My Journey to Alteryx Ace-hood

I am an Alteryx Ace!

I was so thrilled when I found out I was an Alteryx ACE, they are amazing group of people who are held in such high esteem.  I’m not sure if I will ever get use to the fact, that I am now counted among them.

My initial thought was that I thought after finding out I was an Alteryx Ace is the blog I share “Intersections and Overlap” with Samantha Hughes and Tim Rains might need to change the subtitle of “The Geospatial Trinity – Two Geeks and a Hipster” to possibly “The Geospatial Trinity – Two Alteryx Aces and a Doctor” given the successful year we all had.

Where did my Alteryx Journey begin and how I got here?

My Alteryx journey actually began by accident and coincidence, I became one of the first 4 people within Sainsbury’s to use Alteryx. However I was not initially intended to be one of those people, at the time we had Alteryx on test desktops computers with a higher version of windows and higher specs compared to our standard machines, within the organisation. The machine I eventually commandeered was meant for my line manager at the time, however they left the business when Alteryx landed at Sainsbury’s. As the machine was a higher spec machine I started use it for my GIS analysis using MapInfo at the time. My colleagues Tim and Sam both encouraged me to use Alteryx and I was instantly impressed on how fast and easy it was to use. I very quickly became a power user of Alteryx automating various aspects of my role and helping in the strategy of our team of removing SAS dependency. I have Iain Sterland to thank our Head of Department who let me use the machine and also letting me keep Alteryx.

After decommission of SAS within our department we moved onto removing MapInfo and replacing with Esri ArcGIS PRO plus also redeveloping bespoke tools in Alteryx.  During this time we were also developing other use cases and providing self-service analytics, to organisation for all things Spatial. A key aspect of my role in Sainsbury’s was to answer any question regarding Spatial, Alteryx greatly helped in answering these questions. This was great training and helped me build my expertise in Alteryx as I never knew what possibly question I could face.

After attending 2017 Inspire Europe I decided that I would take up Alteryx weekly challenges, to improve my skillset and get into the top 10 weekly challenges. I eventually succeeded and became a top challenger in February 2018.  I then went onto becoming certified passing my core certification in May 2018. This awoke a competitive side in my team with all of us trying to become the first Advanced certified. I am happy to say that I was first person to pass both certifications, but it was an intense competition between us all.  This set the trend for other members in the team and various Alteryx users in the department becoming certified.

In the summer of 2018 I convinced both my colleagues Sam and Tim that we should do a talk at Inspire as I felt we had a story to tell. The talk was well received and we got some amazing feedback and it was great presenting with two colleagues who I worked so closely with for over 5 years. To the delight of both Tim and Sam I was extremely nervous before doing the talk rather than my usual confident self.

Inspire Europe 2018 (Me, Samantha Hughes, Tim Rains)

Like all good things must end I had taken the decision to leave the team and Sainsbury’s and join Keyrus as a Consultant and had handed in my notice, a few weeks prior to the Inspire Europe conference in 2018. My nervousness before delivering the talk was due to wanting to deliver a good presentation with the team, I was leaving and wanting to impress the colleagues in my new company also sat in the audience, watching me present.

My first one to one with my line manager Jamie Laird after joining Keyrus, was about potentially aiming towards becoming an Alteryx Ace. We had an honest conversation of what activities we thought would be required in order to achieve this. One of things we spoke about was blogging and when Sam and Tim asked me in early 2019 if I would interested in blogging with them, I immediately said yes.  The idea session we had for the name of the blog was so funny I was on a train at the time and I was laughing so much at some of the suggestions. My first ever blog I posted was republished onto the Alteryx community, the blog has continued with a number of successful posts and also now features as one of the blog on Alteryx’s website.

After being an Alteryx user for 5 years I decided that I would give back to the Alteryx community and began starting to answering questions on the community page. I quickly became one of the top solutions authors and thoroughly enjoyed sharing my expertise and helping others.

This led today the 17th of October where Libby announced me as Alteryx Ace in London where I was able to celebrate this honor.

Thank You

I would like to thank so many people in supporting me to becoming an Alteryx Ace. Iain Sterland, Samantha Hughes and Tim Rains had a massive part to play in this, with the years of training and mentorship. Jamie Laird for his guidance, supporting me and being the person to actually steering me towards aiming to becoming an Alteryx Ace. Thank you to everyone who nominated me this is amazing.

I look forward to sharing my Alteryx knowledge as an Alteryx Ace. You can also find me on Twitter @JosephSerpis or on the Alteryx Community and Linkedin.

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