What a year! 2016 in review

Posted by

The past 12 months have been more than eventful, and a review of what has happened is a welcome reflection, if not a therapeutic way to close out 2016 as I linger ‘between the years’ during these days that are neither here nor there but filled with anticipation of things to come.

So let’s look back on each month in a snappy, picture-happy blog before this year is over…



Travel: We welcomed the year in Innsbruck, Austria, a stunning place I highly recommend for anyone to visit

Tableau: My highlight was visiting the EXASOL office in Nuremberg and chatting to Aaron about working together

Triathlon: I stupidly managed to break my left elbow which saw me back in a cast for a second Australian summer in a row and spending a lot of time on my bike trainer and with fins in the pool



Travel: I spent a lot of time exploring Sydney on foot before I could ride my bike on the road again and enjoyed a harbour cruise with friends

Tableau: Fi and I welcomed Andy Cotgreave to Sydney and had pre-conference drinks with him, got to see some magic tricks and laughed so hard all evening 🙂

Triathlon: at the end of February I was finally back on the road after 2 months off and started with a 47km ride around Centennial Park in Sydney – just because I could



Travel: We stayed in Sydney and the surrounding region but went exploring on a hike on the south coast, which we finished with ice cream in Kiama, one of our favourite towns in NSW. Great weather and great scenery 🙂

Tableau: Yay, finally time for Tableau Conference on Tour in Sydney. Several highlights here: hanging out with my favourite APAC Tableau people, sitting in the front row with Fi and the other trouble makers ;-), enjoying a good party in the heart of the city and introducing my dear friend Ana to the Tableau community before she took over my job when I left the country.

Triathlon: a big challenge this month: supporting my late coach Craig Percival in his #8in8in8 challenge for the Sydney part of the event. One of my biggest triathlon accomplishments at the time and an honour to be involved.



Travel: Yay, a trip to New Zealand! We started the month off with a visit to Wellington to see our family and friends over there and had the best weather we could have asked for. Little old Aotearoa certainly delivered! I also travelled to Melbourne to stay with my friends Amanda and Zac, go riding and catch up with Craig. And at the end of the month I packed up my bags again to go to Tasmania to spend 4 days with my best friend from university.

Tableau: For the month of April I enjoyed having Ana work alongside me and I tried to teach her everything I could about Tableau Desktop, about Tableau projects, about the Tableau community and our customers. It was great fun and reminded me how much I love teaching and helping others be successful in this weird and wonderful data world of ours.

Triathlon: I summited my first serious mountain this month by conquering Mt Wellington in Hobart, Tasmania. It felt great to enjoy the sunrise from the top above the clouds looking back on the climb below me, before enjoying a descend that left me colder than I’ve ever felt in my life. But happy… 🙂


Travel: Our last 3 weeks in Sydney had arrived so we were busy packing bags and getting rid of stuff. On our way to Germany we stopped in Bangkok for 3 days of heat, pineapples, mangoes and doing sweet FA before the next phase of our lives was about to start

Tableau: work-wise this was a month of farewells for me. That was quite sad but at the same time it was lovely to reconnect with the people who helped me along the way, who worked with me, who encouraged me and made it all happen. This includes first and foremost my former manager Scott, who gave me that Tableau license key back in August 2013 and who believed in me. But it also includes the team from Tableau Software in Australia – there was 5 of them when I first met them and we worked close together from the start. I count all of these people as my friends and am always delighted to see them at conferences.

Triathlon: My triathlon training rides and runs took me around Sydney once again in an attempt to soak up the last few sunrises along the beaches, swim outdoors once more and catch up with my swim squad who made swim training more fun than I ever thought possible.


Travel: France! Yes, after arriving in Germany we only stayed for a couple of days before heading off to Southern France for three weeks of sunshine, peace and quiet to ease our way into life in Europe.

Tableau: I’ll admit it: I didn’t use twitter, didn’t blog and didn’t visualise anything during June. Mainly to blame was a very patchy internet connection, but I was also just not really in the mood, because my main focus was on holidaying with my husband and cycling, swimming and running as much as my legs could handle

Triathlon: A big month as I was preparing for the biggest race of my life. This month had so many highlights for me. Cycling in France was amazing and I covered over 1,300km in the three weeks that I was there. This included my biggest climb ever: the summit of Mt Ventoux (+ 100km afterwards just because…). It also included my biggest ride ever: 207km solo, unsupported, just me myself and I. During this trip I also got to swim in a mountain lake, rivers and a crowded outdoor pool. It was awesome!
Plus, I learned how strong/patient I could be when I would come home from a 6 hour ride and hubby asked me excitedly: ‘shall we do something today?’ Of course, dear, let’s go canoeing, hiking and explore some caves…



Travel: Only two minor trips this month: One to Roth for my biggest race to date: Challenge Roth… And not trip to Munich in an attempt to watch Bayern Munich against Manchester United, which we didn’t get to see because of public transport disasters in the city… Other than that we stayed in Bamberg and celebrated my parents’ birthdays as well as our return to Europe.

Tableau: Between sleeping, eating, cycling and swimming I had literally no time to focus on Tableau, but I followed the community activities on social media and visited EXASOL once more to have a chat with Aaron and Mathias before joining them in August

Triathlon: Finally, July was here. Challenge Roth had arrived and it was time for my friend and racing partner Andy and myself to grab the bull by the horns. My job was to swim 3.8km and cycle 180km in less than 8 hrs 45min. My secret hope was to finish in 8 hours. My final time was 7:31 hours. I was ecstatic! Such a big accomplishment, so much pride, so hungry, so tired. Thank god it was over 🙂


Travel: Keeping it local as I started work at EXASOL and focused on settling in. No overnight trips away, which was a nice change to be honest. With my commute of 60km which I sometimes did by bike I still got plenty of opportunities to explore the region.

Tableau: I am back! As EXASOL’s Tableau Evangelist I was able to take a new turn in my career and got involved again in Makeover Monday challenges, in the community through social media and started building my local network which was a lot of fun.

Triathlon: Shifting the focus back to racing short distance races meant my first sprint triathlon race on German soil had arrived and on August 6 I won my age group at a local triathlon, which was super satisfying.


Travel: The month started with a work trip to London where I completed our EXASOL developer training and visited some of our partners. Two days after returning home I boarded a flight to Mexico where I would meet my husband, Paul, who flew in from New Zealand. We went to Cozumel not for a holiday, but for me to participate in the Age Group Sprint Triathlon World Championships. After Mexico I had a weekend away to finish the month and to celebrate my brother’s birthday. On route to his place I stopped over in Stuttgart to catch up with my former boss, Michael, and his wife Erin.

Tableau: Things started to really fall into place at work and I hit my stride, creating content, building my network, connecting with partners, learning lots and working on various projects for all things EXASOL & Tableau…

Triathlon: Well, the month of the world championship. There’s not much more I can say about it, but it was an amazing experience, about which I wrote previously


Travel: London was calling me again and how could I refuse… At the end of the month I also made another trip to North Rhine Westphalia to visit family, which is always nice 🙂

Tableau: I loved connecting with my Tableau family in London and more and more people online. They help me learn every time I use Tableau, but they also continuously remind me what a fun and welcoming community I have become part of. Makeover Monday had become a constant feature in my working week and was always a good opportunity to focus on simplicity and trying to convey information in an easy to understand way to any readers no matter the audience.

Triathlon: After Mexico I took a solid 2 weeks off – no exercise at all. Well, I walked a lot, but that to me doesn’t count. That’s activity, not training :-). It was great to have so much time to catch up with friends and my parents and of course to spend time with Paul. Late October saw me pick up my training again very gently with a few rides, swims and runs. One highlight was certainly running in London among all the historic buildings and just soaking in the atmosphere of this awesome city.


Travel: Austin, Texas for the Tableau Conference was the absolute highlight this month and something I had been looking forward to for many weeks (months…) :-). After the conference I also visited my brother and his family again for the christening of my nephew Jona, whose godmother I became and who is such a ray of sunshine that I’d love to just take him home with me :-).

Tableau: Nothing is bigger than the annual Tableau conference so I got enjoy a healthy serving of fun, education, inspiration, ‘Tableau family love fest’ and connecting with new and old friends. It’s so good for the soul! My Tableau tribe is really important for me and is one of the reasons why I am so happy in my job and my career. These people really are something special! To avoid repeating myself, check out the blog I wrote about my experience of #data16.
I loved seeing my ‘old’ friends and was delighted to connect with new ones, including (in random order): Emily Kund, Sarah Bartlett, Curtis Harris, Adam Crahen, Pooja Gandhi, Bridget Cogley, Lorna EdenJonni Walker, Anya A’Hearn, Allan Walker, Josh Tapley, Jeremy Poole, Nai Louza, Ann Jackson, Chris Scott, Cesar Picco, Chloe Tseng, Alexandria Duke, Brit Cava, Jen Vaughan, Shawn Levin, and many many others…

Triathlon: It’s Germany, it’s almost winter, it’s cold. There is not a lot of triathlon stuff going on. Not outdoors anyway. But I made it to a local running race and crossed the finish line as the first woman in the fun run category. That felt pretty good I have to admit :-).


Travel: A busy month to close out the year. It started with a trip to Milan where I presented at the Tableau Roadshow event of our local partner ecoh Media. Certainly a highlight as it was my first solo trip representing EXASOL while also presenting to an all-Italian audience (in English though, I never learnt Italian) on Tableau + EXASOL in a new presentation format (Thanks, Matt for all your help!!!).
Next stop 4 days later was Darmstadt, near Frankfurt, where I attended the Microsoft Tech Summit with a few of my colleagues. Admittedly I was rather disappointed that none of the Microsoft staff could tell me anything about Power BI…
So I returned to my home turf, Nuremberg, where we ran EXASOL’s first international partner training.
A week later I also enjoyed a trip to Munich to attend the Alteryx partner training, which was a great opportunity to connect with fellow Alteryx partners as well as the local Alteryx team and to talk about the EAT stack.

Tableau: Presenting on Tableau + EXASOL was really fun and something I plan to do a lot more of in the future. The tools are such a great combination and it’s exciting to see when the audience connects with those ideas. December was a month full of discussions around Tableau, the community, our Tableau strategy at EXASOL and a number of demos, dashboard development and exciting projects for the pipeline.
And then at the end, just as we’re about to close the year, Makeover Monday came to me, wrapped with a pretty little bow tie – so I’ll be joining Andy Kriebel to bring you another 52 makeovers in 2017.

Triathlon: The winter theme continues and has been marked by occasional swims, frosty bike rides and plenty of running. I finally managed to buy all the right winter clothes (some items I didn’t even know existed…) to get me through the next few months. I planned to make my highlight the #festive500, a challenge to ride 500km outdoors between December 24 and 31. My darling nephew passed on a virus which wiped me off my feet completely on Boxing day and I am just about to get back on my bike. With 343km to go in 4 days it’s going to be a tough one, let’s see whether I can actually do it… 🙂


And that is it, my friends, 2016 is done and dusted. An awesome year for the most part (and I chose not to dwell here on the sadness and loss it brought), with exciting challenges, opportunities, a move from Australia to Germany, lots of travel and spending time with lots of friends and family.

2017 looks promising and I can’t wait to see it all unfold…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s