Four months of training has come to an end and I am both proud and sad to be at the finish line. It’s been an incredible, but intense journey with lots of learning, many projects and presentations, but most of all a lot of fun. When I started at The Data School almost everything was new to me – the industry, the products, the people, the culture. After four months of training it’s all familiar and I am incredibly happy I made the choice to join The Data School. In this blog post, I will reflect on what I’ve learnt throughout the training as well as how the people and culture have inspired me.
Where shall I start? We’ve learnt so much…! However, when looking back, there’s been 3 main elements to the training we’ve been through:
- Learning the technical skills required to get the job done
- Consulting skills (soft skills)
- Real-world application of the above skills through client projects
The main focus of the technical training was on Tableau and Alteryx, but we’ve also learnt other products and skills like SQL, PowerBI, predictive analysis and data modelling (to mention a few). When I started at The Data School, I only knew the basics in Tableau, and it would take me ages to create a visualisation. Now I can prepare, analyse and visualise new and unfamiliar data in a fraction of the time I could before! In addition to traditional data analysis, we have learnt cool stuff such as how to automate repetitive processes through creating analytical apps and macros in Alteryx. To sum it up, we’ve learnt all the essential technical skills we’ll need to become great data analysts, from data prepping, analysis and automation in Alteryx, to storytelling and visualisation in Tableau.
What I particularly liked about training was the focus on teaching us how to be become great consultants (not just making us tech savvy). We’ve been taught skills in presenting, gathering info from clients efficiently, agile project management and teaching. A key element of the training is that we’ve been pushed to apply the skills we’ve learnt through projects and presentations. Looking back, I remember I was quite nervous during the first presentations, but after a lot of practice and many presentations later I have become a much more confident and comfortable presenter. The same goes with project work (see below).
The third element to the training was to get real world experience and apply the skills we’d learnt through client projects. We had seven client projects in total, each of them one week long. On Mondays, the client would come in and present us their data, business model, and requirements for the project. On Friday of the same week, we would present our solutions and insights back to them. I remember being quite nervous before the client project weeks as I did not know what to expect. Having been at The Data School for only a few weeks and suddenly going to work with real clients and real data seemed daunting. However, this was without doubt one of the most important experiences of the training and I learnt a lot about project and teamwork throughout these weeks. After completing the training, I can now proudly say that I’ve delivered projects for seven different clients and have been project team leader for one of them. This is an invaluable experience that I think will make the transition into the real world as a consultant smoother.
The Best Part
The best part of the last four months has definitely been the people and the culture. My cohort mates and coaches have been the absolute best and have made an intense and challenging training period a lot of fun! In addition to cracking jokes and making great banter, everyone in the team has been extremely supportive and helpful throughout the training. Every time I’ve been stuck or needed feedback, they’ve been there to help out. The office culture has also been great and very relaxed. For example, every Friday afternoon everyone gathers in the office space for a couple of drinks and some snacks to celebrate the end of successful week!
A big thanks to the coaches Craig and David, and the rest of the MIP team, for making the last few months the most lærerike (in Norwegian, “learning-ful”) of my life. It’s been an amazing journey so far and I cannot wait to go out in the real world and apply the skills you’ve taught me.
(If you are reading this and wonder if you should apply for the Data School – do not hesitate – you will not regret it!)