Three Different Ways to … Raise Your Analytics Game to the Next Level

Tecnologia   |   Melissa Erbes   |   3 de março de 2021

In order to raise your analytics game (and knowledge of Alteryx) to the next level, you need a few tricks up your sleeve. That’s why Alteryx ACEs and consultants Chris Goodman and Joshua Burkhow created AlterTricks, a blog and video series that features weekly challenges, expert tips, and how-tos that help stack any hand.
“We realized we spent so much time chatting about Alteryx enablement, upskilling, problem solving, and much more, that we wanted to collaborate on a project.”
— Chris Goodman, Consultant, Alteryx ACE

The initial idea came from Joshua’s blogpost (one of the highest read posts on Community) about Alteryx design patterns, and both felt that the AlterTricks site would be a great way to share this knowledge with others getting started and those who wanted to raise their Alteryx game to the next level.
“To us, the basis of design patterns are the foundations of many data prep problems, that they should be the trick up the sleeve of any experienced Alteryx user.”

— Joshua Burkhow, Consultant, Alteryx ACE

Particularly, in their opinion, the trick (or “secret sauce” as Joshua calls it) is to learn at least three different ways to solve a particular challenge. Side note: “Three different ways …” is even a series on their site.

To find the ROI of knowing three different ways, consider the following:

  • All the times you have been “stuck” on an issue
  • All the time you’ve spent going down rabbit holes
  • Every time you’ve been in front of your boss and/or client and asked the question: “What about _____?” or “Can you also tell me _____?”

1. Look Beyond What’s in Front of You

The “big reveal” here is that there is no “right” way to solve a problem.

“A little quirk about me is that I have a hard time seeing anything in isolation. Everything in my mind is related to something else in a metadata sort of way. So what that means is if many different users are having the same issue it isn’t about the issue, it’s about how they are thinking about the issue. That aspect is what has always caught my attention.

“I started talking to Alteryx experts I either worked with or was friends with and flipped it onto them. I wasn’t interested in knowing how to solve the particular question, I was more interested in what different ways are they thinking about these questions or solutions. That got me the answer I was looking for. I saw the trend come in the form of this statement: Well if this way doesn’t work then I’ll try this … and if that doesn’t work I’ll try this,” said Joshua.

Think about it like this: ‘What if ______ changed?’ Then ask yourself, how would I do it now?”

— Chris Goodman, Consultant, Alteryx ACE

2. Knowledge-Share

They say two heads are better than one (and in Chris and Joshua’s case this definitely rings true).

Now … imagine a community of thousands of data enthusiasts collab-smashing it.

“You can really benefit by learning from others, and the Community is a great resource for this,” said Chris.

“I realized that the Alteryx pros don’t necessarily have a deeper understanding of the inner workings. Many don’t have the expert certification and aren’t ‘all-knowing’ when it comes to Alteryx. What these experts have essentially done however, is to stack the deck with more of their cards,” said Joshua.

“I can come to the Community and say, ‘this is the way I know how to do it, it doesn’t make sense,’ and so many people respond with new ways to do it, and it feels like such an ‘aha’ breakthrough moment.”

AlterTricks also serves as a valuable resource for Alteryx users who are passionate about data (and all things Alteryx!) Recently, Chris completed his Expert Certification, and put together his best tips to help you become an Alteryx Expert.

“We really enjoy helping people, and sharing knowledge drives us.”

— Joshua Burkhow, Consultant, Alteryx ACE

3. Work the Solve

According to Chris, the best way to learn is to start with the end in mind. After all, the reward is the journey.

“Jump in and try anything. Get some data, open up Alteryx, and just explore. It reminds me of my school days when I’d look at the answers first, then try to solve it,” said Chris.

Joshua takes a similar approach. “I do the work, break it, then figure out why.”

“When I first started, my workflows were not scalable, and every time I’d have to do them all over again. Workflows should be repeatable and have the ability to ‘lift and shift’ to a different set of data,” said Joshua.

“You need to account for change and think ahead of the curve.”

— Joshua Burkhow, Consultant, Alteryx ACE

Chris Goodman

Chris is an Alteryx ACE and loves learning the Alteryx platform and sharing knowledge with others. He’s been an Alteryx user since 2017 and has passed the Alteryx Automation Master exam as well has completed over 175 weekly challenges.

You can find him on the Alteryx Community @cgoodman3.

Joshua Burkhow
Joshua is an Alteryx ACE and loves exploring new and exciting ways that Alteryx can be extended or improved. He’s been an Alteryx user since 2011 and has two of the highest-rated blog posts on the Alteryx community – 5 Useful Design Patterns in Alteryx You Need to Master and 5 More Useful Design Patterns in Alteryx You Need to Master.

You can find him on the Alteryx Community @joshuaburkhow.

Ready for More?

Bonus: Check out Episode 1 of AlterTricks.

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