“There is a beginning and end to everything.” My dad has imparted this little bit of wisdom to me during almost every major transition in my life. Coming from a United States combat veteran who served for a year in the Vietnam war, someone who stayed working with the same employer for over 30 years, someone who went to all of my baseball games growing up (doing so by waking up at three in the morning everyday and driving an hour to work for those 30 years just so that he could get off earlier), and someone who was the best father anyone could ever ask for by supporting me throughout my 30 years here on earth; this wisdom leaves a mark on me every time I hear him say it.
This advice has somewhat guided my life to where I am today. At surface level, it might appear that this is a somewhat bleak outlook to have. I would argue the exact opposite. Knowing that there is a new beginning to everything that has to end has given me a lot of hope in times of change. It’s a gentle reminder that those middle bits are what life is all about.
Even though I have been interested in analytics for a long time, my undergrad was in business analytics, this is the beginning of my career as a data analyst. There have been multiple beginnings and ends to get to this point. I ended a career playing baseball at age 20 after playing my entire life, I worked as a server in restaurants for years, got an internship at Alteryx, and now I’m here at Tessellation.
When my left-handed pitching baseball career ended, I was pretty lost. I was a 20 year old with no clue on what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I had solely focused on baseball for years. It took me a couple of years, but I ended up going back to school to get a college degree.
While I was there, I met someone who worked for my college’s baseball team as an analyst. He was doing some incredible things with R, a statistical computing and graphics language, and from that point I was hooked. It opened up a whole new way of looking at the world. You can analyze the curve, spin, and velocity of a ball and predict how much of each of the aforementioned attributes will be present in the next pitch. This person showed me a report that predicted when pitchers would need rest time or even when they would get injured.
This led to real changes in the pitching program on my college’s baseball team; better-scheduled rest times, and a more well-rounded training program. I started reading everything I could get my hands on that talked about how analytics was changing the business landscape in a multitude of different ways.
I was extremely involved in my college’s, California State University of Fullerton, Sales Leadership Center at the time. It made my commuter school experience an extremely enjoyable one because I had this new community and was picking up great sales skills. To this day I believe everyone is always selling something every day. Whether that is asking your mom for some quarters for ice cream when you were a kid, selling a new marketing dashboard to an executive team, to getting that new promotion or job.
I was introduced to Alteryx through the Sales Leadership Center. Alteryx was one of their sponsors and I received a scholarship from them my first year in the Center. I later had an incredible internship experience with Alteryx in their Sales Development Department. During that time I met my incredible girlfriend, I got to work on my sales skills, and I got to work with an abundance of exemplary employees on a plethora of incredible projects.
I even got more involved in my school’s Business Analytics and Data Science Club and had the privilege of teaching Alteryx to some advanced accounting students at my alma mater. I also had another internship as a supply chain consultant at Safariland, a leader in custom tactical equipment manufacturing. I developed even deeper skills in Alteryx and Tableau while working with Safariland creating time series analyses and different dashboards for them.
Thanks to Alteryx, I was introduced to an amazing local organization, KidWorks, that helps students in one of the roughest cities in America get educational resources. They have a 100 percent success rate for high school and college graduation, which is astonishing considering the area is 88 percent economically disadvantaged and has had a 70 percent graduation rate until last year. Alteryx even had a picture of some of the KidWorks students and me on the lunch room television at the headquarters for a while, which was always a nice reminder to give back and was an easy ice breaker for new employees who would say, “Oh you’re that guy on the TV!”
Now I am at Tessellation after a long road of trying to become a data analyst. Tessellation has done an incredible job of hiring top talent and getting to work with domain experts has been a dream come true. I sometimes have to pinch myself to remind myself that I really work for this incredible company. Tessellation has done an astonishing job at helping businesses become better through analytics.
This is the beginning of a phenomenal journey to become a data analytics consultant and I am thrilled to go on this journey with the Tessellation team.
Now, I’m the Data Dude!
Stay in touch with me through LinkedIn, the Alteryx Community, and Tableau Public.
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