Farewell 2016, Thanks for the Laughs!!

It’s almost here!! The start of a new year.  2017 brings us hope and new goals, a new beginning. That time we set the scene for things we hope to achieve and experience.

What about 2016 though? Before I start to look to the future, it’s time for me to reflect on what has been an exciting, as well as terrifying at times.

Here were my goals for 2016:

  1. Get over the nerves of public speaking
  2. Grow my profile in the Tableau Community: get to be a Tableau Ambassador and  Tableau Zen Master
  3. Build something that people don’t think is possible and actually make it work

In a nutshell, I achieved most of what I wanted (Tableau Zen wasn’t to be, I don’t post enough about technical) – but on the whole I’m proud I got there.  This post isn’t about those achievements though, it’s actually about the things I didn’t expect to happen but have helped me grow even more.

For starters, I got involved with Women in Data, Sydney.  The amount of women in our community who have shared their trials and tribulations is incredible.  The blinkers have come off and I’ve realised – it’s not about being some femnazi (such an awful word), it’s actually about supporting a minority – one that I actually belong to – and helping create awareness, upskill and network with likeminded professionals. The Precision Sourcing team have lead the way, and I’ve been fortunate to get involved.  Helping them out as their Head of Social, now I’m trying to grow the @womenindataoz account curating great content from around the world.   There’s still a contingent out there who think #datapluswomen is not something that I should participate in, or promote.  Maybe the work we do will help them understand, or maybe one day their daughters and sons will.

As 2016 rolled through I realised on a personal note that I wasn’t happy in my relationship.  I don’t post much on social about my private life, it’s behind closed doors for a good reason! What I learnt though was how important key relationships are in my life.  Day to day in a busy life with many goals sometimes I can put close friends and family on hold, which I’ve changed.  I learnt that when the chips are down, these are the folks that are really there. I’ve also found some strength in new friendships too – thank you to those of you that were there for me. Your warmth and love got me through some dark days, and now the sun is shining brightly.

One surprise for the year was the original duo Matt Frances and Emily Kund! I was invited on their podcast a few times, co-hosted at the Tableau Conference on Tour in London, participated on the #datapluswomen panel for the Tableau Fringe Festival, co-hosted the TFFAPAC, and somehow I nabbed a few 2016 Vizzies for Server Guru and Community Ambassador.  Matt & Em continually nourish our community with great content and events and continually inspire me to keep striving.  Saying “YES” to their proposals has helped stretch my skills into areas like Event Management, that I didn’t think was in me, but I had a blast doing.

Setting my goals for 2016 with travelling to 3 global conferences meant that I couldn’t dive as much as I normally do, but I still managed to squeeze in two great liveaboards (GBR & Maldives), as well as travel to London a few times, finally tick Barcelona off the bucketlist properly (the last time I didn’t see the sights), I kept it weird in Austin, travelled around Australia helping out lots of Tableau users and getting inspiration.  The people I’ve met along the way are simply incredible, so passionate and driven – my kind of tribe, but I realised how important diving is for me, to provide that balance.

Goals for 2017:

  1. Get that Zen!! (it’s time to get technical)
  2. Grow the Women in Data community to have 1000+ followers #datapluswomen + a secret project that will be announced in 2017
  3. At least 2 Dive Holidays

I challenge you all to reflect on your year, the good, the not so good, and then think about what you’re aiming for in 2017. Thank you to all of you who have shared your stories, laughter, tears and inspiration this year with me.  Wishing you all a safe and fabulous break over the holiday period.  Look forward to catching up with you in the New Year!!


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