I recall a time not long ago, where Microsoft Office and basic charting software were the limits of my data visualisation skills. A chance encounter with an ad about the Data School program led me down a journey of discovery. Having learnt about Tableau mere weeks before applying, I soon immersed myself in Level of Detail expressions (LOD) and constructing a myriad of charts. My rudimentary skills were to be tested as I frantically learnt Tableau and worked on progressively larger data sets. Throughout this process, I benefited from previous cohorts’ blogs as well as the extensive Tableau resource online. After successfully qualifying for the Data School, I looked forward to the start of…

 

The Journey

The initial weeks were spent with assistant coach Pete to get us up to speed on Alteryx. His training manuals were critical in preparing for my Alteryx Designer Core exam. We were also fortunate to have many other assistant coaches to conduct training sessions. Not only were we challenged with advanced topics in Tableau and Alteryx, we also had to contend with training on Power BI and SQL. In addition, we learnt how to manage projects and other consulting skills. Interspersed between our training were client projects that would become the true test of our abilities in applying our training to real world projects. Last but not least, I am grateful to Craig for his time with us at the Data School. The Data School would not be the same without his management and coordination. Perhaps equally as important is…

 

The Fellowship

As part of Cohort 4, I found myself working with Chantel, Danica, Hayley, Iram, Laszlo and Sachin. From our first awkward meeting to the end of our training, we were constantly learning from each other. I discovered how much more efficient it was in working as a team. We were encouraged to challenge ourselves amidst a seemingly endless waves of training content. Yet, in this fiercely competitive environment, there was room to fail and grow; A helping hand for the desperate and respite for the weary. Whilst still preserving our distinct flairs, our journey together has improved our capabilities as consultants. This journey has of course not been without its…

 

Trials and Tribulations

The start of any client project is met with our usual (over-) optimism. This quickly descends into a struggle with understanding client business rules to deciding the best visualisation for a given objective. Compounding these issues were the unending revisions of the master data source, the occasional software problems and our initial inexperience in project management. Despite these setbacks, I am proud of our...

 

Successes 

As the deadline for each project approaches, we start questioning our progress and if the client would be happy with our work. While time constraints meant we had to prioritise certain client objectives, we were able to complete most if not all key client objectives. As we emerge from each project having achieved client satisfaction, we felt content with our work yet amazed at the potential given more time. With the last of the client projects behind us, I now wonder about…

 

The Road Ahead

As I leave the Data School room as a trainee for the last time, I look back at our 4 months of training and how we have evolved as individuals during this time. Gone will be the days of friendly banter and indecision in choosing lunch venues. I remember the late night pizzas that sustained us and the rush of energy as deadlines drew close. Yet, I leave for my placements with a strange sense of accomplishment and grateful at having the opportunity to be part of cohort 4.

 

 

 

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