My First Day at Microsoft: A New Journey Begins

Alexander Loth on his first day at Microsoft
Alexander Loth on his first day at Microsoft

Joining Microsoft marks an exciting new chapter in my professional journey. With memories of my farewell to Tableau still fresh, I arrived at the Microsoft office, ready to embrace the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Read about my farewell to Tableau here.

Walking through the doors of Microsoft’s sprawling campus, the spirit of creativity and technological advancement was palpable. The legacy of innovation that defines Microsoft was evident everywhere I looked. I was immediately struck by the energy and innovation that permeated the air. From the architecture to the people, everything spoke of a commitment to excellence.

My first day was filled with introductions to my talented new colleagues. Their passion and expertise left me inspired and eager to contribute. With previous experiences at Tableau, CERN, and other industry leaders, I am well-prepared for this new adventure. Each step has shaped me, and I’m confident that this new adventure at Microsoft will add valuable layers to my career.

I’m thrilled to be part of Microsoft’s vision to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more. The future promises exciting projects, innovation, and growth.

My day 1 at Microsoft has been a remarkable experience, setting the stage for a fruitful journey. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!

Stay connected with me on Twitter and LinkedIn to follow my journey at Microsoft.

Thank you Tableau and farewell!

Farewell to Tableau: A Reflective Goodbye - Alexander Loth with Tableau Data Rockstar t-shirt
Farewell to Tableau: A Reflective Goodbye – Alexander Loth

10 years ago, I started using Tableau.

4 years ago, I started working at Tableau.

Today is my last day with Tableau.

As I pen down my farewell to Tableau, it’s hard not to look back at the incredible journey that began 10 years ago. I reflect on a decade-long connection that began with using Tableau and culminated in four amazing years as an employee. This journey has shaped my career, leaving me filled with gratitude. Read about my 10-year blogging anniversary here.

These last four years have been the most inspiring of my career, what a ride it has been! It’s been a great opportunity and an amazing experience, joining this unique Seattle start-up as one of the first employees in Tableau’s Frankfurt office. Watching our DACH team grow to 120+ people is far more than I had imagined at the beginning, it is simply amazing!

As for my next phase, I’ll take on a strategist role at a leading cloud & AI company. I am excited to continue creating an impact in the digital age.

I’m very grateful to have worked alongside talented people both in Tableau and in our greater #datafam community — people who are brilliant and freakishly friendly. I am immensely grateful for the guidance of my mentors, Nate Vogel and Andy Cotgreave. Their wisdom and support have been instrumental in my growth at Tableau. I have many lifetime memories and made lots of great friends. I wish all of you at Tableau all the best for your next chapter, joining the Salesforce Ohana.

This farewell to Tableau is filled with gratitude, memories, and excitement for the future. Thank you, Tableau, for the incredible ride. So long, and thank you for everything!

— Alex

Watch my 4-years-in-2-minutes clip here:

Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn for updates on my farewell to Tableau and new ventures.

How China is Winning in the Age of Artificial Intelligence: A Deep Dive into Innovation, Culture, and Strategy

China AI: The impressive Alibaba Campus in Hangzhou, a hub of innovation and intrapreneurship.
China AI: The impressive Alibaba Campus in Hangzhou, a hub of innovation and intrapreneurship.

China’s AI revolution is taking the world by storm. In this journey across cities like Hangzhou, discover how China is leading the AI industry, inspiring innovation, and shaping the future.

Currently, I’m on a 4-week China trip, visiting many cities. In Hangzhou, I met CEIBS peers who work for Alibaba. While the Alibaba campus is quite impressive, I got even more impressed by Alibaba’s leadership culture, which is encouraging its employees to innovate as intrapreneurs.

Intrapreneurship at Alibaba: The China AI Model for Success

At the impressive Alibaba Campus in Hangzhou, I discovered the power of intrapreneurship. If you start your own project (a new mobile app, a patent, a scientific paper, etc.), you’re doing it at your own pace. Employees are encouraged to innovate at their own pace, without being micro-managed. Success is rewarded with bonuses. Truly, this is where we can learn from China in the „China AI“ landscape!

China’s AI Ambitions: Leading the New World Order

Yue and me, Hangzhou West Lake

While traveling in China I was reading AI Superpowers: China Silicon Valley, and the New World Order by Kai-Fu Lee, a book that is a must-read to get an idea of where China’s AI ambitions are heading to. What matters most for AI innovation these days, the author argues, is access to vast quantities of data—where China’s advantage is overwhelming.

A quite entertaining book focusing on the new mindset of China’s young generation is this one: Young China: How the Restless Generation Will Change Their Country and the World by Zak Dychtwald.

Visualizing the Journey: Exploring my Tableau Public Viz

Which other cities in China did I visit? Check out my Tableau Public viz:

A visualization of my 2019 China Visit, exploring the cities and experiences.
A visualization of my 2019 China Visit, exploring the cities and experiences.

Interested in Visual Analytics? Grab a copy of my latest book, Visual Analytics with Tableau (Amazon), for a comprehensive guide to mastering data visualization.

Stay Connected and Explore More on China AI

China’s AI is reshaping the global landscape. From Alibaba to the nation’s strategies, China AI inspires and challenges the world. It’s a blend of technology, culture, and energy driving China’s AI revolution.

The experiences and insights from this trip have been truly enlightening. I invite you to join me as I continue to explore the fascinating world of China AI, digital transformation, and visual analytics. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn, and let’s continue learning together.

Don’t miss my upcoming book, Decisively Digital: From Creating a Culture to Designing Strategy (Amazon) Dive deep into digital transformation and be part of the new era of innovation.

Generation Y: Was erwarten Digital Natives von der Arbeitswelt?

Seattle: Space Needle
Innovation kann nicht diktiert werden, sondern muss erwünscht sein

Die Generation Y, zwischen 1977 und 1998 geboren, gilt als sehr gut ausgebildet. Sie sind als Digital Natives in der digitalen Welt aufgewachsen und rasche Veränderung gewohnt. Sie gelten als kreativ und technikaffin. Wären dies nicht die idealen Kandidaten, um die Digitalisierung bei Banken voranzutreiben, um Datenschätze mittels Data Science zu erschließen und um Fachwissen, Geschäftsverständnis und Kreativität zu vereinen?

Als potentieller Arbeitgeber stellt sich darüber hinaus noch eine viel wesentlichere Frage: Wie komme ich an die High Potentials dieser Generation und wie kann ich sie halten? Tatsächlich besteht für etablierte Unternehmen sogar akuter Handlungsbedarf, um weiterhin als Arbeitgeber attraktiv zu bleiben. Allein mit höheren Gehältern und Prestige klappt das nicht. Es ist vielmehr die intrinsische Motivation und die Sinnfrage, die hier zum Zuge kommen.

Traditionelle Unternehmenskulturen sind eine Hürde für die Generation Y und der Digitalen Transformation gleichermaßen. Heute verändern sich die Märkte so rasant, dass Unternehmen nur erfolgreich sein können, wenn sie zügig antizipieren und reagieren. Jedoch setzen die meisten Unternehmen mehr auf Risikominimierung als auf Entscheidungsfreiheit und Fortschritt: Informationen werden zurückgehalten oder gefiltert, Strukturen und Prozesse sind verkrustet und aufgebläht, tatsächliche Entscheidungen werden nur von wenigen getroffen und nur zögerlich kommuniziert.

Dies steht den Digital Natives im Weg. Die Generation Y braucht eine Arbeitsatmosphäre, die zu ihr passt. Dies muss in die Kultur der Unternehmen übergehen, in die Arbeitsweise und Entscheidungsphilosophie. Bürokratie muss auf ein Minimum reduziert werden, um schnelles Handeln zu ermöglichen. Innovation kann nicht diktiert werden, sondern muss erwünscht sein. Ideen können durch jeden, überall und zu jeder Zeit entstehen – man muss ihnen nur den Freiraum geben.