open invitation to connect. It does not specifically need to be questions. I love having conversations and would love to tell you my opinions wherever I feel that they carry value. I am also open up to ideas about other topics. What do you want to hear?

First Side Note: Some other friends of mine (that’s right I have at least two people that I would label as a friend, the key is figuring out if they give that label back) have decided to move into Podcasting! The Analytics Talk is a fairly new Podcast geared towards topics all throughout this beautiful industry. You should check it out as I have seen a short list of their upcoming topics and am just stoked to the max for what they are going to be doing over there.


(Erik Miller is spearheading this little project and has decided to bring along Shana to host some pretty cool topics in the future! Stay tuned!)

Second Side Note: If you are at Inspire 2017 I will be around and seriously would love to chat. On Wednesday at noon, I will be speaking on a Women in Data Panel. “Woah wait… aren’t you a boy?” Yes… Yes I am. However, since equality for everyone is probably the most important thing we can talk about. Someone, somewhere decided it might be worth having a guy up there giving his perspective and hoping to inspire other men to be willing to step up and champion women in the analytics space.

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