5 Habits to Build in 2021 in Order to Increase Your Alteryx Skills
Over the years I personally have slowly moved away from setting goals and focus more on creating habits. Although I still set goals I am much more focused on the habits behind them as I’ve realized that setting goals is finite. I set a goal, achieve it then that’s it. However, if I focus on habits then I can put in place the consistent activities that go on to achieve not only a single goal but a whole host of goals based on that habit. It’s like a gift that keeps on giving. I had a goal to become an Alteryx Ace for example. I didn’t focus on the goal, I asked myself what habits would I need that could lead me to that pathway. In that vein I would like to pass on 5 habits that if you were to make a priority in 2021 could radically change your level of Alteryx skills. All of which can we can do as frequently or as seldom as we like.
Habit #1. Read Daily Solved Posts
First you go here: Yesterday’s Solutions and bookmark it! One by one you go through the posts/solutions from yesterday and read them. Many you might already know, many you might never have heard of, many you might want to comment on yourself!
This habit is great in exposing us to the quintessential “here’s a problem” and “here’s how to solve it”. Not all of these solutions are perfect but they are a great foundation. What you are trying to do here is get exposure. I particularly like this habit because it gives me visibility to areas that I wouldn’t normally see in my day to day work.
Habit #2. Complete Weekly Challenges
Habit #1 is great because again it gets you exposure to new ways of thinking about problems and their solutions however nothing beats practice. Actually building workflows has to be very high on your priority list versus just reading or reviewing others workflows. Nothing I know of is better at doing consistently than the weekly challenges
Set a habit for yourself to work on weekly challenges like 15-30 min every morning before work. I recommend forgetting about being focused on finishing one or two per day. You want the habit to do them consistently everyday so by choosing say 30 min daily you are not only knocking out weekly challenges but over time you are improving your skills and you will find that the amount of time to ‘solve’ a weekly challenge gets faster.
Habit #3. Tool Mastery Series
The Tool Mastery Series might just be one of the most underrated educational tools on Alteryx out there. If you want to get deeper and truly understand all the options a tool provides then this is a great way to do it!
I would set a habit to read 1-3 tools per week. There isn’t one written for every tool yet but I have confidence it will get there. This should be an important part of your routine because so many of us don’t fully learn the full breadth of the power of the individual tools. Many of us talk about the Summarize tool to illustrate this gap. Did you know you can group spatial objects using the summarize tool?
Habit #4. Study Design Patterns
If you are focused on understanding tools individually via the Tool Mastery articles, then via Weekly Challenges you are building workflows to solve problems using that knowledge and you are broadening your capability to solve an even wider array of problems by reading yesterday’s solved posts you will be on your way to truly master Alteryx and have a ton of fun doing it. Now what I encourage you to do is take a step back. Step out 10,000 ft/m and take a look at the patterns within your many of your workflows or many of other peoples workflows. What you will start to notice are patterns to solving problems. Those are what we call “Design Patterns” and what a big focus of AlterTricks is about.
Start looking at parts of workflows and seeing if they could be a useful and re-usable design pattern for your arsenal! If you find one, let us know and we’ll give you credit for it on AlterTricks! You can submit your design pattern here: http://www.altertricks.com/contact/
Habit #5. Help Others in the Community
In my mind there are very few things that make me feel better in the morning then helping others in the community. I started doing it years ago because of just wanting to help but what I found is that my skills actually got better too. The simple reason is that most times we comment on the community it’s not just a single post, the user usually has follow up questions that in turn challenge us to figure out a solution that is more optimized, more dynamic, more whatever the case may be. Those are great learning opportunities to apply everything you’ve been learning with the 4 other habits.
To get started it’s super simple. Go to the community and click on the “Ask” button here:
From there pick any of the discussion threads you are interested in and start finding posts that you think you can answer or help the user figure out. My perspective here is to not feel like you need to solve it for the user, just help the user. If you have something to ‘try’ and see if that does it then post that. If you think that the user is going down the wrong path then suggest a better path. You don’t need to build a workflow that does everything for the user in order to be helpful. Also if you do see a post from another user that maybe isn’t the best option (nicely) offer up another possibility. Remember Quality over Quantity. That only makes us all better!
Hope you enjoyed this post! If you have any other habits that you have with Alteryx please share in the comments below!